Call For Submissions: RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award 2019


PEN Canada is now accepting English language submissions for the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award. The annual award aims to encourage new writing and to provide a space where young, unpublished writers can submit short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. A jury of distinguished PEN Canada members will judge the shortlisted submissions and applicants have a chance to win $3,000 CAD and mentorship from a Canadian author.

Please submit your entries by 5pm April 15, 2019 Midnight April 21 2019. Submissions to PEN Canada must be in English. All judging will be blind. For detailed submission guidelines and terms of entry please read on. 

The RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award is generously funded by the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

RBC Emerging Artists Project
RBC Emerging Artists Project

Submission Guidelines

      • All submissions must be received by 5pm April 15, 2019 Midnight April 21 2019
  • Please send all submissions to:
  • No entry may be altered after submission
  • It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email

Entries must be emailed and must include two separate documents:

  1. 1. Cover sheet – this should state applicant contact information (address, phone, email), date of birth, and the title of work being submitted. Download the cover sheet template here.
  2. 2. Submission – short stories, creative non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. The title of the submission should appear in the top margins of each page and match the title stated on the cover sheet. The filename of the submission must be the title of the submission and it must be a MS Word file or .rtf.  PDFs will not be accepted.

All entries are judged anonymously. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME on the document, only on the cover sheet.


  • All writers must 17 or over but under the age of 30 on April 21, 2019
  • Writers who have published books may not enter but those with publishing contracts for forthcoming books may enter. Candidates must not have had any book published, in any genre, during the entire duration of the award.
  • Writers who have published pamphlets, or whose work has appeared in magazines and journals may enter.
  • All texts entered must be the work of one author only.
  • All texts submitted must remain unpublished during the entire duration of the award.

Prose Submissions

  • Prose entries must be between 2,000-4,000 words
  • Short stories should be double-spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page
  • Writers may only submit one prose work

Poetry Submissions

  • Poetry entries may take the form of individual poems, a sequence, or one long poem of no more than 2,500 words in total
  • Poems to be single-spaced and a line count noted at the top of the first page

Terms and Conditions

  • Submissions to PEN Canada will be shortlisted and then evaluated by an independent jury.