WordsThaw Prize (contest now closed)

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This contest is now closed!

To celebrate the WordsThaw Writers Festival in 2018, The Malahat Review is pleased to announce the second-annual WordsThaw Prize. An exciting showcase of emerging talent in Greater Victoria, this contest will award a cash prize of $500 each in two categories: Poetry and Micro Text (either short fiction or creative nonfiction). The entry fee includes a full WordsThaw pass and a one-year subscription to The Malahat Review, starting with the Malahat’s Winter 2017 issue. The winners will be published on the Malahat’s WordsThaw website.

Judge: Arleen Paré

Read an interview with Arleen here.


  • Eligible entrants include:
  • UVic students and alumni.
  • Residents of the Capital Regional District (if you’re unsure, please confirm you live in the CRD by consulting its residency criteria)
  • All CRD residents who have yet to publish creative work in book form (excluding self-published books).
  • Poetry (one poem): maximum length of 30 lines, including stanza breaks.
  • Micro Text (fiction or creative nonfiction; one piece): maximum length of 400 words.
  • Entry fee (poem or micro text): $20. You are only allowed to enter poetry or micro text, not both. Only one submission will be accepted in either genre.
  • Entrants receive a full pass to WordsThaw (excluding the March 18, 2018 Master Class), plus a one-year print subscription to The Malahat Review for themselves or a friend. Digital subscriptions or digital/print bundle subscriptions are not available through this contest.
  • Entrants may only submit once.
  • Entries already published, accepted, or submitted elsewhere are ineligible.
  • Entrants’ anonymity is preserved throughout the judging. Contact information (including an email address) must not appear on the submission, but on a separate page, along with the entry’s title (see below).
  • Only shortlisted authors and winners will be notified about the judge’s decisions.
  • A shortlist of finalists will be announced on March 1, 2018.
  • The winners will be announced at a reading of the shortlisted authors on March 8, 2018, at the downtown branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.
  • The winner in each category will receive a prize of $500; their winning entries will be published in the Martlet, the University of Victoria’s student newspaper.

Any Questions?


Enter by Email

  • Send entries as an attachment to
  • Acceptable file formats: Word (.doc and .docx) or PDF
  • No entries will be accepted by regular mail.
  • The subject line must contain the entrant's full name, genre(s), and method of payment. e.g., "Jane Tucker, micro fiction, credit online," "John Smith, poetry, cheque" or "Jane Doe, micro creative nonfiction, credit mail-in."
  • Send two separate documents: 1) the entry itself, and 2) the cover sheet
  • It is very important you do not include your name in the poem / micro text entry itself! No names in the file title, the header, or the footer.
Cover sheet, sent as a separate attached file, should include:
  • Entrant's full name
  • Genre of entry
  • Title of entry
  • Word count (400 max.) for micro stories
  • Line count (30 max.) for poems
  • Entrant's mailing address
  • Entrant's email address
  • Method of payment (see How to Pay below): credit card or cheque *Please DO NOT cite your credit card number, expiry date, or CVV code in your cover letter.*
  • Indicate whether you wish to be added to our electronic mailing list to receive news on contest calls for entries, prize winners, events, and literary updates in our monthly e-newsletter, Malahat lite

How to Pay

Online Payment Only

  • After paying by credit card, please print a copy of the receipt for your records.
  • We will match your payment with your entry by your name. If there is any doubt, we will contact you to confirm your receipt number.
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Previous WordsThaw Prize Winners

  • Wanda Hurren, micro text category
  • Nancy Yakimoski, poetry category