TWUC Invites Submissions for the 2024 Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers' Union of Canada invites submissions to its 31st 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 Unpublished works of fiction and nonfiction up to 2,500 words in English are eligible, and writers may submit multiple entries.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. 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 deadline for entries is February 19, 2024.

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:

  • Francine Cunningham is an award-winning writer, artist, and educator who is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, and is also Métis, and has settler family roots stretching from as far away as Ireland and Belgium. Her debut book of poems On/Me (Caitlin Press) was nominated for the BC and Yukon Book Prize, the Indigenous Voices Award, and the Vancouver Book Award. Her debut book of short stories God Isn’t Here Today (Invisible Publishing) is out now and was longlisted for the inaugural Carol Shield’s Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the 2023 Indigenous Voices Award, and won the 2023 ReLit award. Her first children’s book What if bedtime didn’t exist (Annick Press) will be out in 2024. She is currently the Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary.
  • Frances Itani, C.M., is an award-winning writer who has published 18 books, including five collections of short stories, eight novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and reviews. Her work is widely anthologized and she is known as a teacher, researcher, and public speaker. In 2021, the Writers' Trust of Canada presented her with the Matt Cohen Award for a Distinguished Body of Work over a Lifetime of Writing. She also received the 2019 Library and Archives Canada Scholar's Award, as well as a Commonwealth Writers Prize, three CBC Literary Awards, and many awards for her short stories and novels. At present, Frances lives in Ottawa and is working on two novels.
  • Ian Roy is the author of five books, including the short-story collection, People Leaving, which was short-listed for both the City of Ottawa Book Award and the Upper Canada Writers’ Craft Award (he lost to Alice Munro). His other books include a collaborative art book (The Longest Winter), a poetry collection (Red Bird), and another short-story collection entitled Meticulous, Sad, and Lonely. Ian’s first novel for children, The Girl Who Could Fly, was published in 2021.

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 pm PST on February 19, 2024. The winner and finalists will be announced in late spring 2024.

For complete rules and regulations, and to submit, visit

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.

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

DATE: December 8, 2023