Narrative Nonfiction Prize

Nonfiction Prose Manuscript

  • 1,500 to 3,000 words
  • First Prize $200, Second Prize $100, Third Prize 1 year WFNB membership

The 2024 Judge: Shelly Kawaja

Shelly Kawaja won the 2022 BMO Winterset Award for her debut novel, The Raw Light of Morning. Her work can also be found in Riddle Fence, Horseshoe Literary Magazine, The Humber Literary Review and The Dalhousie Review. She was longlisted for the Bridge Prize, the Fresh Fish Award, and won the GritLIT 2020 short fiction contest. Shelly teaches creative writing at Memorial University’s Corner Brook campus and is the Fiction Reviews Editor at The Artisanal Writer Magazine. She’s a graduate of UBC’s MFA program, The Humber School for Writers and Memorial University of Newfoundland. She lives in Corner Brook with her family.


First Place: The Massive Continuity of Ducks (Author: Allison Billings)

Judge's Comment: A visually graceful story that explores the inevitably of loss, the earthy filth of grief, and the wanton tenderness of ducks. This is thoughtful, honest writing that will sit with you quietly long after you finish reading. Beautiful and moving.

Author Bio: I live and work in the oldest train station in the Maritimes in Rothesay, NB, having moved here from Ontario with my two sons in December 2023. I worked for many years in arts engagement, creating events and programming that brought the beauty of arts learning to untraditional community spaces, often with a focus on community justice issues. I am currently a full time visual artist, I talk freely about grief, dream in words and blue, speak most animal tongues, listen with my hips and fall in love every day. I am a new writer and member of the Lady Poets, a group of women gathered through learning from poet and essayist Sabrina Orah Mark.

Second Place: Rabbits (Author: Trenton Pomeroy)

Judge's Comment: Humorous and touching, Rabbits, is a portrait of a tender nine-year old boy, his love for his formidable mother, their thievery of the neighbour's rabbits, and the human inclination to always, always, want more. You will be moved, you will laugh, and you will want more too. 

Author Bio: Trenton Pomeroy grew up and still lives in New Brunswick on Canada’s East Coast. He is a recent retiree from the software industry, where his writing was mainly focused on technology publications and marketing materials. Now he writes as a hobby. He has won multiple awards for fiction, creative nonfiction and flash. He is a three time first place winner of the WFNB Narrative Nonfiction award, and was long listed for the CBC Writes Nonfiction competition in 2022.

Third Place: Friends Without Names (Author: Eve Allen)

Judge's Comment: Tender, heartfelt, honest, this story of a cancer patient considers the connective force of hope and the comforting power of strangerswho are anything but strange. 

Author Bio:  I currently work as a mental health therapist in Moncton but worked in the field of journalism for more than 30 years, including 13 years as a newspaper reporter.  I also supplied contract writing services for businesses and magazines and wrote the treatments for a season of television shows on APTN. I have a MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick as well as a MEd in Counselling Psychology. I've written and published several short stories, and in 2002, my memoir, Little White Squaw: A White Woman’s Story of Abuse, Addiction and Reconciliation, coauthored by Kenneth J Harvey (NL writer and film producer), was published by Beech Holme Publishing in Vancouver. In February 2021 my non-fiction novel, In the Arms of Inup: the extraordinary story of a Guatemalan survivor and his quest for healing from trauma, was released by HARP Publishing in Nova Scotia. The same year (April 2021), Unlikely Angels was released through

Honourable Mention: The Storm with No Name (Author: Brent Mazerolle)

Judge's Comment: This story swells like a storm into a eulogy for a past time, lost lives, and the grief that washed ashore after the 1959 Escuminac disaster. A moving and memorable read. 

Author Bio: Brent Mazerolle has been writing on and off since he was a student at Mount Allison University, where he twice won the Graham Atlantic Prize in Creative Writing. He also won a Joyce Marshall Hsia Poetry Award during a year of study at St. Mary's University. Leaving his teaching career for journalism, he garnered seven Atlantic Journalism Awards and two National Newspaper Awards. Today he works as a public servant full-time, while taking occasional side gigs as a ghost writer. Last year, Brent was a finalist for the WFNB's Narrative Non-Fiction Prize and the Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize for short fiction. He is married with two young adult children, one of them a former finalist for the WFNB's Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers. He lives in Moncton.

2022 - 2023 Judge: Chris Benjamin


First place: Shaun Cunningham (Sackville, NB) - The Werewolf

Second place: Brent Mazerolle (Moncton, NB) - My Brothers Dying Young and Other Things that Have Made Me Happy

Third place: Pat Stafford (Saint Andrews, NB) - La Riunione (The Reunion)

Honourable Mention: Allison Calvern (Ottawa, ON) - A Brother, Two Weddings, and a Funeral

2021 - 2022 Judge: Sandra Phinney


First place: Trenton Pomeroy - The Dances We Do with Our Children

Second place: Deborah Carr - Ashes to Ashes

Third place: Duncan Matheson - On the Overnight Train from London

Winning an award in the WFNB competition has definitely encouraged me to keep writing. Particularly great to read the judge's feedback --- So insightful, and a validation that maybe my hen scratching has some worth after all.--Trent Pomeroy, first place, 2022

"It’s always rewarding to have our words recognized in some way, but for me the real value of submitting to the WFNB competition is that it gives me the motivation to polish and complete a work in progress, and the opportunity to receive feedback if it places. --Deb Carr, second place winner, 2022

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