The Eden Mills Writers' Festival Writing Contest - Read at The Fringe

DEADLINE: June 15, 2020

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on August 4.

The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is committed to providing a venue for unpublished or modestly published writers to showcase their work. Throughout the history of The Fringe, several contest winners have returned to the EMWF as published authors.

Contest Categories:

  • Fiction: 2000 words maximum, double-spaced
  • Nonfiction: 2000 words maximum, double-spaced
  • Poetry: Up to five poems, five pages maximum, single-spaced

One winner will be selected in each category. They will receive $150 and an invitation to read their work as part of our 2020 online series of events. The event will be held on Thursday September 10 and will also feature local authors published by Vocamus Press and University of Guelph Creative Writing MFA students. (Please note: for those who wish to attend this event, registration will open on June 23). Winners will also be profiled in our newsletter, and on our website and social media.

Entry Fee:
If cost is a barrier to entry, please email [email protected]



Kim Davids Mandar’s writing appeared in Sustenance (Anvil Press, 2017), Rhapsody (Vocamus Press, 2018) and Prairie Fire (Winter, 2018). Kim co-hosted Bookish Radio and is currently completing her MSc thesis. She is the editor of In|Appropriate, a collection of interviews with Canadian authors (Fall 2020, Gordon Hill Press).

Suzanne Rintoul (PhD), has been teaching literary criticism and writing for the last 12 years. Suzanne is the author of Intimate Violence and Victorian Print Culture: Representational Tensions, along with numerous scholarly articles and reviews of fiction. She is a professor and program coordinator for the Communications Department at Conestoga College as well as the founder of Conestoga's Communications Writing Competition.

Anna Bowen is a Guelph based poet and writer. She has collaborated with visual artists on projects related to space, care labour, landscape, and access.


Omar El Akkad’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, Le Monde, GQ and many other publications. His debut novel, American War, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 novels that changed our world.

Sandra Sabatini's fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, Prism International, and The New Quarterly, among others. She is the author of two short story collections, The One with the News (Porcupine's Quill, 2000) and The Dolphins at Sainte-Marie (Penguin Canada, 2006). Her scholarly book, Making Babies, was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2003. Her first novel, Dante’s War was published with Key Porter in 2009.


Lisa Baird is a writer, a community acupuncturist and a queer white settler living on Attawandaron/Mississaugas of the New Credit territory (Guelph ON). Her poetry appears in various journals including Arc, Grain, and Canthius. Her first book of poetry, Winter’s Cold Girls, was published by Caitlin Press in 2019.

Sue Graham Parker is retired Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources of Scotiabank and is a lifelong literature enthusiast, having been involved in the Scotiabank Giller Prize for many years. She has been awarded the Ontario Volunteer Service Award, the Trent University Eminent Service Award, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted as Governor Emeritus of Trent University in 2019.

Rules & Requirements:

  • The contest is open to aspiring writers unpublished in book format.
  • This contest is open to residents of Ontario only.
  • A maximum of one entry per category is permitted.
  • Submissions must be formatted in a standard 12-point font, double spaced, except for poetry which should be single-spaced.
  • Do not include your name or any identifying information in your submission. The title of your submission should follow the following format: Fringe2020_TITLEOFSUBMISSION
  • Winners who attend the festival are responsible for their own travel costs.
  • Winners will be notified in early August.

Questions? Contact [email protected]