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What this guide provides is a list of contests via Canadian magazines (or magazine-related organizations) open to unpublished works of Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction and Photography.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

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