Contests and opportunities for writers

An open notebook with many pages opened to show cursive writing in black ink on the pages. A pen and a tea cup are in the background.
PHOTO: Yannick Pulver

By: Payal R., SFU Student

CBC 2023 Literary Prize: Non-fiction
Submissions close Feb 28, 2023
Fee: $25

The CBC 2023 Literary Prize’s non-fiction competition is open to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents to submit non-fiction works in English and French ranging from personal essays, humour writing, travel, and feature articles that are up to 2,000 words. The winner will have their work published, receive $6,000, and attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, a “community cultural hub” in Toronto. The four finalists will have their work published and receive $1,000. David A. Robertson, Eternity Martis, and Merilyn Simonds are set to judge the shortlist. Watch out for their poetry and fiction prize categories, which open later in the year.

2024 Bridge Prize: Short story
Submissions close January 22, 2024
Fee: $20

The University of Lethbridge welcomes post-secondary students across Canada to submit an original short story in English up to 7,500 words. The winner will receive $7,500 and the three finalists will receive $1,000 as well as a $200 Munro Books gift card. Michelle Good, Nicholas Herring, Sheena Kamal, George Murray, Danny Ramadan, and Madeleine Thien are set to judge.

EVENT Magazine: Poetry, Non-fiction, and reviews
Submissions ongoing
Fee: Free

EVENT Magazine is a BC based literary poetry and prose magazine and Western Canada’s longest-running magazines in the genre. They accept worldwide submissions in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and reviews. Writers are allowed to submit eight poems up to 5,000 words. Published works will receive $40 per page of poetry. They prefer poems with “arresting imagery, polished language, emotional impact, and lyricism without pretension.” Writers wanting to submit must not be affiliated with Douglas College in the previous two years. 

PRISM International: 2023 Grouse Grind Prize Short Form (fiction or non-fiction)
Submissions close April 15, 2023
Fee: $15, free for “self-identifying Indigenous and Black writers” and low-income writer

PRISM International is a quarterly magazine based out of UBC’s creative writing department where they are seeking literary short form works either in fiction or non-fiction or a hybrid of the two. This could be “flash fiction, micro-memoir, poetic hybrids, and everything in under 300 words.” The winner will receive $500. The first finalist will receive $150 and the second finalist will receive $50. This competition is open to anyone from the world. Writers must not be affiliated with UBC’s creative writing department in the previous two years.

The Dalhousie Review 
Submissions ongoing
Fee: Free

The Dalhousie Review is a tri-annual Halifax based literary magazine. Founded in 1920, it is “one of the oldest and most prestigious literary journals in Atlantic Canada” with an international reputation. They are seeking poetry (up to five poems), fiction (8,000 words), and non-fiction writing (4,000 words). Writers wanting to submit should send their work to in a Google Doc or PDF format. The submissions can cover any subject and entries are open to anyone around the world.