Off the Page, with art director Anna Minzhulina


Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. In this interview we chat with award-winning art director Anna Minzhulina, who spent 10 years at the creative helm of Maisonneuve. “Maisy” was named Magazine of the Year at the 2016 National Magazine Awards, and over the years it has been among the most lauded and decorated magazines for design, illustration, and photography (as well as its writing and reporting).
 
NMAF: Let’s start with Maisonneuve. You spent over a decade as the art director of the award-winning Montreal quarterly.
Anna: Maison-who?! I have never heard of it?! Is it any good?!
(Sorryyyyyy, I just could not help myself!) Indeed, my tenure at the magazine was exceeded only by the logo itself–the infamous Maisy dude. I could easily be a special edition Maisy mascot!
I joined Maisonneuve in 2005, shortly after I graduated from the Design Art program at Concordia University. Then in the summer of 2006, I became the Art Director. At the time, the magazine was in its fourth year of publication.
Looking back, we were both wild spirited newbies! Maisonneuve was just getting noticed, but still in the early stages of fully developing its editorial and visual personalities. And, there I was…an idealistic designer taking my first steps into the professional art world I felt so passionate about…excitedly searching for the special place to house my creativity. There was maison and it was neuve.
We complemented each other very well. And in a retrospect, the collaboration blossomed into a fruitful and long-term relationship.

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NMAF: Maisonneuve is one of those magazines that is sometimes difficult to describe, yet always attracts alluring descriptions: quirky, bold, refreshing, imaginative, passionate, delightful, thoughtful, exciting…
Anna: For people who are familiar with Maisy (the affectionate in-house name), you may say…A versatile humanitarian with socially and culturally inclined tendencies and some very personal issues, who welcomes anyone into its Open House, obsessively collects Letters from Montreal…in addition, has strange Fictional fantasies, whole-heartedly laughs at the Comics…at times gender confused, but very intelligent and oh! such a visual feast for the eyes to devour ;)!
Undoubtedly, Canadian readers have a variety of great magazines to choose from. Just as easily, dozens could fit the description you gave. But even so, I feel the major difference between other publications and Maisonneuve is the consistency. It’s Maisonneuve’s extraordinary ability to remain uncompromisingly true to its philosophy of high-quality editorial and visual story telling, from one issue to the next and throughout the years.
 To sum up…Maisonneuve is a voice of organic harmony, which with equal strength speaks to and of both human experience and human expression.
 
NMAF: How would you describe the creative vision you set out to achieve at the magazine?
Anna: I feel successful visions are the ones that are flexible in nature. They adapt to the circumstances and times. With enthusiasm and passion, there is nothing impossible…as long as it’s based on the principles of honesty and integrity.
I always strove to design the best magazine I could possibly create in spite of the numerous limitations. In my mind, there were Plans A, B…Z and, if none of those worked—well…I would do it myself!
Over the course of a decade, those visions and approaches evolved beyond simply design aspect/aesthetics and into an understanding of such important values as creative collaboration and the conceptualization of emotionally deep visual narratives capable of touching and evoking lasting impressions and intelligent conversations.
Furthermore, I like to think of the magazine pages as the walls of an art gallery, where art is displayed for practical reasons, such as the pictorial entourage to an article. The words and pictures co-exist.
But at the same time, the images exist in a realm of their own and are appreciated as a separate entity with their own story. Usually, that story is connected to the written one, but it does not have to be in a literal way. I liked to commission illustration that, if there were just empty pages with no words, the images would still have the visual power to stand on their own.
If you think about it, that’s the natural state of the words before they arrive on the designed page. Why can’t the images create their own sustaining presence? That’s one reason why I think Maisonneuve has been so successful… it has had these multiple strong presences that can stand alone and also interact.
 
NMAF: Is there a magic formula for directing such a unique publication, or do you re-invent the wheel, so to speak, every time you start work on a new issue?
Anna: Hmm… yes and no?! Each issue is a new experience, for the team and for the readers. Be that as it may, you don’t reinvent the philosophy—it’s the anchor. You adapt and modify the approach to the underlying design to provide individual and suitable reflection of each story and its characters, which are unique in their own right.
 
NMAF: It’s fair to say that Maisonneuve has been one of the most celebrated magazines in Canada over the past decade, as judged by its peers in the industry and its readers. As its art director you have collected 6 National Magazine Awards for your work—3 for Best Magazine Cover and 3 more for Art Direction—among more than a dozen nominations. Maisy has also won Magazine of the Year twice in that span.
Anna: The number of people, who defriended me on the Facebook skyrocketed! 😛
Truthfully, I am humbled and very honoured for every nomination and award. Thank you!
 
NMAF: What has been the significance to you of the National Magazine Award recognition from your peers?
Anna: Aside from what it personally means to me as well as everyone else involved in Maisonneuve’s production, the recognition of effort, sacrifice, time, sleepless nights, grey hair, broken promises, cancelled dinner dates…it is the acknowledgement of women’s visibility within creative fields.
I believe in the vital role women play in diversifying the publishing world by exposing it to their sensibly strong perspective. So kudos to National Magazine Awards Foundation! I hope it will inspire young women illustrators, photographers, and art directors in Canada to persevere. So that in the future, there are more female voices such as Marta Iwanek, Gracia Lam, Selena Wong, Suharu Ogawa, Genevieve Simms, Heidi Berton, Ness Lee…and the list goes on and on.
 
NMAF: Let’s take a closer look at some of your most celebrated work, and perhaps you can tell us a quick story of how it came together:

In 2011, you won a Silver Medal in Art Direction for a Magazine Story for “Monuments: The City in Three Parts”—a progression of towering illustrations by Amy Casey accompanying a suite of poems by Roland Pemberton. What was your inspiration here—was it the poetry itself, or something more?
Anna: The challenge with poetry is: it’s an art form naturally open to interpretation. Overly strong visuals can clash with or even crash the delicate aesthetic of poetry itself. But no visuals at all, in a magazine like Maisonneuve, would be a cop out.
In the case of “Monuments” the inspiration came equally from both—the beautiful text and Amy’s wonderful work. I created a collage of collapsing imaginary houses so the text could interact with Amy’s images in a way that allowed both to stand on their own and coexist in peace on the same spread. That’s hard to do! So often with poetry there is a love-hate relationship with surrounding images, but this one worked.
Amy was reluctant at first, but when I showed her what I have done as a mock-up she was very excited and happy for her work be adapted in this creative way.
 

NMAF: In “Gays for God”—Silver Medallist in 2013 for Best Magazine Cover—you created (with photographer Kourosh Keshiri) an irresistible image of a contemplative Jesus draped in a rainbow flag, which accompanied the cover story by Clancy Martin about a new LGBTQ-friendly evangelical movement. This is an image of infinite subtleties—from the blue eye to glowing halo and the soft edges. The mood is very inviting to the story. What were the questions you asked yourself as you worked on this design?
Anna: Perhaps, at one time or another, we all contemplate being draped in the fabric of our own fears and doubts, while waiting for the divine to show the way…it’s the concept that talks to universal experience while personal as well. A close-up portrait was the best way to capture the dichotomy.
As for the questions…I am asking myself the same ones today, as I have done then. One of them is how can I, a gay woman myself, shine the light on the relationship LGBTQ community has with spirituality in a singular iconic image to the broader audience? To create a bold and intelligent visual statement to inspire pride in one side and to engage into conversation the other one.
 
NMAF: How did it come together?
Anna: Well…it’s not that easy to find Jesus wondering the streets, more so to convince him to be gay for the photoshoot! But hey, drop the Maisonneuve name here and there and you might be surprised! 😉
Usually, I have a lot of ideas and sketches for the cover (story). Drew Nelles [the editor-in-chief at the time] and I agreed on this concept as the final one—the stand alone powerful image and the direct reflection of Martin’s story.
With the help from dear friend and brilliant photographer Kourosh Keshiri, I was able to get amazing raw shots to work from. Subsequently, I photo edited and photo illustrated the selected image (the most sincere and devoid of pretence) into the final cover version.
In other words, I deliberately de/emphasized and added specific details (such as halo, blue eyes, serene lighting, deep shadows)—the visual signifiers, to create a stronger impact.
 
NMAF: The “TV We Hate Issue” cover (also a Silver Medal winner for Best Magazine Cover in 2015) looks like it was absolutely fun to create—a friendly poke at the subversive, gonzo style of MTV. Were any TVs actually harmed in the production of this cover?
Anna: Ha! Well, yes, twice. How many of us just get so annoyed with what is on TV we just dream of taking a hammer to it?…or in this case, a butcher knife! I deeply apologize to TV set lovers for butchering a very cool retro television…All in the name of art!
The amazing Ian Patterson and I worked on five covers together, the “TV We Hate” was the second one in that sequence. Ian is the example of someone you just click with. He has mastered an amazing skill—working with natural light.
For a start, there were many, many doodles and sketches for this cover. As I remember correctly, we narrowed it down to two main concepts. What made this one the final one was the minimalism and pointedness. The complexity lay in the precise execution–the limited (minimalistic) number of elements did not leave the room to hide mistakes. It’s something that either works or completely fails. This is why, when one element was off the whole cover had to be reshot. Afterwards, just as with the “Gays for God” cover, there was extensive photo editing to ensure the right details are highlighted while the unnecessary ones either overshadowed or removed completely.
Visual knowledge is important, but it’s not necessary to enjoy something from purely aesthetic point of view. That’s why the most interesting and iconic images successfully and equally merge both, concept and beauty, into one.
Here’s a peak at how the design evolved:

 
NMAF: Do you have another favourite creation from your Maisonneuve career?
Anna: For many artists, myself including, the favourite creation is the one yet to be created. Otherwise, what is there to strive for?
The favourite ones are the most memorable ones, which in one way or another enriched me with certain experience, insight or knowledge. Each image I worked on has a story behind it.
The ones that jump to mind, though, are:

…and so many many more…
Each one, no matter how big or small, was an unforgettable moment in time shared between kindred spirits.
 
NMAF: What do you look for in a creative partnership with an illustrator or photographer? What is your process of communicating an artistic vision for a magazine story that brings out the best in an artist?
Anna: My choice with whom to collaborate on projects is based on a great admiration for artists themselves and their work.
Imagine, you receive a bucket and it’s filled with stories for the next issue, you lift it up above your head and just turn it over…so the words just wash over you, like a waterfall. Most of the water will drain away, yet some will penetrate your skin and leave you with a sensation…a feeling or thought.
Out of the heart and straight to your mind, that will be your guide to conceptualize ideas and find the right voice to breath the life into the story. You can only bring out the best in others if you yourself believe passionately in what you do. Then your enthusiasm will ignite the alike spirits to join you on the crazy joyride called creative collaboration. And they will become your partners in art crime.
I love working with people who see creative process as an adventure. This requires trust, open-mindedness, and mutual respect. You are pursuing a common vision, yet ping-ponging ideas back and forth to create something spectacular. Some people can’t do that. It can be hard to find great collaborators. But when you do, it’s like a drug, the highest high.
 
NMAF: Now that you’ve moved on from Maisonneuve, what’s next for you? What would you like to achieve with the next stage of your career?
Anna: You mean, beside the grandiose production of the Maisy mascot costume?!
Well…it took me a while, but I finally launched my website www.annaminzhulina.com. It’s a collection of the work I have done during my Maisonneuve years. I invite everyone to come say hello! And reminisce of some of the Maisonneuve’s classics.
All in all, I still love publishing and want to pursue it further—magazines, books, other design projects…but I’m also curious about art exhibitions, conceptual design in larger spaces, on real walls, not just paper or virtual ones… it’s all fascinating to me, as long as it’s creative and/or collaborative.
In the meantime, I am working on a drawing series titled See You”portraits of random people sketched in shopping malls and plazas and other interesting, mundane places… my apartment walls are covered with them!
There is life beyond Maisonneuve… 😉 But I’m keeping my subscription! And so should you.
One last thing, before I bow my farewell to Maisonneuve, I would like to thank one very special person, whom I never got to thank at the NMAs:
“My dearest mom, Thank you! for giving me a precious gift— the courage to live my passion and to follow my heart.”


Anna Minzhulina is an award-winning art director, designer, artist and illustrator. For ten years, she was the Art Director of Maisonneuve magazine, where she was recognized for her imaginative concepts in cover design, design, photography and illustration. At Maisonneuve, Minzhulina collaborated with dozens of photographers, illustrators and artists, many of whom won awards for their work under her direction. More at annaminzhulina.com.
Check out more Off the Page interviews, including Maisonneuve publisher Jennifer Varkonyi and contributing artists Marta Iwanek, Gracia Lam, and Selena Wong.


The nominations for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be announced on Thursday April 20. Subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the exciting news.
This year’s National Magazine Awards gala is Friday, May 26 in Toronto. Tickets go on sale April 20 at magazine-awards.com.
Photograph of Anna Minzhulina by Florentine.
Interview by Richard A. Johnson for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

Your Guide to Fall 2016 Magazine Writing (and Photography) Contests


Welcome to autumn, all you writers, poets and shutterbugs. Time to let the soft, low-angle sunlight, the cool, easterly winds, and the pumpkin-spiced everything inspire you towards your next artistic endeavour. But beware the lure of the tired metaphor, for in his 2016 National Magazine Award-winning poem “The High Road,” David McGimpsey warns:

Are you the kind of person who giggles
when you hear somebody say “poetry
is like peeling an onion”? Yes? Really?
I’m afraid I must take the high road now

The National Magazine Awards contest guide lists any writing or photography contest in a Canadian magazine or digital publication, or one that seeks emerging Canadian creators. As always, the list below may be incomplete. Leave a comment here or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards #WritingContest if you know of any we missed.
The contests in our Fall 2016 edition are organized by deadline date, from September 30 to December 31.
The Puritan Thomas Morton Memorial Prize
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 7500 words)
Deadline: September 30, 2016 October 10, 2016 (extended)
Prizes: $1000 + publication + $100 book prize pack
Entry Fee: $15
Detailshttp://puritan-magazine.com/writing-contest/
CV2 Young Buck Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: October 1, 2016
Prizes: $1000 (1st); cash prizes for runners-up; publication
Entry Fee: $26 ($16 for each additional entry)
Detailshttp://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/young-buck-poetry-prize
Note: Open to writers under the age of 35
PRISM International Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry (up to 3 poems per entry)
Deadline: October 15, 2016
Prizes: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $5 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
Note: PRISM’s short fiction contest will have a deadline of Jan 15, 2017
Tethered by Letters F(r)iction Fall Literary Competition
Genres: Short stories (1,000-7,500 words), flash fiction (750 words) and poetry
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Prizes: $1,600
Entry Fee: range from $8-15 for each contest
Details: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest/
The Malahat Review Open Season Awards
Genres: Poetry; Fiction; Creative Non-fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2016 November 6, 2016 (extended)
Prizes: $1500 to the winner in each section + publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $15 each for additional entries
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/open_season/info.html
CBC Canada Writes Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Prizes: $6000 + Banff Centre Residency + Publication in enRoute & CBCBooks.ca (1st prize); $1000 for each of 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/shortstory/
CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries CanLitCrit Essay Contest
Genre: Non-fiction essay (max 4000 words)
Deadline: November 15, 2016
Prizes: $1000 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription); $10 for additional entries
Detailshttp://notesandqueries.ca/contests/
Prairie Fire Creative Writing Contests
Genres: Poetry; Fiction (max 10,000 words); Creative Non-fiction (max 5000 words)
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: $1250 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication; invitation to Thin Air Writers Festival; dinner with Prairie Fire staff
Entry Fee: $32 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.prairiefire.ca/contests/
Room Cover Art Contest
Genre: Visual Art
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: $500 + your art on the cover of Room’s issue 40.2 (1st place); $50 + publication (2nd); web publication (Honourable Mention)
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $7 for each additional entry
Details: http://roommagazine.com/contests
Up Here Photo Contest
Categories: Grand Prize; Science & Nature; Travel & Adventure; Arts & Culture; People & History
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: Nikon 7200 HD-SLR + lens (Grand Prize winner); subscriptions for winners in each of 4 categories; publication
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://uphere.ca/photocontest
Note: Contest open to all Canadians; photographs must be of Canada’s North
Saltscapes Photography Contest
Categories: Landscapes & Nature; Uniquely Atlantic Canadian; World Up Close; People/Folks
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Prizes: Nikon AW1 camera + lens (Grand Prize winner); Framed canvas print (winners in each of 4 categories); CAA membership (each of 2 staff picks); gift certificates (honourable mentions)
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://saltscapes.com/contests/amateur-photo-contest/contest-details.html
Note: Contest open to all Canadians; photographs must be of Atlantic Canada
Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Creative Writing Contest
Genres: Poetry; Creative Non-fiction (max 2000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Prize: $300 + print publication (1st); $75 + online publication (honourable mention)
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://briarpatchmagazine.com/writingcontest
The Fiddlehead 26th annual Literary Contest
Genres: Poetry (up to 3 poems); Fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Prizes: $2000 + publication (1st); $250 each to 2 honourable mention
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Detailshttps://thefiddlehead.ca/contest
Freefall Prose & Poetry Contests
Genres: Poetry (max 5 poems); Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $75 (3rd); $25 (HM); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); additional entries $5 each
Detailshttp://www.freefallmagazine.ca/contest.html
On the horizon for 2017…

Plentitude’s Cornucopia Literary Prize
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: February 15, 2017
Prize: $500 + publication in Plenitude magazine
Entry Fee: $15
Details: Open to LGBTQ2 writers only: http://plenitudemagazine.ca/announcing-the-inaugural-cornucopia-literary-prize


Did we miss one? Send us a note or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the fall as more contests are announced. Find more awards, prizes and contests for magazine journalism on the Awards and Contests pages of this blog.
To see what’s on the horizon for 2017, check out:
Your Guide to Winter/Spring Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Summer Magazine Writing Contests

For a comprehensive guide to submitting to literary publications in Canada, check out:
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines

Geist as App: A new way to read Geist magazine

Great Canadian literary magazine content is now more accessible than ever, and Geist magazine is leading the way.
The new Geist Reader App is now available for iPads and iPhones, and contains the same great Geist stories, essays, photography and reviews published in the print edition, available in a beautifully designed digital edition readable on mobile devices.
Download the app and get a free digital issue of Geist no. 95.
The app will soon be available for Android devices, and the magazine is planning to make access to back issues available via the app in the future.

Check out the new issue of Prism International


The Winter 2015 issue of Prism International (Vol. 53, No. 2) is hot. Yes, we’re especially fond of the National Magazine Awards winners seal that adorns the cover, acknowledging writer Pasha Malla‘s silver medal for fiction (“The Actual” from Prism 51:3) at last year’s NMA gala.
The new issue features creative non-fiction by National Magazine Award winners Ayelet Tsabari–recent winner of the Sami Rohr prize–and Liz Windhorst Harmer, among others. And an impressive menu of short fiction and poetry, including a piece by NMA winner Alice Major.
You can find the new issue in select bookstores and literary newsstands, or online from the Prism store.

Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2015 Magazine Writing Contests


[Click here for our Summer and Winter/Spring contest guides]
It’s minus-fifteen degrees. The pastel glow of an early dusk drapes over the bare walnut tree outside your window. You sit at a writing table with the seventh draft, poring over your final notes. You’re satisfied at last. But where to submit this poem, short story, memoir?
Answer: a Canadian magazine writing contest.
This guide, presented by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, is our largest yet, which hopefully indicates not only the vigour of the Canadian literary magazine scene, but also the unceasing desire to engage with new readers and writers that these wonderful magazines possess.
If you haven’t participated before, now is a great time to sit down with that story or poem of yours, polish it and put it out in the world. Along the way you may discover a great new magazine.
What this guide provides is a list of contests via Canadian magazines (or magazine-related organizations) open to unpublished works of Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction and Photography.
Please note: This list is organized chronologically by deadline dates from January 1 to June 15. If you know of a contest we missed, please email us or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards and we’ll update our guide.
Good luck!
Prism International Short Fiction & Poetry Contests
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: January 23, 2015 January 30, 2015
Prize: $2000 (1st); $300 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
Matrix Magazine Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: January 31, 2015
Prize: $500 + publication
Entry Fee: $30
Detailshttp://matrixmagazine.org/rkaward/
Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 1, 2015 February 15, 2015
Prize: $5000
Entry Fee: $32; includes subscription
Detailshttp://arcpoetry.ca/?page_id=5586
The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 1, 2015
Prize: Two awards of $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $35 ($15 each for additional entries)
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/long_poem_prize/info.html
11th annual Geist Literary Postcard Contest
Genre: Very short fiction or non-fiction (500 words)
Deadline: February 1, 2015
Prize: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20; includes subscription ($5 each additional entry)
Detailshttp://www.geist.com/articles/postcard-contest/
Atlantic Writing Competition
Genres: Creative Non-fiction; Poetry; Short Fiction; Novel; Children’s Literature; Young Adult
Deadline: February 2, 2015
Prize: $200-$300 to winner in each category
Entry Fee: $20 – $35, depending on category
Detailshttp://writers.ns.ca/awards-competitions.html
Alberta Views Public Spaces Photography Contest
Genre: Photography
Deadline: February, 2015
Prizes: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $30 ($15 for each additional entry)
Detailshttps://albertaviews.ab.ca/contests/
Carleton University In/Words “Passages” Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction, Poetry
Deadline: February 15, 2015
Prizes: $300 (1st); $100 (2nd); publication; prize pack
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://carleton.ca/english/annual-events/high-school-writing-competition/creative-writing-concentration-competition/
Note: Each contest has two age categories, one for under-18, one for 18+.
The New Quarterly Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 28, 2015
Prize: Two prizes of $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for first 2 poems; $5 each for additional); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests
CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction Prize
Genre: Non-fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Details:
http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/nonfiction/index.html
Ottawa Magazine Short Fiction Contest
Genre: Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Prizes: $700 (1st); $300 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://www.ottawamagazine.com/culture/2014/12/05/contest-ottawa-magazine-short-fiction-contest/
Note: Open to Ottawa residents only
Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Prize: $2500 + assistance with publication
Entry Fee: $29
Detailshttp://www.writersunion.ca/short-prose-competition
Room Creative Non-fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: March 8, 2015
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription)
Details: http://www.roommagazine.com/rooms-annual-contests-2015
Arc Poetry Magazine Diana Brebner Emerging Poet Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Prize: $500
Entry Fee: $23 for up to 2 poems (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://arcpoetry.ca/?p=8662
Note: Open only to residents of Ottawa and the national capital region
Reader’s Digest Summer Camp Stories Competition
Genre: Short memoir (of summer camp)
Deadline: March 23, 2015
Prizes: Publication
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://www.readersdigest.ca/summer-camp-stories
The New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction
Deadline: March 28, 2015 April 13, 2015
Prize: $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests
Exile Literary Quarterly Carter V. Cooper Fiction Competition
Genre: Fiction (max 30 pages)
Deadline: March 30, 2015 April 13, 2015
Prizes: $10,000 for best story by an emerging writer; $5000 for best story by a career writer; publication
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Details: http://www.theexilewriters.com/
Narrative Magazine Winter 2015 Story Contest
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction; Graphic Narratives; Photo Essays
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Prize: $2,500 (1st); $1000 (2nd); $500 (3rd); $100 (finalist)
Entry Fee: $22
Detailshttp://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/238622
Notes: Entries may be fiction or literary nonfiction, including essays, memoirs, or any other form of unpublished manuscript, with a word limit of 15,000. This year photo essays and graphic narratives are also accepted. All are judged in the same pool.
Writers’ Trust Student Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Non-fiction (open to high school students only)
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Prize: $2500 + trip to Toronto + publication in Maclean’s (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd)
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://writerstrust.com/students
Grain magazine Short Grain Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Prize: $1000 (1st); $750 (2nd); $500 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.grainmagazine.ca/short-grain-contest/
The Rusty Toque Poetry Chapbook Contest
Genre
: Poetry (20 pages max)
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Prizes: $800 + publication + prize pack (1st); $100 + except publication + prize packs (2 other finalists)
Entry Fee: $15
Detailshttp://www.therustytoque.com/chapbook-contest.html
The Impressment Gang Poetry Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Prize: $100 + publication
Entry Fee: $7.50; other options for subscribers
Detailshttp://www.theimpressmentgang.com/contest/
CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 6, 2015 (registration; competition is held April 11-12)
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/2-day-poem-contest
Event magazine Creative Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Non-fiction (5000 words or fewer)
Deadline: April 15, 2015
Prize: $1500 in total cash prizes; publication
Entry Fee: $34.95; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.eventmagazine.ca/contest-nf/
The Malahat Review Far Horizons Short Fiction Contest
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Prize: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/far_horizons_fiction/info.html
Dalhousie Review Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Prizes: $750 (1st); $250 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: $30 ($15 for each additional entry)
Detailshttp://dalhousiereview.dal.ca/contest.html
Sub-Terrain Lush Triumphant Literary Awards
Genres: Creative Non-fiction; Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: May 15, 2015
Prize: $1000 to winner of each category; publication
Entry Fee: $27.50; includes subscription
Detailshttp://subterrain.ca/about/103/lush-2013-awards-open+for+entries
The New Quarterly Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 28, 2015
Prize: $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests
CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: June 1, 2015
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/literaryprizes/poetry/index.html
Alice Munro Festival Short Story Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (one category for adults, one for teens)
Deadline: TBA
Prizes: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $200 (3rd); $75 (4th); $50 (5th)
Entry Fee: $10 – $25
Detailshttp://alicemunrofestival.ca/?page_id=306
Did we miss one? Send us a note or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards. We’ll update this post throughout the winter and spring as more contests are announced.
Find more awards, prizes and contests for magazine journalism on the Awards and Contests pages of this blog.
Related Posts:
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines
Your Guide to Summer Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Fall Magazine Writing Contests