The NB Writing Competition

The New Brunswick Writing Competition began in 1985, the same year as the WFNB's date of incorporation. We’ve held it annually ever since, awarding hundreds of prizes over the decades. Many past winners have since achieved national and international publishing fame.

The 2021-2022 writing competition will open December 1, 2021 with a deadline of February 28, 2022. See guidelines below for complete details.

And we'd like to announce the addition of an eighth category this year: The Jane LeBlanc Screenwriting Award. The award was created in memory of Miramichi-born Jane LeBlanc, and is sponsored by the LeBlanc family.


WHEN: This year's competition runs from December 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022.

WHO: Open to New Brunswick residents, or to WFNB members living outside the province of NB. WFNB members pay a reduced entry fee. WFNB directors and executive are not eligible.

WHAT: All entries must be original works. For detailed guidelines, see the specific category (below) you wish to enter.

HOW: While the competition is active, submit your manuscript and payment by clicking the “SUBMIT” link at the bottom of this page. Entries can only be submitted online.

See individual categories (sidebar at right) for entry requirements, including word count. Word count includes titles. Our word limits are strict in each category.

Submit as many texts as you wish in one or all categories. Each text may be submitted to only one category. You must complete a separate entry and pay the entry fee for each manuscript entered.

You will receive an email confirming your submission has been received.

How to format and submit entries

Complete and eligible submissions to prize categories must include the following. (Please keep a copy of the complete online submission for your records.)

Prepare your manuscript

Your unpublished manuscript, containing no personal information, must be formatted as follows:

  1. Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF format;
  2. Use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman or Arial, double-spaced, (except poetry), on a 8.5 x 11 page, with at least a one inch margin on all sides (if you are submitting poetry that relies on certain formatting, we suggest submitting as a .pdf to ensure nothing shifts);
  3. Each page must be numbered in sequence and each page must include the title of the story in the header or footer;
  4. Please do not put your name on your submission. Your name should only appear on your cover letter, as the cover letter is for office use only. This ensures blind judging;
  5. The filename should include the title of your piece and the category you are submitting to (ex: MyStory_CNF.doc.)  Please do not submit files that are labelled ‘my manuscript’ or other generic titles.
Prepare your cover letter (for office use):
  1. Include your name, permanent address (not summer home or cottage), phone number, and e-mail;
  2. Provide a one-paragraph description / biographical note of the entrant, including mention of any previous writing credits, if applicable
  3. Copy and paste your cover letter into the text box provided on the category submission page.

Your complete submission and payment must be received no later than the February 28, 2021 deadline.

The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick does not accept applications that are incomplete, formatted improperly, exceed the word limit, or submitted past the deadline. Entry fees will not be refunded, so please check your application carefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the WFNB office prior to submitting your manuscript.

Please note that due to limited resources, we are unable to provide technical assistance such as formatting or attaching documents to email. If you require this kind of assistance, please speak to a friend or family member, or contact your local library branch.

Fees & Payment

Entry fees are as follows:

  • The David Adams Richards Prize for fiction and Poetry manuscripts are $35 CDN for members and $40 CDN for non-members
  • Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen writers is $5 CDN, which includes a one-year membership for youth 13-18 years.
  • Entry fee for all other categories is $20 CDN for members and $25 CDN for non-members.

When you electronically submit your entry (using the Submit Button below) you will be prompted to pay by Paypal or credit card. If you wish to pay by cheque, please choose the category that offers that option. For example, if you are submitting to the Fog Lit Prize category, choose “Books for Young People (Fog Lit Prize) Pay by cheque“.

Entries will not be considered until both the manuscript and payment have been received.

The entry fee will not be refunded if your submission is ineligible. All submissions are final: entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.


Judging is blind. Prizes will be awarded (or not) at the discretion of the judges. Judges will provide brief comments for the first-, second-, and third-place winner. We will notify all winners in late April and award the prizes at the Literary Soirée during WordSpring in May. Manuscripts will not be returned.


See individual categories for prizes. Prizes will be awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners in each category. All winners will be invited to read from their submission at the Literary Soirée during WordSpring in May, where the prizes will be awarded.

Questions? Email info@wfnb or call (506) 642-6755.

Submit your Manuscript Here

WFNB uses the Submittable online platform to accept electronic submissions.


Award Categories

  1. fiction manuscript
  2. short fiction
  3. poetry manuscript
  4. single poem
  5. books for young people
  6. young writers
  7. narrative nonfiction
  8. screenplay

Competition Categories

David Adams Richards Prize (fiction manuscript)
  • Story collection, novella, or novel extract
  • 15,000 to 30,000 words
  • Individual stories can be previously published, but a novella or novel extract must be unpublished
  • First Prize $400, Second Prize $200, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize (short fiction)
  • Single story
  • 2,000 to 4,000 words
  • First Prize $250, Second Prize $150, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Alfred G. Bailey Prize (poetry manuscript)
  • 48 to 96 pages
  • Individual poems can be previously published, but the manuscript
    must be unpublished
  • First Prize $350, Second Prize $200, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Dawn Watson Memorial Prize (single poem)
  • Single poem
  • Up to 100 lines
  • First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Accreon Books for Young People Prize
  • Short stories or poems written for young people (up to age 18)
  • Up to 4,500 words
  • First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers (age 13 to 18)
  • Short story or poem written by teens age 13 to 18
  • For short story–up to 4,000 words; for poem–up to 100 lines
  • Entry fee is $5, which also gives you a free WFNB membership
  • Only two submissions per person
  • First Prize $100, Second Prize $50, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
Narrative Nonfiction Prize
  • Narrative nonfiction prose
  • 1,500 to 3,000 words
  • First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership
The Jane LeBlanc Screenwriting Award
  • Short Film Scripts (up to 15 minutes in length)
  • Unproduced or produced accepted. (must have been written within the last two years)
  • First Prize $500, Second prize, 1 year WFNB membership



David Adams Richards

The Kyle Family, in honour of the late Viola and Douglas Kyle of Bathurst, NB

Gwen Martin, Yoho Lake NB, in honour of the late Dawn Watson>

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