TWUC Invites Submissions for the 2023 Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers' Union of Canada invites submissions to its 30th 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 Unpublished works of fiction and nonfiction up to 2,500 words in English are eligible, and writers may submit multiple entries.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 eleven finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 17, 2023.

The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. "Over its thirty-year history, the Short Prose Competition has introduced Canadian readers to fresh voices from across the country," says Chief Executive Officer John Degen. "It’s gratifying to watch those writers then grow in their careers." Past finalists and winners have included such future luminaries as Shauna Singh Baldwin, Lewis DeSoto, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Alexander MacLeod, and Amy Stuart.

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

  • Doretta Lau is the author of the short story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? named by The Atlantic as a best book of 2014. The title story, about a group of kids determined to pull off a heist, was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Her forthcoming novel We Are Underlings is about a dysfunctional workplace struggling to open a theme park that celebrates death. She completed her MFA in Writing at Columbia University.
  • Tāriq Malik has worked across poetry, fiction, and art for the past four decades to distill immersive and compelling narratives that are always original. He writes intensely in response to the world in flux around him and from his place in its shadows. His published works, including Rainsongs of Kotli (TSAR Publications, short stories, 2004), Chanting Denied Shores (Bayeux Arts, novel, 2010), and now Exit Wounds (Caitlin Press, Poetry, 2022), challenge entanglements in the barbed wires of racism and cultural stereotyping in art, the workplace and across societies.
  • Ann Shortell served on TWUC’s 2022 indie publishing task force. Her novel Celtic Knot won the Whistler Independent Book Award for Fiction and the Ontario Indie Author Project Adult Fiction Award. It was a finalist in the Sarton Women’s Book Awards, the IPPYs, the Miramichi Reader’s awards, and several other competitions. Ann has won, then judged for, competitions sponsored by the Florida Writers Association, the Asia Pacific Foundation Media Fellowship, and the National Magazine Awards, and was a finalist and judge for Crime Writers of Canada’s Unpublished Manuscript award.

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 17, 2023. The winner and finalists will be announced in late spring 2023.

For complete rules and regulations, and to submit, visit

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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 2,600 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers' collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers.

For additional information:
Kristina Cuenca, Program Manager
The Writers' Union of Canada

Date: December 1, 2022