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Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

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Call for submissions: Creative writing prizes and awards

Published: 8 February 2024

The Department of English invites undergraduates and graduate students to submit applications for creative writing prizes and awards. Whether you're penning captivating narratives or crafting poignant poetry, this is your chance to showcase your talent and creativity. Before you begin, make sure to carefully consult the application instructions provided below.

  • The MONA ADILMAN PRIZE IN POETRY, for one student, estimated value $500, or for two students, estimated value $250, is open to undergraduate or graduate students registered in the Faculty of Arts for the best poem or group of poems relating to ecological or environmental concerns.
  • The CLARK LEWIS MEMORIAL PRIZE, estimated value $400, is open to major or honours students in the Department of English. Awarded annually or from time to time for best submission in creative writing of a dramatic piece (or the award may occasionally be given for creative work in drama other than written work staged during the academic year). The play must be an unpublished original stage play of any length in English or French and a list of characters must be provided before the first page of dialogue.
  • The CHESTER MACNAGHTEN PRIZES IN CREATIVE WRITING, two prizes, one of estimated value $600, one of estimated value $300, are open to undergraduate students of the University for the best piece of creative writing in English, i.e. a story, a play, a poem, an essay, etc. Submissions published in print before April 22, 2024, are ineligible.
  • The PETERSON MEMORIAL PRIZE, estimated value $2,000, is open to undergraduate or graduate students registered in a degree program in the Department of English with distinction in English Literature (CGPA 3.30 or above) who has also shown creative literary ability.
  • The LIONEL SHAPIRO AWARDS FOR CREATIVE WRITING, three prizes, estimated value $1,300 each, to be distributed if possible among the genres of poetry, fiction, screen writing and playwriting. Each prize is to be awarded on the recommendation of the Department of English to students in the final year of the B.A. course who have demonstrated outstanding talent (you must be completing all your program and degree requirements.)

Submission details

Submit entries to undergradadvising.english [at] from your McGill email address and include your student number, degree programs and year in the email.

Submit one pdf file per prize (combine several items in one file if you are submitting more than one work for a prize). Name the files for the prizes and include your McGill ID number in the following manner: monaXXXXXX.pdf, chesterXXXXXX.pdf, clarXXXXXXk.pdf, petersonXXXXXX.pdf, shapiroXXXXXX.pdf. Your name or ID must NOT appear anywhere on the submitted files.

The submitted files must be double-spaced and in a regular 12-pitch font (italics or bold are of course acceptable as part of an occasional desired effect). Each entrant should observe a normal maximum of 20 pages. Writers of lengthy prose fiction and writers of drama may submit a single work of fiction or drama up to 40 double-spaced pages but should not include any other works in their submission.

All competitions are restricted to students who have not previously won the First Prize.

Deadline for submissions: Monday, April 22, 2024

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