Canadian high school students currently in grades 9 through 12 are invited to submit 1,000 - 2,000 words of literary nonfiction. Please note the deadline for the 2015 contest has passed. Information about the 2016 writing contest will be announced in early 2016.


  • When will we find out the winners?

    The winners will be announced on June 9, 2015. Check back here, follow us on Twitter @writerstrust, or like us on Facebook for updates. We like to post about writing contests, Canadian literary awards, and general bookish fun.

  • What IS literary nonfiction?
    Also referred to as creative nonfiction, the genre uses literary devices to present a factual story and features a personal, identifiable voice. Literary nonfiction includes (but is not limited to) works of personal and journalistic essays, articles, memoirs, commentary, both social and political criticism, history, and biography. 

    If you're still wondering, try asking your English teacher for help or send us an email.

  • What should I aim for?
    The winning work will demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. 
    The overall effect of such writing should provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the issue at hand. You might want to explore some of our past Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalists for inspiration. 

  • How much does it cost?
    There is no fee to enter this contest.

  • When is it due?
    Entries must be received by March 31, 2015.

  • How do I enter the contest?
    Please submit your writing online at: 

    See our
    Submit section for more details.
  • What if the winner can't make it to Toronto in fall 2015?
    Not a problem, we'll find a way to recognize them nonetheless. Perhaps they could appear via Skype or film something in advance of the ceremony. Either way, we'll make it work.

  • Are homeschooled students eligible?
    Yes, grade 9-12 Canadian students learning at home may submit to this contest.
  • Can talented younger or older students submit their writing?
    We can only accept entries from Canadian students under the age of 21 who are currently in grades 9-12.
  • Can I submit more than one entry?
    We can only accept one piece of writing per student, so pick your best!
  • I have more questions, who can I contact?
    Try asking your favourite English teacher for help. You can also email our community manager, Katrina Afonso, at or call her toll free at 1 877 906-6548 x 246 with any questions.

  • Are there any other requirements?
    Make sure to check your email often and provide us with a current phone number. To be declared a winner, you must first be reached by the Writers’ Trust within 10 business days of the selection, as well as send a photo of yourself for promotional material.


  • Download the complete contest guidelines:

    Full Contest Guidelines 

    If you have any questions about this contest, please contact:

    Katrina Afonso, Community Manager
    Toll Free: 1 877 906-6548 x 246






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