Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest: $1,000.00

Edna Staebler was a pioneer in the field of literary journalism. Her first article, “Duellists of the Deep”, a story about swordfishing with Neil’s Harbour fishermen, was published in MacLean’s when she was in her mid-40s and won the Canadian Womens Press Club Memorial Award. From there, she went on to write many more articles for MacLean’s, Chatelaine, Saturday Night, and others in the decades to come, as well as Cape Breton Harbour, a book about the time she spent there. And, of course, many readers know her best as the engaging voice of Food that Really Schmecks, a series of cookbooks so entertaining that people read them in bed.

Edna opened the door for generations of personal essayists, not just with her example but with her generosity, founding many awards, scholarships, bursaries. In 1981, she helped to found The New Quarterly, and in 2005, we were one of many lucky organizations and individuals to receive a gift from her completely out of the blue, a cheque for $25K.

In the spirit of Edna’s contributions to the genre, we are interested in essays of any length, on any topic, in which the writer’s personal engagement with the topic provides the frame or through-line. Our only restrictions are that the work be previously unpublished and the writer Canadian.

We offer a $1,000 prize for the winning essay; all submissions will be considered for paid publication in the magazine.

Entry fee: $40 per submission. Each submission includes a one-year Canadian subscription (or subscription extension) to The New Quarterly.

Eligiblity: Entrants must be Canadian or currently residing in Canada. Entries may not be previously published, accepted, or submitted for publication elsewhere. There are no restrictions on length or number of entries, so long as the appropriate fees are paid. Entrants anonymity will be carefully preserved throughout the judging process. Every entrant will receive notification via email that his or her entry has been received. The decisions will by made by August 31; winner(s) and finalists will receive notification by letter.

Deadline: Postmarked March 28, 2011

Details on how to enter here.

[Photo: sidewalk flying]


Call for Submissions: Postcard Story Competition



$500 PRIZE

The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted until February 14, 2011, for the 2011 POSTCARD STORY COMPETITION. The winning entry will be the best Canadian work of 250 words or less in the English language, fiction or nonfiction. Are you up for the challenge? Can you create a dynamic, lean, and efficient piece in only 250 words? You can use humour, poetry, dialogue… anything goes!


$500 for the winning entry. The winning entry will be published in Write, the magazine of The Writers’ Union of Canada. The winner agrees that The Writers’ Union of Canada will have non-exclusive publication rights to publish the winning entry in Write for publicity purposes. Any publication of the author’s story by The Writers’ Union of Canada will include an authorship credit and a copyright notice in the name of the author. Copyright of the winning postcard story remains with the writer.


Ray Hsu, Samuel Thomas Martin, and Edeet Ravel will serve as the jury.


This competition is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Original and unpublished (English language) fiction or nonfiction, no more than 250 words.


· Entries should be typed, double-spaced, in a clear twelve-point font, and the pages numbered on 8.5 x 11 paper, not stapled.

· Submissions will be accepted in hardcopy only.

· Include a separate cover letter with title of story, full name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and number of pages of entry.

· The author’s name should not appear on the actual entry.

· Make cheque or money order, $5 per submission, payable to The Writers’ Union of Canada. Multiple entries can be submitted together and fees can be added and paid with one cheque or money order.

· Entries must be postmarked by February 14, 2011 to be eligible.

· Mail entries to: PCS Competition, The Writers’ Union of Canada, 90 Richmond Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5C 1P1.

Results will be posted at www.writersunion.ca in May 2011. Manuscripts will not be returned.

[Photo: Susan S]


Places for Writers: Calls for Submissions

If you don’t know Places for Writers, do take a look. It’s a Canadian site that links to publishers and writers’ resources. It also lists calls for submissions by journals, magazines, and other publications. Some pay, some don’t. Some are prestigious, some are emerging. But visiting the site might give you hope on a day when you feel like you’re writing for no one and for no purpose. It may remind you that, even in your solitude in front of your notebook or computer screen, you are still part of a literary community.

Here’s a sampling of recent calls (with upcoming deadlines) for essays and creative nonfiction:

CALYX A Journal of Art and Literature by Women (US) is accepting submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2010.

Paragon, Memorial University’s student-run literary press, is accepting submissions for their fourth issue. Publishes poetry (max 3) and fiction/creative nonfiction (2000 words max). Deadline: January 1, 2011.

Vox Humana Literary Journal, an international literary venue, is accepting short fiction, poetry, and critical essay submissions for its Spring 2011 issue. Favours work related to the Middle-East — particularly Israel and Palestine.

Happy writing, happy submitting.

[Photo: duluoz cats]