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The League of Canadian Poets
Markets for Young Writers
Writing Contests Especially for Students

Writing Advice

Books and Free Downloads for Writers and Teachers

The League of Canadian Poets

Markets for Young Writers


Writing Contests Especially for Students

Contest Basics

Contest Details 2015

January 15, 2015: Pandora's Annual Poetry Contest. For previously unpublished poems to 50 lines each by teens ages 14 to 19 and children age 13 and under. Teen prizes $75, $35, and website publication; children's prizes $40, $20, and website publication. Teen entry fee $4.00 per poem; children $3.00 per poem. Submit three typed copies of the work (please divide poems into three piles, not stapled, for three separate judges). Place name, address, telephone number and/or e-mail address, and poem title in a single covering letter only. Blind judging. No manuscript return. Winners announced on the website on February 15. Pandora's Annual Poetry Contest, Pandora's Collective (Poetry Contest Submission), 5505 Main Street,Vancouver, BC V5W 2S3, Canada, online http://www.pandorascollective.com/what-we-do/contests, e-mail info@pandorascollective.com.

January 15, 2016: The Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth (formerly The Poetic Licence Contest for Canadian Youth). Sponsored by The League of Canadian Poets and funded through a generous donation from the Stursberg family and other donors in honour of Jessamy Stursberg, for whom poetry was the deepest way of understanding the world. For previously unpublished poems to 50 lines, limit two per poet, any type or style, on any subject. Two age categories: Junior (Grades 7 to 9) and Senior (Grades 10 to 12, up to age 19). Cash prizes of $400, $350, and $300 in each age category. All winners will receive Poetic Licence certificates and student membership in the League of Canadian Poets for one year. In addition, all winning entries will be posted on the League of Canadian Poets’ website http://www.poets.ca. Include your name, age, grade, school, home address, and telephone number, and e-mail, along with the titles of the poems entered. Members of the League's National Council, staff, or judges, and their families may not enter. No entry or other fees. Submit poems as WORD or PDF attachments and send to readings@poets.ca, with the subject line Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth. After entry, no revisions accepted. If an entry becomes published elsewhere, please notify the League immediately. Judges' decisions are final. Winners will be announced during National Young Poet’s Week in April. Full guidelines at http://poets.ca/jessamy-stursberg-poetry-contest-for-canadian-youth/.

January 31, 2015: Book Week 2015 Writing Contest. For Canadian students in Grades 4 to 12. For an original story or poem in English up to 1,500 words. Prizes of one $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of his or her choice for one winner from each grade, and two honourable mentions from each grade category will also receive $50 gift certificates, and posting on the Book Week website on May 7, Entry form required Mail entries and entry form to Writing Contest, c/o The Canadian Children's Book Centre, Suite 217, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, ON M4R 1B9. For more information contact Shannon Howe Barnes at 416-975-0010, ext. 227, or shannon@bookcentre.ca.

January 31, 2015: The Brucedale Press Acrostic Story Contest. For an acrostic story no longer than 26 sentences. The first sentence must begin "Airborne at last . . ." Following sentences must begin with words in the sequence of the English alphabet. Any subject or theme is acceptable, provided there is no profanity, obscenity, ageism, racism or sexism. First prize 25% of the entry fees, second prize 15%, third prize 10%, up to three honourable mentions, and publication in the next edition of The Leaf. Entrants under the age of 18 must have a parent or responsible adult sign their entry form. Entry fee $5.00 per story, cheque or money order payable to The Brucedale Press. Submit two copies of each story by postal mail only, with an official entry form (available online or for SASE) attached to one copy. Blind judging. SASE for manuscript return. Winners announced in spring 2014. The Brucedale Press Acrostic Story Contest, Box 2259, Port Elgin, ON N0H 2C0, online http://www.brucedalepress.ca/html/Contest.htm, e-mail (for enquiries only) info@brucedalepress.ca.

February 4, 2015: Annual Muriel Morrison Young Authors and Poets Awards. For Junior Scribes ages 6 to 11 and Senior Scribes ages 12 to 15. The Young Authors Award is for an original tale drawn from an event or adventure from your own experience or that of someone you know, with your own ideas and twists added, and interesting characters, plot, and setting to make it more creative nonfiction. Length 250 to 400 words for Junior Scribes and 400 to 800 words for Senior Scribes. Prize from a $15 to $25 certificate. The Young Poets Award is for two contrasting poems, maximum 25 lines each, rhyming and/or non-rhyming (free verse). No acrostic poems, please. Prize is a $15 certificate. Tips: consider the senses in your poetry, feelings (happy, sad, humorous, thoughtful) that appeal to readers, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and the effect and musicality of words. The author's name should not appear on the manuscript, but be enclosed in a sealed envelope with the story or poem titles written on the outside. Send copies only, not originals, typed double spaced. Results in the spring. For further details, telephone 1-705-652-0272, or for questions only, e-mail klp@nexicom.net. No e-mail submissions. Submissions must be mailed by Canada Post to: Muriel Morrison Young Poets and Authors Awards, c/o Kerry Lynn Parsons, 2022 DouroThird Line, Douro-Dummer, ON K0L 2H0.

February 27, 2015: Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest. For poetry. First prize $300, second $200, and third $100, plus honourable mentions of $50, and judges' choice of $25 awards. and one copy of the winners' anthology. Poems must be titled, not published before, and typed on a blank white 8.5" x 11" paper, no longer than 50 lines, and no wider than 44 characters. Do not put your name on the same page as your poem. Enclose a cover page with your poems, showing your name, address, telephone, and e-mail. Entry Fee $10.00 per poem, payable to Spring Pulse Poetry Festival. Mail your entry and fee to: Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest, Box 247, Cobalt, ON, P0J 1C0, http://www.springpulsepoetryfestival.com/poet.pdf. Address queries to mybrydges@yahoo.ca.

March 15, 2015: The Claremont Review Annual Poetry and Fiction Contests. For ages 13 to 19. Up to three poems, or three postcard stories (to 500 words each), each on a separate sheet of 8.5" by 11" paper, or one longer story (to 5,000 words). Prizes $500, $300, $200, plus winning entries published on the http://www.abebooks.com website. Entry fee is $20.00 for up to three poems or one story, or to submit both genres (poetry and fiction) is $25.00, and for both includes a one-year subscription. Blind judging. Enclose a separate cover letter including your name, address, telephone, e-mail, categories entered, titles of your pieces, and a short bio. SASE for results only. Annual Poetry Contest, Editors, The Claremont Review, 4980 Wesley Road, Victoria, BC V8Y 1Y9, online http://www.theclaremontreview.ca/html/annualcontestsubmissions.html

May 1, 2015: Refugees and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest. For poems written in English up to 24 lines on the subject “Refugees and Human Rights”, in any style. Open to students in Grades 4 to 12 and attending schools in the Greater Toronto Area. Group I: Grades 4, 5, 6. Group II: Grades 7, 8. Group III: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Current employees or relatives of UNHCR Canada or COSTI Immigrant Services are not eligible to enter the contest. Three First Prizes of $200.00 each, three Second and Third Prizes of $100.00 each, plus Honorable Mentions. To download the PDF Entry Form, go to http://www.costi.org/sys/anno_detail.php?id=41341 and click on PDF. No entry fees, no subsidy payments, and no purchases of any kind required to enter and win the contest. All poems remain the property of the artist. By submitting a poem for this contest, the artist grants permission to UNHCR Canada and COSTI Immigrant Services to publish the poem, profile contest participants, and use submitted materials in any manner related to refugee and human rights promotion, including for World Refugee Day. UNHCR Canada and COSTI Immigrant Services are under no obligation to publish any contest entries. The artist is under no obligation to purchase a copy of the publication in which the poem may appear. Winners will be invited to an open ceremony for prize awards and a photo and interview opportunity. Children younger than age 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can authorize and sign on their behalf. All prize winners will be notified by mail and posted at http://www.costi.org. For further information, please contact Mary Pam Vincer at vincer@costi.org or (416) 534-8437. Send your poem and Entry Form by mail to Poetry Contest, 1710 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M6E 3P2, or by e-mail to admin@costi.org.

May 13, 2015: James McIntyre Poetry Contest. Open to all ages, including Junior and Senior Kindergarten. For up to three original, unpublished poems on any subject. In 2015, Special Awards will include three new subjects: 1. Chaucer Cheese Award creatively penned to be the “Worst Cheese Poem” in honour of renowned poet James McIntyre, 2. Best Poem commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I, 3. Best Poem commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald. Other awards include Best Dairy Ode, J.C. Herbert Award for the best long poem about Ingersoll Past or Present, and the Bonnie Mott Award for poems about Famous Local People. Poetry categories: Acrostic, Diamante, Epic, Free Verse, Haiku, Limerick, Refrain, Rhyming Verse, and Other. Entries must be typed or neatly printed and attached with the Entry Form. When submitting poetry by e-mail, please send as an attachment in doc, or rtf, or pdf format. Prizes: class pizza party, commemorative medal and certificates, publication in the Ingersoll Times newspaper and a later anthology, and being honoured at the James McIntyre Poetry Award Ceremony. The decision of the judges is final. For complete, detailed guidelines and entry form visit http://www.ingersoll.ca/residents/james-mcintyre-poetry-competition.

June 30, 2015: Junior Authors Contest 2014. For any student between 9 and 20 years old as of June 30, 2014 (proof of age may be required). Category I: Ages 18 to 20, Category 2: Ages 15 to 17, Category 3: Ages 12 to 14, Category 4: Ages 9 to 11. Entries from any country are welcome. First place winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and be published on the http://www.juniorauthorscontest.com/ website. The next five winners in each category will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a certificate of achievement. Submit one story, which must be in English, but can be about anything you like. Be creative and have fun, maximum 1,000 words, double spaced. No entry fee. Put your name and the story title on the first page. Print and complete the online entry form, which will be available on February 1, 2014 (no entries will be accepted earlier) and e-mail it in doc, docx, or pdf format to the address on the entry form. For enquiries, contact Laura Thomas at laura@laurathomascommunications.com.

July 17, 2015: History + Art = Peace Contest, sponsored by the NGO ALPHA Education, for creative writing, short film, visual arts, and performing arts, by high school students (ages 14 to 18) and college students (ages 19 to 25) as well as others, to affirm the values of justice, peace, and reconciliation from a humanity perspective. The intention is not to lay blame, but to promote reconciliation, healing, closure, and cross-cultural understanding of the history of WWII in Asia. Even though 70 years have passed since the end of the war, there are still many untold stories from those that suffered in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in Canada. We hope to engage youth and the wider community on those human rights' issues through various types of arts to foster a deeper understanding of history and humanity, as well as to inspire others to be socially responsible. Prizes range from $100 to $1,500. For complete details on themes and submissions and entry forms, visit http://www.alphaeducation.org/#!contest/c12tk or e-mail artcontest@alphaeducation.org.

November 10, 2014 (opening October 1): Meaning of Home Writing and Video Contest, sponsored by Genworth Financial Canada, in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada, forstudents in Grades 4, 5, and 6. Make a difference by creating a short composition, essay, or poem that explains what you "love" most about your home! First Place winner will take part in the ultimate gift—a $60,0000 contribution to a new Habitat home for a deserving family in or near the winner’s community. The winner also receives a pizza party for her/his school. A commemorative book will highlight the past five years of winning entries and finalists. Also, in the “Dollars for Essays” program, $5.00 will be donated to a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate for each entry submitted. Teachers can download a complete, ready-to-go Education Module—including a lesson plan, activity ideas, writing tips, and a Habitat for Humanity fact sheet, plus full contest details and official rules from the website http://www.meaningofhome.ca

November 24, 2014 (postmarked mail), December 1, 2014 (e-mails or faxes): Polar Expressions Publishing National Student Short Story Contest and National Student Poetry Contest. For Canadian students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Send one English original short story 450 words or less, and/or one poem 32 lines or less, any style or subject, not previously published, online, or submitted elsewhere. Entry form must be signed by the student’s parent or guardian. Several topic ideas are suggested on the Polar Expressions Publishing website http://www.polarexpressions.ca/StudentContests.html. School First Prize $500, School Second Prize $250, School Third Prize $125. Student First Prizes range from $80 for Kindergarten to $140 for Grade 12. All First, Second, and Third Prize winners will receive a free copy of the collection featuring their entry. Every participant will receive a small gift once all of the entries have been short-listed. Mail entries to Polar Expressions Publishing, P.O. Box 500 Station Main, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3P2, or fax to 604-465-0756. To submit via e-mail, please print and complete an entry form, scan it, and send it as an attachment to submissions@polarexpressions.ca

November 28, 2014: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Arts and Letters Awards. Junior Division has two categories: ages 12 to 14 and 15 to 18, for young writers ordinarily residents in the province. Poetry awards $350. Prose awards $350 (for short story, essay, or dramatic script to 5,000 words). Entries must be individual effort. No group work. One entry only per section. Typed, double-spaced entries preferred, but neatly handwritten entries also accepted. Blind judging: entrant's name, address, and telephone number given only on a separate sheet and not on the entry itself. Application form required with a statement signed that the work is original, completed within the past 12 months, not published previously, and not submitted to another competition. No faxed or e-mailed entries. SASE for manuscript return. Brief written adjudication sent to each entrant. Results announced in April 2014. Arts and Letters Awards, P.O. Box 1854, St. John's, NF A1C 5P9, telephone (709) 729-5253. Details at http://www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/artsculture/artsandletters/artsandletters_rules.pdf.

December 15, 2014: International Junior Authors Poetry Contest. For any student between 9 and 20 years old as of January 31, 2014 (proof of age may be required). Category I: Ages 18 to 21, Category 2: Ages 15 to 17, Category 3: Ages 12 to 14, Category 4: Ages 9 to 11. One poem per person, maximum 50 lines (not counting the title), in English, prefereably typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. All subjects and all forms of poetry are welcome. Go crazy and have fun. But submit your best work and choose a form of poetry that suits your subject. Prizes include $10 Amazon gift cards, a copy of Laura Thomas' book Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published, certificates of achievement, and mention on the website. No entry fee. Complete all the information and upload your poem using the Entry Form at http://www.jrauthorspoetrycontest.com/. For further information, visit the website http://laurathomascommunications.com/junior-authors-poetry-contest/ or e-mail Laura Thomas at laura@laurathomascommunications.com (for enquiries only).

Other Contests Open to Writers of All Ages

The Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar
A print directory of more than 350 Canadian and international writing contests for all ages, originated by Wordwrights Canada, and currently produced by White Mountain Publications.

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Updated July 2015