Open Season Awards (contest now closed)


This contest is now closed. Check back here in August 2021!

The Malahat Review invites entries for its annual Open Season Awards in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with prizes totalling $CAN 6,000. The contest is open to Canadian and international writers anywhere in the world, with a final deadline of 11:59pm (PST) on 8 November 2020. All entries are judged anonymously. The winner in each category will receive a prize of $CAN 2,000 and be published in the magazine's spring 2021 issue. 

*Mailed or emailed contest submissions will no longer be accepted starting with the 2019 Open Season Awards. Please read the instructions below to find out how to submit your contest entries through Submittable.*

Contest Judges

Meet the judges:

Book Prizes


In addition to the three $2,000 prizes, we're giving away book prizes to three lucky contest entrants! All you have to do is submit your work to the contest, and you'll be automatically entered to win. After the deadline, we'll pull three names from the list of entrants.
Poetry (left)
War/Torn by Hasan Namir (Book*hug Press, 2019)
Crow Gulch by Douglas Walbourne-Gough (Goose Lane Editions, 2019)
Q & A by Adrienne Gruber (Book*hug Press, 2019)
Fiction (centre)
The Dishwasher by Stéphane Larue (Biblioasis, 2019)
The Allspice Bath by Sonia Saikaley (Inanna, 2019)
How to Tell if Your Frog is Dead by Julie Roorda (Guernica Editions, 2019)
Creative Nonfiction (right)
One Drum by Richard Wagamese (Douglas & McIntyre, 2019)
Every Day We Disappear by Angela Long (Radiant Press, 2018)
Three Books: Winter in the Country, On "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," and An Atomic Cake by Vladimir Azarov (Exile Editions, 2019)


  • Poetry: up to 3 poems only per entry, no individual poem more than 100 lines long (a line count must be given for each poem longer than 50 lines; all poems must be submitted in a single document).
  • Fiction: 1 story only per entry, no more than 2500 words in length (the word count must be given at the top of the first page and the text double spaced).
  • Creative Nonfiction: 1 piece only per entry, no more than 2500 words in length (the word count must be given at the top of the first page and the text double spaced).
  • All entries are judged anonymously (no identifying information is to be included on any poem, story, or nonfiction piece submitted).
  • Multiple entries are allowed (at a reduced fee, if paid for at the same time as the initial entry: see Entry Fees and How to Submit below).
  • Entrants may submit work in more than one genre (for further information see Additional Entries below).

Entry Fees

          • $CAN 35 for each entry from Canada

          • $CAN 40 for each entry from the USA

          • $CAN 45 for each entry from elsewhere

          • $CAN 10 for each additional entry (any writer, any country)

          • See How to Pay (below) for detailed instructions.

  • Entrants receive, for themselves or a friend, a one-year print subscription to The Malahat Review (for the initial entry only; no subscriptions are available for additional entries made along with the initial entry). Digital subscriptions and digital/print bundle subscriptions are not available through any of the magazine's contests.

Additional Entries

  • To receive the reduced entry fee(s) of $CAN 10.00, any additional entries must be paid for at the same time as the first entry; such additional entries should be submitted online within 24 hours of the initial submission. Additional entries may be submitted in any genre (e.g., an initial entry in poetry may be accompanied by an additional entry or entries in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction). The same guidelines apply to additional entries as to the initial submission: i.e., an additional entry of poetry must be from 1 to 3 poems, each not more than 100 lines in length; an additional entry of fiction or creative non-fiction must be a single piece of not more than 2500 words.

Eligible Entries

  • No work already published (even if only excerpted, or even if revised since original publication), already accepted for publication, already or simultaneously submitted elsewhere is eligible for consideration. The Malahat Review considers any appearance in print or online to be a publication, whether the form of publication be a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, website, personal website or blog, Twitter, Facebook, or other suchlike forum for public circulation. This restriction on eligibility applies regardless of the size of the print run or the extent of the circulation of previously published work.
  • Disqualification. Failure to comply with these criteria for eligibility will immediately disqualify any entry, regardless of when the ineligiblity is discovered in the process of adjudication (submission, processing, screening, shortlisting, final judging). The entry fee for a disqualified entry will not be refunded, and the entrant will still receive a one-year subscription to the magazine.


  • The winner in each category will be notified by email. Other entrants will not be notified of the judges' decisions.
  • Publicity. The winner and finalists in each category will be announced in late January 2021 on The Malahat Review's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. All winners will be interviewed, and the interviews will be published on The Malahat Review's website, and in the April 2021 edition of Malahat lite, the magazine's monthly e-newsletter.
  • Publication. The winning entry in each category, and only the winning entry, will be published in the spring 2021 issue of The Malahat Review.

How to Pay

  • Payment must be made online through The Malahat Review Store (if you do not have a credit card, you can pay by cheque or money order: see #3 below).
  • Unless you are paying by cheque or money order, you must pay the entry fees before making your submission, since you must include your ORDER # with your submission.
  • If you are unable to pay by credit card, you can mail a cheque or money order (made out to The Malahat Review) in $CAN or $US to The Malahat Review, McPherson Library, University of Victoria, PO Box 1800, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3H5, Canada.
  • If paying by cheque or money order, you must indicate "cheque" or "money order" as required on the submission form.
  • Online payments will not be accepted after the contest deadline (if you have any problems with such payment, please write to Payment by cheque or money order must be mailed with a postmark date of no later than 8 November 2020.
  • Go to our online store to pay your contest fee(s).

How to Submit

  • Only online submissions made through The Malahat Review's Open Season Awards portal on the Submittable website will be accepted.
  • Acceptable file formats: Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF only.
  • If paying by credit card, you must pay before you submit, since you will be asked to provide your ORDER # with the submission of each entry.
  • If paying by cheque or money order, you will be asked to specify which form of payment with the submission of each entry.
  • A single entry is defined as 1 to 3 poems (uploaded in a single  document, maximum 100 lines per poem), or 1 story or 1 creative  nonfiction piece (maximum 2500 words in each case).
  • You can make only one entry at a time on the Submittable webpage; to submit additional entries, whether at the reduced rate (paid for at the same time) or at a standard rate, simply follow the same process as with the initial submission (the ORDER # will be the same for additional entries paid for at the same time as the initial submission; it will be different for an entry or entries made at a later date, since these require the full fee).
  • *Optional* You can save a draft of your submission before clicking on the "SUBMIT" button (at the bottom of the Submittable page) to make the actual submission.

Click the "Submit" button below and follow the instructions in order to enter the Open Season Awards contest on Submittable:


Previous Prize Winners










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