Atlantic Writing Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts

Atlantic Writing Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts

Entries must be received by December 3rd, 2010.
Entry forms: .doc or html.

Established in 1975 under the auspices of the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association, the Atlantic Writing Competition has been sponsored by the Writers’ Federation since 1976. We encourage writers in Atlantic Canada to explore and celebrate their talents by sending in their new, untried work. Beginning writers may try their hand in seven categories: Novel, Juvenile/YA Novel, Short Story, Poetry, Writing for Children, Unproduced Play or Creative Non-Ficition. Established writers are also eligible but must work in an area that is new to them.

About the Competition

Manuscripts will be read by a judging panel made up of professionals – writers, editors, booksellers, librarians or teachers. Judges are chosen carefully, to balance expertise, points of view and taste. Because our aim is to encourage writers to grow and experiment, the judges will return written comments when the competition is concluded. They may comment on: imagery, rhythm, flow, marketability, characterization, plot, structure, dialogue, tone, humour, format, and presentation. Although we think these constructive comments make the Atlantic Competition different from others, we realize that some writers would prefer not to receive them. Please check the appropriate box if this is so. Judges usually finish reading and commenting by August, and winners are announced at a Gala Celebration of Writers and Writing in September. Every entrant receives written notification prior to the press release announcing competition results.

To help ensure the impartiality of the judges, each writer is asked to choose a pseudonym or pen name. Because only the pen name appears on the manuscript, no judge is ever aware of the identity of the entrant.

Categories
  • Adult Novel
    Prizes: $200, $150, $100

Entries must not exceed 100,000 words and may be in any genre – literary fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, etc. This is the only category in which manuscripts will be returned, but you must include an adequately-sized envelope with sufficient postage – stamps only. WFNS will not accept post office-generated coupons as they are only valid on the date of issue.

Due to an increasing number of submissions, a novel manuscript which has been previously submitted will not be accepted. For the sake of the judges and writers who take the competition seriously, the judges have the same prerogative as any reader at a publishing house, which is to stop reading any manuscript whose first 20 pages are rife with spelling errors and repetitions.

  • Writing for Children
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Aimed at children up to age 12, entries may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or stage plays, and may not exceed 20,000 words. Submissions may be the text of a picture book, a single poem or a collection of poems, early chapter books or junior fiction. Please do not include illustrations.

 

  • Poetry
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Up to six poems (max. 1500 words/poem) constitutes one entry. For judging purposes, please give your collection a title.

 

  • Short Story
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Entries must be less than 3000 words and may be in any genre.

 

  • Writing for Juvenile/Young Adult Audiences
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Entries may be novel manuscripts for readers aged 8 to 12 (juvenile), or 12+ (young adults). A single submission must not exceed 75,000 words.

 

  • Creative Non-Fiction
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Entries of 3,000 words maximum in any form — e.g., memoir, journalism, criticism, etc.

 

  • Play
    Prizes: $150, $75, $50

Presented in conjunction with the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre and Theatre Nova Scotia, plays must be unproduced by a professional company or community theatre and be from one to two acts.

 

Rules and Regulations
  • Eligibility

Anyone resident in the Atlantic Provinces since June 1st, 2010 is eligible to enter. Only one entry per category is allowed. Each entry requires its own entry form and registration fee.

Writers whose work has been professionally published in book form or frequently in periodical or media production may not enter in the genre in which they have been published or produced. Entries must be the original, unpublished work of the writer, and must not have been accepted for publication or submitted elsewhere.

Judges may enter but not in the category they’re judging. WFNS staff may not enter. First place winners of previous WFNS competitions may not enter in the category in which they won. Children (pre-high-school) may not enter.

To help ensure the impartiality of the judges, each writer is asked to choose a pseudonym or pen name. Because only the pen name appears on the manuscript, no judge is ever aware of the identity of the entrants.

  • Manuscripts

The writer’s real name should NOT appear on the manuscript, but the chosen pseudonym must be indicated on the entry form and appear on each manuscript page.

Manuscripts must be typed on plain white (8½ x 11 inch) paper, single-sided and double-spaced (except poetry), with at least a one inch margin on all sides. Pages must be numbered in order, in the upper right-hand corner. Copyright remains with the author. Only one entry per category is allowed.

For promotional purposes, please submit a one-paragraph description of yourself. If you have previous writing credits, please mention them.

WFNS will only return entries in the Novel Category, if accompanied by adequately sized, self-addressed envelopes. The preferred, most reliable way to ensure return of your manuscript is to purchase prepaid envelopes from Canada Post.

No entry shall be accepted for judging unless all rules and regulations are met.

Prizes

The judging process will be completed by August 2011. The winners will be announced at a Gala Celebration of Writers and Writing in September. All entrants are invited to attend the Gala.

Every writer who enters will receive written notification prior to the press release announcing the competition results. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE OFFICE.

The judges reserve the right to withhold prizes should entries not meet publishing standards. Decisions of the judges are final.

Entry Fees

Adult Novel: $35 per entry; $30 per entry for WFNS members, students or seniors.
All other categories: $25 per entry; $20 per entry for WFNS members, students or seniors.
Cheque or money order only; do not send cash in the mail. Make your cheque payable to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Make sure to include a completed entry form along with your fee.

Submit to:
Atlantic Writing Competition
Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7

Questions? E-mail WFNS at talk [at] writers.ns.ca or phone (902) 423-8116.

 

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