Announcing the Winners of the 2023 NB Writing Competition

For Immediate Release

Winners Announced for the 2023 NB Writing Competition – record number of submissions

April 28, 2023 – The Writers' Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB) has announced the winners of its annual New Brunswick Writing Competition. The winners will be celebrated at a literary soiree on Friday evening, June 2, at the Saint John Central Library, as part of WFNB’s annual WordSpring writing festival, this year to be held in Saint John.

The program celebrates eight categories of unpublished writing in the genre of novel, short story, single poem, poetry manuscript, books for young people, and stories by young people, as well as unpublished short film script, and narrative non-fiction. There were a record number of submissions this year in almost every category, creating more difficult choices for the peer judges-who are chosen from outside of the province. They consistently reported that the submissions displayed a diverse spectrum of high-quality writing talent in the province. This also reflects the higher number of Honourable Mentions this year.

The finalists are as follows:

The David Adams Richards Prize for fiction
Michelle Wamboldt

First Place – Zev Bagel (Shediac, NB) for Seeking Isak Lowenstein

Second Place – Ed Lemond (New Richmond, QC) for The Last Thing She Said

Third Place – Kelly Alcorn (Rollingdam, NB), Grand Manan

Honourable Mention – Danny Jacobs (Riverview, NB), The Conic Section

Honourable Mention – Thomas Chamberlain (Rothesay, NB) Happenstance

Honourable Mention – Jenna Morton (Boundary Creek, NB) Enticed From Home

Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize

Judge: Marianne Ward

First Place -- Cheyenne Kean-Lemery (Sackville, NB), The Yellow Door  

Tied for Second Place —       Trent Pomeroy (Rothesay, NB), Now That We Can Choose

                                                Brent Mazerolle (Moncton, NB) Setting the Hook

Third Place—Trent Pomeroy (Rothesay, NB), Holes 

Honourable Mention:  Ruth McLean (Riverview, NB), Monday Morning, Rain or Shine 

The Alfred G. Bailey Prize for Poetry Manuscript

Judge: Alice Burdick

First Prize: Agata Antonow (Florenceville-Bristol, NB ) Her Strange Position

Second Prize: John McNeil (, NB), Bigfoot at the Lord Nelson

Third Prize: Ian LeTourneau (Fredericton, NB), Metadata from a Changing Climate

The Dawn Watson Memorial Prize for Single Poem

Judge: Dr. Sean Wiebe

First Place: Melanie Craig-Hansford (Hampton, NB), My other ride is your Mother

Second Place: Heather Gunn (Shediac, NB) Cosmopolitan Magazine says I should be Tangled in the Sheets

Third Place: Melanie Craig-Hansford (Hampton, NB), The Night I Lost Her

Honourable Mention: Kathleen MacDonald (Saint Andrews, NB) Flakes of Winter

The Quantiphi Books for Young People Prize

Judge: Kristen Butcher

First place, Kelly Alcorn (Rollingdam, NB), Randy the Race Coon

Second place, Leo LaFleur (Saint John, NB), The Black Branch

Third place, Gail Collette (Miramichi, NB), The Climate Changes Terr

Honourable Mention, Odette Barr (Petit Cap, NB), Arrivals and Departures

The Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers

Judge: Hope Dalvay

First Place—Charlotte Upright (Moncton, NB), A Valley of Burnt Skies

Second Place—Grace Pusey (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB), Floopinsbag, Duffelnoth, and Sir George the Scared

Third PlaceLiam Johnson (Saint John, NB),Winter’s Claws

Honourable Mention—Sarah Hackett (Moncton, NB), Eyes of the Elephant

Honourable Mention – Emily Keats (Fredericton, NB) Not So Ugly Duckling

Honourable Mention (Poetry) – Tori Garnett (Saint John, NB) The Blooming Sunflower

Honourable Mention (Poetry) – Awatif Osman (Shediac, NB) Obituary

The Narrative Non-Fiction Prize

Judge: Chris Benjamin

First place: Shaun Cunningham (Sackville, NB), The Werewolf

Second place: Brent Mazerolle (Moncton, NB), My Brothers Dying Young and Other Things that Have Made Me Happy

Third place: Pat Stafford (Saint Andrews, NB), La Riunione (The Reunion)

Honourable Mention: Allison Calvern (Ottawa, ON), A Brother, Two Weddings, and a Funeral

The Jane LeBlanc Screenwriting Award

Judge: Kaitlyn Adair

First Place: MacKenzie Power (Fredericton, NB), Gin Soaked Bride

Second Place—Todd Fraser (Fredericton, NB) One Hundred Thousand Welcomes

Third Place—Jacquelyn Clydesdale (Saint John, NB), The Wonder of it All

The WFNB congratulates all the winners, and all who submitted to the 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. It opens every year on December 1.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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
Go And Write!


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.

WHEN: The 2023-24 season will run from December 1, 2023 to February 28, 2024. 


  • Open to New Brunswick residents, and all WFNB members, including those living outside the province of NB. 
  • WFNB members pay a reduced entry fee. 
  • WFNB directors and executive are not eligible.


  • All entries must be original, unpublished works. 
  • Entries must not have been accepted for publication, or previously published in magazines, online magazines, blogs, other online publications, or in self-published works. 
  • For detailed guidelines, see the specific category under "Submission Categories" above


  1. Review the submission category guidelines before submitting (word limits are strict in each category)
  2. Prepare your submission (see Writing Competition Format)
  3. Wait for the competition to open on December 1
  4. Go to the WFNB Writing Competition page (this one!)
  5. Select the category you're submitting to
  6. Click the "Add to Cart" button
  7. Complete the checkout process
  8. Reply to your payment receipt email and attach your submission and cover letter, or send your attachments in a separate email to


  • We notify all winners in early May. 
  • All winners will be invited to read from their submission at the Literary Soirée during WordSpring, where the prizes will be awarded. 
  • Judges will provide brief comments for the first-, second-, and third-place winner.


  • 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.
  • Judging is blind. Prizes will be awarded (or not) at the discretion of the judges.

© 2021 Writers' Federation of New Brunswick

Territorial Acknowledgement

The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick acknowledges that the land on which we live, work and gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples, and we honour the spirit of our ancestors’ Treaties of Peace and Friendship.

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