Nova Writes endeavors to mimic the process of submitting to journals and publishers. To that end, we have devised guidelines that require an attention to detail and specific technical and informational requirements. However, we are also an organization that endeavors to assist people with the business of being a writer. If you have any questions about our guidelines or submission procedures, please feel free to email Please ask for assistance no later than two weeks before the competition close date.

Please note that due to limited resources, we are unable to provide technical assistance such as formatting or attaching documents to email. If you require this kind of assistance, please speak to a friend or family member, or contact your local library branch. 

Pen names are required. Entries submitted with real names on the manuscript and/or without a pen name will not be accepted. Ensure your pen name cannot be connected to you (ie, an online alias.) The pen name is to ensure a blind judging process.  Your real name should only appear on your cover letter, as the cover letter is for office use only. Please also ensure that your files are named correctly. We receive dozens of entries so it is very important that your files are named in a way to ensure they're not lost. See below for details. 

3.1 Complete and eligible submissions to prize categories must include the following. (Entrants should keep a copy of the complete online submission for their records.)

aSubmissions must include:

i. A completed online entry form 

ii. The non-refundable entry fee. (See entry fee amounts in section 3.5.)
iii. The unpublished manuscript containing no personal information, which must be formatted as follows:

    •  Word or PDF document format; 
    • 12 pt. font, double-spaced, (except poetry), Times New Roman or Arial, 8.5x11, with at least a one inch margin on all sides (if you are submitting poetry that relies on certain formatting, we suggest submitting as a pdf to ensure nothing shifts);
    •  each page must be numbered in sequence in the upper right hand corner and each page must include the entrant's pen name in the header;
    •  The file should include your pen name, the title of your piece and the category you are submitting in (ex: PenName_MyStory_LongCNF.doc.)  Please do not submit files that are labelled ‘my manuscript’ or other generic titles. If you are submitting to a category that requires a summary (containing no personally identifiable information), that should be included in this document.
    • If you are submitting to the YA Novel, Adult Novel or Long-Form Creative Non-Fiction category, the first page of your manuscript should be the summary. This letter should not contain your real name or any biographical information. 

iv. A cover letter (for office use) that:

    •  provides the entrant's real name, permanent address (not summer home or cottage), phone number, and e-mail;
    •  provides a one-paragraph description / biographical note of the entrant, including mention of any previous writing credits, if applicable
    • notes the final word count of your manuscript.
    • the file should include your pen name, the title of your piece, and should indicate this is your cover letter (ex: PenName_MyStory_AdultNovel_CoverLetter.doc.)

 A digital declaration that:

    •   states that the entrant and submission meet all eligibility criteria;
    •   attests to the entrant's status as a Nova Scotia resident

**Note that the declaration is made by marking checkboxes on the entry form when submitting via the website, or as a note in the letter described in iv. if submitting via email

3.2 Submissions deemed eligible by WFNS and submitted to readers and judges is final.

3.3 Entry Fees are as follows:

H.R. (Bill) Percy Novel Prize and Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Children/Young Adult Novel Prize & Long-Form Creative Non-Fiction Prize:
$35 per entry

All other prize categories
$25 per entry

Our preferred method of payment is PayPal. Please note that you do not have to have a PayPal account to check out with it. When you go to check out, there will be a button that will allow you to input your credit card information. This is a safe and secure transaction.

Please submit payment as a cheque or money order made payable to the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia. You may also pay via cash in person. Please note that we are unable to accept credit card payments by phone. Do not mail cash. If you are paying for your entry fee by a method other than PayPal, please email your completed application to with the subject line: Nova Writes – Category – Pen Name. Please make sure you follow all formatting instructions and naming conventions as outlined above. Note: your entry is not considered complete until we have received payment. Do not send your payment until you have sent your entry, but also ensure that your payment is postmarked no later than December 6, 2017. Physical submissions are not accepted. 

3.6 Complete submissions must be submitted to the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia no later than the December 6, 2017 submission deadline.

3.7 The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia does not accept applications that are incomplete, formatted improperly, exceed the word limit, does not contain a pen name, or is submitted past the deadline. Entry fees will not be refunded, so please check your application carefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the WFNS office prior to submitting your manuscript.

3.8 Please note that the WFNS will accept the first entry only. Please ensure that your entry is complete and correct before submitting. Replacement documents will not be accepted unless we specifically request one. We receive dozens of entries to this competition. Replacement entries confuse the process and increases the likelihood that your entry will be misplaced. 

3.9 Please be advised that due to the volume of entries, WFNS does not send out confirmation that entries have been received. If you paid via PayPal, the PayPal receipt is your confirmation. If we receive a fee without an accompanying manuscript, we will reach out to you. If you paid via cheque, the emailed receipt for that payment will be your confirmation. Please do not contact the office requesting confirmation that your entry was received. That being said, if you encounter any technical difficulties, please let us know.

3.10 For assistance, please e-mail programs@writers.ns.caPlease note that queries sent within one week of the deadline may not get an answer in time for you to submit. If you have a question, please contact the office early.  



If you entered the competition, click 'Adjudication Process & Timeline' for dates.



Categories | Eligibility Criteria & Rules | Submission Procedures | Adjudication Process & Timeline