19th Annual Short Story and Poetry Contest

Dream of seeing yourself onstage at the Vancouver Writers Fest one day? 

Submit your best, unpublished writing to our Short Story and Poetry Contest! Past contest winners include Festival authors and many other talented writers from across Canada. 

Contest opens: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Contest closes: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 5:00pm

Entries will be judged by authors Théodora Armstrong, Chelene Knight and Sam Wiebe.

The Rewards: 

  • 1st prize - Poetry: $500 cash prize + publication in subTERRAIN magazine and writersfest.bc.ca + editorial evaluations of written works provided courtesy of FriesenPress (value of $750).
  •  1st prize - Short Story: $500 cash prize + publication in subTERRAIN magazine and writersfest.bc.ca + editorial evaluations of written works provided courtesy of FriesensPress (value of $750).
  • 2nd prize - $350 cash prize + publication on writersfest.bc.ca

The Rules:

  1. The contest is open to all writers.
  2. Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished work in each category: Poetry (any style): 500 word limit; Creative Short Fiction: 1,500 word limit
  3. Entries will be judged blind. Please do not put your name on your story or poem in the file you have uploaded or in the file name.
  4. There is a $15 entry fee for each short story or poem you enter in the contest, payable online through PayPal.
  5. We will accept entries in MS Word Document or PDF formats. Please use standard margins, 12-point font and double spacing.
  6. Winners will be selected by a panel of professionals from the publishing and book industry.
  7. Entries must be uploaded and payment confirmed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
  8. Winners will be announced by Monday, October 16, 2017.
  9. The editorial evaluation from FriesenPress will consist of detailed feedback from a professional editor about the strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript. Manuscripts must be fewer than 60,000 words.

Please fill out all the required fields and attach your contest submission at the link below. If you would like to submit more than one entry, you will have to return to this form and submit each one separately.

Submit your entry

Thank you to our generous sponsor, FriesenPress.



After careful deliberation, our 2016 judges--Evelyn Lau and Raoul Fernandes--have selected the winners of the 2016 Poetry and Short Story Contest! These pieces were selected out of 200+ entries.


  • 1st Place: Jenny Yiu of Richmond, BC for "Leftovers"
  • 2nd Place: Cristina Melo of Coquitlam, BC for "Remember?"


  • 1st Place: Chloe Burns of Edmonton, AB for "THAW"
  • 2nd Place: Chelsea Comeau of New Westminster, BC for "Ketchikan" 

Click on the name of the winning piece to read it online and look for it in an upcoming issue of subTerrain magazine.