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 Our only restrictions are that the work be previously unpublished and the writer Canadian.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
[Photo: sidewalk flying]