Free Writing Contests Canada

"Whoa! Two contests for short shorts!"
"Yeah, and one of them's free!"

The Writer’s Union of Canada Postcard Story Competition
The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted for its annual Postcard Story Competition for the best Canadian story of up to 250 words in the English language. Are you up for the challenge? Can you create a dramatic, short, snappy piece in only 250 words? You can use humour, poetry, dialogue… anything goes!

Award: $750 and the winning entry will be published in Write: The Magazine of The Writers' Union of Canada and in postcard format.

Eligibility: This competition is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Story must be previously unpublished, fiction or nonfiction.

Deadline: February 14. Entry Fee: $7.50. Submission instructions and complete rules here.

For a great example of a winning entry, read "The Invasion of the Snotty Badgers" by Karin Weber – it will only take you a minute. See here.

The Binnacle's free ultra-short competition for prose or poetry
The Binnacle is the University of Maine’s Literary and Arts magazine. It accepts submissions from writers all over the world and sponsors an annual contest that everybody should enter: The Binnacle’s ultra-short competition. There’s no fee and your piece doesn’t have to be long at all. In fact, for prose and poetry the maximum length is 150 words (sixteen lines max for poems).

All submissions should be made via email to
Please include the work in the body of the email.

Winning entries will be published, and a minimum of 0 in cash awards will be awarded, with a minimum award of . At least one of the awards will go to a UMM student. Please submit no more than two works total, prose and/or poetry. When you submit your work, please be sure to include your postal address as well as a thirty-five to fifty word self-description.

Deadline February 15. No entry fee. Full contest rules here.

Regular submissions:
As a literary journal, The Binnacle accepts submissions, too, both from the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maine at Machias and from writers and artists anywhere in the world. Please submit original poetry, short fiction, short short fiction, creative non-fiction, as well as photography and other works of visual art, both color and black and white. Please limit submissions to 2500 words.

The Binnacle accepts submissions year round, with submissions made September 15 to March 15 considered for the spring edition and submissions made March 15 to Oct 15 for the fall edition.

Full submission guidelines here. Visit the Binnacle's home page here.

For information about all the annual writing contests in Canada, order the Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar. Just $23.50 including shipping. For details email

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