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The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize is awarded in honour of acclaimed Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell and recognizes literary achievement by Calgary authors. Established in 1996, the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize is coordinated through a partnership between The City of Calgary and the Writers' Guild of Alberta, which administers the award as part of the Alberta Literary Competitions.
Entries are judged by an independent jury recruited by the Writers' Guild of Alberta. The winning author will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

The submission deadline is December 31, 2019.

Authors who have been shortlisted will have an opportunity to deliver a reading in mid-April 2020. The prize will be presented at The Calgary Awards Presentation in June 2020.

The 2018 recipient was Marcello Di Cintio for his book titled Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense.


Eligibility Criteria

  • The book's publication date must be in 2019.
  • The author must have lived (permanent address) in Calgary for a minimum of two years, as of December 31, 2019.
  • The following types of writing are eligible: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children's literature or drama.
  • Self-published books with an ISBN are eligible.
  • The following types or writing are not eligible: multi-author anthologies, cookbooks, guidebooks, textbooks, technical manuals, bibliographies and works of a purely academic or scholarly nature. Books of fewer than 48 pages (except children's literature), books that are not written in English or French, multi-authored books (if any one of the authors is not a Calgarian), and reprints or new editions of previously published books are also not eligible.
  • If, in the opinion of the judges, no work in this competition merits an award, no award will be given. In all cases the judges’ decision is final.

Submissions for The W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

Submissions for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize are accepted in accordance with the Alberta Literary Competitions timelines, which run October through December of the award year.

For more information, please contact the Writers' Guild of Alberta at 1-800-665-5354 or visit