Read at the Fringe Literary Contest

The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is committed to providing a venue for unpublished or modestly published writers to showcase their work. The Read at the Fringe Literary Contest is a special opportunity for aspiring writers to share their work with our audience in Eden Mills. Throughout the history of The Fringe, several contest winners have returned to the EMWF as published authors.

Deadline: June 30, 2024

We are no longer accepting submissions.

Congratulations to our 2023 Winners!

Congratulations to Doley Henderson (Creative Nonfiction), Liz Johnston (Fiction) and Pujita Verma (Poetry), the winners of our 2023 Read at the Fringe Literary Contest!

Doley, Liz, and Pujita read their winning entries as part of “Emerge!” at the 2023 festival.
Thank you to our 2023 contest judges: andrea bennett, Francine Cunningham, Laurie D. Graham, Michael Melgaard, Gillian Sze, and Emily Urquhart, and thank you to PS Guelph for printing a chapbook of the winning entries.

We would like to extend a special mention to the contest runners-up, including:
Elizabeth Nash, “Other Girls”
Vanessa Parks, “Millicent”
Creative Nonfiction
Karine Hack, “My First Year with the Shrimp”
Sameen Ahmad-Wing Quan, “Say Goodbye”
Jane Macdonald, “Two Years Ago a Trumpeter Swan was Frozen in the Harbour”
Bruce Madole, “Somewhere in Algonquin Park”
Charlotte Blair, “This Bridge Has Room for a New House”

Congratulations to all!


Fiction: 2000 words maximum
Creative Nonfiction: 2000 words maximum
Poetry: Five pages maximum, any number of poems


One winner will be selected in each category and invited to read at the EMWF on Sunday, September 8, 2024. Winners will also receive $150. Both the winner and a guest of their choosing will receive free entry to the festival.

Three runners-up will be selected in each category and will receive free admission to the festival.

Winners and runners-up will be notified in August.

Entry Fee

$20 per entry. If cost is a barrier to entry, please email [email protected].


Judges will be announced in the coming weeks.

Rules & Regulations

  • The contest is open to aspiring writers unpublished in book format. (Self-published authors or writers who have published in chapbooks, anthologies, magazines, or online, are permitted to enter.)
  • As winners will be invited to read at the festival on Sunday September 8, 2024, this contest is open to residents of Ontario only. Winners who attend the festival are responsible for their own travel costs.
  • Entries must be submitted as PDF or word documents.
  • Entries that exceed the word count will be disqualified.
  • Fiction and Creative Nonfiction entries must use a standard 12-point font, double-spaced. Poetry entries can be single-spaced.
  • Do not include your name or any identifying information in your submission. The name of your document should follow the following format: Fringe24_TitleofSubmission. (For poetry, please use the title of the first poem included in your submission.)
  • There is no limit on the number of entries that can be submitted, though each entry must include the entry fee.

Questions can be sent to [email protected].

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