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Alberta Literary Competitions FAQ

Alberta Literary Awards FAQ

Are self-published books eligible for the awards?

Yes, self-published books are eligible for the Alberta Literary Awards as long as they have an ISBN (i.e. the book is commercially available). 

Is a new revised edition of a previously published book or short piece eligible?

The awards are intended to recognize new work. A book or short piece that has been published in previous years and republished in the year of eligibility is not a new work and is not eligible for the awards, even if revisions have been made to the text.

There are the following exceptions:

  • Short story or poetry collections entered into the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction or the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry may contain short stories or poems that have been previously published, as long as the book itself is a first edition. The collection of short stories or poems in book form is considered a new work.
  • A play published in book form is eligible for the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama if it received its premiere publication in a previous year, as long as the unpublished version of the play has not been entered into the award in any previous year. If an unpublished play had its first public performance in a previous year and had a public performance of a revised version in the year of eligibility, the revised version is not eligible unless it has also been published in book form for the first time in the year of eligibility. 

Can a book written by more than one author be entered? What if one of the authors does not meet the residency requirements?

Multi-authored anthologies, as in a collection of works from many different authors, are not eligible for any of the awards. A co-authored book, as in one in which two or more authors worked on the entirety of the text together, is eligible. If one or more of the authors meet the Alberta residence requirements but the others do not, the book is still eligible for the Alberta Literary Awards, but the prize will only be awarded to the Alberta author(s).

How should short pieces be formatted? Should the author’s name appear on the piece?

Please refer to the submission guidelines for each specific award. There are no requirements beyond the guidelines. 

Can a picture book be entered into the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature if the illustrator meets the Alberta residence requirements but the author does not?

The R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature is only for the author, so the author must meet the Alberta residence requirements and the illustrator’s residence does not affect eligibility. 

Are graphic novels, photography books, or any other books that combine text with images eligible for the awards?

Books combining text and images such as graphic novels are eligible for all the awards, provided the author of the text meets the residency requirements. The awards will only recognize authors and literary merit, so a book is not eligible if the artist meets the residency requirement while the author does not.

Are the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction and the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction intended for creative nonfiction?

Judging for all the awards is based on literary merit, but no nonfiction form is excluded from consideration.

Is a short piece eligible for the awards if it is longer than the word count limit in the guidelines?

No. Pieces entered into the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction, and the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award are not eligible if they exceed the respective word counts indicated in the guidelines.

Why are residency requirements for the Alberta Literary Awards, The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize different?

The guidelines for the Alberta Literary Awards are set by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. The guidelines for The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize are set by their respective cities, therefore each respective award may have different guidelines.

Should a press release, author bio, or any other additional material be included with submissions?

Please do not send press releases, bios, bookmarks, or any other material that is not asked for in the submission guidelines. These materials are not used in the adjudication and end up thrown away.

Does a copy of the entry form or the payment confirmation need to be included with books or plays?

No. If you have received a confirmation email, we have the title and author of the entry in our database so there is no need to include any printed copy with mailed books or plays. Save the paper! If you did not receive a confirmation email and it’s not in your spam folder, let us know, because in that case we may not have the information.

The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize FAQ

Are self-published books eligible for The Robert Kroestsch City of Edmonton Book Prize?

Yes, self-published books are eligible for The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize as long as they have an ISBN (i.e. the book is commercially available). 

Is a new revised edition of a previously published book eligible?

The award is intended to recognize new work. A book that has been published in previous years and republished in the year of eligibility is not a new work and is not eligible for the awards, even if revisions have been made to the text. A book of an author’s collected works that contains stories, poems, or essays that have been previously published is eligible since the collection in book form is a new work.

Is a book written by a former resident of the City of Edmonton or resident of a Greater Edmonton community eligible?

No, authors must be residents of the City of Edmonton, or the Municipality of Edmonton, at the time of entry. Former residents and residents of Greater Edmonton communities are not eligible. Books by non-residents are eligible if the book is about Edmonton.

Can a book written by more than one author be entered? What if one of the authors does not meet the residency requirements?

Multi-authored anthologies, as in a collection of works from many different authors, are not eligible for the award. A co-authored book, as in one in which two or more authors worked on the entirety of the text together, is eligible. If one or more of the authors meet the Edmonton residence requirements but the others do not, the book is still eligible for the award, but the prize will only be awarded to the Edmonton author(s).

Are picture books, graphic novels, photography books, or any other books that combine text with images eligible for the awards?Can a book authored by a non-Edmonton resident be entered if the artist is a City of Edmonton resident?

Books combining text and images such as graphic novels are eligible, but the author of the text must meet the residency requirements. The award will only recognizes authors and literary merit, so a book is not eligible if the artist meets the residency requirement while the author does not. The residency of the artist does not affect eligibility. Books by non-residents are eligible if the book is about Edmonton.

Why are residency requirements for the Alberta Literary Awards, The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize different?

The guidelines for the Alberta Literary Awards are set by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. The guidelines for The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize are set by their respective cities, therefore each respective award may have different guidelines.

Should a press release, author bio, or any other additional material be included with submissions?

Please do not send press releases, bios, bookmarks, or any other material that is not asked for in the submission guidelines. These materials are not used in the adjudication and end up thrown away.

Does a copy of the entry form or the payment confirmation need to be included with books or plays?

No. If you have received a confirmation email, we have the title and author of the entry in our database so there is no need to include any printed copy with mailed books or plays. Save the paper! If you did not receive a confirmation email and it’s not in your spam folder, let us know, because in that case we may not have the information.

The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize FAQ

Are self-published books eligible for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize?

Yes, self-published books are eligible for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize as long as they have an ISBN (i.e. the book is commercially available).

Is a book written by a former resident of The City of Calgary or resident of a Calgary region community eligible?

No, authors must be a Calgary resident for a minimum of two years, as of December 31, 2018. Former residents and residents of other communities in the Calgary region are not eligible.

Can a book written by more than one author be entered? What if one of the authors is not a Calgary resident?

Multi-authored anthologies, as in a collection of works from many different authors, are not eligible for any of the awards. A co-authored book, as in one in which two or more authors worked on the entirety of the text together, is eligible, but all authors must be current residents of The City of Calgary.

Are picture books, graphic novels, photography books, or any other books that combine text with images eligible for the awards? Can a book authored by a non-Calgary resident be entered if the artist meets residency requirements?

Books combining text and images such as graphic novels are eligible, but the author of the text must meet the residency requirements. The award will only recognizes authors and literary merit, so a book is not eligible if the artist meets the residency requirement while the author does not. The residency of the artist does not affect eligibility.

Why are residency requirements for the Alberta Literary Awards, The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize different?

The guidelines for the Alberta Literary Awards are set by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. The guidelines for The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize are set by their respective cities, therefore each respective award may have different guidelines.

Is a new revised edition of a previously published book eligible?

The award is intended to recognize new work. A book that has been published in previous years and republished in the year of eligibility is not a new work and is not eligible for the awards, even if revisions have been made to the text. A book of an author’s collected works that contains stories, poems, or essays that have been previously published is eligible since the collection in book form is a new work.

Should a press release, author bio, or any other additional material be included with submissions?

Please do not send press releases, bios, bookmarks, or any other material that is not asked for in the submission guidelines. These materials are not used in the adjudication and end up thrown away.

Does a copy of the entry form or the payment confirmation need to be included with books or plays?

No. If you have received a confirmation email, we have the title and author of the entry in our database so there is no need to include any printed copy with mailed books or plays. Save the paper! If you did not receive a confirmation email and it’s not in your spam folder, let us know, because in that case we may not have the information.