Short Works Prize

Short Works Prize logoRecognizing Excellence in Writing

An open and welcoming contest for Hamilton-area writers in partnership with Bryan Prince Bookseller, the Hamilton Public Library, and Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine. Submit your work. Be recognized.
Please read the guidelines carefully, a number of things have changed since last year.

The third annual Short Works Prize will be awarded in five categories:

  • The Alvin A. Lee Prize for Creative Non-Fiction
  • The Best Poem Prize
  • The Ward 1 Marjorie Baskin Fiction Prize

For published works: your poem, short story, or short essay must have appeared in a magazine, journal, or as part of a multi-authored book in 2015.


  • Off-the-Radar for Unpublished Writers over the age of 20
  • Young Writers Prize for Unpublished Writers 16 - 20 years old

The unpublished categories are for individuals who have never had a piece of writing professionally published before.

  • The Gillett Prizes for older adults are awarded in a closed competition.

Prize Amounts:

  • $200 in each published category
  • $100 for Off-the-Radar
  • $100 for Young Writers

Writers will be notified of the results by email before the Awards Ceremony. A special reading by the Winners will take place Sunday, October 2nd at the Central Library of Hamilton Public Library during Culture Days in September 2016.

SWP is funded in part by the Hamilton Author Series. Subscribe.  Attend.


  • Writers currently living in areas serviced by the Hamilton Public Library, excluding out-of-town borrowers
  • 2015 SWP Winners in any category should skip a year before submitting again.

Submissions open February 1, 2016 and close July 1, 2016.

  • Enter online.
  • If you do not have computer access, drop your submission off to any of the Hamilton Public Library branches or at Bryan Prince Bookseller with the envelope clearly marked Short Works Prize / Attention Paul Lisson.  
  • Cost to enter: $0
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • Blind Judging: your name will not appear on the work we give to the jurors. Please do not include your name on the writing you submit. Your name should only appear on the submission form.

Professionally Published Authors may submit in 2 of the 3 categories:

  • Published authors should not submit to Off-the-Radar

Off-the-Radar and Young Writers please submit:

  • One poem OR
  • One piece of Fiction OR
  • One piece of Literary Non-Fiction

The Short Works Prize is presented in partnership by Bryan Prince Bookseller, the Hamilton Public Library, and Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine. SWP is supported by the Hamilton Spectator and the Hamilton Author Series.

Hamilton Public Library logoBryan Prince Bookseller logoHamilton Arts and Letters magazine logoThe Hamilton Spectator logo

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