Are you a writer of creative nonfiction?
Here are 15 publications in Canada that offer creative nonfiction contests throughout the year.
This contest includes a True Stories category and a Creative Non-Fiction category. Prizes vary but in previous years, first prize winners in these categories received $350 and publication by the Canadian Stories folk magazine. The entry fee is $20. Maximum length is 3000 words.
The CBC Canada Writes series of literary prizes are highly prestigious. It is sometimes said that winning one of these can make your career as a writer. Winners receive $6000 and a 10-day writing residency. The CBC Nonfiction Prize opens in January. The entry fee is $25. Maximum length is 1800 words.
The Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) and carte blanche join up to run this contest yearly in the fall. The winner receives $750 and publication in carte blanche. Maximum length for the submission is 3000 words and the entry fee of $15 is discounted if you are a member of CNFC.
Offered by The Malahat Review, this contest opens yearly in the spring. The first place winner receives $1000. Maximum length for the submission is 3000 words. The entry fee is $35 and includes a one year subscription to The Malahat Review.
This contest, offered by the Eden Mills Writers Festival, includes a Creative Non-Fiction category. It opens yearly in early spring. Winners receive $250 and an invitation to read at the Eden Mills Writers Festival. The entry fee is $10. Also, make sure to checkout another opportunity they offer to read at The Fringe.
The New Quarterly, a magazine based in Waterloo, Ontario, runs this contest, which opens in the early winter. First prize is $1000 and publication in The New Quarterly. The entry fee is $40 and includes a one year subscription for The New Quarterly. No word count limitation is specified.
Event Magazine runs a yearly non-fiction contest that opens in October. First prize is $1500 and publication in Event. The entry fee is $34.95 and includes a one year subscription for Event. Maximum length is 5000 words.
This contest is offered annually by subTerrain. It opens in early winter with a due date in May. First prize is $1000 and publication in subTerrain. The contest includes a Creative Non-Fiction category, which they describe as “fact, adorned with fiction”. The entry fee is $27.50. Maximum length is 4000 words.
The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop offers this contest early in the new year. It includes a Creative Non-Fiction category. First prize is $125. The entry fee is $10 for non-members and free for members. Maximum length is 3000 words.
Prairie Fire magazine runs this contest yearly in the fall, along with a short fiction contest and a poetry award. First place winners in each category receive $1250 and publication in Prairie Fire. The entry fee is $32 and includes a one year subscription. Maximum length is 5000 words.
Prism International runs this contest yearly in the spring. First place winners receive $1500 and publication. The entry fee is $35 and includes a one year subscription for Prism International. Additional entries are only $5. Maximum length is 6000 words.
Room magazine runs this contest yearly. It opens in December. First prize is $500 and publication in Room. The entry fee is $35 and includes a one year subscription for Room. Additional entries are $7. Maximum length is 3500 words.
13) SIWC Writing Contest:
The Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SIWC) Writing Contest opens in the summer and includes a non-fiction award. First prize in each category is $1000. The entry fee is $15. Maximum length is 1500.
This contest, run by the Shuswap Association of Writers, opens in December. First prize is $150, a complimentary conference pass for the Word on the Lake Writers Festival, and publication in the Word on the Lake print anthology. The entry fee is $15. Maximum length is 1500 words.
The Writers Union of Canada offers this contest yearly to emerging writers with no more than one book in print. Writers can submit fiction or nonfiction. The contest opens in late fall. First prize is $2500. The entry fee is $29. Maximum length is 2500 words.
Some things to note about these Canadian creative nonfiction contests:
The contests listed above are offered by Canadian organizations and are open Canada-wide. This list is not exhaustive. If I could not confirm that a contest from a previous year was happening in 2018, I did not include it. If you have a 2018 contest you’d like me to list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about the limited residency MFA in Creative Non-Fiction offered by the University of King’s College in Halifax, as well as other online Canadian master’s programs in writing.
Interested in a creative writing PhD? There are two Creative Writing PhD programs offered in Canada. Find out where!
*This article was published on December 29, 2018.