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Final Judge: Audrey Thomas
Short List Judge: John Lent
Deadline: August 1, 2017
Entry fee - $40

• Open to all writers living in British Columbia.
• Mail one copy of the 1st chapter (max 30 pages) and one copy of a synopsis (max 4 pages) of your unpublished and completed literary novel or novella. No theme.
• Include a covering letter, short biography, name, address, ms title, phone number and email address. For notification, include a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) if you do not have an email address.
• Manuscript must be 12 pt and double-spaced on 8 1/2” x 11”.
• Entries accepted or submitted for publication elsewhere are ineligible.
The author or authors must retain all copyright and must not have waived any moral rights in the work submitted. Co-authors must have a collaboration agreement between them which authorizes one of them to sign the publishing agreement and deal with all editorial and licensing matters without co-author approval. 
• No submissions accepted by email.
• No length restrictions of manuscript.
• More than one manuscript may be entered by an author.
• No entries will be returned.
• Enclose cheque or money order for $40 payable to Mother Tongue Publishing.
• Submissions deadline: postmarked no later than August 1, 2017.
• Three short list finalists will be chosen by John Lent and announced October, 2017.
• Short list finalists must be able to provide a hard copy of the finished manuscript upon notification.
• The winning ms will be chosen by Audrey Thomas and announced December, 2017.
• Publication Fall 2018.

The winner will receive:
–A publishing contract with Mother Tongue Publishing, and the opportunity to work with a professional editor
–$1,000 advance.
–Regional book launches, readings and festival invites.
–Media coverage, including reviews, interviews etc.
–Publication of the winning novel in a beautiful trade paper edition and ebook.

Mail entries to:
The 4th Great BC Novel Contest
Mother Tongue Publishing, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2K6

Info: submissions at


AUDREY THOMAS has published 18 novels and short story collections and more than 20 of her radio plays have been broadcast on CBC. Twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, Thomas has received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize three times, for Intertidal Life, Wild Blue Yonder, and Coming Down from Wa, and has been internationally recognized with the Canada-Scotland Writer's Literary fellowship and the Canada-Australia Literary Prize. In 1987 she won the Marian Engel Award for her body of work, in 2001 the W.O. Mitchell Award, in 2003 she won the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2008, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her most recent novel, Local Customs, was short-listed for the 2014 Victoria Butler Book Prize. She lives on Galiano Island, B.C.

JOHN LENT has published nine books of poetry and fiction and a book of conversations with Robert Kroetsch about the writing life, titled Abundance.  His novel, So It Won’t Go Away, was short-listed for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and his poetry, Cantilevered Songs was long-listed for the Re-Lit Award. The Path to Ardroe, a novel, was published in 2012. As a former Okanagan College, Regional Dean, he received the distinguished service award in 2014 for “significantly contributing to the national reputation that Okanagan College has earned for creative writing and publishing.” A John Lent poetry/prose award was established in 2012. Lent lives in Vernon, B.C., with his wife, the artist Jude Clarke, and plays in The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio.  He is currently working on a new novel called The Kitchen Sessions.

Winning Manuscript of 3rd Great BC Novel Contest Disqualified

Mother Tongue Publishing regrets to announce that it has disqualified, Atomic Road by Grant Buday, the winning manuscript of its 3rd Great BC Novel Contest after much deliberation, including consultation with the final judge, because of a dispute over appropriate authorship attribution. Information provided by the writer, whose name had been announced as the winner, raised a significant issue for Mother Tongue Publishing Limited and its publisher, poet Mona Fertig, as well as for the integrity of the Contest.  Because of the outlays of time, energy and money already incurred, no substitution will be made. In future, submission guides for the contest will be more rigorous.

The 3rd Great BC Novel Contest had 56 manuscript submissions and three finalists were announced November 24, 2015. The winner was announced on March 4th, 2016.

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2nd contest Winner, 2013
Kathryn Para for her debut novel Lucky.

Judges were; Caroline Adderson (final judge) and Gurjinder Basran and David Chariandy.

2014 Shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize!

Lucky is a beautiful, harsh novel, tension-filled, its language startling and fresh.  It's also funny, thanks to the unflinching perceptions of its daring and damaged protagonist, Ani, war photojournalist and surly survivor.  Lucky me.  I got to read this book first.”– Caroline Adderson

Kathy Para’s debut novel raises the ante on the word ‘blistering.’ Once you start down her harrowing road, you won’t be able to get off.”–Keith Maillard

"Astonishing in scope and depth. Astonishing as a first novel. Para’s depictions of the war scenes in Lucky are stunning, her understanding of the political forces at play, astute; these sections ring with a profound authenticity. Yet it’s the heartbreaking, personal account of Ani that is so enlightening. We’re reading of a woman who is angry about being a “woman in a man’s mythology.”–MAC Farrant

1st contest WINNER, 2010
Gurjinder Basran for her debut novel Everything Was Good-bye.

Judges were; Jack Hodgins (final judge) and Kathy Page and Karen X Tulchinsky.


• 2012 3 weeks Reader’s Choice for the ScotiaGiller Prize
• 2012 Top 5 Canada Reads Choice in BC/Yukon
• 2011 Winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
• 2010 Winner Great BC Novel Contest
• 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist

“A fascinating story, skillfully written, of a rebellious young woman's remarkable courage.” —Jack Hodgins

"This is a brave book, and also a pleasure to read: emotionally  engaging, sensuous, vibrant, and beautifully observed."– Kathy Page

 “Basran’s writing is by turns both elegant and poetic… the writing does what good writing should do: it makes an ordinary story unique.”– Quill & Quire

"Both hilarious and heartbreaking, Meena’s wry, dark, irreverent narrative about her coming-of-age in Vancouver’s Indo-Canadian community demands to be read aloud."–Booklist

"Basran’s raw, sad debut tells the story of Meena’s struggle between her desires and her Indian family’s traditions."–Publisher's Weekly

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