Q:     Who can enter the 2017 Cedric Literary Awards writing competition?

A:     If you are a permanent resident of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or the Yukon, and you have never had a book manuscript published before, and you are 50 years of age or over, you are eligible to enter the competition.


Q:        What do you mean by “have never had a book manuscript published before?

A:        Our competition is for unpublished writers, i.e. you are not eligible to enter if you have ever published a full-length novel, short story or book of poetry with a valid ISBN. This includes self-publishing.


Q:     What kind of work can I submit to the 2017 Cedric Literary Awards?
A:     Writers may submit 1 (one) work in any or all of the following categories (see full Competition Guidelines for descriptions of each category):

• Fiction – a short story (3,000-7,500 words) OR a novella (20,000-40,000 words) OR an essay (800-1,300 words)
• Creative Non-fiction – to a maximum of 3,000 words
• Poetry – A collection of 6-8 poems using the theme of “Celebration”. Writers can have previously contributed poems to magazines or poetry anthologies, but the work entered must be unpublished.


Q:     What do you mean by Creative Non-fiction?
A:     This kind of writing is crafted with literary techniques such as characterization, plot, setting, and dialogue.   Please review the Competition Guidelines for a full description.


Q:     When can I submit my work for the 2017 Cedric Literary Awards?
A:     This year’s Call for Submissions is February 1st, 2017.


Q:     When is the deadline for submission of work for the 2017 Cedric Literary Awards?
A:     The deadline is May 1st, 2017.  Late entries will not be accepted.


Q:     How old do I have to be to enter The Cedric Literary Awards writing competition?
A:     All writers must be aged 50 or better as of January 31st, 2017. 


Q:     How do I submit my work for the 2017 Cedric Literary Awards writing competition?
A:     You will upload your entry to Submittable.com


Q:     How much can I win for my entry?
A:     The winners in each of the three main categories (fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry) win a prize valued at $3,000.  An additional prize of $3,000 will be presented to 1 (one) First Nations writer who submits work in any of the 3 main categories.


Q:     Can I win a prize in more than one category?
A:     No.  A writer may only win one prize in one category.


Q:     How many prizes will be awarded?
A:     4 prizes of $3,000 each will be presented.  Only one work per category will receive an award, and an additional award will be presented to the work of a First Nations writer.


Q:     If my manuscript is submitted in French, do I have to provide an English translation?
A:     No.  The Cedric Literary Awards engages native French-language speakers to pre-screen and adjudicate entries written in French. If you write in French, you are invited to submit one work in one or each of the 3 (three) main categories.


Q:     Are there any special rules for First Nations writers?
A:     First Nations writers are invited to submit one work in one or each of the 3 (three) main categories.


Q:     If I entered last year’s competition, can I enter my work in 2017?
A:     If you entered last year’s competition, you are welcome to do so again in 2017 – however, past winners are prohibited from entering work in any category.  Also, if you are a returning participant, we cannot accept the same work you entered in the 2015 or 2016 competitions.


Q:     My work exceeds your word limit. Will you still consider it for the competition?          
A:     No. Unfortunately, we cannot accept work that exceeds the stated word limit in each category.


Q:     Do I have to format my work in a particular way?
A:     Yes. Please go to the Submissions guidelines page to review required formats for each category.


Q:     Why do I have to pay a submission fee of $25?
A:     Submission fees are customary in most writing competitions, and generally offset the costs associated with the administration of writing contests.  Our competition is not a commercial venture – so consider your fee as going towards keeping the lights on!


Q:     How do I pay my submission fee?
A:     When you upload your submission on Submittable.com, you will be prompted to make your payment online via PayPal.  Note: You do not need a PayPal account in order to do this - just a credit card.  If you are submitting work in more than one category, the system will prompt you to pay a separate submission fee ($25) for each entry.


Q:     Is the submission fee refundable?
A:     No. The fee is non-refundable.


Q:     Will you consider excerpts from larger pieces of work?
A:     No. The Cedric Literary Awards will only accept complete work, and therefore material excerpted from a larger work will not be accepted.


Q:     Should I change the names or distinguishing characteristics of the people in my creative non-fiction story to protect their privacy?
A:     It rather depends on the piece of non-fiction you are submitting.  We would appreciate a note in the cover letter to your submission that covers this point – or you can also include footnotes in your manuscript.


Q:     Will you give me feedback on my entry?
A:     We will do what we can to provide feedback from our judges; however, this isn’t always possible.


Q:     Why can’t I put my name on my manuscript?
A:     All entries are judged “blind”, i.e. the author’s name will not appear on the manuscript.  This method of adjudication ensures complete fairness.


Q:     Do I retain copyright of my work?
A:     Yes. All of our authors retain copyright to the work(s) they enter. However, The Cedric Literary Awards may ask writers for written permission to re-print excerpted material from shortlisted writers on our website and social media.


Q:     Can I make changes to my work once I submit it online?
A:     We expect all entries to be your best work, and complete.  Therefore, no changes can be made after submission.  However, we also understand that mistakes can happen, and you may submit an appeal in writing to the Executive Director within 30 days of submission to discuss the possibility of making changes to your work.


Q:     What do I do if I find a typo in my work after I have submitted it online?
A:     We expect you to carefully proofread your work before submitting it; however, a small typo here and there will not influence the overall evaluation of your submission.  If your work is selected and you then submit it to a prospective publisher, they will do a complete edit of your work.


Q:     Will I be able to view my work once it has been uploaded to Submittable.com?
A:     Yes, you will be able to view your own work – but not others entered into the competition. 


Q:     Can other participants look at my work before the winners are selected?
A:     No.  Your work is safe from prying eyes until such time as you give us permission to re-produce it for information and/or marketing purposes.


Q:     Can any of my personal information (entry form, declaration, etc.) be viewed by anyone other than the competition administrator?
A:     No.  All personal information we collect from competition participants is considered confidential and collected solely for the purposes of administering The Cedric Literary Awards; and will not be used for any purpose other than with the written consent of each participant.


Q:     Who are the judges?
A:     All of the members of the Selection Panel are carefully selected and are recognized members of the Canadian literary community and/or award-winning writers in their own right.  Their identities remain confidential until the presentation of the awards.