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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 period is from October 13 to December 31, 2020.

Authors who have been shortlisted will have an opportunity to deliver a reading in mid-April 2021. The prize is announced in June 2021.

Eligibility criteria


  • The book's publication date must be in 2020.
  • The author must have lived (permanent address) in Calgary for a minimum of two years, as of December 31, 2020.
  • 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 jury, no work in this competition merits an award, no award will be given. In all cases the jury's decision is final.

The 2019 recipient was Sharon Butala for her book, Season of Fury and Wonder.

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 or to submit a publication, contact the Writers' Guild of Alberta, call 1‑800‑665‑5354 or visit www.writersguild.ca.