Best Fiction in Canadian Magazines: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Award for Fiction has a storied history (oh goodness, please pardon that pun). Alice Munro won the inaugural NMA fiction gold medal in 1978 (and again in 1983, and again in 1999). Yann Martel won in 1993; Elizabeth Hay in 1995; Lynn Crosbie in 2002; Shyam Selvadurai (2007).

In 2010, Steven Heighton joined Munro as a three-time gold-medal winner (also winning in 1992 and 2008). Jay Teitel won the silver medal back in 1978, then won the gold medal 26 years later. William Gibson, Thomas King, Patrick deWitt, and Zsuzsi Gartner have also been winners.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered a wide range of submissions from Canada’s top literary magazines for this year’s fiction prize, an award presented by Ontario Arts Council, which has supported the National Magazine Awards and Canadian literary artists for decades.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, editors, artists, art directors and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the finalists in Fiction…

A Day with Cyrus Mair
Brick
Alex Pugsley, writer
Liz Johnston, handling editor


Gravity
Geist
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
AnnMarie MacKinnon,
Michal Koslowski, handling editors


Captcha
Hazlitt
Naomi Skwarna, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Eight Saints and a Demon
Hazlitt
Naben Ruthnum, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Ada en première
Nouveau Projet
Audrée Wilhelmy, auteure
Judith Oliver, rédactrice-réviseure


Pelican
PRISM International
Andrew F. Sullivan, writer
Christopher Evans, handling editor


Shimmer
subTerrain
Alex Pugsley, writer
Brian Kaufman, handling editor
Natasha Sanders-Kay, managing editor
Karen Green, proofreader


Seventeen Comments
The Malahat Review
Elyse Friedman, writer
John Barton, handling editor


Miloslav
The New Quarterly
Sharon Bala, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor


The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writers’ Short Story Competition
The New Quarterly
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.

Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2017 Canadian Magazine Writing Contests

In her 2016 National Magazine Award-winning story “The Beguiling” (sub-Terrain) Zsuzsi Gartner pens a portrait of an amputee cinephile named Zoltan whose sense of the world is derived from the human stories that pass through his (and others’) camera lens. In one scene, at the hospital, the ailing character is suddenly inspired to think of himself as a “little dog,” the kind that audiences root for to overcome challenges. The narrator explains:

He meant the North American penchant for happy endings. Fairy tales. But in the original fairy tales we all know the most diabolical things happen, eyes are pecked out by birds, there’s cannibalism and decapitation, and the little mermaid doesn’t marry the prince but dissolves into sad foam on the sea.

What inspires your sense of the world? What’s your penchant for endings? Happy ones with strong little dogs, or more of a dissolution into empty water? Whatever your approach to the craft–and whether fiction, poetry, memoir or photography–you’ll find plenty of outlets for your stories in Canadian magazines.

And so the NMAF presents its annual Winter/Spring Guide to Canadian Writing (and Photography) Contests.

All contests and awards listed below accept previously unpublished works of Canadian poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction and photography; listed in chronological order by deadline date. If you know of one that we missed, please let us know or Tweet at us @MagAwards.

And for more inspiration, check out the National Magazine Awards Archive, with hundreds of winning and nominated stories and poems to read.

Room Creative Short Forms Contest
Genre: Fiction, Poetry or Creative Non-fiction (max 500 words)
Deadline: January 29, 2017
Prizes: 2 prizes of $500 + publication (1st); $50 + publication (Honourable Mention)
Entry Fee: $35 ($7 for each additional entry); includes subscription
Detailshttp://roommagazine.com/contests

Prism International Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction*
Genres: Fiction (max 6000 words)
Deadline: January 31, 2017
Prize: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/
* Judged by National Magazine Award-winning fiction writer Jess Taylor

Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Prize: $5000 (Poem of the Year); $500 (Honourable Mention); paid publication for shortlisted works
Entry Fee: $35 ($5 for each additional entry); includes subscription
Detailshttp://arcpoetry.ca/contests-page/

The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize*
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Prize: $1000 to each of 2 winners; publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/long_poem_prize/info.html
* Judged by National Magazine Award winners Louise Bernice Halfe, George Elliott Clarke and Patricia Young

Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Prize: $2500 + assistance with publication
Entry Fee: $29
Detailshttp://www.writersunion.ca/short-prose-competition

Pulp Literature Magazine Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 750 words)
Deadline: February 15, 2017
Prize: $300 + publication
Entry Fee: $15 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://pulpliterature.com/contests/

CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction Prize
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (1200-1800 words)
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/2016/01/cbc-creative-nonfiction-prize-is-now-open.html

The New Quarterly Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 28, 2017 March 17, 2017
Prize: Two prizes of $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for first 2 poems; $5 each for additional); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests

Alberta Views Public Spaces Photography Contest
Genre: Photography
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Prizes: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $30 ($15 for each additional entry)
Detailshttps://albertaviews.ab.ca/contests/
Note: The contest is open to residents of Alberta and Alberta expats.

Matrix Magazine Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award*
Genre: Poetry (manuscript)
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Prize: Publication contract with Insomniac Press
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.matrix-magazine.org/robert-kroetsch-award
* Judged by National Magazine Award-winning writer Wayde Compton

13th annual Geist Literary Postcard Story Contest
Genre: Very short fiction or non-fiction (500 words max)
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Prize: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20; includes subscription ($5 each additional entry)
Detailshttp://www.geist.com/contests/postcard-contest/

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: March 6, 2017
Prizes: $10,000 (1st); $2500 (to two honourable mentions)
Entry Fee: $0
Details: http://www.writerstrust.com/Awards/RBC-Bronwen-Wallace-Award-for-Emerging-Writers/Prize-Guidelines.aspx

Room Creative Non-fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: March 8, 2017
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $50 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 ($7 for each additional entry); includes subscription
Detailshttp://roommagazine.com/contests

The New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction
Deadline:  March 28, 2017
Prize: $1000
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests
Note: All submissions will be considered for publication ($250) in the magazine.

Vallum Chapbook Award
Genre: Poetry (chapbook 12-20 pages)
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Prize: $125 + publication
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.vallummag.com/chapbookrules.html

Grain Magazine 29th annual Short Grain Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction (max 2500 words); Poetry (max 100 lines)
Deadline: April 1, 2017
Prize: $1000 (1st); $750 (2nd); $500 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for two entries in one category); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.grainmagazine.ca/short-grain-contest/

Alice Munro Festival Short Story Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 2500 words; separate categories for adults and youths)
Deadline: April 1, 2017
Prizes:  $1,500 (adults prize); $500 (youth prize)
Entry Fee: $25 (adults); $10 (youth)
Detailshttp://alicemunrofestival.ca/?page_id=1317

Exile Literary Quarterly Carter V. Cooper Fiction Competition
Genre: Fiction (max 10,000 words)
Deadline: April 3, 2017
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/

Exile Literary Quarterly Gwendolyn McEwan Poetry Competition
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 3, 2017
Prizes: $1500 for Best Suite; $1000 for Best Suite by an Emerging Poet; $500 for Best Poem; publication
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Details: http://www.theexilewriters.com/

CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 3, 2017 (registration; competition is held April 8-9)
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes registration + subscription (registration only is $16)
Detailshttp://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/2-day-poem-contest

Pulp Literature Magazine Magpie Award for Poetry
Genre: Poetry (max 100 lines)
Deadline: April 15, 2017
Prize: $500 + publication (1st); $50 for each of 2 runners-up
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription); $10 for each additional entry
Detailshttp://pulpliterature.com/contests/

Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (5000 words or fewer)
Deadline: April 15, 2017
Prize: $1500 in total cash prizes; publication
Entry Fee: $34.95; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.eventmagazine.ca/contest-nf/

The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction
Genre: Fiction (max 3500 words)
Deadline: May 1, 2017
Prize: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $25 (additional entries are $15); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/far_horizons_fiction/info.html

The New Quarterly Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 28, 2017
Prize: $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Details: http://www.tnq.ca/contests
Note: All submissions will be considered for paid publication ($250) in the magazine.

CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2017
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/literaryprizes/poetry/
Note: The submission form can be downloaded as of April 1, 2017

Ricepaper ACWW Emerging Writer Award
Genre: Poetry (book-length manuscript)
Deadline: June 1, 2017
Prize: $250 + publication (1st); prize packs + publication (2nd & 3rd)
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Detailshttp://ricepapermagazine.ca/contests/

Antigonish Review Sheldon Curray Fiction Prize
Genre: Fiction (max 20 pages)
Deadline: June 1, 2017
Prize: $600 (1st); $400 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.antigonishreview.com/

Pulp Literature Magazine Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 1000 words)
Deadline: June 15, 2017
Prize: $300 + publication
Entry Fee: $15 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://pulpliterature.com/contests/

Other contests may be added to the list as Winter melts into Spring. Stay tuned.

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.

Summer Magazine Contest Guide
Fall Magazine Contest Guide
Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals

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.

Best Short Fiction in Canadian Magazines | NMA 2016 Nominees

On June 10th hundreds of Canada’s top writers, artists, editors, designers and other creators will come together to acknowledge creative excellence at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards. One of the awards to be presented that evening in Toronto is the award for Fiction, presented by the Ontario Arts Council.

[Tickets & Gala Info]

This year’s ten nominated writers and magazines represent the diversity of literary magazine publishing in Canada. Take the time to read them all–they are the best of the best in Canadian short fiction writing published in 2015. Gold and Silver medals will be presented at the ceremony on June 10th.


Geneviève Pettersen
La reine de rien
Châtelaine


Russell Smith
Raccoons
CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries


Trevor Corkum
Dar a Luz
Event


Cary Fagan
My Father’s Picasso
Geist


Jess Taylor
Breakfast Curry
Little Brother


Monica Pacheco
The River Phoenix Social Club
Room


Zsuzsi Gartner
The Beguiling
Sub-Terrain


Andrew MacDonald
Progress on a Genetic Level
Taddle Creek


Elisabeth Harvor
Ice Woman
The New Quarterly


Alex Pugsley
Changeling Girl
The Walrus


Congratulations to our finalists in Fiction. Tweet us your comments @MagAwards | #NMA16

The Gold and Silver medal winners will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10. Tickets

Meet the National Magazine Awards nominees for:
Best New Magazine Writer
Best New Magazine Photographer
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Single Service Article Package
Illustration

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Portrait Photography
Words & Pictures

Complete nominations coverage

Your Guide to Winter/Spring 2016 Magazine Writing Contests

Winter. A shivery season not only conducive to externalizing our inner narratives in poetry and prose, but also which leaves us, as we curl under heirloom quilts with cups of tea, prone to daydreaming. Michael Pollan, in A Place of My Own–a bestseller in which the author writes the biography of his own writing cabin in the woods–used the daydream as metaphor for the writer’s first draft. “A fair amount of what [writers] call work,” wrote Pollan, “consists of little more than daydreaming edited.” He went on:

Isn’t it in our daydreams that we acquire some sense of what we are about? Where we try on futures and practice our voices before committing ourselves to words or deeds? Daydreaming is where we go to cultivate the self, or more likely selves, out of the view and earshot of other people. Without daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others.

Like Thoreau, Shaw, Woolf and her Room of One’s Own, and countless others, Pollan understood that daydreaming depended “on a certain degree of solitude,” and resolved to build a cabin to allow his daydreaming to flourish. “What is a book but a daydream at second hand?”

Wherever you find yourself writing this winter and spring, these Canadian magazine contests may be just what you’re daydreaming for.

All contests and awards listed below accept previously unpublished works of Canadian poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction; listed in chronological order by deadline date. (If you know one that we missed, please let us know.)

Prism International Short Fiction & Poetry Contests
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: January 25, 2016
Prize: $1500 (1st); $600 (2nd); $400 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription
Detailshttp://prismmagazine.ca/contests/

Matrix Magazine Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: January 31, 2016
Prize: $500 advance + publication
Entry Fee: $30
Detailshttp://matrixmagazine.org/rkaward/

Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline:  February 1, 2016 February 14, 2016
Prize: $5000 (Poem of the Year); $500 (Honourable Mention)
Entry Fee: $35 ($5 for each additional entry); includes subscription
Detailshttp://arcpoetry.ca/contests-working-dw-draft/

The Malahat Review Novella Prize
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Prize: $1500; publication
Entry Fee: $35; includes subscription Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/novella_contest/info.html

12th annual Geist Literary Postcard Story Contest
Genre: Very short fiction or non-fiction (500 words max)
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Prize: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $20; includes subscription ($5 each additional entry)
Detailshttp://www.geist.com/contests/postcard-contest/

Pulp Literature Magazine Bumblebee Microfiction Contest
Genre: Very short fiction (50 words)
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Prize: Publication + subscription
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttp://pulpliterature.com/contests/the-bumblebee-microfiction-contest/

Publishing online? The Digital Publishing Awards are accepting submissions until Feb 16.
Publishing online? The Digital Publishing Awards are accepting submissions until Feb 16.

Carleton University’s “Passages” Creative Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction, Poetry
Deadline: February 19, 2016
Prizes: $300 (1st); $100 (2nd); publication; prize pack
Entry Fee: None
Detailshttps://carleton.ca/creativewriting/passages/
Note: This contest has two age categories, one for under-18, one for 18+.

Alberta Views Public Spaces Photography Contest
Genre: Photography
Deadline: February 28, 2016
Prizes: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $30 ($15 for each additional entry)
Detailshttps://albertaviews.ab.ca/contests/
Note: The contest is open to residents of Alberta and Alberta expats.

The New Quarterly Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: February 28, 2016
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: Creative Non-fiction (1200-1500 words)
Deadline: February 29, 2016
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

Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction
Deadline: March 1, 2016
Prize: $2500 + assistance with publication
Entry Fee: $29
Detailshttp://www.writersunion.ca/short-prose-competition

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Genre: Fiction (max 2500 words)
Deadline: March 7, 2016
Prizes: $5000 (1st); $1000 (to two honourable mentions)
Entry Fee: $0
Details: http://www.writerstrust.com/Awards/RBC-Bronwen-Wallace-Award-for-Emerging-Writers/Prize-Guidelines.aspx
NotesTo be eligible, candidates must be: a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, under the age of 35 as of March 7, 2016; previously published in an independently edited magazine or anthology; unpublished in book form and without a book contract.

Room Creative Non-fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Deadline: March 8, 2016
Prizes: $500 (1st); $250 (2nd); $50 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $35 ($7 for each additional entry); includes subscription
Details: http://roommagazine.com/contests

Arc Poetry Magazine Diana Brebner Emerging Poet Prize
Genre: Poetry (max 30 lines)
Deadline: March 15, 2016
Prize: $500
Entry Fee: $25 for up to 2 poems; includes subscription
Detailshttp://arcpoetry.ca/contests-working-dw-draft/#brebner

The New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction
Deadline:  March 28, 2016
Prize: $1000
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.tnq.ca/contests
Note: All submissions will be considered for publication ($250) in the magazine.

Exile Literary Quarterly Carter V. Cooper Fiction Competition
Genre: Fiction (max 10,000 words)
Deadline:  March 29, 2016
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/

Vallum Chapbook Award
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Prize: $125 + publication
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.vallummag.com/chapbookrules.html

Narrative Magazine Winter 2016 Story Contest
Genres: Non-fiction; Fiction; Graphic Narratives; Photo Essays
Deadline: March 31, 2016
Prize: $2,500 (1st); $1000 (2nd); $500 (3rd); $100 (finalists)
Entry Fee: $24
Detailshttp://www.narrativemagazine.com/winter-2016-story-contest
Notes: Entries can be short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.

Grain Magazine Short Grain Writing Contest
Genres: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Prize: $1000 (1st); $750 (2nd); $500 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $40 (for two entries in one category); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.grainmagazine.ca/short-grain-contest/

Alice Munro Festival Short Story Contest
Genre: Short Fiction (max 2500 words; separate categories for adults and youths)
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Prizes:  $1,500 (adults prize); $500 (youth prize); $500 (Arts & Letters Club Special Prize)
Entry Fee: $25 (adults); $10 (youth)
Detailshttp://alicemunrofestival.ca/?page_id=1317
Note: New this year, there is a special category for an emerging GTA author between the ages of 20 – 30. Sponsored by the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. Must be living in the GTA or have grown up in that area.

CV2 2-Day Poem Contest
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 4, 2016 (registration; competition is held April 9-10, 2016)
Prize: $500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $150 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $26; includes registration + subscription (registration only is $16)
Detailshttp://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/2-day-poem-contest

Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest
Genre: Creative Non-fiction (5000 words or fewer)
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Prize: $1500 in total cash prizes; publication
Entry Fee: $34.95; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.eventmagazine.ca/contest-nf/

Pulp Literature Magazine Magpie Award for Poetry
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Prize: $500 + publication (1st); $50 + publication (each of 2 runners-up)
Entry Fee: $25 (1st entry; all others $10); includes subscription
Detailshttp://pulpliterature.com/contests/the-magpie-award-for-poetry/

The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: May 1, 2016
Prize: $1000; publication
Entry Fee: $25 (additional entries are $15); includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.malahatreview.ca/contests/far_horizons_poetry/info.html

Exile Literary Quarterly Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition
Genre: Poetry
Deadline:  May 16, 2016
Prizes: $1500 for best suite by a career writer; $1000 for best suite by an emerging writer; $500 for best poem; publication
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Detailshttp://www.theexilewriters.com/

The New Quarterly Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: May 28, 2016
Prize: $1000 + publication
Entry Fee: $40; includes subscription
Details: http://www.tnq.ca/contests
Note: All submissions will be considered for paid publication ($250) in the magazine.

CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize
Genre: Poetry
Deadline: May 31, 2016
Prize: $6000 + publication in enRoute + Banff Centre residency (1st); $1000 each to 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25
Detailshttp://www.cbc.ca/books/literaryprizes/poetry/
Note: The submission form can be downloaded as of April 1, 2016

Ricepaper ACWW Emerging Writer Award
Genre: Poetry (book-length manuscript)
Deadline: June 1, 2016
Prize: $250 + publication (1st); prize packs + publication (2nd & 3rd)
Entry Fee: $25; includes subscription
Detailshttp://ricepapermagazine.ca/contests/

Antigonish Review Sheldon Curray Fiction Prize
Genre: Fiction
Deadline: June 1, 2016
Prize: $600 (1st); $400 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)
Detailshttp://www.antigonishreview.com/

Other contests may be added to the list as Winter melts into Spring. Stay tuned.

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.

Summer Magazine Contest Guide
Fall Magazine Contest Guide
Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals

Image via WikiCommons

NMA laureates Robyn Sarah, Guy Vanderhaeghe win Governor General’s Literary Awards

Robyn Sarah. Photo by Allen McEachern (via Canada Council for the Arts)
Robyn Sarah. Photo by Allen McEachern (via Canada Council for the Arts)

Montreal poet Robyn Sarah and Saskatchewan author Guy Vanderhaeghe, both previously National Magazine Award winners, have been named the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award winners for poetry and fiction, as announced by Canada Council for the Arts this morning.

The work of both writers and all the other finalists for the #GGBooks fiction and poetry prizes first appeared in one or more of Canada’s literary magazines, demonstrating yet again how important our cultural magazines are to fostering a strong and vibrant Canadian literary community.

In the spring of 2012 Robyn Sarah published a poem in The New Quarterly issue #122 called “My Shoes Are Killing Me (a poem in nine movements),” which went on to be nominated for a National Magazine Award. Three years later, now expanded into a collection of poetry under the same title, Robyn Sarah’s work has won one of Canadian poetry’s highest honours.

 

Robyn Sarah won the National Magazine Award for fiction in 1993 (for “Accept my Story” in the Malahat Review), and she has also twice been nominated for her critical essays in TNQ.

Two other #GGBooks poetry finalists are NMA laureates. Patrick Lane has won 3 National Magazine Awards for his poetry, most recently for “Arroyo” published in VallumKayla Czaga was a National Magazine Award poetry finalist in 2014, for “Song” and other poems in Arc Poetry Magazine.

Guy Vanderhaeghe was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in fiction this year for his story “Tick Tock” in Prairie Fire. His latest book of short fiction, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, was named the #GGBooks winner this year, the third time he’s won the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Fellow #GGBooks fiction nominee Helen Humphreys was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2012 for her essay “Natural History” in Queen’s Quarterly.

Read more about this year’s Governor General’s Literary Award winners at ggbooks.ca.

And check out some of this fall’s great writing contests from Canadian literary magazines.