Briarpatch is now accepting submissions of original, unpublished writing for our sixth annual creative writing contest in the categories of creative non-fiction and poetry. With award-winning 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.

Non-fiction submissions should not exceed 2,000 words and poetry entries are limited to one poem that should not exceed two pages in length.

Entry fee:

Your $25 entry fee gets you a full year’s subscription to Briarpatch (regularly $29.95), 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.

Please note that 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, 2016. 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 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 (poetry 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:

Entry Fee:

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 2017 issue of Briarpatch and will each receive $300.

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

Best local entry (entrant based in Regina and surrounding area) will receive a special prize package (we will announce the prizes in coming weeks!).


This year’s poetry entries will be judged by ERIN MOURE.

Erín Moure has published 16 books of poetry, one of essays, a memoir, and has translated 15 books of poetry from French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese. Recent work include Insecession (BookThug), a biopoetics published with Chus Pato’s Secession, and Kapusta (Anansi). New in 2016 are translations of François Turcot’s My Dinosaur (BookThug), Chus Pato’s Flesh of Leviathan (Omnidawn) and Rosalía de Castro’s New Leaves (Small Stations). Planetary Noise: The Poetry of Erín Moure (edited by Shannon Maguire) is forthcoming from Wesleyan in 2017, as is her translation of Wilson Bueno’s Paraguayan Sea (Nightboat).

This year’s creative non-fiction entries will be judged by RICHARD VAN CAMP.

Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is the author of two children’s books with the Cree artist George Littlechild: A Man Called Raven and What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? He has published a novel, The Lesser Blessed, which is now a feature film with First Generation Films; his collections of short fiction include Angel Wing Splash Pattern, The Moon of Letting Go and Other Stories, Godless but Loyal to Heaven, and Night Moves.

He is the author of four baby books: Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns; Nighty Night: A Bedtime Song for Babies, and Little You (now translated into Cree, Dene, and South Slavey!) and We Sang You Home, and he has two comic books out with the Healthy Aboriginal Network: Kiss Me Deadly and Path of the Warrior. His graphic novel, Three Feathers, is about restorative justice; his new novel, Whistle, is about mental health and asking for forgiveness and his graphic novel, The Blue Raven, is about mental health. His graphic novel, A Blanket of Butterflies, is about peacemaking where a grandmother is the hero of the story and his latest graphic novel, Spirit, is about suicide prevention. Cinematic adaptations of his work include “Mohawk Midnight Runners”, by Zoe Hopkins based on Richard’s short story, “Dogrib Midnight Runners” from The Moon of Letting Go, Kelvin Redver’s adaptation of “firebear called them faith healers”, and Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s adaptation of “Hickey Gone Wrong”, based on Richard’s comic book with Chris Auchter and “Three Feathers”, which is available for viewing in Bush Cree, Dene and South Slavey as well as English, based on his graphic novel.

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.

Thank you to our sponsors: