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The JUDGES for the 2024 New Brunswick Writing Competition have been announced!

24 Nov 2023 10:19 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

For immediate release

Moncton, NB, November 24, 2023- The 2024 annual New Brunswick Writing Competition judges have been selected, and they will review submitted unpublished manuscripts from New Brunswick writers between January 1 and March 31, 2024. The program celebrates eight categories of unpublished writing in the genre of story collection/novel, short story, single poem, poetry manuscript, books for young people, and stories by teens, as well as unpublished short film script, and narrative non-fiction.

The competition is open to all New Brunswickers. If you live outside of New Brunswick, you must be Writers' Federation of New Brunswick member to participate.

The judges for 2024 are as follows:

The David Adams Richards Prize for Fiction Manuscript – Trudy J. Morgan

(15,000 to 30,000 words - Individual stories in a collection can be previously published, but a novella or novel extract must be unpublished.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)

Trudy J. Morgan is a writer and educator in St. John's, Newfoundland. She is the author of numerous works of historical fiction including By the Rivers of Brooklyn, Most Anything You Please, and A Sudden Sun. Her latest work, the Cupids Trilogy (A Roll of the Bones, Such Miracles and Mischiefs, A Company of Rogues), is a fictional exploration of the earliest English settlements on the island of Newfoundland. Trudy's particular interest is in uncovering and re-imagining the lost and silenced voices of women in history.

The Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize for Short Fiction – Willow Kean

(Single story - 2,000 to 4,000 words. First Prize $250, Second Prize $150, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership)

Willow Kean Willow Kean is an actor and writer from Labrador West who now resides in St. John’s. She holds a BFA in theatre from Grenfell College and has spent over twenty years working for several theatre companies across Newfoundland and Labrador. Her work on film includes The Death of Winter, Hard Light, Away From Everywhere, and The King Tide. While living in South Korea, Willow was employed as a teacher, voice recording artist, and writer, researching and writing biographies and historical fiction for ESL students of all ages. She started writing collaboratively for the theatre in 2009 and has had several children’s theatre productions tour schools around the province. Willow’s five-woman comedy Supper Club was developed and workshopped with Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre and was selected for the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC) Colony in Sackville, New Brunswick, held virtually over a two-week period in May of 2020. Supper Club premiered in St. John’s at the LSPU Hall in November of 2021, and completed an island-wide Arts and Culture Centre provincial tour this past fall. She’s won NL Arts and Letters awards in both fiction and non-fiction, been shortlisted for the Cuffer Prize, the WANL Postcard Story Contest, and most recently was longlisted for the 2022 NLCU Fresh Fish Award. Willow was the recipient of the 2016 Rhonda Payne Theatre Award, and in 2018 she won the Percy Janes First Novel Award. Her novel, Eyes in Front When Running, was published by Breakwater Books in June of 2023. Willow gets angry, cooks, and writes about it at thelittleredchicken.substack.com.

The Alfred G. Bailey Prize for Poetry Manuscript – Susan Gillis

(48 to 96 pages - Individual poems can be previously published, but the manuscript must be unpublished. First Prize $350, Second Prize $200, Third Prize one year WFNB membership)

Susan Gillis has lived on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and along the St. Lawrence River, and now makes her home near Perth in eastern Ontario. Her most recent book, Yellow Crane (Brick 2018), is a meditation on ecologies of place, writing, and desire. Volta, her second book, was awarded the AM Klein Prize for Poetry; her other books have been finalists for awards from  the Quebec Writers Federation, the Association for Studies in Literature and the Environment, Relit and the League of Canadian Poets. Her work has been featured in Best Canadian PoetryJuniper, The FiddleheadGrain, and other journals in print and online. A member of the collaborative group Yoko’s Dogs, Susan also works as a poetry editor and mentor.

The Quantiphi Books for Young People Award - Lorna Schultz Nicholson

(Short stories or poems written for young people - children’s, middle grade or YA - up to 4,500 words. First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize one-year WFNB membership)

Lorna Schultz Nicholson is full-time writer who divides her time between Edmonton, Alberta and Penticton, British Columbia. She has published children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction and non-fiction sports books. Lorna’s books are about family, friendships, and, well, the ups and downs of life. We all have those, right? They are also diverse, featuring many different characters. Many of her books are about sports, (yes, hockey), so she can answer a lot of questions about that too. Of course, she loves talking about writing and her process, and she loves giving tips to students on how they can make their writing better. Lorna is a lively presenter and has been in schools across Canada. She loves instilling her love of reading and writing to any grade. 

The Dawn Watson prize for Single Poem – Jeanette Lynes.

(Single poem, up to 100 lines. First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize one-year WFNB membership)

Jeanette Lynes Jeanette Lynes is the author of seven books of poetry and three novels. Her third novel, The Apothecary’s Garden (HarperCollins Canada, 2022) was a finalist for a High Plains Book Award and two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Jeanette’s fourth novel is forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada in 2025. Jeanette’s personal essays, Apron Apocalypse, won the John V. Hicks manuscript competition in 2023. Jeanette’s most recent poetry book, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (Wolsak and Wynn/Buckrider Books) won the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Jeanette directs the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers – Jay McGrath

(Short story - 400 words, or poem - up to 100 lines, written by teens age 13 to 18. First Prize $100, Second Prize $50, Third Prize one-year WFNB membership)

Jay McGrath is an emerging author, originally from Branch, NL and currently resides in Mount Pearl, NL. Born into a community of storytellers, Jay has been putting pen to paper his whole life and enjoys writing speculative fiction. He holds an Arts Degree with a double major in English and History, as well as, a Business Degree from Memorial University. He also completed his Master of Arts in History. His debut novel, We’d Rather Fight Than Eat is available through Flanker Press. His second novel is due out in Fall 2024. He is one of the hosts of the Writer’s NL podcast Inkpod. You can follow his Author Page on Facebook – Jay McGrath, Writer.

The narrative nonfiction prize - Shelly Kawaja

(Narrative nonfiction prose - 1,500 to 3,000 words. First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership)

Shelly Kawaja won the 2022 BMO Winterset Award for her debut novel, The Raw Light of Morning. Her work can also be found in Riddle Fence, Horseshoe Literary Magazine, The Humber Literary Review and The Dalhousie Review. She was longlisted for the Bridge Prize, the Fresh Fish Award, and won the GritLIT 2020 short fiction contest. Shelly teaches creative writing at Memorial University’s Corner Brook campus and is the Fiction Reviews Editor at The Artisanal Writer Magazine. She’s a graduate of UBC’s MFA program, The Humber School for Writers and Memorial University of Newfoundland. She lives in Corner Brook with her family.

The Jane LeBlanc Screenwriting Award – Carlos Anthony

(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, $150, Third Prize, one-year WFNB membership.)

Carlos Anthony is a filmmaker and author who writes about the experiences that Black men have historically avoided talking about. He has been recognized for his video web series, short story series, published essays, and short films that explore the themes of Black adolescence, fatherhood, fidelity, provision and work ethic, healthy relationships, sex and intimacy, overcoming addiction, and abuse. Shades of Black, his first novel, was published in April, 2023. With his wife and children, Carlos lives in Windsor, Ontario. 


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