The Malahat Review’s writing contests provide opportunities for writers to have their best work read around the world in one of North America’s finest literary journals.

Many Malahat Review contest winners have gone on to be recognized by the National Magazine Awards, the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, the Best Canadian anthologies, the Alberta Literary Awards, the PEN/O. Henry Prize, the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize, and the (now-defunct) Western Magazine Awards.

With a contest for every taste and stage of career, it’s easy to find one that matches your ambition.

Long Poem Prize / Novella Prize

Prize money: CAD$2,500 (Long Poem) and CAD$2,000 (Novella)
Entries due every February 1

Our oldest contests are offered every other year, with Long Poem entries accepted in odd-numbered years and Novella entries accepted in even-numbered years. The winning entry appears in the summer issue.

Far Horizons Award for Poetry / Short Fiction

Prize money: CAD$1,250
Entries due every May 1

As a complement to the Novella and Long Poem prizes, the Far Horizons Awards are short-form contests, with the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction given during odd years and the Far Horizons Award for Poetry in even. Only open to writers who have yet to publish in book form for the genre in question. Winning entries appear in the fall issue.

Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize

Prize money: CAD$1,250
Entries due every August 1

To nurture our newest genre, the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize was established in 2007. The winning entry appears in the winter issue.


Open Season Awards

Prize money: $6000
Entries due every November 1

Writers are encouraged to enter our newest contest in three genres: poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction. Winning entries are published in the spring issue.


Past Malahat Contests:

WordsThaw Prize for Victoria Writers

Prize money: $1000

In 2017 and 2018, to celebrate the WordsThaw Writers Festival, we invited emerging writers in Greater Victoria to enter their poem or micro text (fiction or creative nonfiction). Entrants also received a free WordsThaw pass. One winner in each category was chosen by judge Janet Rogers in our 2017 contest, and judge Arleen Paré in our 2018 contest.

'Grow Your Own Sonnet' Twitter Contest

Prizes: poetry books donated by Canadian presses

In 2016, to mark our fourth-annual literary symposium, WordsThaw, we partnered with the Greater Victoria Public Library, Planet Earth Poetry and the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society to stage the Twitter First Line Contest.

This contest ran from February 21 to March 18. Entrants were invited to come up with the first line of a sonnet, 140 characters or less—iambic and exactly ten syllables long—then tweet it to #140firstline. Book prizes were awarded each week, with poet and essayist Molly Peacock as judge.

UVic 50th Anniversary Prize

Prize money: $2200

In 2012, The Malahat Review invited entries from current University of Victoria students, UVic alumni, and greater Victoria-area writers to a one-time writing contest to mark the University of Victoria’s 50th Anniversary.