Don’t forget to check out our standing competitions catalogue for any competitions due this month.

The Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction is looking for unpublished book-length (40,000 to 90,000 words) English non-fiction. The manuscript can be a single work or a collection that contains previously published periodical articles as long as the author has retained copyright. The winning manuscript will be published by the University of Iowa Press under its standard royalty agreement and contract terms. Entry Fee: $10 (US). Start: October 15. Deadline: Post-dated December 10.

The Writer’s Digest Annual Short Short Story Competition for best short story up to 1500 words has a $3000 (US) prize for first place, $1500 for second, $500 for third, $100 discount for fourth to tenth, and $50 discount for eleventh to twenty-fifth (and more). No categories are listed. Early-bird Entry Fee: $25 for first entry, $20 for each entry after. Standard Fee: $30 for first entry, $25 for each entry after. Early Deadline: November 15. Standard Deadline: December 15.

The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) Book Awards honour outstanding Canadian contributions to science writing for the general public (Science in Society General Book Award) and for children/middle grades (Science in Society Children’s Book Award) each year. Entries must be published in Canada during the contest calendar year by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They can be either French or English. They may deal with aspects of basic or applied science or technology, historical or current, in any area including health, social or environmental issues, regulatory trends, etc. They will be judged on literary excellence; scientific content, accuracy, relevance, significance and presentation; initiative; originality; clarity of interpretation; understandability to the layperson or children; and value in promoting greater awareness and understanding of science by the general reader. A brief biography of the author(s) is welcome. The prize for each award is $1000 (CAN) and the presentations will take place in the authors’ hometowns during Science Literacy Week, typically the third week of September. All entries become the property of the SWCC. Entry Fee: Free. Deadline: December 15.

The ScreenCraft’s Annual Cinematic Short Story Contest is looking for original, non-script short fiction (from flash fiction to novella, up to 20 000 words) with special cinematic potential. The grand prize winner will receive $1000 (US) and personal introductions to literary agents, managers, film and TV producers and publishers. The top 5 finalists will be read by ScreenCraft’s network of over 40 literary and entertainment industry professionals. All rights and ownership to stories submitted to this contest remain with the author, until and unless other agreements are made. Early Entry Fee: $39 per story. Late Entry Fee: $59 per story. Early Deadline: November 4. Late Deadline: December 16.

The Lake Merritt Poetry Contest is looking for 40–120 pages — not including front and back matter — of original, unpublished, English poetry of a wide range of styles, approaches, forms, diversities and aesthetics (e.g., lyric, prose poems, experimental) from individual writers worldwide who have published only one or no full-length books of poetry. Individual poems that have been previously published in print or web magazines, journals, anthologies, on a personal web site, or in a chapbook of no more than 48 pages are eligible. The contest is not blind, so you can include any information about yourself you want. The winner receives $3000 (US), publication of the book by Omnidawn with a full color cover (unless the author prefers black and white), 100 free copies of the winning book and extensive display-advertising and publicity. In addition, the winning poet will have time to revise the manuscript before publication. Omnidawn does reserve the right to get approval from the judge if those revisions are significant. Entry Fee: $27. Start: November 1. Deadline: Post-marked December 29.

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize offers £1000, £300, £100 and two £50 awards for original unpublished short stories up to 4000 words or poems up to 50 lines, any theme. Anyone worldwide and older than 14 may enter. Shortlisted entries will be included in full in the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Anthology. The first prize winners in both categories will have an additional showcase page for their photograph, biography, comments and links to their work. Each entrant will also have a tree planted in Kenya in his or her name (GPS coordinates). Entry Fee: £5 per entry. Deadline: December 31.

The 10th Biennial Vancouver Theatre in the Raw One-Act Play Contest is looking for the best, new, fresh and never before performed or published One-Act plays, particularly on themes of cultural and social diversity. Plays can be previously workshopped comedy, tragedy, drama or radio plays; they must be On-Act only. The submissions must be presented in proper stage-play format and be no more than 30 double-spaced typed and numbered pages equal to 30 minutes of acting, with no more than 6 characters. Send copies only of your script — no original manuscripts. (Please include a SASE — with your current contact address — for return of your script.) First prize is $200 (CAN) and at least one dramatic reading or staging of your play at a Theatre In the Raw cafe or venue or as part of a mini-tour program for the One-Act Play Series Nights. Other prizes are given to other winners. Entry Fee: $25 for one play, $45 for two, $70 for three, $90 for four. Deadline: Post-dated December 31.

The Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book is looking for worldwide independently published (self-published or small press — that release fewer than five titles a year — books and e-books) English books of any length and genre. The winner will receive $500 (US) and full editorial coverage in the Spring issue of the Shelf Unbound book-review magazine. In addition, his or her book will be named the Best Independently Published Book. If the book is sports-related, the winner will receive $1000, instead of $500, from the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book. Five finalists will also receive full editorial coverage. Approximately 100 notable books will also be featured. Entry Fee: $75 per book. Deadline: December 31.

The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, established by the City of Edmonton and administered by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, looks each year for outstanding books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama written for adults or children that deal with some aspect of the City of Edmonton — its history, geography, current affairs, arts or people — published anywhere in the world in the preceding year by Edmonton, Alberta, authors. The entry may be submitted by authors, publishers or any interested parties. Self-published books are eligible as long as they have an ISBN. Ineligible are multi-author anthologies, books that are not in English or French, and unpublished pieces or manuscripts. The winner receives $10,000 (CAN), awarded at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts the following Spring. Entry Fee: $30 per entry. Deadline: December 31.

The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, administered through a partnership between The City of Calgary and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, looks each year for outstanding books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children’s literature or drama published anywhere in the world in the preceding year by Calgary, Alberta, authors. The author must be a Calgary resident for a minimum of two years, as of the deadline. The entry may be submitted by authors, publishers or any interested parties. Self-published books are eligible as long as they have an ISBN. Ineligible are multi-author anthologies, multi-authored books if any one of the authors is not a Calgarian, cookbooks, guidebooks, textbooks, technical manuals, bibliographies, works of a purely academic or scholarly nature, books of fewer than 48 pages (except children’s literature), books that are not in English or French, and reprints or new editions of previously published books. The winner receives $5000 (CAN) awarded at The Calgary Awards the following Spring. If the winning book has more than one author, all Calgarian, the prize money is divided equally among them. Entry Fee: $30 per title. Deadline: December 31.

The Alberta Literary Awards are looking for fiction and nonfiction poetry, shorts and books published anywhere in the world within the year prior to the deadline by residents who have lived in Alberta for a minimum of twelve of the eighteen months prior to the deadline. Books must be first editions and have ISBN numbers. Self-published books and French entries are eligible. Not eligible are unpublished manuscripts (except for the drama award), multi-author anthologies, works fewer than 48 pages in length (except for the drama, children’s literature and shorts awards) and reprints of previously published works; previous entries may not be re-submitted to the same award. Short story, essay or poetry collections may contain work that has been previously published as long as the entered collection in book form is a first edition. Entry may be submitted by authors, publishers or any interested parties. Submitted materials, whether eligible or ineligible, will not be returned. The awards are listed below and are presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala during the WGA Conference. Entry Fee for Long Pieces: $30 per entry per category. Entry Fee for Short Pieces: $20 per entry per category. Deadline: December 31, unless, for long pieces, the WGA is notified of a late submission, in writing, in advance of the deadline, for a book published in December.

Lifetime Achievement:

  • Golden Pen Award — recognizes the lifetime achievements (written and writing community) of outstanding Alberta writers and is granted only when warranted upon WGA-member nomination.

Long Pieces:

  • Prize: $1500 (CAN) per competition.
  • Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry — collection of poetry published during the contest year by an Alberta author.
  • R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature — children’s picture book (even years) or chapter book (odd years) published during the contest year or the year prior by an Alberta author. The book must have been published within the two or one years prior to the deadline, depending on whether it is a picture book or chapbook and which is being awarded this year.
  • Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction — novel or collection of short fiction published during the contest year by an Alberta author.
  • Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction — nonfiction book published during the contest year by an Alberta author.
  • Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama — one-act or full-length plays, including those in anthologies (separate entry and fee for each play to be considered), produced (with proof of three performances between January 1 and December 31) or published during the contest year by an Alberta author. A submitted unpublished play may not be re-submitted as published later.

Short Pieces:

  • Prize: $700 (CAN) per competition.
  • Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story — outstanding single short story up to 8000 words in any genre published during the contest year by an Alberta author.
  • James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction — outstanding literary nonfiction short up to 5000 words on any topic published during the contest year by an Alberta author.
  • Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize (unpublished) — outstanding original unpublished essay up to 3000 words written during the contest year by an Alberta author. Submissions must be original, previously unpublished in print or online, including personal blogs, and remain unpublished until the end of April 2018.

Latest update: 2017

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