Contest Call for Submissions
Entry fee (comes with a one-year subscription):
$35 CAD for Canadian entries
$40 USD for entries from the USA
$45 USD for entries from elsewhere
Additional entries cost $10 CAD from anywhere, no limit!
Keep your eyes on this year's BIG prize: three awards of $2000! Our annual Open Season Contest is underway, and writers of all levels are invited to enter poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction. There's no theme or specific criteria for this contest, so go wild and send us your best work.
Final judges are Evelyn Lau (poetry), Carleigh Baker (fiction), and Betsy Warland (creative nonfiction).
Interviews with each contest judge are posted below!
Full contest guidelines available on the Malahat website.
Evelyn Lau - Poetry Judge
Malahat volunteer Emma Skagen talks with Open Season Award poetry judge Evelyn Lau about early publication, the Vancouver life, and humour in poetry.
ES: You started publishing poetry at a remarkably early age. Since then you've gone on to write an incredibly diverse oeuvre: a memoir, poetry, short stories, essays, a novel. Do you think your early start has benefitted your development as a writer? Or, perhaps, has it been a struggle to have your artistic growth be so public? Do you have a constant drive to outdo your former selves?
EL: In some ways my writing life has had a backwards trajectory: a big splash of attention for the early prose books, published in my teens and twenties, then decades of toiling in obscurity as a starving poet! I'm grateful now to have experienced those years of interest in my work, because many writers labour lifetimes without reaching audiences beyond the handful of people who buy literary magazines or attend poetry readings. My early success feels very distant now, and foreign. But in some ways it's all a continuum; I began by publishing in literary journals, and that's what I do now as a poet.
Read the rest of Evelyn's interview on the Malahat website.
Carleigh Baker - Fiction Judge
Malahat volunteer James Kendrick talks with Open Season Award fiction judge Carleigh Baker about Canadiana, colonialism, and the origins of writing.
JK: Your first journal submission, with subTerrain, was a winning contest entry. What could a new writer get out of winning this contest?
CB: I think an early win like this is a mixed blessing. It can bring confidence, sure. But it can set up some pretty high expectations. Like every other writer, I got a million rejections after my first publication. I may have taken myself so seriously that I bemoaned having peaked early, and assumed that it was all downhill from there. And by "may" I mean yes, I definitely did that. But I'm fortunate to have been given a thumbs up at an early stage, and I hung on to this through the rejections. Holy cow, there are a lot of rejections. That's part of the job.
Read the rest of Carleigh's interview on the Malahat website.
Betsy Warland - CNF Judge
Malahat marketing assistant L'Amour Lisik talks with Open Season Award creative nonfiction judge Betsy Warland about gender bending, queer writing in Canada, and the mind of the narrative.
LL: An Open Season winner may go on to pursue a book deal. You've had numerous books published in your career—do you have any tips for writers looking to get their first book off the ground?
BW: In addition to the above, often the first thing a publisher checks is your online presence as a writer: do you have a dynamic writer's website? Have you sought out training in creative writing degree and certificate programs, courses and workshops? Are you actively participating in the literary community via professional social media and giving readings? Have you been getting published in journals and anthologies? Have you worked on literary journals such as this one?
Read the rest of Betsy's interview on the Malahat website.