Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Big contests for short stories, book-length nonfiction, and for high school kids, plus paying markets for your short pieces

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Lena Scholman,
who many readers will know,
came 2nd in the Toronto Star contest in 2019

Entries are now being accepted for the 43rd annual Toronto Star Short Story Contest. Writers must be at least 16 years old and live in Ontario. Stories must be 2,5000 words or less. 

First place wins $5,000 and the choice between a fully paid, two-semester creative writing correspondence program at Humber School for Writers (worth around $3,700) or a creative writing summer workshop (worth $1,500 in person or $850 online).

The second-place writer receives $2,000 and third place wins $1,000.

Due date: 5 p.m. on March 1, 2021. Contest details here. Full contest rules here.


upstreet is a literary journal based in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, published annually. Accepts short fiction and {non-political} essays of up to 5,000 words. Pays $50 - $250 per piece.

Reading period: Sept 1 – March 1 each year. Full submission guidelines here.

Carousel is an online hybrid literary/arts magazine showcasing new and established writers and artists, with a focus on positioning Canadian talent within an international context.  Open to Canadians only. Accepts poetry and fiction. Pays $20 per poem and ion: $40–$80 per story. For Experimental Reviews pays $20–$40 per review. 

Reading period January 15, 2021 – March 1, 2021. Guidelines here.


Hi, Brian.

Would you be kind enough to post the following announcement about our Creative Nonfiction Prize?

Lesley Choyce
Pottersfield Press 

Jennifer M. Smith with Green Ghost, Blue Ocean
Note: This past week, Jennifer got interviewed on the CBC
on different programs across the country - very cool

Pottersfield Press

Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia

Announces the Fourth Annual Pottersfield Prize for Creative Nonfiction

Pottersfield Press is once again looking for submissions from writers who can provide a manuscript of 30,000 to 150,000 words in any of the following categories: history, memoir, autobiography, biography, literary journalism, political or social commentary, travel writing or virtually any existing or new category that uses the nonfiction medium to tell a story or put forward an idea.

The winners of the 2020 Third Annual Pottersfield Prize for Creative Nonfiction are Luc Desroches of Dieppe, New Brunswick for second place and the first-place honours go to Emily Taylor Smith of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The winning entry was No Thanks, I Want to Walk: Two Months on Foot Around New Brunswick and the Gaspé by Emily Taylor Smith about her long-distance trek of self-discovery and adventure. Second place went to Luc Desroches for his most timely manuscript, Working From Home for a Harmonious Life. Both are slated for publication this year.

Teaching at the Top of the World
by Odette Barr,
2nd place winner in 2019

{In 2019, Jennifer M. Smith won first place in this contest with Green Ghost, Blue Ocean. Many readers will know Jennifer because they’ve been in classes with her or because she’s been a guest speaker for a class. ~Brian}

The First Prize winner will receive a contract for the publication of the winning book along with a $1,500 advance on 10% royalty for all sales.

The Second Prize winner will also see the publication of the book and a $1,000 advance on 10% royalties.

Deadline is March 31, 2021 but early submissions are encouraged.

Submit your manuscript electronically as a double-spaced basic Word document to:

and include on the title page your name, address and email address.

Entry fee is $25 (includes HST) and can be paid by Interac Transfer, also to (pottersfieldcreative@gmail.comor by cheque made out to Pottersfield Press mailed to 248 Leslie Rd. East Lawrencetown, NS  B2Z 1T4 Canada  after the manuscript has been submitted by email.

Full contest details here.


B’nai Brith Canada presents an exciting educational initiative that promotes diversity and teaches valuable lessons of inclusion to elementary and high school students.  

Open to high school students in Manitoba, Edmonton, Greater Montreal, and in the Toronto pilot area (map here), the Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition invites high school students to reflect on the values of diversity and inclusion by writing and illustrating a story for elementary school students (Kindergarten to Grade 5). 

Through peer-to-peer learning, students lead the way in creating communities where everyone is valued. The goal of Diverse Minds is to empower our youth to become role models for each other and understand that their impact reaches beyond their classrooms.

PRIZES! What would a competition be without prizes?

1st prize: $3,000, plus the winning book will be published as a hardcover, full-colour book and distributed to all elementary schools and public libraries in the respective region. Imagine being a published author and illustrator before you graduate from high school! 2nd prize: $1,500; 3rd prize: $500.

Deadline April 9, 2021. See links for full rules and guidelines for each region here.


Prepare for Canada, which aims to help prospective immigrants prepare for success in Canada, is looking for writers. You don’t need any experience.

“Remember when you first came to Canada and had a million questions? Wouldn’t it have been great if you could hear from newcomers who had recently settled?

We’re hoping that some of you who have landed and settled in Canada would like to share your experience and offer any tips for those who are just beginning their journey.

You can submit for consideration an original article (not previously published anywhere else, including your own site), with content based on your personal experiences and/or professional expertise, and we will review it for potential publication on our site.

Email us at mentioning:

A bit about yourself. Your online profile if you have one, if not your Linkedin profile will do.

A short 100 words summary of your topic or column you want to write about.

All content must be unique and cannot be previously published anywhere else. Our submission guidelines ask that your submitted story fit into at least one of the following categories:

Settling in Canada (accommodation, clothing, schooling, health & medical, insurance, driving, packing and moving, mobile and internet, shopping)

Finance and banking (opening a bank account, transferring finances, credit cards, investments, taxes, budgeting & money-saving tips)

Working & Job Finding. (success stories, interview experiences, job searching tips, small business)

Pays $25 to $50 per published article.

Guidelines here


Quick Brown Fox Quick Brown Fox welcomes your short stories, poems, and essays about reading, writing, favourite books, and libraries. Read a few essays on the blog to get a taste of what other writers have done (see here and scroll down). 

Quick Brown Fox also welcomes book reviews – or any kind of review of anything, of anywhere or of anybody. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. See examples of book reviews here (and scroll down); other reviews here (and scroll down).

Submit to:

Include a short bio at the end of your piece and attach a photo of yourself if you have one that’s okay.


See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


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