Autumn Writing Contests

With a nip in the air, many of us are spending more time inside. That makes for a perfect time to polish up your poetry and prose for some Fall writing contests. Which ones will you be entering?

Autumn Writing Contests

Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest

  • Deadline: early bird – Nov 16th, 2015, final deadline – Dec 14th, 2015
  • short stories 1500 words or less
  • $3000 in cash prizes
  • entry fee – $20 US early bird, $25 US after

Narrative Fall 2015 Story Contest

  • Deadline: Nov 30th, 2015
  • short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction
  • no longer than 15,000 words
  • $5000 in cash prizes
  • $23 entry fee
Words & Brushes

Words & Brushes Short Story Contest

  • Deadline: Dec 1st, 2015
  • short stories based on pieces of art
  • between 2000-5000 words
  • $300 cash prize
  • no entry fee

Tethered by Letters – Summer Literacy Competition

  • Deadline: Dec 1st, 2015
  • short stories 1000-7500 words
    • $500 prize
    • $15 US entry fee
  • flash fiction of 55, 250 or 500 words
    • $150 prize
    • $7 US entry fee
  • poetry no more than 3 pages
    • $150 prize
    • $7 US entry fee

Prairie Fire Annual Writing Contests

  • Deadline: Nov 30th, 2015
  • poetry (up to 3 poems), short fiction (10,000 words), creative non-fiction (5000 words)
  • $2000 in cash prizes
  • $32 CAD entry fee

Prism Writing Contests

  • $2500 in cash prizes
  • $35 CAD/$40 US/$45 Intl entry fee

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

  • Deadline: Nov 20th, 2015
  • Max 6000 words

Short Fiction Contest

  • Deadline: Jan 15th, 2016
  • Max 6000 word short stories

Poetry Contest

  • Deadline: Jan 15th, 2016
  • Up to 3 poems

Spring Submissions

It must be spring. Writing contests seem to be sprouting up everywhere! That’s almost as good as sunshine for inspiration in my books, so I thought I would share a few that have caught my eye.


Spring Submissions


Literary magazine based out of Calgary, ON. Looking for prose, poetry, photos and art for open submissions to future magazine editions; April 30th – Fall Open Issue – Issue released in September; August 31st – Winter Open Issue – Issue released in January

  • 4000 word max for prose
  • creative nonfiction, short stories, postcard stories, novel excerpts, plays
  • poetry; 2-5 poems, any poem cannot exceed 6 pages
  • open to Canadian residents only


British women’s quarterly magazine (sorry guys—no need to apply). So many ways to submit, you’ll have to check the website for all the details. Deadline for current submissions April 13th.

  • pay for accepted submissions
  • poetry (4 lines/40 words), a week of tweets (7/140 characters), rants & raves (80 words), pen portrait (200 words – headteacher is current prompt), monologue (200 words – voice of a zombie is current prompt), guest blogger (check website)


A Canadian literary magazine, based in Vancouver, BC is looking for submissions. Deadline for Summer/Fall general issue is May 15, 2015. The theme for the Winter issue is “I live in an Apartment”; deadline Sep 15, 2015.

  • fiction (max 3,000 words, creative nonfiction (max 4,000 words), commentary (max 4,000 words), poetry
  • pays $50 per poem, $50 per page for prose


In its 84th year, you don’t want to miss Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. There are as many categories as there are prizes; Grand Prize, through to tenth place, plus honourable mentions!

  • Early bird deadline May 4th, 2015; Deadline June 5th, 2015
  • Entry fees: $15 poetry, $25 manuscripts for early bird; $20 poetry, $30 manuscripts
  • Categories:
    • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious) – max 2,500 words
    • Memoirs/Personal Essay – max 2,000 words
    • Magazine Feature Article – max 2,000 words
    • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.) – max 4,000 words
    • Mainstream/Literary Short Story – 4,000 words
    • Rhyming Poetry – 32 lines max
    • Non-rhyming Poetry – 32 lines max
    • Stage Play – send first 15 pages
    • Television/Movie Script – send first 15 pages
    • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction – max 2,000 words

Spotlight on an Up-and-Coming Canadian Writer: Corrie Adams

Short Fiction Renaissance
Short Fiction Renaissance

This gets pride of placement on my bedside table tonight.

How is this for an excellent way to start a week? I was tapping away at my computer and heard the familiar thump of the lid on my mailbox closing. My postie had visited. No bills today though. I got a cheque from a client and something else. Upon lifting the lid, I was thrilled and more than a little honoured to see a package. I quickly tore away the wrapping to find this book. It is the Anthology from the 2014 WCDR (Writers Community of Durham Region) competition.

Featuring Writer Corrie Adams
Featuring Writer Corrie Adams!

I knew that a good friend of mine had entered the WCDR writing contest this past winter. When she was long-listed, it was an honour for her to be a part of the anthology. But she did one better than that. Corrie Adams went on to win second place in the competition! Of course it is not a surprise, as she is an amazing writer and wonderful inspiration for me. I am thrilled for her nonetheless.

In a galaxy far away and time almost beyond memory, Corrie and I went to high school together. We both crept along the fringes of popular society, each hiding behind our dated glasses and dateless lives. We discovered friends in each other and began the tentative steps that would lead us to our adult lives. Sadly, those steps took us away from each other, but not for long.

In 2009, I was encouraged to start a blog by a fellow coffee shop denizen. He had seen me pour my heart into notebooks and napkins, and suggested it might be another good outlet for my words. Why not? I thought. I wrote short negligible posts that aren’t really much to read now, but I kept at it. And I took another step that helped me to re-enter the world after the death of my husband; I shared a few of those posts on my Facebook page. Wouldn’t you know it, but Corrie read some of those early posts and confided in me that she too had started a blog. Neither of us had many followers, but we encouraged each other along regardless. And the more we wrote, the better both of us got.

Corrie Adams in one of her favourite settings; the Northern Ontario outback

While both of us struggled to define ourselves as writers for so long, I think it is safe to say that we’ve moved beyond that now. Corrie Adams won first place in the Canada Writes “Defining Moments” challenge in early 2014. She also has several other 1st and 2nd place titles from other Canadian Writing Challenges over the last few years. She has had several stories featured in CommuterLit, plus has had stories included in the books “2013 Wordplay” and “Frustrated Writers Presents 2013”. She has also had stories featured in magazines “More of Our Canada” and “Lifestyles Magazine”.

The WCDR Renaissance Anthology is just her latest accolade to add to a writing career that is taking off. She is a Canadian writer to watch and I am not only proud, but blessed to call her a friend. If you haven’t discovered Corrie yet, read her blog today to see what you are missing. Her name is sure to be one you will recognize and remember for many years to come.

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words with my Corrie.

Summer Contests

OK writers. Have you been scribbling tales on napkins at the beach this summer? Did any festivals inspire poetry within your breast? Would that camping trip make for a great creative non-fiction tale to share with the world? Time to think about polishing them up for a writing contest or two, I’d say. Here are some of my latest finds;
Summer Inspiration

Summer Writing Contests

The Malahat Review – Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize 2014

– DEADLINE: August 1st, 2014
– ENTRY FEE: $35 (CAD) for Canadian entries, $40 (USD) for American entries, $45 (USD) for Mexico and outside North America – Additional entries $15 from anywhere
– Cash prize: $1000
– All entries receive a one year subscription to the Malahat Review
– Entries must be between 2,000 and 3,000 words
“The Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize is awarded to the best work submitted to the magazine’s annual contest for a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization.”

The Ontario Poetry SocietyFood for Thought Poetry Competition

– DEADLINE: September 30th, 2014
– ENTRY FEE: 1 poem $5, 3 poems for $10
– Cash Prizes: 1st $200, 2nd $150, 3rd $100, 2 honourable mentions $25 each & 19 Judge’s Choice awards. All winning poems entered into chapbook and contributors receive free chapbook
– Poems not to exceed 36 lines. Any style welcome
“Poems must include at least one of the following Food themes:
breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, illnesses brought on by food including
food poisoning, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, obesity, diabetes, food stains,
poems may be about a specific food item such as bread, meat, chocolate, fruit,
vegetables or only one fruit or vegetable, poultry, dairy, or poems about restaurant(s),
truck stop(s), fast food or fast food place(s) or any poem food-related.
No recipes, please.”

Polar Express PublishingSummer Contests: Poetry & Short Story

– DEADLINE: July 31st, 2014 (postmarked mail), August 10th (email or fax)
– ENTRY FEE: $0 Free!!!
– Cash Prizes: 1st $500, 2nd $250, 3rd $100, 10 honourable mentions. All winners receive free copy of anthology
– Poems not to exceed 48 lines. Short stories 750 words or less.

The PuritanThomas Morton Memorial Prize

– DEADLINE: September 30th, 2014
– ENTRY FEE: $15
– Cash Prizes: $1000 for poetry, $1000 for fiction. Winners also receive a prize pack of books worth $750
– Poetry is limited to 4 poems or 4 pages. Fiction should be no more than 8,000 words

Deadlines Approaching…

Gateway to...
Gateway to…

Need a little writing inspiration? How about deadlines for submissions!

I’ve come across a few new sites that are accepting submissions of various types. They help to provide fodder for my muse and I thought they might do the same for you. Sharing is caring, so here you go!

Gather Your Submissions for …

  • The Brighthorse Book Prize: DEADLINE June 15, 2014
    • unpublished English novels, collections of short fiction, poetry collections
    • $25 entry fee
    • 3 prizes, plus publication, as well as possibility of other entries getting published
  • Joypuke 2014 (The Underbridge Press): DEADLINE June 20, 2014
    • poetry (150 lines max), prose (under 2500 words), creative non-fiction
    • student run literary journal based out of Sackville, NB
  • Love on the Road 2014 Writing Contest (Maliniki Press): DEADLINE July 31, 2014
    • unpublished, fiction or non-fiction stories 4000-6000 words
      • “We’re looking for stories about people making connections, whether these connections are platonic, the kinds that lead to weddings, the kinds that just lead to bed, or the kinds that lead to heartbreak. We’re interested in stories about people traveling together, travelers who meet people while on the road, or people who meet travelers passing through. “
    • $10 entry fee
  • Alice Munro Short Story Competition: DEADLINE August 1, 2014
    • unpublished English short stories less than 5000 words
    • entry fee $25 Adult, $10 Teen
***UPDATE: As of 05/09/2016 the Malinki Press website has expired***