The Short Grain Contest celebrates poetry and prose from across Canada and internationally. In addition to being published in Grain, cash prizes are available for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each genre.
Grain and the Short Grain Writing Contest have featured the work of diverse writers, both emerging and established, including Lorna Crozier, Zsuzsi Gartner, Louise B. Halfe–Sky Dancer, Tim Lilburn, Guy Maddin, Miriam Toews, Iryn Tushabe, Eleanor Wachtel, and Joshua Whitehead.
Grain is grateful for financial support from The Cheryl & Henry Kloppenburg Foundation.
Contest prizes donated in part by The Cheryl & Henry Kloppenburg Foundation.
Each entrant receives a free subscription to Grain magazine.
Cassidy McFadzean is the author of three books of poetry: Crying Dress (House of Anansi, 2024), Drolleries (McClelland & Stewart 2019), shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, and Hacker Packer (M&S 2015), winner of two Saskatchewan Book Awards and a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award. Her fiction has appeared in Joyland, Maisonneuve, and EVENT, and her debut novella is forthcoming in Dead Writers(Invisible Publishing, 2024). Her chapbook, Third State of Being (Gaspereau Press, 2022), was a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Cassidy was born in Regina and currently lives in Toronto.
Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. His latest novel, The Foghorn Echoes, won the Lambda Award for Gay Fiction, and was nominated for the BC & Yukon Book awards, and the city of Vancouver Book Award. The Clothesline Swing is translated to multiple languages. His award-winning children’s books, The Salma Series, continues to receive accolades. He is expected to release his memoir, Crooked Teeth, in May 2024. Since his arrival to Canada, Ramadan has raised over $300,000 for LGBTQ+ identifying refugees. Ramadan graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Adler University.
Entry Guidelines, FAQs, and Payments
The basic fee for Canadian entrants is $40 (including GST) for a maximum of two entries in one category (i.e. two poems for the Poetry category, or two stories for the Fiction category).
The fee for US entrants is $50 and the fee for international entrants is $60, payable in US or Canadian funds.
Please make your cheque or money order payable to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG). You may also pay online via Stripe (see below). Every entrant receives a one-year (four-issue) subscription to Grain Magazine, starting after payment is received.
Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, nor entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition. Work that has appeared online is considered published and is not eligible.
All entries in this contest will be judged anonymously, on merit alone. The judges' decisions are final. Judging is anonymous. Do not print, type, or write your name on the text pages of your entry.
Entries must be accompanied by one cover page, regardless of the number of entries submitted, and must provide the following information. If you are submitting via email, include this information in the body of your email.
Your name, complete mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
Title of your entry or entries.
Category you are entering: Poetry (one or two poems to a max of 100 lines each) or Fiction (one or two stories to a max of 2,500 words each).
Word Count (Fiction) / Line Count (Poetry). An absolutely accurate word or line count is required.
Method of Payment (if submitting by email).
Entries must be typed (double-spaced for fiction) on 8 1/2 x 11-inch pages and must be sent as individual files if emailed.
Names of the winners and titles of the winning entries of the Short Grain Contest will be posted on the Grain website in August. Contest winners will be notified directly either by telephone or by email.
MAIL: Send your entry or entries to:
Short Grain Contest
PO Box 3986
Regina, SK S4P 3R9
Mailed entries will not be returned. Keep a copy of your entry.
EMAIL: Send entry or entries as individual files to email@example.com with a subject line that contains the author’s full name, genre(s), and payment method (cheque, money order, or PayPal). For example, Jane Grain, Fiction, Cheque OR Jim Grain, Poetry, Stripe. REMEMBER: Judging is anonymous. Do not put your name on your entry. Acceptable file formats are Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
Make your cheque or money order payable to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG). If you want to pay online, use the Stripe order form below. If payment is from a name other than that which is on your submission, please let us know.
All entries must be POSTMARKED or EMAILED by the deadline. Entries postmarked or received by email after this date will not be accepted.
Entries by fax will not be accepted.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you say, "...a maximum of two entries in one category..." does that mean I can enter one piece of Fiction and one piece of Poetry with one $40 entry fee?
No. For each $40 entry fee, you may enter one or two pieces of Fiction OR one or two pieces of Poetry. If you do send one piece of Fiction and one piece of Poetry, we will choose one of them at random to be considered.
Can I enter more than once?
You may enter as many times as you like, provided you include another entry fee for each entry beyond the first; therefore, two Canadian entries would cost $80.
If I enter twice, can I enter two pieces of Fiction AND two pieces of Poetry?
Absolutely! Or you could enter four pieces of Poetry, or two pieces of Poetry and one piece of Fiction, but not three pieces of Poetry and one piece of Fiction.
Do I need to send a separate cover page for each piece of writing I enter?
No. Send only one cover page that includes all the information for every piece of writing you are entering. Don't forget to include your complete contact information!
And what happens to my free subscription if I enter more than once?
Your Grain subscription will be increased by four issues for each entry fee received beyond the first. So, if you enter twice, you will receive a two-year (eight-issue) subscription to Grain Magazine. If you already have a subscription to Grain, we'll simply add another four issues to your current subscription for each entry fee received. If you’d rather your additional entry fee go towards a subscription for someone else, please indicate this on your cover letter, and provide your friend’s name and mailing address.
What if I enter something that's over the word count? Will that piece be disqualified?
Yes. Any piece that is over the word or line count will not be judged. Be conscientious of your word and line counts.
For poetry, do titles or line breaks count as lines toward the 100 line maximum?
No. Titles or line breaks or spaces between lines of poetry do not count toward the 100 line maximum. Only lines of text count.
Will entrants be notified of the winners?
No. Winners and the names of the winning pieces will be posted on our website in August.
What if the postmarked deadline falls on a weekend when the post offices are closed?
Because we are using a postmarked deadline, if the deadline falls on a day when the post offices are closed, we will accept entries postmarked on the next business day.
You may pay for your online entry by paper means (cheque or money order) or online via Stripe. Use the form below to submit your online payment. Remember: each entry of UP TO two poetry entries or UP TO two fiction entries requires one entry fee. If you submit a poetry entry and a fiction entry, that’s two entry fees. If you submit four fiction entries, that’s two entry fees. All fees are subject to GST (5 %).
After paying, please print a copy of the Stripe receipt for your records. We will match your payment with your entry by your name. If there is any doubt, we will contact you to confirm your receipt number.
Grain is grateful to its funders: Sask Lotteries, Canada Council for the Arts, and the financial support from its private donors.
Grain is published by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.