Writing in the Margins: Briarpatch’s 3rd Annual Creative Writing Contest

Briarpatch is now accepting submissions of original, unpublished writing in the categories of short fiction and creative non-fiction for our 3rd annual creative writing contest. With award-winning writers Shani Mootoo and Marcello Di Cintio as our judges and $750 in cash prizes, this opportunity is not to be missed!


Briarpatch is seeking fresh, creative writing that brings to life issues of political, social, and environmental justice. We want writing from the edges – from new writers who have something important to say, or from longtime writers who can show us a new way of seeing things. We’re looking for bold and courageous writing that pushes the boundaries between fact and fiction, journalism and prose, deconstructing tough issues in inventive ways.

Submissions should not exceed 2000 words.

Entry fee:

Your $25 entry fee gets you a full year’s subscription to Briarpatch (regularly $28.95), which makes it hard to lose. This fee helps to cover the costs of organizing, promoting, and administrating the contest, as well as the cash prizes.

U.S. submissions cost $40 and other international submissions cost $45 to cover the additional costs of postage for your subscription.


The deadline for entry is December 1, 2013. Any entries received after midnight Central Standard Time on this date will not be considered.

We will confirm receipt of your entry within three business days. Winners will be notified, and their names published on our website, in January.

Submission Details:

Please e-mail your entries to [email protected] with the subject “Writing Contest.” The body of your e-mail should include the following information:

Author’s full name
E-mail address
Mailing address (for your subscription!)*
Phone number
Submission Title
Category (short fiction or creative non-fiction)
How you intend to pay (cheque, online, phone)

Please attach your submission as a Word or PDF document. Your submission should include the title of your work, but in order to ensure fairness and anonymity in judging, please do not indicate your name on the submission itself.

To pay your entry fee online with your credit card or PayPal account, click here:

Payment can also be made by cheque or cash (mailed separately with your name clearly identified), or over the phone with your credit card.

Please submit only one entry per person.

*If you are already receiving Briarpatch, please indicate whether you’d like us to renew your subscription for one year, or give this subscription as a gift (in which case we’ll need the address of your gift recipient).

In order to reach new subscribers, Briarpatch occasionally trades its mailing list with like-minded organizations. If you prefer not to be included in these trades, please indicate this in your e-mail.


Contest winners will be published in the March/April 2014 issue of Briarpatch and will each receive $300.

Honourable mentions will be featured online alongside contest winners at briarpatchmagazine.com and will each receive $75.

The top entry from Briarpatch’s hometown of Regina will also be treated to lunch at The Willow on Wascana with award-winning author, naturalist, and speaker Trevor Herriot. His first book, River in a Dry Land, won the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, the Regina Book Award, a CBA Libris Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. Jacob’s Wound was shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize.


This year’s short story entries will be judged by acclaimed novelist and poet SHANI MOOTOO. Her books include Cereus Blooms at Night; Valmiki’s Daughter; He Drown She in the Sea; the short story collection Out on Main Street; and the poetry collection The Predicament of Or. She is the 2012 recipient of the K. M. Hunter Artists Award for Literature. Her work is published in 15 countries and has been translated into nine languages.

Creative non-fiction entries will be judged by MARCELLO DI CINTIO, who is the author of three books of creative nonfiction including, most recently, Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. Walls won both the 2013 Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, and was nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and the B.C. National Award for Non-Fiction. Di Cintio is also a magazine writer whose work can be found in publications such as The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, and Afar.

Other details:

Entries must be original, unpublished, and not submitted simultaneously to other publications or contests.

Entrants must agree to be bound to the contest rules. The decisions of our keen-eyed judges are final.

Winners may be requested to engage in a collaborative editing process with Briarpatch editors prior to publication.

We are thankful for the support of the Regina Public Interest Research Group.