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Canadian Art Writing Prize

Founded in 2009, the Canadian Art Writing Prize is a juried award designed to encourage new writers on contemporary art.

The winner of this national competition is commissioned to write a feature story forCanadian Art and receives a $3,000 award, while the two-runners up each receive recognition in the magazine and a $1,000 award. Both the winner and the runners-up receive complimentary subscriptions to Canadian Art.

This year’s Writing Prize jury members are Bopha Chhay, Haley Mlotek and Heather O’Neill.

Bopha Chhay is a writer and curator based in Vancouver. She currently holds the position of Director/Curator at Artspeak. She provides editorial support for Bartleby Review and is one of the co-editors of a Vancouver-based publication Charcuterie.

Haley Mlotek is a writer and editor living in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Canadian Art, The Ringer, SSENSE, and n+1, among others. Previously, she was the editor of The Hairpin and the publisher of WORN Fashion Journal.

Heather O’Neill is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist based in Montreal. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, and Wisdom in Nonsense, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, The Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, The Paragraphe MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Danuta Gleed Award.

To be eligible for this prize, the applicant must be 18 years of age or older and have had no more than three pieces of writing published in national or international magazines.

*The deadline for applications for the 2018 prize is now closed. Winners will be announced in August. 

Application guidelines: Please send an unpublished writing sample (between 1,200 and 1,500 words) on an art-related subject, plus a 200-word biographical sketch, to writingprize@canadianart.ca.Your writing sample should take the form of a critical essay. If you are reviewing an exhibition, please frame it as a critical discussion that relates to current artistic and cultural discourse. Successful writing samples will be opinionated, provocative and original, and will reflect Canadian Art’s commitment to intelligent, accessible prose that connects contemporary art to wider ideas, culture and politics. Before submitting, we encourage you to become familiar with stories we’ve published since implementing our new editorial vision in Spring 2016, and to refer to our pitch guidelines.