A Guide to Writing Contests

The National Media Awards Foundation has compiled a comprehensive list of national and international writing contests that are open to Canadian writers, poets, and creators. There are competitions for everyone – from seasoned, published writers to up-and-coming writers who are just getting started in the industry. Contests cover genres such as poetry, non-fiction, fiction, and line art. For more information on each contest, please click on the contest you’re interested in below.

Would you like your publication’s writing contest included in our guide? Send us an email today indicating the name of your contest, the deadline, entry fee and prizes, and who’s eligible to compete. Publications from around the world can be included in our guide, as long as Canadian creators are eligible to submit to your publication’s contest.

The Vallum Award for Poetry
Deadline: July 15th, 2023
First Place Prize: $750 and publication in Vallum
Finalist: $250 and publication in Vallum
Entry fee: $25 for Canadian entrants, $30 for U.S. and international entrants (all entries include a 1-year subscription to Vallum Magazine)

PRISM International Jacob Wilber Prize for Short Fiction
Deadline: January 15th, 2023
Grand Prize: $1,500
Second Prize: $600
Second runner-up: $400
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries, $40 for U.S. entries, $45 for international entires (all entries include a one-year subscription)
Additional entry: $5 per entry
Max. word count: 4,000 (including title)
Judge: Waubgeshig Rice

PRISM International IBPOC Fiction & Poetry
Deadline: January 15th, 2023
Compensation: $40 per printed page of prose, $45 per printed page of poetry, and publication in PRISM international
Entry fee: Free

The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize
Deadline: 11:59pm (PST) on February 1st, 2023
Prize: $1,250 and publication in The Malahat Review
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries, $45 for entires from elsewhere
Additional entry: $15 per entry

The Malahat Review Novella Prize
Deadline: Closed for now, check back in mid-November 2023
Prize: $1,750 and publication in The Malahat Review
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries, $45 for entires from elsewhere
Additional entry: $15 per entry

The Malahat Review Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize
Deadline: Every August 1st— closed for now, check back in mid-May 2023
Prize: $1250 and publication in The Malahat Review
Entry Fee: $35 for entries from Canada, rates vary elsewhere; $15CAN for all additional entries
The Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize is awarded to the best work submitted to the magazine’s annual contest for a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization.

League of Canadian Poets Lesley Strutt Poetry Contest
Deadline: Closed for now, check back in 2023
Prize: $500
Eligibility: Canadian poets, poets living and working in Canada, as well as Indigenous, Inuit and Métis poets who may not identify as Canadian but live in the region known colonially as Canada
Entry fee: $5

The Fiddlehead Fiction Contest
Deadline: Not yet announced for 2023
Prize: $2,000 and publication in The Fiddlehead
Judge: Yasuko Thanh
Submission Guidelines

Arc Poetry Poem of the Year
Deadline: February 1st, 2023
Grand prize: $5,000
Honourable Mention: $500
Shortlist winner: $250
Entry fee: $35, includes one-year subscription to Arc

Arc Poetry Magazine Diana Brebner Prize
Deadline: Not yet announced for 2023
Prize: $500
Eligibility: Residents of the National Capital Region
Entry fee: $25 for one or two poems, includes one-year subscription to Arc

Surrey International Writers’ Conference writing contest
Deadline: Not yet announced for 2023
First Prize: $1,000 and publication
Honourable mention: $150 and publication
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15

Dreamers Creative Writing
STORIES OF MIGRATION, SENSE OF PLACE AND HOME
Deadline: January 31st, 2023
Prize: $250
Entry Fee: $20 USD (Approx. $25 CAD), includes 1-year electronic subscription for Dreamers Magazine

HAIKU CONTEST
Deadline: May 31st, 2023
Prize: $120
Entry Fee: $10 USD (Approx. $13 CAD), includes an e-copy of the next issue of Dreamers Magazine
Submit up to 3 Haiku per entry!

FLASH FICTION AND NONFICTION CONTEST
Deadline: Sept. 30th, 2023
Prize: $150
Entry Fee: $12.50 USD (Approx. $15 CAD), includes an e-copy of the next issue of Dreamers Magazine
Length: Between 300 and 1,000 words

Portal Magazine‘s Portent Contest
Deadline: Not yet announced for 2024
Prize: $500 and publication in Portal Magazine
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents
Entry fee: $25, includes one-year print subscription to Portal
Length: Maximum 2,000 words

Pulp Literature
The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize
Deadline: Closed for now, check back in 2023
Prize: $300 and publication in Pulp Literature
Entry fee: $20, includes a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature
Editorial critique: $25
Length: Under 1,000 words

The Magpie Award For Poetry
Deadline: Closed for now, check back in 2023
First Prize: $300 and publication in Pulp Literature
Runners Up: $50 and publication in Pulp Literature
Entry fee: $25, $10 for each subsequent entry, includes a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature
Length: Up to 100 lines

The Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest
Deadline: Closed for now, check back in 2023
Prize: $300 and publication in Pulp Literature
Entry fee: $15, includes a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature
Editorial critique: $20
Length: Up to 750 words

The Raven Short Story Contest
Deadline: October 15th, 2023
Winner notified: November 15, 2023
Prize: $300 and publication in Pulp Literature
Judge: Leo X Robertson
Entry fee: $20, includes a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature
Editorial critique: $25
Length: Between 250 and 2,500 words

Prairie Fire
McNally Robinson Booksellers Poetry Award, Short Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Contests

Deadline: Closed for now, check back in 2023
1st prize: $750 and publication in Prairie Fire
2nd prize: $350 and publication in Prairie Fire
3rd prize: $150 and publication in Prairie Fire
Entry fee: $32, including a one-year subscription to Prairie Fire
Length: One fiction entry consists of one story, maximum 5,000 words; one poetry entry consists of 1, 2, or 3 poems, maximum 150 lines; one creative non-fiction entry consists of one article, maximum 5,000 words.

The Writers Union of Canada
Danuta Gleed Literary Award
Deadline: January 31st, 2023
Prize: $10,000 to a Canadian writer for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalists are also awarded $1,000 each.

Short Prose Competition
Deadline: February 17th, 2023
Prize: $2,500
Eligibility: Writers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
Length: Up to 2,500 words
Jurors: Doretta Lau, Tāriq Malik, and Ann Shortell

FreeFall Annual Prose & Poetry Contest
Deadline: April 30th, 2023
1st Prize: $500
2nd Prize: $250
3rd Prize: $125
Honourable Mention: $75
Entry fee: $25, additional entries $5 (at the time of original entry), includes one-year subscription
Length: 3,000 words prose, or 3 poems per entry

Writing Battle
Next Battle: February 2nd, 2023 (Flash Fiction)
Upcoming Battle: May 5th, 2023 (Microfiction)
Prize: Ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 depending on how many people join
Entry fee: $25 for Flash Fiction, $20 for Microfiction

EXILE Quarterly Short Fiction Competition and Award
Deadline: June 30th, 2023
Prize: $500 and publication in EXILE Quarterly
Entry fee: $35, includes one-year subscription to EXILE Quarterly
Length: Maximum 6,000 words

EXILE Quarterly Short Fiction Competition and Award
Deadline: January 31st, 2023
Prize: $1,500 and publication in EXILE Quarterly
Entry fee: $35, includes one-year subscription to EXILE Quarterly
Length: Maximum 16 pages

Did we miss one? Send us a note or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post as more contests are announced.