The BEACON AWARD for Social Justice Literature


The BEACON AWARD for Social Justice Literature

Non-fiction can move a reader to take action on an issue of social

justice through ideas and information. Fiction can use these channels plus

feeling and imagination. Fiction can draw readers into a sympathetic

connection with someone they would originally have perceived as very

different from themselves. It can present struggles and alternative possibilities in a three dimensional way.


is a new prize for an unpublished novel.

Its purpose is to stimulate the creation, publication and dissemination of new

works of fiction designed to ignite readers’ passion for and understanding

of social justice.


The main prize includes $1000 and publication by Roseway Publishing.

The jury can choose not to award the prize if no manuscript is submitted that

meets the judging criteria.

Two “encouragement” prizes of $500 are available for the jury to award to

promising writers. We particularly want to encourage writers from marginalized groups; for example, Aboriginal, Black, young, elder, gay/lesbian, transgendered, New Canadian writers, or writers with a disability or psychiatric diagnosis.


The jury will consist of three distinguished writers, critics and

teachers involved in social justice literature.

Criteria for Judging

The winning manuscript will be unpublished and of high literary

quality with engaging characters, a vividly described setting, a realistic

social/political situation and a plot that lures the reader into staying up late to

find out what happens.

The story will portray a struggle for social justice, at both the individual and

collective levels.

The writer will demonstrate a clear, analytical grasp of class, race, gender

and other forms of injustice that play a role in the story.

The author will be writing from his or her own experience or location in

the struggle portrayed, grappling with his or her position as a member of an

oppressed or dominant group in the story.

The intended audience for the book can be adult or young adult.

The writer must be a resident of one of the three Maritime provinces.

The writer must be willing to accept a process of editing in preparation

for publication and participate in the publisher’s promotional activities for the



To enter the competition for the Beacon Award, writers will

submit a completed submission form accompanied by their final manuscript.

The submission form and manuscript must be provided in an electronic

format (email attachment, CD/DVD or memory stick). The submission form can be found on the Beacon Award website at It asks for the following information:

• the author’s name, contact information and a short biography;

• the title and word count of the manuscript;

• a summary of the themes explored in the novel;

• a description of how you believe your novel meets the judging criteria

for the competition;

• a description of the intended audience for the novel and an

overview of how you would contribute to the publicity and marketing of the book if it is published;

• a chapter-by-chapter summary of the novel, including a brief description

of the main characters and settings.


The Beacon Award is administered by the Board of Directors of the Beacon

Social Justice Literary Society.

Annual Calendar

Deadline for submissions: February 1, 2011

List of ten finalists chosen: May 1, 2011

Jury meeting: August 2011

Announcement of prizes: October 2011

Estimated date of publication: Fall 2012

For further information:

Beacon Award

1177 Hwy 1, R.R.#1,

Falmouth NS, B0P 1L0


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