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.
THE BEACON AWARD FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE LITERATURE
is a new prize for an unpublished novel.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The winning manuscript will be unpublished and of high literary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
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 www.beaconaward.ca. 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.
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:
1177 Hwy 1, R.R.#1,
Falmouth NS, B0P 1L0