Canada's Creative Spectrum: Writing Contests

This article will explore some of the best writing contests in Canada and provide you with all the information you need to participate and potentially win.

Aspiring writers are always on the lookout for opportunities to showcase their skills and compete with their peers. Writing contests are a great way to achieve this, and Canada offers a variety of such contests for writers of all levels.

What Is a Writing Contest?

Writing competitions are an excellent platform for aspiring writers and authors to showcase their writing talents and gain recognition. These contests are organized by a variety of organizations, publications, and literary groups, providing participants with the opportunity to compete against other writers while potentially winning prizes.

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Benefits Writing Contests Bring

Writing contests can provide a range of benefits. For those who are considering entering one, it's important to understand the potential benefits and how they can help achieve writing goals. In this response, here are key benefits of how they can help you develop as a writer.

  • Recognition. Such contests can bring attention to your writing skills, which can be particularly valuable in a crowded market. Recognition can open doors for aspiring writers and provide them with a platform to share their work with a wider audience.
  • The possibility of winning prizes. Many contests offer a variety of rewards, such as cash prizes, scholarships, or publication opportunities for winners and finalists. These prizes can provide aspiring writers with the financial means to support their writing career or provide them with exposure to larger audiences.
  • Receiving feedback. Feedback from judges or other participants can be valuable in improving writing skills. Feedback can provide writers with insights into their strengths and weaknesses, helping them to identify areas for improvement and develop their craft.
  • Motivation. The sense of competition and the potential for recognition and prizes can help writers stay focused and committed to their writing projects. It can also help writers build confidence and develop their skills as they engage in the writing process. Contests can also provide an opportunity for writers to explore new topics and writing styles.
  • Connecting with other writers. These contests can provide opportunities for writers to connect with other writers, learn from their experiences, and build a sense of community.

Array of Writing Contests in Canada

There are several writing competitions in Canada that offer opportunities for young writers to showcase their work and receive recognition. Here are a few examples:

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The Claremont Review Writing Contest

The Claremont Review Writing Contest is an annual competition that seeks to recognize and promote exceptional young writers between the ages of 13 and 19. The contest is open to submissions of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and winners are awarded cash prizes, publication in The Claremont Review, and a subscription to the magazine.

The Claremont Review is a literary magazine based in Canada, that has been dedicated to showcasing the work of young writers and artists. The Claremont Review Contest is an important part of the magazine's mission to encourage and support young creative talent.

Entries are judged by a panel of professional writers and editors, and winners are announced in the spring of each year. The Claremont Review Contest is highly competitive, with hundreds of submissions received from around the world each year.

Overall, the Claremont Review Writing Contest provides a valuable opportunity for young writers to showcase their talent and gain recognition for their work.

CBC Literary Prize

The CBC Literary Prize is an annual literary competition hosted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The competition invites submissions of original, unpublished works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction from Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The prize has two categories: the Short Story Prize, the Non-fiction Prize and the Poetry Prize. The Short Story Prize is awarded to the best original, unpublished short story, while the Non-fiction Prize is awarded to the best original, unpublished work of creative non-fiction. The CBC Poetry Prize celebrates exceptional, unpublished poetry or a series of poems.

The CBC Literary Prize has a long history, having been first awarded in 1979. Over the years, the prize has recognized many talented Canadian writers, including Michael Ondaatje and Alison Pick.

Griffin Poetry Prize

Scott Griffin's vision for the Griffin Poetry Prize has transformed the literary world by recognizing the excellence of poets and translators worldwide. The prize program celebrates the global character of poetry, the significance of translations, and the recognition of past winners, including renowned Canadian poets Anne Carson, Robert Bringhurst, and Karen Solie.

The Griffin Poetry Prize recognizes the excellence of poets worldwide, whether they write in English or have their works translated into English. The new unified category has broadened the scope of the prize, allowing more poets to be eligible for the award. Additionally, the prize program recognizes the significance of translations in poetry. If the winning book is a translated work, the prize money will be divided, with 60% going to the translator and 40% to the original poet.

The Griffin Poetry Prize has had a significant impact on the literary world by recognizing the excellence of poets and translators worldwide. The prize program has helped to elevate the profile of poetry and bring attention to poets whose work may have gone unnoticed otherwise.

Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition

The Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers was founded in 1993 as a tribute to the Union's 20th anniversary. The objective of this literary competition is to seek out, support, and endorse promising writers of short prose, thus creating opportunities and visibility for budding authors.

A cash prize of $2,500 is presented to the most outstanding Canadian writer for their unpublished work of up to 2,500 words in English. The Union will submit the winning entry and the eleven finalists' submissions to three renowned Canadian magazines for possible publication. Moreover, winners and finalists will receive valuable feedback on their literary pieces.

The Vancouver Writers Fest Writing Contest

In an effort to get people of all ages interested in reading and telling stories, the Vancouver Writers Fest hosts activities all year long with local and visiting authors. One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in North America takes place in Vancouver every October, drawing tens of thousands of people to Granville Island and other locations across the city for a week-long celebration of the written word.

Annually during springtime, the Vancouver Writers Fest initiates a youth writing competition, inviting submissions for short stories and personal essays. Esteemed members of the Vancouver literary community evaluate the entries, and the contest bestows four cash prizes along with publication in our newsletter. Several winners have gone on to have their pieces published either by a publisher or in well-known literary journals.