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 Unpublished writers are encouraged to submit short stories, creative nonfiction, journalism, and poetry.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 deadline for entries is Sunday, May 19, 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.


  • All writers must be 17 or over as of Tuesday, March 19, 2024
  • Writers who have published books previously may not enter, but those with publishing contracts for forthcoming books may enter. Candidates must not have had any book published prior to or during the entire duration of the award 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  • All texts submitted must remain unpublished during the entire duration of the award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 only submit one prose work
  • 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 you 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.

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