Mother Tongue Publishing is pleased to announce the 4th Great BC Novel Contest for the best unpublished manuscript of fiction.  The judges for the 4th contest are well-known BC novelists Audrey Thomas and John Lent. The contest is open to all writers living in British Columbia, and the deadline for submitting an unpublished manuscript (a novel or novella) is August 1, 2017. The contest originated in 2008, and its purpose is to inspire and encourage the growth and appetite for excellence in writing and publishing literary fiction in BC. 

For complete guidelines:

Final Judge: Audrey Thomas
Short List Judge: John Lent
Deadline: August 1, 2017
Entry fee - $40


  • Open to all writers living in British Columbia.
  • Mail one copy of the 1st chapter (max 30 pages) and one copy of a synopsis (max 4 pages) of   your unpublished and completed literary novel or novella. No theme.                                               
  • Include a covering letter, short biography, name, address, ms title, phone number and email address. For notification, include a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) if you do not have an email address.
  • Manuscript must be double-spaced on 8 1/2” x 11”.
  • Entries accepted or submitted for publication elsewhere are ineligible. 
  • The author or authors must retain all copyright and must not have waived any moral rights in the work submitted. Co-authors must have a collaboration agreement between them which authorizes one of them to sign the publishing agreement and deal with all editorial and licensing matters without co-author approval. 
  • No submissions accepted by email.
  • No length restrictions of manuscript.
  • More than one manuscript may be entered by an author. Include entry fee per ms.
  • No entries will be returned. 
  • Enclose cheque or money order for $40 payable to Mother Tongue Publishing.
  • Submissions deadline: postmarked no later than August 1, 2017. 
  • Three short list finalists will be chosen by John Lent and announced October, 2017.
  • Short list finalists must be able to provide a hard copy of the finished manuscript upon notification.
  • The winning ms will be chosen by Audrey Thomas and announced December, 2017.
  • Publication Fall 2018.

The winner will receive:

  • A publishing contract with Mother Tongue Publishing, and the opportunity to work with a professional editor
  • $1,000 advance.
  • Regional book launches, readings and festival invites.
  • Media coverage, including reviews, interviews etc.
  • Publication of the winning novel in a beautiful trade paper edition and ebook.

Mail entries to
The 4th Great BC Novel Contest
Mother Tongue Publishing, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2K6


Audrey Thomas has published 18 novels and short story collections and more than 20 of her radio plays have been broadcast on CBC. Twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, Thomas has received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize three times, for Intertidal LifeWild Blue Yonder, and Coming Down from Wa, and has been internationally recognized with the Canada-Scotland Writer's Literary fellowship and the Canada-Australia Literary Prize. In 1987 she won the Marian Engel Award for her body of work, in 2001 the W.O. Mitchell Award, in 2003 she won the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2008, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her most recent novel, Local Customs, was short-listed for the 2014 Victoria Butler Book Prize. She lives on Galiano Island, B.C.

John Lent has published nine books of poetry and fiction and a book of conversations with Robert Kroetsch about the writing life, titled Abundance.  His novel, So It Won’t Go Away, was short-listed for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and his poetry, Cantilevered Songs was long-listed for the Re-Lit Award. The Path to Ardroe, a novel, was published in 2012. As a former Okanagan College, Regional Dean, he received the distinguished service award in 2014 for “significantly contributing to the national reputation that Okanagan College has earned for creative writing and publishing.” A John Lent poetry/prose award was established in 2012. Lent lives in Vernon, BC, with his wife, the artist Jude Clarke, and plays in The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio.  He is currently working on a new novel called The Kitchen Sessions.

Previous Winners:

Everything Was Good-bye, a debut novel by Gurjinder Basran won the 1st Great BC Novel contest and went on to win the 2011 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It was also Reader’s Choice for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a 2012 Top 5 CBC Canada Reads choice (BC/Yukon). Jack Hodgins was the final judge. The 2nd Great BC Novel Contest winner was Luckya debut novel by Kathryn Para of Gibsons, BC. Lucky was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2014. Caroline Adderson was the final judge. The winner of the 3rd contest was disqualified because of a dispute over appropriate authorship attribution.