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

Your Guide to Summer 2016 Magazine Writing Contests


Like the heirloom tomatoes soaking up the sun and the rain and the urban-air particles on this blogger’s Toronto balcony, summer writing season is ripening on the vine, still green with youth but tantalizingly close to fruition.
In his National Magazine Award-winning poem from this year’s NMAs, David McGimpsey writes of the self-defeating anxiety of creating something significant:

There is your life with the coffee-stained pants,
paint-stained pants and oxy-contin-stained pants.
O, your unfinished novel’s hero yearns—
he’s been sleeping on an army cot
in a Wendy’s basement in Los Robles.

Read the entire award-winning poem “The High Road” (Vallum) by David McGimpsey.

Summer is no time to put off writing. Be inspired to create your next work of poetry, fiction or personal essay. Take the opportunity to finish your latest literary creation and submit it to a Canadian magazine writing contest.

Our annual Summer Contest Guide provides a list of contests via Canadian magazines (or magazine-related organizations) open to unpublished works of Fiction, Poetry, Creative non-fiction and Photography. And check out our Canadian Literary Magazine Guide for other ideas for where to submit your work.
Please note: This list is organized chronologically by deadline dates from June 22 to September 22. If you know of a contest we missed, please email us or grab us on Twitter @MagAwards and we’ll update our guide.
Antigonish Review Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: June 30, 2015
Prize: $600 (1st); $400 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.antigonishreview.com/
Matrix Lit Pop Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction (4000 words max); Poetry
Deadline: July 1, 2016
Prize: Publication + tickets and passes to POP Montreal
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.matrixmagazine.org/#!litpopawards/c1yuk
Alberta Views Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: July 4, 2016
Prize: $1000 + publication (winner)
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Detailshttps://albertaviews.ab.ca/contests/
Note: Open to current or former residents of Alberta
Room Fiction & Poetry Contests
Genres: Poetry, Fiction
Deadline: July 15, 2016
Prize: $1000 (1st); $250 (2nd); $50 (HM); publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $7 for each additional entry
Detailshttp://roommagazine.com/contests
Vallum Award for Poetry 2016
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: July 15, 2016
Prize: $750 (1st); $250 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html
PRISM International Creative Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Non-fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: July 15, 2016
Prize: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 ($5 for each additional entry)
Details: http://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
Glass Buffalo Short Fiction Contest
Genre: Fiction (max 750 words)
Deadline: July 20, 2016
Prize: $500 + publication (winner)
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)
Details: http://www.glassbuffalo.com/contest/
Malahat Review Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize
Genre: Creative non-fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: August 1, 2016
Prize: $1000; publication in Malahat Review; prize pack of books, interview with winning author
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription); $15 for additional entries
Detailshttp://web.uvic.ca/malahat/contests/creative_non-fiction_prize/info.html
Geist “Can’t Lit Without It” Short Story Contest
Genre: Short fiction (500 words) based on CanLit Generator
Deadline: August 15, 2016
Prize: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.geist.com/contests/canlit-story-contest/canlit-story-contest/
Musicworks Sonic Geography Writing Contest
Genre: Poetry, Fiction or Creative non-fiction about “the sounds of your world”
Deadline: August 28, 2016
Prize: $500 + print publication (1st); $200 (2nd); $100 (3rd); web publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); $5 each additional entry
Detailshttps://www.musicworks.ca/contest
Cosmonauts Avenue 2016 Fiction Prize
Genre: Fiction (max 4000 words)
Deadline: August 15, 2016
Prize: $500 + publication
Entry Fee: $10
Details: http://www.cosmonautsavenue.com/contest/
Dalhousie Review Short Story Contest
Genre: Fiction (max 3000 words)
Deadline: September 5, 2016
Prize: $750 (1st); $250 (2nd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); $15 for each additional entry
Details: http://dalhousiereview.dal.ca/contest.html
Cottage Life Photo Contest
Categories: Life at the Cottage; Wildlife; Landscape; Best of the West; Canada Captured
Deadline: September 12, 2016
Prizes: Various gift prizes from Coleman outdoor gear
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://cottagelife.com/photo-contest-2016
The Capilano Review Robin Blazer Poetry Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: September 15, 2016
Prize: $750 + publication (1st); $250 (2nd)
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/contests/
Did we miss something? Email us or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards.
See also:
Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2016 Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Fall 2015 Magazine Writing Contests
A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines
Check out the Contests section of this blog for frequent updates on opportunities from Canadian magazines.

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.

Off the Page, with Emily Urquhart


Off the Page is a regular interview series produced by the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In today’s conversation we chat with Emily Urquhart, folklorist, mother and winner at last year’s National Magazine Awards gala. Her incredible memoir on raising a daughter with albinism, “The Meaning of White,” published in The Walruswon Silver in the Personal Journalism category.
Two years after being published in The Walrus, her story is being revisited with her upcoming, debut book Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins), which will be in bookstores on March 31.
NMAF: Your background in folklore brought an interesting perspective to understanding human differences in your story “The Meaning of White.” How would you describe the creative process of writing this piece, in which you combined your study of folklore, experience as a mother and passion as a writer into a single story?
Emily: I knew right away that I wanted to document the early stages of my daughter’s life as we went through the process of discovering that she has a rare genetic condition. She was three months old when she was diagnosed with albinism—which is a lack of pigment in the hair, skin and eyes, and causes low vision. I started taking notes shortly after she was born. Back then, it was a way to process and understand what was happening.
I recorded the details of events and encounters, as well as my feelings and observations, on lined recipe cards that I stashed in my purse and around my house. I had a newborn, so sometimes I could only manage a few words, or a list, but as I found more quiet moments, the words became sentences and eventually paragraphs.
At that time I was in the final stages of my PhD in folklore at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. I’d been studying folk tales, legends, beliefs, rumours, ballads and tall tales — the stories people tell to explain and illustrate their world. I realized that human differences were at the heart of many of these genres. I looked specifically at albinism and discovered worldwide beliefs and stories about this condition. Some were beautiful and I wanted to relate these tales to my own. Some were terrible and I wanted to turn away. Ultimately, exploring both good and evil helped me to come to terms with my own feelings about disability and difference, and what it means to be a parent. I wanted to write about how I came to this conclusion, both through my research and the story of our life.
After a year passed I pitched the idea to John Macfarlane at The Walrus. We worked on the idea together through a series of emails. He accepted the story and gave me far more space than I’d originally asked for. I’ll never forget receiving that message. I was so excited I couldn’t tell my husband, Andrew. I just handed him my phone so he could read it himself.

"The Meaning of White" by Emily Urquhart (The Walrus, April 2013). Illustration by Byron Eggenscwhiler.
“The Meaning of White” by Emily Urquhart (The Walrus, April 2013). Illustration by Byron Eggenschwhiler.

NMAF: Due to be released at the end of March is your debut non-fiction book, Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes. Your name appears on countless lists for books to look forward to in 2015 (alongside your mother and celebrated novelist, Jane Urquhart). Did you always intend to write a book, or was this something that came after publishing your story in The Walrus? What was the process in turning a 5,600-word memoir into a full-length book?
Emily: By the time I turned in my first draft of “The Meaning of White” I’d cut it by one third and it was still over my allotted 5,000 words. That was in June 2012. The next month we travelled to St. Louis to attend a National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) conference. I’d never seen another person with albinism besides my daughter. Suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds of white-haired people of all ages and everyone had a story to tell. I also learned a lot more about the discrimination and violence against people with albinism in East Africa, particularly Tanzania.
We arrived home and I sat down with my husband and told him two things: I’m going to Tanzania, and I’m going to write a book. Either statement didn’t surprise him. He said, “OK, I’m coming with you.”
The book follows the first three years of my daughter’s life, so the narrative expands on the article published in The Walrus and also picks up where it left off.
NMAF: Your memoir certainly received international attention. It was featured in Reader’s DigestLongform, Byliner and The Dish, and was even translated for an Italian magazine. How has recognition, such as your award from the NMAF, helped to propel your writing career and bring this story to a larger audience?
Emily: The National Magazine Award was a huge thrill. I’d finished writing the book based on the magazine memoir by the time I attended the award ceremony. Getting that kind of recognition at that point in the creative process was extremely validating. Winning a National Magazine award is up there with defending my PhD as one of my major career highlights, and I can only see it helping my career going forward.
When “The Meaning of White” went online I started receiving several emails a day. Some of the messages came from people with albinism, but a lot were from parents who related to the story and shared stories of their own with me. I’ve heard from people across North America, as well as Europe, Africa and Asia. Messages continue to trickle in now, almost two years after the memoir first appeared in The Walrus. My community expanded after publishing this story. I’ve met a lot of great people and received a lot of support. It’s been amazing. I see all of this as having a positive impact on my daughter’s future.
NMAF: You’ve written for many other award-winning Canadian magazines, such as Azure, Flare and The New Quarterly. Did you always have aspirations of being a magazine writer, perhaps during your days as an undergraduate student at the Ryerson School of Journalism? Or was this a career path that came as a result of your passion for writing? 
Emily: Magazines are definitely my first love. When I was a teenager I read an article in Sassy magazine where the journalist wrote about touring with a heavy metal band. I wasn’t into heavy metal, but the writer crafted such an engaging tale that it didn’t matter. The story was fascinating, but so was the journalist’s career choice. She was paid to go on tour with these guys and write about her experience. I wrote a story about this experience in 2009 for The New Quarterly.
My mom is a writer so I understood that you could be a novelist, but I hadn’t seen non-fiction as a career choice until reading that piece.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing and it was during my two years in the graduate program at the Ryerson School of Journalism that I saw a professional outlet for this passion. I also loved—still love—the act of reporting. It gives me a rush to approach a stranger and then ask them to tell me their story. I’m still nervous before every interview and I still feel a sense of elation afterwards.
NMAF: Undoubtedly, 2015 will be a milestone in your career with the release of your debut book. As a Canadian writer, what else is on your list of things you hope to accomplish? What might readers expect to see from you in the future? Do you want to write more novels, continue with magazine writing or pursue any other creative endeavours?
Emily: I wrote a memoir ten years ago, but shelved it because the material was too difficult for me to revisit at that time. It concerns a period in my mid-twenties following the death of my oldest brother. I went to great lengths to escape my life—a reporting internship amidst the chaos of post 9/11 New York City, a soggy winter in Vancouver, and nine months at an English language newspaper in Kyiv, Ukraine during the lead-up to the Orange Revolution. Some of the material is dark, but revisiting it from a safe distance I can see that there’s also a lot of potential for humour. Transforming the original memoir into a more cohesive narrative is my next project. At the same time I hope to keep writing for magazines. There are a few ideas that have been waiting in the wings while I finished my book and it’s time to set those stories free.
Emily Urquhart is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and author of the forthcoming non-fiction book Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes. Find out more at emilyurquhart.ca and on Twitter @emilyjurquhart.
This interview was produced by Leah Jensen for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.
To read the full text of “The Meaning of White” and hundreds of other National Magazine Award-winning stories, visit our online archive at magazine-awards.com/archive.
To read other Off the Page interviews–with writers including Sierra Skye Gemma, Heather O’Neill, Arno Kopecky and Byron Eggenscwhiler, who illustrated Emily’s Walrus story–visit blog.magazine-awards.com/off-the-page.

Reader's Digest wants your Summer Camp Stories


Are the unbearable forces of winter causing you to look ahead–or back–to the warm, endless promise of summer?
Readers’ Digest magazine is looking for your summer camp stories in a new contest open to the public.

Do you have a funny, quirky or heartfelt story of transformation to share with us? We would love to hear from campers and ex-campers about how your time at camp changed you. In our July issue, Reader’s Digest will publish a selection of memoirs about defining camp moments.

Entries should be short memoirs, not more than 450 words, of your noteworthy summer camp experiences. Photos are encouraged. The deadline for submissions is March 23. Winning stories will be published in the July edition of the magazine.
More info here: readersdigest.ca/summer-camp-stories