Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition

Our inaugural annual Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition is open to writers across Canada. We actively encourage submissions from all writers who are 18+ years of age, including writers with disabilities; writers in the 2SLGTBQIA+ communities; BIPOC writers; and other under-represented communities.

Send your manuscripts following submission guidelines to MWGcontesto@gmail.com. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Recommended by Reedsy - Best Writing Contests - 2023

Entry Fee

$20 CAD per entry deposited by midnight on March 1, 2023.
Submissions Open: December 1, 2022
Submissions Close: March 1, 2023 at 11:59 CST

Payments are accepted by:
E-transfer to donate.mwg@gmail.com (include “writing competition” in the message box) or Pay by Square here.


First Place
$1,000 CAD

Three-year complimentary membership*

Second Place
$600 CAD

Two-year complimentary membership*

Third Place
$400 CAD

One-year complimentary membership*

*Non-Manitoban residents receive Associate membership. Associate members have all the rights of membership excluding the rights to vote and to serve on the board.


The three prize winners plus up to three honourable mentions will be published in an eBook anthology by the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. By submitting your entry to this contest, you agree to give the Manitoba Writers’ Guild’s first North American eBook rights for six months from the date of publication, after which all rights revert to the author if your story is selected. Proceeds from the sale of the e-book will be used to support future Manitoba Writers’ Guild writing competitions.


Raye Anderson headshot
Photo by Kayla Gordon

Raye Anderson, author of The Roxanne Calloway Mystery Series, finalist for the Best First Crime Novel (Crime Writers of Canada) and finalist for the WILLA Award in the Original Softcover Fiction category. Her second book in the series, And Then Is Heard No More (Signature Editions) was selected for the Winnipeg Free Press Summer Book Club (2022). A fourth book is planned for next year.

Frances Koncan

Frances Koncan, Writer-in-Residence at the Millennium Library (2022-23), was formerly Writer–Residence at the University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture (2021). Of Anishinaabe and Slovene descent, she brings her knowledge of diverse cultures to her writing, winning the Best New Manitoba Play award at the Winnipeg Fringe (2016) and Best New Play award at the Toronto Fringe Festival (2018). Her most recent play premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2021.

Zilla Jones
Photo by Ian McCausland

Zilla Jones judged for the Malahat Review and is participating in the award-winning Millennium Library Program for young writers, sponsored by Creative Manitoba. She was a Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program apprentice, mentored by Angeline Schellenberg, and is represented by a Canadian Transatlantic agent. Zilla won first place in the Malahat Review Open Season, Prism International Jacob Zilber award, FreeFall and GritLit festival awards, and was runner up in The Puritan Austin Clarke WRd and Prairie Fire fiction contest. A member of the Guild, her writing expertise and critiques are widely respected in our Writing Critique Circles.

Bob Armstrong
Photo by Rosemary Szabadka

Bob Armstrong, winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction (2022) for Prodigies and author of the weekly column, Paper Chase, in the Winnipeg Free Press. His most recently published short story appears in The Uncharted Territory issue of Prairie Fire (2022).

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions open December 1, 2022.
  • Submissions close March 1, 2023 at 11:59 CST.
  • Short prose in English must be 2,500-5,000 words maximum in any fiction genre.
  • Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents only.
  • Submissions should be submitted in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and first line indents.
  • Include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of your document with the story title in the header of each page.
  • This is a blind judging contest. There should be no identifying information on the story document. Your submission will consist of two documents:
    • Your manuscript with its title and no other identifying information.
    • A cover letter that contains your name, home address, email address, telephone number, story title, and word count. Please specify if you are a Guild member, non-member, or member of another out-of-province writing organization.
  • The judges’ decisions are final.
  • No simultaneous submissions. Entries must be previously unpublished and not under consideration by any other publication. Previously published includes both traditionally and self-published in print and e-format including all printed formats, ezines, blogs, online literature sites, and newsletters.
  • All entries must be original works by the entrant. The use of third-party poetry, song lyrics, characters, or another person’s universe, without written permission, will result in disqualification.
  • We are accepting only email submissions for this contest. Please make sure the file is sent as a .pdf, .doc/.docx or .txt document.
  • Send submissions and inquiries to mwgcontesto@gmail.com.

We’re excited to see where your imagination leads you!

Financial assistance provided by the Manitoba Arts Council

Manitoba Arts Council logo