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Rules and Guidelines

Prose entries will be reviewed and selected by critically-acclaimed author Lee Maracle, and poetry entries by prize-winning poet Ian Williams.

Entry is free, with $3,600 in prize money available to be won between two categories and two age divisions. The contest is open to individuals living in Southwestern Ontario.


Youth (age 17 and under)

Youth ProseYouth Poetry
1st place$4001st place$400
2nd place$3002nd place$300
3rd place$2003rd place$200

Adult (age 18 and over)

Adult ProseAdult Poetry
1st place$4001st place$400
2nd place$3002nd place$300
3rd place$2003rd place$200

Rules and Guidelines

  1. The contest opens Tuesday, November 1. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 30 at 11:59 pm.

  2. Entrants may submit up to two (2) poems of up to 55 lines each and / or one (1) prose entry of up to 1,500 words. Submissions exceeding these limits will be disqualified.

  3. Professional writers are not eligible.

  4. Entries must be sent via the online submission form. The form will be available at as of November 1st.

  5. Judges' decisions are final. There will be no correspondence between the judge and the entrants regarding any submissions.

  6. Your submission must use the following layout:

    Font type & size: Arial 12
    Spacing: double
    Alignment: left (no indentations)
    Style guide: single space at end of sentence

    Font type & size: Arial 12
    Alignment: author's choice
    Style guide: author's choice

  7. Each submission must be sent separately. Entries which do not conform to the contest rules will be ineligible. 

  8. Winning entries will be priinted in the publication The Changing Image. By entering the contest, the author is granting permission for their piece to be used by Kitchener Public Library for publication and/or promotional purposes.

  9. Winners will be notified February 2017.

  10. Due to the volume of entries received, we will be accepting online entries only. If you do not have Internet access at home, free Internet workstations are available at all Kitchener Public Library locations.

For more information, visit our FAQ page.