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Short List Judges:
Bill Gaston and Kathryn Para
Final Judge:
Pearl Luke
September 1, 2015
Entry fee -


• Open to all writers living in British Columbia.
• Mail TWO COPIES of the 1st chapter (max 30 pages) and TWO COPIES of a synopsis (max 4 pages) of your unpublished literary novel or novella. No theme.
• Include a covering letter, short bio, name, address, ms title, phone number and email address. Include SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) if you do not have an email address.
• Ms must be double-spaced on 8 1/2” x 11”.
• Entries accepted or submitted for publication elsewhere are ineligible.
• No submissions accepted by email.
• No length restrictions of manuscript.
• No entries will be returned.
• Enclose cheque or money order for $40 payable to Mother Tongue Publishing.
• Submissions must be postmarked no later than September 1, 2015.
• Three short list finalists will be announced January 2016.
• Short list finalists must be able to provide the finished manuscript upon notification.
• The winning ms will be announced March 2016.
• Publication Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.

The winner will receive:
–A publishing contract with Mother Tongue Publishing, and a chance 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 3rd Great BC Novel Contest
Mother Tongue Publishing, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2K6


PEARL LUKE’s novel Burning Ground won the 2001 Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel (Canada/Caribbean region) and was short-listed for the Chapters/Robertson Davies First Novel Prize, Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and Canadian Booksellers’ Libris Award. She was one of 10 international writers-in-residence for the City of Taipei in 2000. Madame Zee was long-listed for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Luke works as a freelance editor and private writing mentor and lives on Salt Spring Island with her partner, poet and novelist Robert Hilles. Visit

BILL GASTON’S latest novel, The World, won the 2013 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. His fiction has been nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award, and has won the ReLit Award, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the CBC Canadian Literary Award. His most recent short-story collection, Juliet Was a Surprise, was nominated for the 2014 Governor General’s Award. Gaston was the inaugural recipient of the Timothy Findley Award, conferred by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. He lives in Victoria and teaches at the University of Victoria.

KATHRYN PARA is an award-winning, multi-genre writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her debut novel, Lucky, won Mother Tongue Publishing's 2nd Great BC Novel Contest. Lucky was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2014. Para’s fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in Grain, Room of One's Own, Geist, Sunstream and Vancouver Review. Her stage play, Honey, debuted in 2004. She has also written, directed and produced short films. She lives in Gibsons, BC. Visit

No phone calls please
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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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