Arts Councils & Organizations for Writers & Publishers
Resources for Teachers
Poetry Contests, Prizes & Awards in Canada
Poetry Guides & Tips
Arts Councils & Organizations for Writers
If you are an emerging writer or arts organizer looking for funding to help get your project off the ground, grants can feel imposing at best–and impossible at worst. If your project is still new, we recommend looking into funding at a municipal level–ask or search around to see if your city has something like the Toronto Arts Council, which provides funding to artists and projects based in Toronto that engage the Toronto community. If no municipal funding is available, check out your provincial arts organization for grant opportunities! Many of the websites are comprehensive and helpful, but the grant officers are always open to helping guide you through your first application. You can find the contact information for your program’s officer on the website, generally; or if it’s not there, you can simply call and ask. The officers want to help you write a successful application!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s understanding the guidelines or figuring out how to propose a budget. Check out these top 10 grant-writing tips from the Toronto Arts Council as you hunker down with your next application!
Membership-based organizations often have programs in place that will benefit their members–for instance, here at the League we have three funding programs that organizers can apply to for assistance funding a League member’s reading. Arts organizers and hosts may find it beneficial to check out provincial writers’ organizations as well as national organizations to find out if their funding programs may work into your event planning.
- The Canada Council for the Arts provides significant funding to established artists and organizations all across Canada. Their literary program offers grants to publishers, writers, and other literary organizers.
- The Writers’ Union of Canada‘s (TWUC) members are established writers of any genre or style.
- The Writers’ Trust of Canada offers some of Canada’s largest literary awards to emerging, mid-career, and established writers in all genres, as well as running Canada’s most sought-after residency and a new fellowship program.
- PEN Canada is the Canadian Centre of International PEN, the world association of writers. PEN works on behalf of writers who are persecuted by governments for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
- British Columbia: The BC Arts Council provides funding to artists in BC, with grants, scholarships, and awards. They have a grant for individual writers’ projects with a deadline in the fall, as well as a grant for professional development with three deadlines per year (April 1, August 1, and December 1).
- Alberta: The Alberta Foundation for the Arts awards grants to individual artists and arts organizers in Alberta. The deadlines for individual artists grants in the Literary Arts program are February 1 and September 1.
- Saskatchewan: The Saskatchewan Arts Board offers several grants and awards for individual artists.
- Manitoba: The Manitoba Arts Council has a substantial Major Arts Grant available to writers in the province, as well as many other funding and award opportunities for Manitoba writers.
- Ontario: The Ontario Arts Council provides individual writers’ grants.
- Quebec: In Quebec, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec offers individual writers’ grants and project grants for Quebecois artists and writers working in English and French.
- New Brunswick: Arts New Brunswick offers several innovative funding programs to writers, including a grant for emerging artists and newly-arrived immigrants, and a career development program for established artists. The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick offers annual book awards and various programs that fulfill its vision of “creating community through words.”
- Nova Scotia: Arts Nova Scotia provides grants to artists and organizers in Nova Scotia, including an individual artists grant with deadlines in May and November.
- PEI: PEI Arts Grants offers grants in three streams: creation, dissemination, and professional development grants.
- Newfoundland & Labrador: ArtsNL, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, offers a variety of funding to Newfoundland writers, including their Professional Project Grants Program with deadlines in March and September.
- NWT: The Northwest Territories Arts Council has grants available to individual artists in all disciplines, with deadlines in October and February each year.
- Yukon: The Yukon provincial government has several funding programs for community arts initiatives–find the outlines of each program on their website, and contact the department for more information on what’s a best fit for you!
- Association of Canadian Publishers
- Literary Press Group of Canada
- Association of Book Publishers of BC
- Book Publishers Association of Alberta
- Association of Manitoba Book Publishers
- Association of English-Language Publishers of Quebec
- Ontario Book Publishers’ Organization
- Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association
- Access Copyright
- Public Lending Rights (reimburses writers for library use of their books) – read our comprehensive blog post about recent changes to the program!
- The Canadian Conference of the Arts represents 200,000 cultural workers, and has some very valuable tax advice–online, you will find a guide to the CCA’s international activities, its national political activities, including submissions on New Media, Finance, and Cultural policy, valuable tax primers for artists and writers, and more
- CANSCAIP is a national organization that supports children’s authors and illustrators
- The Canadian Authors Association is for writers of any genre and style at any stage of their career
- Canadian Freelance Guild (formerly the Professional Writers' Association of Canada)
- The Book and Periodical Council provides support to writers’ and arts organizations across Canada, as well as organizes Freedom to Read Week and Book Summit each year
Members of the League are professional poets who are actively contributing to the development, growth, and public profile of poetry in Canada. We are happy to have members at all stages in their careers, and we are proud of the valuable network of writers this has created. Several of our members, in addition to being professional poets, are also professional editors whose services may be available on a freelance basis. Below, you can find a list of League members who may be a good fit for your current editing needs, from manuscript evaluations to a variety of levels of editing and review. Please note: all posted rates may be subject to change. If you are a member of the League and you would like to add your services to our database, please contact us
Daniela Elza’s work has appeared nationally and internationally in over 100 publications. Her poetry collections are: the weight of dew (2012), the book of It (2011) and, most recently, milk tooth bane bone (2013) of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.” Daniela works as a writer-in-residence, editor, mentor, workshop facilitator, contest judge, performer and host of events etc.. She lives in Vancouver, BC and is currently working on a couple of new manuscripts.
“I have worked with emerging poets, including writers in the Poetic Inquiry field who employ poetry as part of their thesis and research. I have a soft spot for ESL writers. We can meet face-to-face, we can work remotely through email and/or skype, or a combination of any of these. You are the guide, you know best what you are putting into the words, while I give suggestions for rewording, cuts, organization, to help your work shine. I am generous with my time. The goal is not only to improve your poems/manuscript, but for you to still love them at the end.”
- One-on-one mentoring (may include work on individual poems with line by line edits, groups of poems, and/or publication advice)
- Full manuscript editing
$45 per hour editing/mentoring
For manuscript we can work by the hour, or agree on a fixed rate (depending on the nature of the work)
Some sliding scale pricing available
Contact: website; please inquire, with a couple of sample poems, to [email protected]
Jennifer Footman comes from India, spent most of her life in Edinburgh, and came to Canada in 1979 with her three sons. She has had many years experience running creative writing workshops, teaching poetry in schools under the Ontario Poets in Schools programme, and performing her poetry in public. She has been, and continues to be active in many community groups, ranging from the Brampton Writers Guild to the John Howard Society. She has been writing for the last 40 years and has several books of poetry published in the UK and in Canada. Her poetry has been in most Canadian, US and UK literary magazines. Her short fiction has also been widely published. In 1991 she won the Okanagan award for short fiction. Her investigative articles have been published in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, She Magazine, the Toronto Fashion Magazine, Poetry Toronto, Canadian Author, and others.
- Specialization in poetry and medical material
- Enjoys balancing and selecting items for a manuscript
- Consultations available
- Works with writers of any experience level
Rates: hourly or per page; inquire for estimate
Contact: [email protected]; 905-838-4262
Kate Marshall Flaherty hase been editing poetry manuscripts for over ten years, as an in-house editor for Quattro Books, and also freelance. She has edited poets such as Penn Kemp, Kate Rogers, Donna Langevin, Janine Pittas, Banoo Zan and many others. She has also been a workshop leader and teacher for decades in the craft of writing and editing poetry at St Michael’s College, U of T.
- Poetry manuscript evaluations
- Poetry manuscript editing
- StillPoint Writing workshops
Rates: inquire for details
Contact: www.katemarshallflaherty.ca; [email protected]
Susan Gillis brings more than two decades of writing, editing, and mentoring experience to her work with writers of all ages and at all stages. She has led workshops and discussion groups for Concordia University, the Quebec Writers’ Federation, John Abbott College, Festival Blue Met Bleu, Los Parronales (Chile), and more, as well as many individual mentorships.
Her four books (Yellow Crane, The Rapids, Volta and Swimming Among the Ruins) and several chapbooks (Obelisk, Twenty Views of the Lachine Rapids) have amassed a solid collection of award nominations and reviews. She has side gigs as a collaborator in the writing collective Yoko’s Dogs (Whisk, Rhinoceros) and the performance group Bon Echo. She talks with poets and writes about poetry and the writing life at Concrete & River, and co-curates (with Mary diMichele) the online micro-poetry journal HALIBUT.
- From overviews to detailed critiques, services can be shaped to your needs
- Individual and small group feedback
- Creative practice (re)kindling for poets and anyone interested in how poetry can make life mysteriously better
Rates: based on $50/hour. Services and fees vary by manuscript length and the needs of the project, and are determined in consultation. Further details available here.
Contact: [email protected]
During literary studies at York University and the Naropa Institute, John studied with Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, William Burroughs, Irving Layton, Miriam Waddington, Eli Mandel, Frank Davey, and others. He worked at Coach Press and has been active as an editor, literary journalist, and community college teacher. He is a member of the Sixth Floor poetry workshop, an advanced group of published poets, and runs a micropress, for which he edits and designs. His five books of poetry include Mata Hari’s Lost Words (slated for a new edition in 2017) and Time Slip (Guernica Editions). His first mystery novel, Death by Triangulation, appeared in 2015.
- A full range of services, from general advice on the quality, technique and organization of a poetry collection, to picky details of grammar, punctuation usage, and other copy-editing necessities.
- A variety of levels available, from detailed feedback for a group of poems, or a reading-with-criticism of a whole manuscript.
- Can also work with a manuscript almost ready for publication to help with the proofreading, sequencing and final selection of poems.
$100 for reading a feedback on a selection of a dozen poems
$250 for reading-with-criticism of a whole manuscript
Inquire for rates on other services
Contact: [email protected]; website
Concetta is a writer of poetry, fiction and academic articles and have some experience writing for television documentaries. She is currently a sessional professor in the Creative Writing Program at York University. She has had three books published, the most recent being a collection of poetry, walking: non-a-nun’s diary (2013) with DC Books. Prior this collection, her prose poems Interference (1999) and a novella Stained Glass (1997) came out with Guernica Editions. Her work has appeared in Canadian and American journals such as The Malahat Review, Grain, Descant Magazine, and Exile Quarterly, as well as on-line journals such as Lemon Hound and Rusty Toque. Several of her scholarly articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals. She has a PhD from York University (2014).
Services: “I am an editor of creative works of poetry, fiction, cross-genre forms (I write prose-poetry, myself) and experimental writing. I also provide editorial support for project proposals, grant writing and academic or non-fiction projects. Editorial support can range from providing a one-page review noting strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for the direction to take in revisions of the manuscript, detailed line-by-line revisions of grammar and syntax, or variations thereof. I provide services in a timely fashion by internet and can do face-to-face meetings if that is preferred.”
Contact: [email protected].
D.C. Reid has been published in more than 50 literary magazines in Canada, the United States, the U.K., India and Mexico, with his work having been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi. He has published seven books of poetry and one novel, with two having been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay award, BC’s highest prize for poetry in their respective years. On another side of his life, Reid has gone on to write for more than 50 magazines/newspapers/websites across North America on fishing – gear, fly and Spey – in salt- and fresh-water. His fifth fishing book will be released in 2016. You will see this and many other books on his website: www.dcreid.ca. His most recent award is the national Roderick Haig-Brown Award for environmental writing, 2016.
Services: “I will offer helpful advice on short or book length manuscripts of poetry, prose fiction and non-fiction. In addition, I can offer useful market advice for all three genres. A copy of one of my books is sent with my comments so that the writer can get a feel for the way I write. I can work with any kind of poetry.”
Rates: Inquire for details
Contact: [email protected].
Robin Richardson runs a successful month poetry workshop called The Unsympathetic Poetry Workshops in Toronto. She is the author of two collections of poetry, and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work is forthcoming in POETRY, and has appeared in Tin House, Partisan, The North American Review, and Hazlitt, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and Lemon Hound Poetry Prizes. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is forthcoming with Véhicule Press. Poems from the collection have been adapted to song by composer Andrew Staniland for The Brooklyn Art Song Society, and premiered in 2016 in New York.
- Full manuscript evaluations
- One-on-one tutoring (may include line by line edits, or overall industry discussion and publication advice)
Rates:$1200 manuscript evaluations
$100 per hour tutoring
Some sliding scale pricing available
Special requests can always be accommodated
Sandra Ridley is an award-winning writer of four books of poetry: Fallout, Post-Apothecary, The Counting House, and Silvija—a finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize. She was nominated for the KM Hunter Artist Award for Mid-Career Writer in 2015. Sandra Ridley has taught poetry as a sessional instructor at Carleton University and has been a writing mentor through Ottawa’s Supportive Housing and Mental Health Services “Footprints to Recovery” program for people living with mental illness • She has facilitated workshops for the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Library, the Tree Reading Series, Calgary’s WordFest, and has been a contributor to the BC Learning Networks online program for Writers’ Craft • Sandra has also been an invited speaker to creative writing classes at the University of Ottawa, Carleton, and was a participant in the University of Toronto’s “Influency Salon • She continues to give guidance to writers on a one-on-one basis and offers comprehensive editing and mentoring services through the Poetry Lab. For more information, please see sandraridley.com
Sandra Ridley offers three packages for editorial consultation on works-in-progress through her Poetry Lab. Each package is designed to further enhance your body of work. Please note that as a full-time writer, Sandra can only collaborate with a few writers each season. Before purchase of any package, please send a query. A sample of your poetry may be requested in order for Sandra to see if she can provide the service and care that you may require.
The Test Tube, $150: A close reading service that provides you with detailed editorial feedback and guidance on ten pages of poetry. Emphasis will be placed on word choice, line breaks, and poem layout. You will also receive generative suggestions about how these poems can transform into a large body of work.
The Telescope, $225: This package gives you a detailed overview on a full-length poetry manuscript. You will receive an in-depth reading of your collection, and commentary will focus on content and execution. This service is best suited for those wanting a fresh perspective on a project’s larger picture concerns.
The Microscope, $600: An editorial service for a full-length collection of poetry. Manuscripts longer than 100 pages require extra time. Please note that an extra fee may be required. Your work will receive several in-depth readings, and its strengths and possibilities will be discussed. This package provides you with general suggestions and detailed edits regarding word choice, line breaks, and page and/or manuscript layout—as well as a fresh-eyed perspective on your manuscript’s overall content and structure. We collaborate through three manuscript revisions over the course of three weeks. Independent work is required.
Jacob Scheier is a Governor General’s Award winning poet. He is the author of the full-length poetry collections, More to Keep us Warm (ECW Press, 2007) and Letter From Brooklyn (2013). His poems have been aired on CBC radio and been published in literary journals and anthologies across North America and in the U.K. He was nominated for a National Magazine Award for poetry in 2014. Jacob has taught creative writing at Ryerson’s University School of Continuing Education and Brandon University (Manitoba). He has facilitated creative writing workshop as the writer-in-residence for both the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Pierre Berton House residency in Dawson City, Yukon and for Algoma University at St. Thomas (Ontario). Jacob is the former co-editor-in-chief of existere, York University’s literary journal, and he has provided poetry manuscript consultations to several emerging poets who have gone on to publish full-length collections.
Full manuscript evaluations
$500 manuscript evaluations (sliding scale based on financial need)
Contact: [email protected]
Naomi Beth Wakan has twenty years’ experience teaching Japanese short-form poetry classes both on and off line. She has written over fifty books including the trilogy, The Way of Haiku, The Way of Tanka, and Poetry That Heals, books that introduce writers to haiku and tanka. She has also written the award winning Haiku – one breath poetry, an American Library Association selection for young people. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many publications including Geist, Room, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. She is noted for being able to encourage the new poet.
Manuscript consultations and editing – haiku, tanka, short free verse, short essays.
Mentorship in the areas of haiku and tanka writing.
$100 manuscript reading fee for first 10 pages, $1.50 for every page beyond that. This includes brief, but helpful comments on the manuscript.
$40 per session for mentorships (4 sessions introducing the writer to haiku and tanka writing)
Contact Naomi for in-depth critiquing of poetry (haiku, tanka and short free verse)
Contact: [email protected]; 250-247-0014
Poetry Contests, Prizes and Awards in Canada
for further reading on Canadian Literary magazines and their offerings, see A Guide to Canadian Literary Mags from the National Magazine Awards
prizes often include publication
- The Antigonish Review Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest: $600 first prize, June deadline
- Arc Poetry Magazine
- Briarpatch Writing in the Margins contest
- The Capilano Review Robin Blaser Poetry Award: $750 first prize, September deadline
- Exile Literary Quarterly‘s Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition: $3,000 in prizes, June deadline
- The Fiddlehead Annual Literary Competition: $2,000 first prize, December deadline
- Freefall Annual Prose & Poetry Contest: $500 first prize, December deadline
- Geist administers several awards throughout the year, with new themed contests popping up all the time! Some of the regular poetry contests include their Haiku contest, and their erasure poetry contest. Visit their website for more information.
- Grain‘s Short Grain Contest
- The Malahat Review
- Matrix LitPOP awards: publication and a VIP pass to POP Montreal, July deadline
- MusicWorks Sonic Geography Writing Contest: $500 first prize, August deadline
- The New Quarterly Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest: $1,000 first prize, March deadline
- Prairie Fire Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award: $1,250 first prize, November deadline
- PRISM International Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize: $1,500 first prize, October deadline
- Pulp Literature Magpie Awards: $500 first prize, April deadline
- The Puritan Thomas Morton Memorial Prize: $1,000 first prize, September deadline
- Room Fiction & Poetry Contest: $1,000 first prize, July deadline
- Vallum Award for Poetry: $750 first prize, July deadline
- The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers; $5,000 first prize, fiction and poetry in alternating years, spring deadline
- CBC Poetry Prize; $6,000 first prize, May deadline
- GritLit Writing Competition
- Utmost Christian Poetry Contest
- The League of Canadian Poets’ National Broadsheet Contest
- Montreal International Poetry Prize: $20,0000 for one poem, 40 lines or less.
- Archibald Lampman Award, presented by Arc Poetry Magazine; published books by Ottawa poets
- Griffin Poetry Prize; published books, Canadian and International winning categories
- Leaf Press holds an annual chapbook manuscript competition which awards publishing contracts to one Canadian and one international poet. Everyone who enters gets to choose a book from Leaf’s trade catalogue.
- Ricepaper ACWW Emerging Writer Award; unpublished manuscripts
- Quebec Writers’ Federation book awards, including a first book award and a poetry award
- Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, presented by Matrix and Insomniac Press; unpublished manuscripts, January deadline
- Vallum Chapbook Award; unpublished manuscripts, March deadline
- Ledbury Poetry Competiton: £1000 first prize, July deadline
- Central Coast Writers Contest: $1,000 first prize, July deadline
- Winchester Poetry Prize: £1,000 first prize, July deadline
- Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition: £1000 first prize, August deadline
- Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest: $1,500 grand prize, September deadline
- The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize: €10,000 first prize, December deadline