It is not an easy path to become a recognized and successful writer. Writing contests can be one of the fastest ways to gain popularity in the industry and they can provide writers with publishing, money and other residency opportunities. There are many things to consider when applying for writing contests.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company, or the CBC, hold many writing contests each year. These contests are a great guide to the rules, regulations and methodologies that many other writing contests follow.

CBC Literary Prizes

The CBC hosts three writing contests every year. The CBC poetry prize, short story prize and non- fiction prize are the three-main contest that run annually.

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In this contest, writers have one month to submit their unpublished and original poetry. A fee of 25$ dollars with tax is paid upon submission of your works. The fee is typical for most writing contests but a very small fee considering who will be reading your work. The winner receives 6000$ dollars and a ten-day residency along with publication. The theme is up to you and the only requirement is to keep the work under 600 words.

Short Story

The general guidelines of the short story prize are like those of the poetry prize. There is a 25$dollar cost and the winner is awarded 6000$ dollars, a residency and publication. The short story guidelines require submissions to be unpublished works of fiction between 1200 and 1800 words.


The non- fiction prize is like the two other contests as it has a 24$dollar submission fee and the prizes are the same for the winner. The word count should be between 1200 and 1800 words. Unlike the other contests, this submission must be a work of nonfiction. Therefore, the work must be based in fact.

Many contests will have similar structures to that of the CBC and if you are a writer, competitions are a great space to get started.