TWUC Invites Submissions for Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

The Writers' Union of Canada invites submissions to its 27th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers. Unpublished works of fiction and nonfiction up to 2,500 words in English are eligible, and writers may submit multiple entries. A $2,500 prize will be awarded to the winner, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 14, 2020.

The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. “Over its twenty-seven-year history, the Short Prose Competition has always delivered an eclectic array of entries,” says Executive Director John Degen. “It is quite exciting to discover promising new writers each year.” Past finalists and winners have included such future luminaries as Amy Stuart, Alexander MacLeod, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, and Lewis DeSoto.

The Union is proud to announce an esteemed group of jurors for the Competition:

  • Janet Barkhouse’s poems and stories have been published across Canada in journals and anthologies, and read on CBC Radio. Her debut collection of poems, Salt Fires, (Pottersfield Press) follows on two chapbooks, Silence and Sable Island Fieldnotes (with photographs by Zoe Lucas); a docupoem short screened at Lunenburg Doc Fest 2017; and three children’s books. In 2013/14 she was artist-in-residence at Dalhousie Medical School through their Humanities-HEALS program.
  • Jacqueline Guest has written twenty novels for readers of all ages and has over twenty-five years of experience presenting in classrooms, libraries, and at conferences. For many years, Jacqueline has mentored new writers and championed literacy.  Jacqueline is the proud recipient of the Indspire Award for the Arts and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2017.
  • Naben Ruthnum is a Journey Prize winner and the author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race (Coach House Press). As Nathan Ripley, his most recent thriller is Your Life Is Mine (Simon & Schuster).

The Competition is open to Canadian citizens and residents who have had no more than one book published and are not currently under contract for a second book. Authors not published in book format are also eligible. The entry fee is $29 per submission, and submissions are accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on February 14, 2020. The winner will be announced in late spring 2020. 

For complete rules and regulations, and to submit, visit

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,100 members strong, TWUC promotes the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. TWUC believes a lively and diverse literary culture is essential in defining Canada and its people. Learn more at

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For additional information:
Valerie Laws, Office Administrator
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982 ext. 224

Date: November 25, 2019