Submission Guidelines

Submitting writers and artists must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia, meaning that you have lived in Nova Scotia full-time for at least the past twelve (12) months and that you file your personal income taxes in Nova Scotia. (Out-of-province post-secondary students and seasonal residents are ineligible.)
  • You must be 19 years of age or older by the current submission deadline.
  • You must submit only one literary or visual work to the current submission deadline, though this may be a series composed of several thematically and formally unified component works, such as poem sequence or a photo essay.

Submitted works must meet the following criteria.

  • Your submission must fall within the prize theme, being
    • either a literary work that responds to, incorporates, or creatively ‘translates’ an existing visual work (that was created by an artist who is not the submitting writer)
    • or a visual work that responds to, incorporates, or creatively ‘translates’ an existing literary work (that was created by a writer who is not the submitting artist).
  • Your submission must be no more than 10 pages, 10 images, or 10 minutes in length.
  • Your submission must be original and unpublished in any book or periodical format, such as an anthology, magazine, or journal, whether print or digital.
    • Works otherwise exhibited, publicly presented, or represented in print or digitally (e.g., in a gallery catalogue) remain eligible.
    • Artist’s books (i.e., one-of-a-kind or limited-run books or book-like objects that are the intended presentation format of an artwork) remain eligible.
  • Your submission must have been created and/or completed in the last five years.
  • Your submission must not have been previously submitted to the Ellemeno Visual Literature Prize.

The terms ‘response,’ ‘incorporation,’ and ‘translation’ should be understood as expansive and inclusive. Please contact us (at if uncertain whether your particular literary or visual work meets the prize theme criterion.

All components of a submissions must be received digitally by the prize deadline. Incomplete, non-digital, and late submission packages are ineligible. Please note that your submission is not considered complete until we have received your submission fee.

A. Writer’s/artist’s statement (of up to 300 words) that will help inform the assessment process.

  • Identify in detail the visual or literary work(s) that the submission responds to, incorporates, or creatively ‘translates’ (including creator, title, year of creation/publication, and URL if available) so that the peer assessment jury may find the work(s) online. Please describe in some detail any original work(s) that cannot be found online.
  • Describe your creative response, incorporation, or ‘translation’ process in enough detail that jurors may fairly evaluate the submission alongside other submissions.
  • Optionally, reflect on the aims, challenges, and outcomes of your creative process.

B. Original work (of up to 10 page, images, or minutes) that is unpublished in book or periodical format, whether in print or digitally.

  • A literary submission must be submitted as a single document in PDF or DOC format of no more than 10 pages in length. Prose should be double-spaced; poetry should be single-spaced.
  • A visual submission may be submitted as a single image file or as a series of no more than 10 image files. Multiple image files should be numbered in the order you wish them to be considered and presented.
  • A video art submission (or another form of visual submission best represented by video) may be submitted as a single video file no more than 10 minutes in length.

Assessment of all eligible submissions is conducted by volunteer jurors drawn from WFNS’s staff, board, and Writers’ Council. Jurors are selected for their expertise in creating, evaluating, and/or publishing both textual and visual artworks.

Because entries include artists’ statements, they are not assessed anonymously. The prize jury will consider the merit of the submission itself as well as the innovation of the response to, incorporation of, or ‘translation’ of other work(s).

Three finalists are selected by the prize jury and are notified and announced approximately four weeks after the prize deadline.

The winning writer or artist is notified shortly thereafter and conducts an email interview with WFNS staff. The winner is announced—and their work and interview feature digitally published—approximately six weeks after the prize deadline.

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 and the eligibility of your work, as described under “1. Eligibility criteria.”

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. This fee cannot be refunded under any circumstance, including incomplete, ineligible, or unsuccessful submissions. The submission fee is $9 for General Members of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia and any members of the other Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia (Association of NS Museums, Craft NS, Dance NS, NS Choral Federation, Theatre NS, and Visual Arts NS).

To fee pay by phone, call us between 10am and 3pm on weekdays at 902 423 8116 with your credit card details.

To fee pay by mail, send a cheque (payable to “Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia”) post-dated for no later than the submission deadline.

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.

Submissions Closed on January 10, 2024

Submission form

If it is discovered that any of these declarations is false, your submission will be ineligible.
If the name you commonly use or publish, exhibit, or otherwise create under differs from your legal name, please include your legal name in parentheses—i.e., "Common Name (Legal Name)." If your submission wins, your legal name will be required for prize payment.
Full requirements for this statement are outlined in the above section "2. Submission package."
Indicate the method by which you paid the Ellemeno Prize submission fee detailed in the above section "4. Submission Checklist & 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 participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

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