Established in 1993 in honour of the Union’s 20th anniversary, the Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose in order to provide opportunity and exposure to developing writers.

A $2,500 prize is awarded to a Canadian writer for the best piece of unpublished prose of up to 2,500 words in the English language. The Union submits the winning entry and those of the eleven other finalists to three Canadian magazines for consideration. In addition, the winning and finalist entries receive feedback on their submissions.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Kailash Srinivasan is the recipient of the 31st annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, with his piece “1984.

The jury comprised of Francine Cunningham, Frances Itani, C.M., and Ian Roy noted, “1984” is a highly credible piece of fiction, told in a confident style, with striking detail, and with an ease of narration. This personalized account closely examines a disturbing societal fracture in the year 1984. Rooted in sometimes disturbing detail, this story is beautifully rendered, with uncompromising descriptions that challenge the reader.

The Union will submit the winning story and the eleven other shortlisted stories to four Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration. This year's finalists are:

  • “When Faduma Saw Red,” Jennilee Austria, Toronto, ON
  • “Fairy Dust,” Bonny Beswick, Calgary, AB
  • “It Means No Berries for You,” Jacob Cardinal, Vancouver, BC
  • “Christmas in July,” Lindsay Foran, Ottawa, ON
  • “Four Stories,” Evan J, Winnipeg, MB
  • “Unchained,” Zilla Jones, Winnipeg, MB
  • “The Boys,” MJ Malleck, Kitchener, ON
  • “A Good Son,” Kate O'Gorman, Saskatoon, SK
  • “Tea for Two,” Nancy Pearson, Victoria, BC
  • “Texture,” Iryn Tushabe, Regina, SK
  • “Matches,” Lynda Williams, Calgary, AB

Watch a recording of the award announcement here.

Read the full press release here.



1) Original, unpublished fiction or nonfiction up to 2,500 words in the English language.
2) Writers who have had no more than one book published (traditionally or self-published) in any genre and who are not currently under contract for a second book.
3) Writers not published in book format are also eligible.
4) Writers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
5) Co-authored pieces are ineligible.

How to Submit

1) Entries should by typed, double-spaced, in a clear twelve-point font, and the pages numbered on 8.5" x 11" pages, saved as either a Word document or PDF.
2) This competition is judged anonymously. Ensure your entry does not include your name or other identifying information (other than the title).
3) Payment will be made online on Submittable when uploading your entry. Multiple entries are accepted, $29 per entry.
4) Payment may be made through PayPal or by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).
5) Entries must be received electronically by 11:59 pm PST on February 26, 2024.

Short Prose Competition Winners