Island Literary Awards Open for Submissions; Deadline March 7

Prince Edward Island’s premiere literary awards event celebrates its 21st birthday this year.

For over two decades now, the ILAs have encouraged and rewarded some of the province’s best writers in their craft with cash awards and recognition. The PEI Writers’ Guild and the PEI Council of the Arts, sponsors of the event, are excited to announce that the 2008 ILA competition is now open for submissions.

Submissions are invited to competitions for creative writing for Island youth, children’s literature, poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction in the following categories:

The Aliant Creative Writing Awards for Young People
Students may write on the topic of their choice and submit in one of four sub-categories: Early Elementary, Late Elementary, Junior High and Senior High. A maximum of five pages of poetry, or a five-page short story, will constitute an entry. Longer submissions will NOT be accepted. There is no entry fee. Prizes: First: $100; Second $75; Third $50 will be awarded in EACH sub-category.

The Department of Education Young Writer’s Award
Students attending intermediate school (grades 7– 9 inclusive) may enter a story, a poem or a series of poems on a topic of their choice. A maximum of 10 pages will constitute an entry. There is no entry fee. Prizes: First $75; Second $50; Third $25

Student Participation Award
The school with the highest number of student submissions will be recognized with a certificate at the Awards Ceremony.

Lucy Maud Montgomery* PEI Literature for Children Award

The manuscript must be a story written for children ages five through twelve years. One children’s story (maximum length 60 pages), will constitute an entry. Illustrations may be submitted with the story. Entry fee for each submission is $15. Prizes: First $500; Second $200; Third $100.

Milton Acorn Poetry Award
One entry consists of eight (minimum) to 10 pages (maximum) of poetry. Entry fee for each submission is $15. Prizes: First $500; Second $200; Third $100.

Short Story Award
One short story, maximum length 2500 words, will constitute an entry. Entry fee for each submission is $15. Prizes: First $500; Second $200; Third $100.

Creative Nonfiction Award
This is a nonfiction category that includes humour writing, memoir, biography, essay (including personal essay), travel writing and feature articles. It involves writing about real events, people, or ideas, conveying your message through the use of literary techniques such as characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, narrative, and personal reflection. In works of creative nonfiction, the writer’s voice and opinion are evident. The work should be accessible to a general reading audience (i.e., not written for a specialized or academic audience). Maximum length: 2500 words. Entry fee for each submission is $15. Prizes: First $500; Second $200; Third $100.


Deadline for entries: Friday, March 7, 2008. Entries must be postmarked or submitted by hand to the PEI Council of the Arts, 115 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, PE, CIA IH7 by 4 p.m., Friday, March 7, 2008. Those postmarked or delivered later will not be eligible. There are absolutely NO exceptions.

Participants may submit as many entries as they wish in one or all categories. A writer may only win one prize per category, and each text may be submitted to only one category.

For each manuscript entered, participants must complete a separate entry form.


Open to individuals who have been residents of PEI for six months preceding March 7, 2008.

Authors who have published a book are not eligible to submit in the genre(s) in which they have been published. (A book is defined as having at least 48 printed pages [with the exception of children’s books, which must contain at least 24 printed pages], a print run of at least 500 copies [exceptions are poetry collections, with a required minimum of 400 copies, and stage plays, with a required minimum of 350], be published principally in English, French or one of Canada’s Aboriginal languages, and must carry an ISBN from Library and Archives Canada.)

Winners of 2007 ILA first prize awards are not eligible to enter this year in the category in which they won first prize, EXCEPT in the student categories.

The work must be original and unpublished.

Prize-winning work from any other competition is not eligible for entry.


A $15 entry fee is required for EACH entry EXCEPT the Aliant Creative Writing Awards for Young People and the Department of Education Young Writer’s Award. Payment is by cheque or money order made out to the PEI Council of the Arts. DO NOT SEND or BRING CASH. NSF cheques will result in the submission being disqualified. Participants may submit as many entries as they wish, however, EACH must be accompanied by a $15 entry fee, excepting the two young writers’ categories listed above.


Writers MUST submit THREE copies of each entry. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS INCLUDES STUDENT ENTRIES. The three copies are required so that we may retain one copy in a central location for ILA records and give each of the two category judges a copy of each entry. Please retain either the original or a copy for yourself. Entries will be disqualified if three copies are not supplied.

With ONE exception, entries shall be typed, in 12 point font, with reasonable margins, double-spaced (except for poetry), and on one side of the page. The EXCEPTION is the Aliant Creative Writing Awards for Young People category entries for Grades 1 – 6, which may be written by hand (double-spaced).

Pages MUST be numbered, and it would be appreciated if the title of the submission appeared on each page.

No fax or e-mail entries will be accepted.

All submissions are final: no changes or substitutions are allowed. Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Entries will not be returned and editorial comments will not be given on the entries.

Acknowledgement of receipt will be sent via email to those who provide a valid email address. If you want to receive acknowledgment by regular mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your entry.

EACH entry MUST include:
(a) An entry form/covering page which lists the title of the entry, the category, author’s name(s), address and telephone number. For the Aliant Creative Writing Awards for Young People, this covering page must also contain the school’s name and the grade of the author(s). Please check the PEI Council of the Arts ILA webpage (www.peica/ila) for a sample entry form which can be downloaded, or, if desired, entry forms may also be picked up at the PEI Council of the Arts office.

(b) A title page which lists only the title of the entry and, if desired, an author’s note.

The appearance of the author’s name(s) or other identification mark on the entry, other than on the entry form/covering page, shall DISQUALIFY THE ENTRY. Students – your name(s) must appear ONLY on the covering page or your submission will be disqualified.

Authors are advised to notify the Program Officer at the PEI Council of the Arts at (902) 620-3417 or toll-free at 1-888-PEI-ARTISTS should they change their address and/or telephone number after submitting.

This information is also available on the PEI Arts Council website:

Please address entries and correspondence to:
Island Literary Awards
PEI Council of the Arts
115 Richmond Street
Charlottetown, PE

Phone: 902.620.3417

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy Birt says:

    Am I to understand that any entry in the Literary Wards competition has to be an unpublished work?

    The Feature Article Award which has been replaced with the Creative Nonfiction, did allow for published or unpublished work.

    Which really makes sense as we freelance writers need to earn a living, therefore have everything we write, published.

    Which is the case for me. However, I would like to enter the Creative Nonfiction, and see that the potential entries have to be nonpublished work. Too bad. Correct me if I’m wrong.


    Kathy Birt

  2. Yen O. says:

    I thought I wasnt going to like this blog but more I read the more I liked it.

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