A Guide to Writing Contests

Grain Magazine
Short Grain Contest

Contest opens: 15 January 2021
Deadline: April 1, 2021
First prize: $1000 and publication in Grain
Second prize: $750 and publication in Grain
Third prize: $500 and publication in Grain

The basic fee for Canadian entrants is $40 (includes GST) for a maximum of two entries in one category. Each entrant also receives a free subscription to Grain Magazine. The 2021 judges are Phil Hall (poetry judge) and Susan Olding (fiction judge). Winners will be announced in August.

Pulp Literature
The Magpie Award for Poetry

Contest opens: 1 March 2021
Deadline:  15 April 2021
Winner notified: 15 May 2021
First Prize: $500
Runners up (2): $50 each
All entrants receive a 1 year digital subscription to Pulp Literature.

Entry fee: $25 1st poem, $10 each subsequent poem
Early bird fee (before 15 Mar): $20 1st poem, $10 each subsequent poem
Entry fees include a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature.

This contest is for previously unpublished poems of up to 100 lines in length.  Poetry that relies heavily on visual structure is eligible for prize money, but may be excluded from publication if the formatting is difficult to reproduce in print or eBook.
Total entries limited to 500.

The Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest
Contest opens:  1 January 2021
Deadline:  15 February 2021
Winner notified:  15 March 2021
Winner published in:  Issue 31, Summer 2021
Prize:  $300

Entry fee: $15
Earlybird fee (before 15 January): $10
Entry fees include a 1-year digital subscription to Pulp Literature.

This contest is for previously unpublished works of fiction up to 750 words in length.  Total entries limited to 300.

The Malahat Review
Far Horizons Award for Poetry / Short Fiction
Prize money: $1000
Entries due every May 1
Entry Fee: $25 (additional entries are $15); includes subscription
As a complement to the Novella and Long Poem prizes, the Far Horizons Awards are short-form contests, with the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction given during odd years and the Far Horizons Award for Poetry in even. Only open to writers who have yet to publish in book form for the genre in question. Winning entries appear in the Autumn issue.

Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize
Prize money: $1000
Entries due every August 1
Entry Fee: $35
To nurture The Malahat Review’s newest genre, the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize was established in 2007. The winning entry appears in the Winter issue.

Prairie Fire
Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, Short Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Contests

Although our deadline is (postmarked by) November 30, you may submit anytime.
We request that all entries be sent my snail mail.
Prizes are awarded in each of the three categories and winning entries are published in Prairie Fire:
1st prize $1,250
2nd prize $500
3rd prize $250
Entry Fee: $32

Canadian Stories
The CANADIAN STORIES literary folk magazine is pleased to offer the 12th Contest for Short Stories, Poetry, and Black & White Line Art:
True Stories  $350
Creative Non-Fiction    $350
Fiction   $350
Poetry    $200
Lest We Forget $350
Black & White Line Art $350
First Honourable Mention    $100
Second Honourable Mention $50
DEADLINE: 2021 dates to come
COST: $20

PRISM International
2020 Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction (Canadian Entry)
Deadline: January 31, 2021
$1,500 grand prize, $600 runner-up, $400 2nd runner-up
Entry Fee: $35.00 CAD. Please submit only one piece per submission. You may submit additional stories using the Additional Entry option for $5.
Max. word count: 4,000 words

Creative Non-Fiction Contest
2021 dates to come
Grand Prize: $1,500
Second Prize: $600 runner-up
2nd runner-up: $400
Entry fee: $35 Canadian entries (includes a one-year subscription or extension)
Additional entry: $5 per piece
Max. word count: 6,000

Annual Earle Birney Prize for Poetry
An annual prize of $500 awarded by the outgoing Poetry Editor to an outstanding poetry contributor published in PRISM international.
Enter by regular submission only: no fee required.

The Grouse Grind Lit Prize for V. Short Forms
$500 Grand Prize, $150 runner-up, $50 2nd runner-up
Entry fee: $15 for all entries. Option to pay an additional fee to include a subscription (or an extension of an existing subscription) with your contest entry.
Max. word count: 300 words.

Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize
Submit 1-3 poems (100 lines maximum each) in one document.
Entry fee: $35 Canadian entries (includes a one-year subscription or extension)
Additional entry: $5 per piece

The New Quarterly
Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Grand Prize: $1000
Deadline: March 9, 2021
Entry fee: $40 for up to 3 poems (includes a 1-year Canadian subscription or renewal to The New Quarterly). Additional poems are $5 each.
Decisions will be posted by late August. Finalists will be notified ahead by email.

The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Grand Prize: $1000
Deadline: March 28, 2021.
Entry fee: $40 per essay (includes a 1-year Canadian subscription or renewal to The New Quarterly).
Decisions will be made by late August. Finalists will be notified by email.

The Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Grand Prize: $1000
Deadline: May 28, 2021
Decisions will be made by late August. Finalists will be notified by email.

Room Magazine
Cover Art | Contest will open November 2021
First Prize: $500 + publication on the cover of Room 44.2
Second Prize: $50 + publication in Room 44.2
Honourable Mention: publication on Room’s website

Fiction | Deadline: March 15, 2021
First Prize: $1,000 + publication in Room
Second Prize: $250 + publication in Room
Honourable Mention: $50 + publication on Room’s website

Creative Non-Fiction | Contest will open April 2021
First Prize: $500 + publication in Room
Second Prize: $250 + publication in Room
Honourable Mention: $50 publication on Room‘s website
Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room

Poetry | Contest will open June 2021
First Prize: $1,000 + publication in Room
Second Prize: $250 + publication in Room
Honourable Mention: $50 + publication on Room’s website
Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room

Short Forms | Contest will open September 2021
First Prize: $500 + publication (2 prizes)
Honourable Mention: $50 + publication on Room’s website

CBC
CBC Nonfiction Prize
Submit your original, unpublished works of nonfiction up to 2,000 words. There is no minimum.
The competition is open for submissions from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021.
While the competition is active, submit online by creating an account through Submittable. A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry.
The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books.

CBC Poetry Prize
The 2020 prize will open in April 2021.
You can submit an original, unpublished poem or collection of poems, up to 600 words in length. There is no minimum word requirement.
The competition is open for submissions from April 1 to May 31, 2021.

The Fiddlehead
Poetry Contest
2021 dates to come
Prize: $2000
Entry Fee: The fee for first entry is $30. Additional entries after that first contest entry (to either contest category) are $10.

The Writers Union of Canada
DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD
Each year, a $10,000 prize is awarded to a Canadian writer for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalists are also awarded $1000 each.
The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021.

FreeFall
ANNUAL PROSE & POETRY CONTEST
Contest Entries: December 1st 2020 to April 30th 2021
Over $1700.00 in Prizes
1st Prize (Poetry and Fiction) $500
2nd Prize (Poetry and Fiction) $250.
3rd Prize (Poetry and Fiction) $75.00
Honourable Mention (Poetry and Fiction) $25.00

Spark
QT2S / BIPOC (Queer / Trans, 2 Spirit and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Monthly Literary Prize dedicated to underrepresented writers in Canada.
Genres: Poetry/Prose/Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction

Canadian Authors Niagara Branch
​The Banister Poetry Contest
Deadline: May 31, 2021.
Eligibility: Residents of Ontario
Entry fee: $15 for up to 3 poems and $4 for each additional poem
Prize: $100-$300

League of Canadian Poets
Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth
DEADLINE IS APRIL 2021
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents in grades 7-12
Entry fee: None
Prize: $400

Contemporary Verse 2
CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes registration + subscription (registration only is $16)
Registration deadline is April 16, 2021.
The 2020 contest takes place April 23-25, 2021

Vallum
The Vallum Chapbook Award
Deadline: April 30
1st Prize: Publication + $300
Entry fees: $25 CDN for Canadian entrants

The Vallum Award for Poetry
Deadline: July 15
1st Place: $750 and publication in Vallum
2nd Place: $250 and publication in Vallum
Entry Fee: $25 (includes a 1-year subscription to Vallum)

Dreamers Creative Writing
HAIKU CONTEST
Deadline: May 31, 2021
Entry Fee: $10 (includes an electronic copy of Dreamers Magazine Issue 1)
Prize: $120 to the first place winner
The winner will receive $120 CAD ($100 prize + $20 honorarium), 2 copies of our magazine (1 print, 1 electronic), and 2 special Dreamers keychains on which the winning poem will be printed.
Submit up to 3 Haiku per entry; enter as many times as you want.

FLASH FICTION AND NONFICTION CONTEST
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2021
Entry Fee: $12.50 USD (Approx. $15 CAD) – includes an e-copy of the next issue of Dreamers Magazine.
Prize: $150 to the first place winner.
Submit a flash fiction or flash nonfiction story of between 300 and 1000 words for your chance to win!

Alberta Views Short Story Contest
2021 dates to come
Eligibility: Current or former (long-term) residents of Alberta
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $1,000

Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story Literary Competition for Emerging Writers
Deadline: March 14, 2021
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents
Entry fee: $25 adults / $10 youth
Prize: $1,500 adults/ $500 youth

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Submission deadline: Feb 22
Finalist Announcement: May 19
Winner Reveal: June 16
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents under the age of 35
Entry fee: None
Prize: $10,000
Finalists $2,500

Surrey International Writers’ Conference writing contest
Contest opens April 1, 2021
Deadline: September 17 2021:
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $1,000

Arc Poetry
Diana Brebner Prize
2021 dates to come
Eligibility: Residents of the National Capital Region
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Portent Poetry Contest
2021 Deadline: October 15, 2021
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Poetry London Prize
Entries are open from 17 February to 26 June 2021
Eligibility: Everyone (international)
Entry fee: Free – £8 depending on circumstances
Prize: £5,000 (about $8,750), 2nd prize: £2,000, 3rd prize: £1,000

Canadian Art 2020 Writing Prize 
2021 dates to come
Eligibility: applicant must be 18+ years and have no more than three pieces of writing published in a professional context.
First Prize: $3,000
Runners up (2): $1,000 each

Arc Award of Awesomeness
2021 Deadline: The last day of the month, this month February 28th
Eligibility: Everyone (international)
Entry fee: $2 per poem
Prize: Amount will vary (50/50 cash prize)

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