National Capital Writing Contest

34th Annual National Capital Writing Contest (NCWC)


Painting by Brian Turner
Painting by Brian Turner

Sponsored by the Canadian Authors Association – National Capital Region

Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020 at 23h59/11:59 p.m.

Short Story or Poetry

First place: $300

Second place: $200

Third place: $100

Three honourable mentions for each category.

  • Open to all Canadian citizens or landed immigrants living in Canada.
  • For our contest celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Authors Association, we will publish an anthology which will include the top 10 stories and top 10 poems. (Authors will retain all rights.)
  • Awards Night will be Friday, March 12, 2021.
  • Entry Fees: Poetry: $5 per single poem; Short Story: $15 per single story.

If you wish, you can use the painting above or words from these quotes to inspire your work.

“It is to be sincerely hoped that the Canadian Authors Association may definitely continue in the role of foster father to the versifiers. Our land must not be songless.”

— Emily Murphy

“New technologies have sprouted, of which electric and electronic typewriters are merely footnotes … More devices will follow to be wilder and bedazzle in the next sixty years, devices that are not yet a gleam in the inventor’s eye.”

— Lyn Harrington

Stephen Leacock: “If we had a strong body of authors in Canada, we could make our position plain.”

B.K. Sandwell: “But the Canadian authors are scattered all across the country … If we could assemble them for a meeting, we could explain copyright so they could understand it and what it means to each of them. Then we would have a forceful voice.”

Pelham Edgar: “Better plan for more than one meeting. It’s likely to be a long fight.”

from Syllables of Recorded Time by Lyn Harrington

Contest Rules

  • The contest is blind-judged. The creator’s name or other identifiers must not appear on the submitted content.
  • Judges’ decisions are final.
  • No entries will be returned.
  • For multiple entries, each must be accompanied by an entry fee and separate cover.

Short Story

  • maximum 2,500 words, in English
  • unpublished
  • double space, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12-point font
  • story title on each numbered page
  • writer’s name must not appear on the pages
  • on a separate page or in the body of the email message include the word count, your name, pen name (if applicable), address, telephone number and email address


  • maximum 60 lines including title and blank lines
  • in English
  • unpublished
  • no Haiku
  • title included on each numbered page
  • poet’s name must not appear on the page(s)
  • on a separate page or in the body of the email message include your name, pen name (if applicable), address, telephone number and email address

To Enter

  • Send a Microsoft Word doc to
  • In the subject line include your name and the title of the work.
  • In the body of the email tell us your name, address, telephone number and email address

To Pay

We will accept payment via Interac e-transfer or Paypal

  • Interac E-transfer: Send to
  • Paypal: The drop-down menu allows you to select one story, two stories, three stories; or one poem, two poems or three poems.
Choose a category
CAA – Writers Helping Writers

Any questions or concerns? Contact us at

Past NCWC Results

Find the results of past National Capital Writing Contests here: Past NCWC Results

Order Our Anthologies

20/20 Vision

30th Anniversary Anthology

See our list of writing contests and calls for submission here:

Contests and Calls for Submission

November Meeting

Tuesday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m.

via Zoom

Writing Short Stories, with Anna Rumin

Some inspiration and expert tips to help complete a short story that will grab and hold readers.



20/20 Vision Anthology

book cover 20/20 Vision