CBC Books – Canada Writes – Poetry Prize!

Competition is now open!
Deadline to submit: May 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET

This prize is awarded once a year to the best original, unpublished, poem or poetry collection submitted to the competition. All Canadians can participate.

The competition is blind. A jury composed of well-known and respected Canadian authors will select a 1st place winner and 4 runners-up.

The First Prize winner will receive $6,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and will have his/her poetry published in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on the Canada Writes website. He or she will also be awarded a two-week residency at The Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony (details about the residency here), and will be interviewed on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.

The 4 runners-up will each receive $1,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and their stories will be published on the Canada Writes website.

Submissions to the poetry category must be between 400 and 600 words.

For more information:

My two cents:

I am surprised that this competition has a word minimum of 400 since Poetry of all the written forms can tend to be quite short.  I can’t submit anything I’ve posted here on my blog since according to the rules, it counts as “previously published” (does that mean I can tell people I am a published author? heh heh).  I am going to work on one new poem this week and see what happens.  This should be interesting since I am not used to writing what I consider to be “long” poems.



  1. coney burns

    i seem to be having a problem with getting my writing published,and seeing as you are a writer,i was wondering if you could help me,maybe you could guide me through some of the rules,,my writing tends to be longer than most poetry,i guess it varies,but i have sent my writing to this one place ,,followed all the guide lines,and had it returned with no explanation,,it bothers me that writers now a days have to pay some publishers money to not only publish their works ,but have to pay them as well to even look at it ,,i hope you can help me ,,,thank you for your time Coney Burns

  2. Sam

    Hi Coney,

    Sorry, I am late getting back to you, I am in the midst of re-vamping my web-site. It’s important that you know that you shouldn’t have to pay anyone to look at your work unless it is an editor. Sometimes contests (like the CBC Canada Writes ones) will charge an entry fee, but publishers don’t (from what I have ever seen) ask for a fee.

    Some of the tips I would recommend are:
    -Join a writing group in your area
    -Have some trusted friends or family review your work for you before sending to publishers
    -Start with small Canadian publishers – some will even take manuscripts by email now
    -Contact your local newspaper and start writing for them if possible
    -Contact a magazine that you enjoy reading – local or national and let them know you’d like to write for them (this is how I got my first paid writing gig!)
    -Here’s a site that might be helpful – http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/category/publishing

    Good Luck 🙂

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