Submission Guidelines

2022 submissions closed on October 21

1. Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Elizabeth Venart Prize, writers must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be a woman and/or other marginalized gender (including but not limited to Two-Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and fluid genders).
  • You must be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia (i.e., you have lived in Nova Scotia permanently for at least one year and you file your taxes here). Out-of-province college/university students and seasonal residents are ineligible.
  • You must be 19 years of age of older by the current prize deadline.
  • You must have published no more than one literary book through a traditional publishing process by the current prize deadline. (Reference titles, textbooks, literary chapbooks, and self-published literary books do not count toward this limit.)
  • You must submit only one submission package to each prize deadline, so take the time to focus on your strongest project.

2. Submission Package

Submission packages must contain all components listed below and must be submitted by the prize deadline. Each submission package must be submitted as a single digital document (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) with a file name as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Venart (where “Lastname” is your family name and “Firstname” is your given name). Incomplete, late, non-digital, or misnamed submission packages are ineligible.

A. Personal responses (each roughly one paragraph in length) to the following questions:

  1. How long have you been writing?
  2. Summarize your writing activity for the past twelve months.
  3. Describe the work you intend to focus on during the prize period (e.g., completing a chapbook of poems, revising a collection of short stories, or submitting a novel manuscript).
  4. Propose a “prize period” (a span of time during which you will use the cash award to facilitate your writing work) and outline your work plan/schedule during this prize period.
  5. What goals have you set yourself to achieve during the prize period? Be specific.
  6. How will you prioritize writing during the prize period, and how will the prize period fit into your schedule? Please indicate if you intend to use some or all of the free consultations provided to the prize recipient. (These are detailed on the main Elizabeth Venart Prize page.)

B. A 10-page, doubled-spaced writing sample of the work-in-progress in 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial font. (Poetry samples should be single-spaced and may use others fonts only if typeface is integral to the project.)

3. Assessment Process

All submitters will be notified of the prize results by late November. Due to the volume of submissions anticipated, we ask that you not query the office about the status of your submission prior to that time.

After submission packages have been processed to ensure they are complete and eligible, they will be shared with a peer assessment jury of three professional writers contracted by the WFNS. The jury will assess submission packages based on 

  • the merit of the writing sample,
  • the merit of the proposed writing activities, and
  • the submitter’s commitment to the proposed writing activities.

The jury’s selection of the prize recipient will be final.

The cash award will be disbursed at the beginning of the prize period.

4. How to Submit

Submissions are accepted only through the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that completing the submission form is the final step in our recommended submission checklist:

     ☐ Ensure your eligibility.
     ☐ Ensure your submission package is complete and correct. In the event of an error, please contact our office to explain the issue before submitting a revised submission package. No submission package or revised submission package can be accepted after the prize deadline, so we encourage you to submit early.
      ☐ Pay the $16 submission fee through one of the fee options detailed below. This fee covers only a portion of the administrative and assessment costs for each submission. As such, even in cases of incomplete or ineligible submissions, it cannot be refunded.
      ☐ Complete and submit the online submission form, visible at the bottom of this page when submissions are being accepted. After clicking the “Submit” button, please wait until the green confirmation message appears (confirming that your form has been successfully submitted) before exiting this page.

Submission fee options

Pay online.  (PayPal account or credit card required. Please ensure the email address you provide at checkout matches the email address included in your submission.)

Pay by phone. (Credit card required. Please call between 9am and 4pm on weekdays.)

902 423 8116

Pay by mail. (Cheque must be payable to Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and post-dated for no later than the prize deadline. Mail your cheque before completing the online submission form.)

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS  B3H 4P7

If the Elizabeth Venart Prize submission fee presents a barrier to your submission, please contact the WFNS Executive Director (director@writers.ns.ca) before submitting. Funds are available to help underwaged writers with submission fees.

2022 submissions closed on October 21

Venart Prize submission form
Please enter a phone number where you may be reached during business hours.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Your submission package must
- be a single digital document containing all components identified in the above section "2. Submission Package";
- be in DOC or PDF format;
- and have a file name as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Venart (where "Lastname" is your family name and "Firstname" is your given name).
Any incomplete, misnamed, or file-unreadable application package will be ineligible.
If it is discovered that any of these declarations is false, your submission will be ineligible.
Indicate the method by which you paid the Venart Prize submission fee. Fee payment must be sent before you submit this form.

For questions or further information, please contact us.
Due to the volume of submissions anticipated, we ask that you contact us at least two weeks before the prize deadline.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, participant-to-participant) feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca