New Voices Award submissions due April 3

By | March 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm | 8 comments | News | Tags: , , , , ,

Now accepting submissions for the New Voices Award for emerging writers

PEN Canada is now accepting submissions for the second PEN International New Voices Award. The annual award aims to encourage new writing and to provide a space where young, unpublished writers can submit their work. The winning writer, selected from the submissions of PEN centres around the world, will be published by PEN International and will receive a $1000 prize.

PEN Canada is now accepting submissions up to midnight April 3rd, 2014. Once these have been reviewed, an independent jury will review a shortlist and submit one entry to the international jury.

Submissions to PEN Canada must be in English. The chosen entry will be translated into PEN’s two other official languages (Spanish, French) and submitted to PEN International. All judging will be blind. For detailed submission guidelines and terms of entry please read on. 

Read an interview with Claire Battershill who was nominated by PEN Canada and shortlisted for the 2013 New Voices Award. Read her submission, a short story entitled “The Collective Name for Ninjas”.

PEN Canada New Voices Award jury

Stacey May FowlesStacey May Fowles is a writer and magazine professional living in Toronto. Her first novel, Be Good, was published by Tightrope Books in 2007. In fall 2008 she released an illustrated novel, Fear of Fighting, and staged a theatrical adaptation of it with Nightwood Theatre. The novel was later selected as a National Post Canada Also Reads pick for 2010. Her writing has appeared in various magazines and journals, including The Walrus, Elle Canada, Hazlitt, Taddle Creek, Prism, and Maisonneuve. She currently works at The Walrus, and is a regular contributor to the National Post. Her latest novel, Infidelity, was out with ECW press in fall 2013. It was selected as an Amazon Best Book of 2013.
Mark MedleyMark Medley is the National Post‘s Books Editor and oversees the paper’s books blog, The Afterword. His work has appeared in publications across North America, including Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and across the Postmedia chain of newspapers. He currently sits on PEN Canada’s Board of Directors and serves on the Advisory Committee of The Humber School for Writers.
Ian ReidIain Reid’s first book, the critically acclaimed comic memoir, One Bird’s Choice, won the CBC Bookie Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the year and was translated into multiple languages. His most recent book, The Truth About Luck, was named by the Globe and Mail as a best book of 2013. In 2012, Reid was named by the Globe and Mail as a top-5 up-and-coming Canadian author. He writes a regular column about books and writing for the National Post. Reid is a graduate of Queen’s University where he studied history, English literature and philosophy.


Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions must be received before midnight April 3, 2014
  • 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:

  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 below.
  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. Download the full submission guidelines below.
  • 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 be over 17 but under the age of 30 on May 20, 2014
  • All writers should be current residents of Canada. Applicants outside of Canada wishing to participate should submit through the PEN Centre nearest them.
  • 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 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

PEN Canada

  • Submissions to PEN Canada will be shortlisted and then evaluated by an independent jury
  • PEN Canada will nominate one entry for submission to PEN International, which will be translated into French and Spanish


PEN International

  • PEN International will draw up an initial longlist of entries received from PEN centres in-house; each of these texts will be assessed in English, French and Spanish by the judging panel. PEN International will also arrange an assessment of the entries in their original language
  • PEN International has assembled a judging panel of five experts: Xi Chuan, Kiran Desai, Alberto Manguel, Alexandre Postel, and Kamila Shamsie.
  • The initial longlist will be passed to the panel, each of whom will choose their own longlist of six
  • The judges will confer to finalize one single longlist of six, and subsequently a shortlist of three
  • All longlisted writers can request feedback and advice on the next steps to take toward a writing career
  • All shortlisted entries are eligible for publication by PEN International and its Centres
  • The shortlist of three writers may be asked to participate in later events through PEN International
  • The winning writer will be announced during the PEN International Congress
  • The winning entry will be published by PEN International
  • The winning writer will receive an award of $1,000 USD
  • All translators will receive full accreditation and recognition
  • The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into
  • PEN International reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice
  • Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but PEN International will have the unrestricted right to publish entries in the e-anthology, in print, on the website, and in any relevant promotional material


Please contact Mica McCurdy via e-mail ( or telephone (416.703.8448 ext. 27) if you have any questions.

Submission Cover Sheet

Submission Guidelines

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