The Journey Prize 33: Celebrating the Best of Canada's New Black Writers
There are presently no open calls for submissions.
THE WRITERS' TRUST McCLELLAND & STEWART JOURNEY PRIZE
SPECIAL EDITION: Celebrating the Best of Canada's New Black Writers
For over three decades, the Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize has prided itself on showcasing the best short fiction by Canada’s most exciting emerging writers. But we recognize that not all voices are given the same opportunities or heard equally. The Journey Prize commits to amplifying the voices of writers who have historically been excluded by systemic inequality, including within the publishing ecosystem. The 33rd edition of the Journey Prize competition and its associated anthology, The Journey Prize Stories, will be dedicated to celebrating the work of Canada’s best emerging Black writers and led by a jury comprising celebrated Canadian writers David Chariandy, Esi Edugyan, and Canisia Lubrin.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: We are now accepting direct submissions from emerging Black Canadian authors. Deadline for submissions is January 9, 2022. Full eligibility criteria and submission guidelines for writer self-submissions can be found here.
CALL TO ACTION: In recognition of the vital role Canadian literary magazines and anthologies play in fostering new talent, The Journey Prize has made changes to its submission criteria to encourage our partners in the lit mag world to commit to publishing more Black Canadian writers, and to making the larger CanLit publishing community more accessible for all. Please see details below.
- Expanded publication window for eligibility: We have increased the eligible publication window from 1 to 3 years. This means stories by emerging Black Canadian writers published in 2019 and 2020, as well as stories scheduled for publication before the end of 2021, may be submitted for the 33rd edition of the Journey Prize.
- Removal of submission caps: We have removed limits on the number of eligible stories by emerging Black Canadian writers published between 2019 and 2021 that eligible literary publications may enter to the current competition.
- SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR WORKS PUBLISHED IN 2021: January 9, 2022.
1. THE PRIZE
Each year, an independent jury is appointed by McClelland & Stewart in conjunction with The Writers’ Trust of Canada. The jury will select approximately 9–12 stories for inclusion in The Journey Prize Stories, which is published by McClelland & Stewart.
We are making an important change to the prize to make it more equitable. Beginning with this edition, each writer whose story is selected for inclusion inthe anthology will be considered a Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize winner and will receive $1,000 CAD. We have long said that having a story selected for the anthology is the real prize for an emerging writer, and this change better aligns with that philosophy, with the prize’s mandate of supporting Canadian writers, and with the anthology’s aim to spotlight a range of exceptional Canadian literary talent every year.
To demystify the publishing industry, the writers whose stories are selected for the Best of Canada’s New Black Writers edition of the Journey Prize will be invited to a free and exclusive online event where they can meet their fellow anthology contributors, learn more about the publishing industry, and connect with publishing industry professionals.
2. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
i. ***NEW*** For the Celebrating the Best of Canada’s New Black Writers edition, all submitted writers will need to fill out an Author Eligibility Form, as only short stories or excerpts from a fiction work-in-progress from writers who meet the following criteria are eligible:
- Writer must self-identify as Black.
- Writer is a Canadian citizen, whether living in Canada or abroad, or a permanent resident of Canada.
- Writer is an emerging writer who has not published more than one book of adult fiction as of January 2022, nor has their fiction already received substantial national attention.
ii. Writers may have appeared in earlier volumes of The Journey Prize anthology but cannot have won The Journey Prize before. Previous winners are listed here.
iii. Entries by writers who are currently on the masthead of the submitting publication are not eligible.
iv. ***NEW*** We have expanded the publication window for eligibility, so that stories by emerging Black Canadian writers published in 2019 and 2020, as well as stories scheduled for publication before the end of 2021, may be submitted for the competition. There will be separate submissions deadlines for works published in 2019 and 2020, and for those scheduled for publication in 2021. More details below.
v. The Journey Prize and the Journey Prize anthology are designed to support new and developing Canadian writers during the early stages of their career. The Journey Prize reserves the right to decide whether a submitted writer qualifies for entry based on this mandate. In the event that a writer is disqualified on this basis, the submitting publication will be given the opportunity to submit a replacement entry.
vi. Following this long-overdue amplification of emerging Black Canadian voices in the 2021 competition, future editions of The Journey Prize will be open to stories published between 2021–2022 and from emerging writers of all backgrounds. In other words, those stories that, under regular circumstances, might have been submitted to the 2021 competition will still have the opportunity to be considered for the next Journey Prize. It is our belief that this celebration of Black Canadian talent should not in any way be misconstrued as resulting in any lost opportunities for other writers; rather, it is our hope that the conversations that may result from this competition will lead to a more accessible and diverse literary community.
3. SUBMISSION PROCEDURES AND DEADLINES
i. ***NEW*** For the 33rd edition of the Journey Prize, there are no limits on the number of eligible stories that literary publications may enter to the competition. We hope editors and editorial boards will accept our call to action and commit to publishing more Black Canadian writers as a step towards ensuring a more robust and diverse literary community.
ii. There is no entry fee. There are no restrictions on word length, though the prize is intended for short stories or excerpts from a fiction work-in-progress.
iii. Each entry must be accompanied by:
- A completed entry form (click "submit" below to bring up electronic form).
- A completed Author Eligibility Form, to be filled out by the AUTHOR.
- A MASTER copy of the story.
- An ANONYMOUS copy of the story. IMPORTANT: To ensure anonymous judging, please delete or redact all identifying info, including author’s name, publication title, and any other identifiers (e.g., running heads/tails, ads, etc.) from every page of the story.
- A biographical note for the author.
- For those publications that have not previously had pieces selected for The Journey Prize anthology, submissions should include a brief statement about the publication, including its editorial mandate, and where and to whom submissions to the publication may be sent.
iv. Submissions by literary magazines and anthologies can be submitted digitally via the Journey Prize’s Submittable page. (If you don’t have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to register for a free one.)
v. ***NEW*** For the current competition, there will be staggered submission deadlines:
- Submissions by literary magazines or anthologies: For stories published in 2021: January 9, 2022.
- Self-submissions by emerging Black Canadian authors: January 9, 2022. Full eligibility criteria and submission guidelines for writer self-submissions can be found here.
i. Those authors whose stories have been selected to appear in the forthcoming The Journey Prize Stories 33: Celebrating the Best of Canada’s New Black Writers will be contacted in early 2022.
ii. The complete list of contributors to The Journey Prize Stories 33 will be announced ahead of the anthology’s publication at www.facebook.com/TheJourneyPrize.
5. FURTHER INFORMATION
All inquiries should be directed to Joe Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and news about The Journey Prize and The Journey Prize Stories throughout the year, please like us at www.facebook.com/TheJourneyPrize.