Submissions are closed for the Federation of BC Writers Literary Contest!

The Federation of BC Writers is excited to announce the opening of our 2021 Literary Contests. This year, we have merged our contests into one larger event! A long list (top 20 in each category) and short list (top 10 in each category) will be announced approximately two weeks apart in October with the first place winners announced in early November.

The Federation of BC Writers Literary Contest is a competition for original, unpublished works by writers who are Canadian residents.

Our Judges

Kerry Gilbert - Poetry

Kerry Gilbert lives in Vernon, where she teaches Creative Writing at Okanagan College. Her first book, (kerplnk): a verse novel of development, was published in 2005 with Kalamalka Press. Her second book of poetry, Tight Wire, was published in 2016 with Mother Tongue Publishing. Little Red, is a new verse collection with Mother Tongue, released March 2019. Gilbert has won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Award for Best Suite by an Emerging Writer and has been shortlisted for ReLit, for the Ralph Gustafson Prize for the Best Poem, for the Pacific Spirit Poetry Contest and for the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry for Best Suite by an Established Writer.

Al Rempel - Poetry

Al Rempel’s books of poetry are Undiscovered Country, This Isn't the Apocalypse We Hoped For, Understories, and three chapbooks: Deerness, Four Neat Holes and The Picket Fence Diaries. His poems have also appeared in journals such as The Malahat Review, CV2, and Event as well as in various anthologies. Rempel's videopoem collaborations have been screened internationally. He can be found at

Ursula Vaira - Flash Fiction

Ursula Vaira has just retired from her post as managing editor of WordWorks, the magazine of the Federation of BC Writers. She came to the magazine from a publishing career: first ten years with Oolichan Books, then later with Leaf Press, which she founded in 2000. Her own writing is strongly located in landscape; her paddling journeys attempt the wilderness within. She published three long-poem chapbooks, and Caitlin Press published her first collection And See What Happens. Her current manuscript is the story of a damaged creek, the salmon who try to spawn in it, and the streamkeepers who tend them as massive forces of population growth, deforestation, industry, and climate bombard the planet.

Chelene Knight - Non-Fiction

Chelene Knight is the author of the Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Award. Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine, and the previous festival director for the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver. She is now CEO of her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative and she works as an associate literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Chelene often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Chelene teaches part time at the University of Toronto.

KT Wagner - Short Fiction

KT Wagner writes Gothic horror and op/ed pieces in the garden of her Maple Ridge home. She teaches writing-related workshops and helps create literary community including write-ins, an annual ghost story writing retreat and co-organizing Golden Ears Writers. KT graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Writers Studio in 2015 (Southbank 2013). She's a member of the Horror Writers Association of America (HWA) and SF Canada ( National Association for Speculative Fiction) and is on the Federation of BC and Yukon Writers (FBCW) board. A number of her short stories are published and podcast in magazines and anthologies. She’s currently working on a scifi-horror novel. KT can be found online at and @KT_Wagner


There are four categories:

  • Flash Fiction (500 words max)
  • Short Fiction (3500 words max)
  • Creative Non-Fiction (1500 words max)
  • Poetry (30 lines max)


The names of each finalist on both the long list and the short list, as well as the title of their submission and their respective communities, will be announced on the Federation website and social media. The winner will be announced on FBCW social media and through an email to all FBCW WriteOn email newsletter subscribers. 

All shortlisted entries will be offered publication in our first ever Contest Anthology. (Publication date to be determined.) 

The first place winning writers will be interviewed in WordWorks magazine.

    General details:

    • Entries must be submitted in English.
    • Entries will be read without identifiable information by the readers and judges.
    • There is no theme.
    • Titles are not included in wordcount.
    • One piece per entry.
    • You can submit as many entries as you wish.

    Entry Fee:

    • $15 for Federation of British Columbia Writers members
    • $25 for non-members


    First Place

    The first place winner in each of the 4 categories will receive the following:

      • a $350 cash prize
      • a one-year, free membership to the Federation of BC Writers
      • an interview in WordWorks magazine (print and online)
      • featuring at a Red Carpet Contest Gala
      • publishing in our first ever Contest Anthology
      • 10 copies of the anthology.

    Short List

    The short-listed writers in each of the 4 categories will receive the following:

      • a $35 cash prize
      • recognition on social media
      • publishing in our Contest Anthology
      • 3 copies of the anthology.

    * All published persons in this project will be able to order additional copies at cost.

    Contest Rules

    • All submissions must be made online through Submittable.
    • The name of the entrant must not appear anywhere on the entry document itself.
    • Work must be original and not previously published.
    • Submissions only accepted in DOC, DOCX, PDF, or RTF format in Times New Roman, 12 point font.
    • The decision of the judge is final.
    • Staff and Board members of the FBCW and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
    • Word counts will be verified using Microsoft Word.


    The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm PST on August 31, 2021.

    Contest 2022 will be announced in late Spring 2022.


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