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The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is committed to providing a venue for unpublished or modestly published writers to showcase their work.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, 2023

Presented with support from Publication Studio Guelph


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 10, 2023. Winners will also receive $150, and will be included in the Fringe 2023 chapbook. 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].


Fiction: Francine Cunningham and Michael Melgaard

Creative Nonfiction: andrea bennett and Emily Urquhart

Poetry: Laurie D. Graham and Gillian Sze

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  • The contest is open to aspiring writers unpublished in book format.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 10, 2023, 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: Fringe23_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.
  • The chapbook will include the winning entries from each category, and winners retain copyright over their work. We are unable to include the entries selected as runners-up in the chapbook.

Questions can be sent to [email protected].

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