Constance Rooke CNF Prize

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This contest is closed. Please check back in mid-May 2021!

The Malahat Review invites creative nonfiction writers to enter the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize, for which one prize of $CAN 1,000 is awarded. The contest is open to Canadian and international writers anywhere in the world, with a final deadline of 11:59pm (PDT) on 5 August 2020. All entries are judged anonymously, and the winning piece will be published in the magazine's winter issue #213. The Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize is awarded to the best work submitted to the magazine’s annual contest for a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization.

*Mailed or emailed contest submissions are no longer accepted. Please read the instructions below to find out how to submit your contest entries through Submittable.*

2020 Deadline

The deadline for the Constance Rooke CNF Prize contest has been extended to August 5, 2020 at 11:59pm PDT.

Read about our 2019 winner: Jeanette Lynes.


Meet the judge for the 2020 contest:

Read an interview with Rowan to find out what she's looking for in a winning entry!

Book Prize

In addition to the $1000 prize, we're giving away a book prize to one lucky contest entrant! All you have to do is submit your work to the contest, and you'll be automatically entered to win. After the deadline, we'll pull one name from the list of entrants.

CR CNF book prize

Treed by Ariel Gordon
Wolsak & Wynn, 2019

Waiting for the Rain by Lamees Al Ethari
Mawenzi House, 2019

Every Little Scrap and Wonder by Carla Funk
Greystone Books, 2019

Reverberations by Marion Agnew
Signature Editions, 2019

About Constance Rooke

photo of Constance Rooke

Constance Rooke

Connie Rooke (1942–2008) was born Constance Merriam Raymond in New York City. She pursued undergraduate studies at Smith College, where she won the same writing scholarship earlier held by Sylvia Plath (a matter of some pride). After a year roaming around Europe, she settled in New Orleans, concentrating on graduate studies at Tulane. In 1967, she began working on her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she took over the editorship of the venerable Carolina Quarterly, and met and married Leon Rooke, the writer in residence at the time. In 1969, she joined the University of Victoria’s Department of English. Read more.


  • Writers may submit one piece of creative nonfiction per entry.
  • The entry must be no longer than 3,000 words. Please double-space your work and include a word count on the first page of your entry.
  • There are no restrictions on subject matter or aesthetic approach. For example, the entry may be personal essay, memoir, cultural criticism, nature writing, or literary journalism. (Read our Creative Nonfiction mandate here.)
  • All entries are judged anonymously (no identifying inormation is to be included on any story submitted).
  • Multiple entries are allowed (at a reduced fee, if paid for at the same time as the initial entry: see Entry Fees, Additional Entries, and How to Submit below).

Entry Fee

  • $35 CAD for Canadian entries
  • $40 US for American entries
  • $45 US for entries from Mexico and outside North America
  • see How to Pay (below) for detailed instructions
  • Entrants receive, for themselves or a friend, a one-year print subscription to The Malahat Review (for the initial entry only; no subscriptions are available for additional entries made along with the initial entry). Digital subscriptions and digital/print bundle subscriptions are not available through any of the magazine's contests.

Additional Entries

  • To receive the reduced entry fee(s) of $CAN 15.00, any additional entries must be paid for at the same time as the first entry; such additional entries should be submitted online within 24 hours of the initial submission. The same guidelines apply to additional entries as to the initial submission.

Eligible Entries

  • No work already published (even if only excerpted, or even if revised since original publication), already accepted for publication, or simultaneously submitted elsewhere is eligible for consideration. The Malahat Review considers any appearance in print or online to be a publication, whether the form of publication be a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, website, personal website or blog, Twitter, Facebook, or other suchlike forum for public circulation. This restriction on eligibility applies regardless of the size of the print run or the extent of the circulation of previously published work.
  • Failure to comply with these criteria for eligibility will immediately disqualify any entry, regardless of when the ineligibility is discovered in the process of adjudication (submission, processing, screening, shortlisting, final judging). The entry fee for a disqualified entry will not be refunded, and the entrant will still receive a one-year subscription to the magazine.


  • The winner will be notified by email. Other entrants will not be notified of the judge’s decisions.
  • The shortlisted finalists will be announced in early October 2020 on The Malahat Review's website and social media accounts. The winner will be announced a week later. The winner will be interviewed, and the interview will be published subsequently on The Malahat Review's website, and in the December 2020 or January 2021 edition of Malahat lite, the magazine's monthly e-newsletter.
  • The winning entry will be published in the winter 2020 issue of The Malahat Review (in circulation January 2021).

How to Pay

  • Payment must be made online through The Malahat Review Store (if you do not have a credit card, you can pay by cheque or money order: see below).
  • Unless you are paying by cheque or money order, you must pay the entry fees before making your submission, since you must include your ORDER # with your submission.
  • If you are unable to pay by credit card, you can mail a cheque or money order (made out to The Malahat Review) in $CAN or $US to The Malahat Review, McPherson Library, University of Victoria, PO Box 1800, Stn CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3H5, Canada.
  • If paying by cheque or money order, you must indicate "cheque" or "money order" as required on the submission form.
  • Online payments will not be accepted after the contest deadline (if you have any problems with such payment, please write to Payment by cheque or money order must be mailed with a postmark date of no later than 5 August 2020.
  • Go to our online store to pay your contest fee(s).

How to Submit

  • Only online submissions made through The Malahat Review's Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize portal on the Submittable website will be accepted.
  • Acceptable file formats: Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF only.
  • If paying by credit card, you must pay before you submit, since you will be asked to provide your ORDER # with the submission of each entry.
  • If paying by cheque or money order, you will be asked to specify which form of payment with the submission of each entry.
  • You can make only one entry at a time on the Submittable webpage; to submit additional entries, whether at the reduced rate (paid for at the same time) or at a standard rate, simply follow the same process as with the initial submission (the ORDER # will be the same for additional entries paid for at the same time as the initial submission; it will be different for an entry or entries made at a later date, since these require the full fee).
  • *Optional* You can save a draft of your submission on Submittable before making the actual submission if you would like to revise your information.

Click on the Submit icon below and follow the instructions in order to submit to the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize contest on Submittable:


Previous Constance Rooke CNF Prize Winners