Submissions open for the 2024 RBC PEN Canada New Voices Award

PEN Canada is now accepting English-language submissions for the 2024 RBC PEN Canada New Voices Award. 

The annual award supports and celebrates emerging talent in Canadian literature. Unpublished writers are encouraged to submit short stories, creative nonfiction, journalism, and poetry. The shortlisted submissions will be judged by a distinguished jury of Canadian writers

The winning entry will receive a $3,000 CAD cash prize and mentorship from a Canadian author.

The EXTENDED deadline for entries is MONDAY, MAY 20, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 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.


  • Writer must a Canadian citizen or have Canadian permanent residence status
  • Writer must be 17 or over as of Tuesday, March 19, 2024
  • Writers who have published books* through a publisher may NOT enter. However, self-published authors may enter.
  • Writers with publishing contracts for forthcoming books may enter, however it must not be published prior to or during the jury selection process (March 19 – June 30, 2024)
  • 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  • All texts submitted must remain unpublished during the entire duration of the award
  • No entry may be altered after submission

How to submit to the New Voices Award

To submit, please prepare two separate Word files and attach to an email, sent to Those two files are:

1. A cover sheet, which must include:

  • your first and last name
  • contact information (address, phone, email)
  • date of birth
  • title of work

As an example, download our template cover sheet.

2. The work for submission, which must:

  • Include the title of the work in the header on each page as well as in the filename of the document
  • Be a Microsoft Word file (.doc, .docx); PDFs will not be accepted
  • Be in English
  • Prose Submissions
    • Between 2,000-4,000 words
    • Double-spaced
    • Include a word count at the top of the first page
    • Writers may submit up to six works of prose
  • Poetry Submissions
    • No more than 2,500 words combined, whether individual poems, a sequence, or one long poem
    • Single-spaced
    • Include a line count at the top of the first page

As entries are judged anonymously, only include your name in the cover sheet you include separately, and DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME in the work itself.

Terms and Conditions

Submissions to PEN Canada will be shortlisted and then evaluated by an independent jury.  It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can self-published writers enter?

Yes, self-published writers can enter. 

Can I enter if I’ve entered before, or been a finalist before? 

Yes, if you’ve ever entered before or were a finalist in previous years, you may submit again. It is only previous winners who should not submit because they are ineligible. 

Is this open to writers outside of Canada? 

Candidates must either be Canadian citizens (in Canada or living abroad) or have Canadian PR status. If you are a Canadian living abroad, please provide a Canadian address and phone number if you have one on your cover page.

Can I enter more than once? 

Yes, you may submit up to six prose entries, but you must include a separate cover page for each entry.

Can I enter both prose and poetry categories? 

Yes, you may enter both categories.


Please contact Theresa Johnson via email ( if you have any further questions.