The John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards

Recognizing excellence in unpublished, book-length manuscripts.

The SWG's John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award recognizes excellence in unpublished, book-length manuscripts. The award rotates between the genres of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. 

The genre in 2023 is literary nonfiction.

  • 1st place:  $1,000 
  • 2nd place: $650
  • 3rd place: $350

The winners will read from their work at the John V. Hicks Awards Show during the SWG's Annual Conference in Saskatoon on October 21, 2023.

Submissions for 2023 have closed.

Submissions must be received at the SWG office by June 30, 2023 by 4:30 pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.

A $35 entry fee must accompany the entry. Payment may be received via credit card online or by calling 306-791-7740, or by cheque with your manuscript package.

If you have questions or concerns about submissions, please email

About John V. Hicks

Distinguished Saskatchewan poet John V. Hicks was widely published and the recipient of many honours and awards. 

His poetry collections, most of which were published by Thistledown Press, include Now Is a Far Country (1978), Winter Your Sleep (1980), Silence Like the Sun (1983), Rootless Tree (1985), Fives and Sixes (1987), Sticks and Strings (1988), Month’s Mind (1992), Overheard by Conifers (1996), and Renovated Rhymes (1997). His poetry was also widely published in anthologies and in North America’s most distinguished literary publications.

In 1987, his short essays on the craft of writing were published in book form as Side GlancesNotes on the Writer’s Craft (co-published by Thistledown and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild). Hicks was also a fine children’s writer whose stories have been published in school reader anthologies and the Canadian Children’s Annual. As well, his work in both poetry and prose has been aired on CBC Radio.

Honorary writer-in-residence for the city of Prince Albert since 1978, he was installed as Honorary Fellow of the University of Emmanuel College, Saskatoon, in 1979; was awarded an honorary D.Litt. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1987; received a Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Saskatchewan Arts Board in 1990; and received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the highest honour accorded by the Province of Saskatchewan, in 1992.

John Hicks died June 16, 1999, at the age of 92. 

How to submit

  1. Please read through all of the criteria below and ensure that your submission follows SWG criteria guidelines. If it does not, your submission may not be accepted.
  2. Your submission includes three parts:
    1. A completed application form, which may be printed off in Word or PDF format and submitted with your printed manuscript
    2. Two (2) copies of your printed manuscript, following the criteria below, submitted to the SWG office.
      • By Mail: PO Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9
      • In Person or Courier: #100-1150 8th Avenue, Regina SK S4R 1C9
    3. Pay your $35 entry fee. You can pay online (button below), send a cheque in with your printed manuscript or call the office at 306-791-7740 to arrange alternate sources of payment.   

If you need to discuss alternate submission arrangements, please email 


Criteria and Formatting Info

  1. Entrants must be Saskatchewan residents as of December 31, 2022.
  2. Only one entry per person is allowed in the manuscript awards.
  3. All entries must be original work. If the work is an adaptation of material not in the public domain, permission of the original creator must accompany the entry.
  4. Copyright for the entry remains with the author.
  5. No more than 50% of the manuscript may have been published in magazines and anthologies or by broadcast media. The work must not be accepted for publication at the time of submission, nor can it be published before the announcement of the awards in October (although it may be accepted for publication).
  6. The manuscript must be prose and may be a collection for children, young adults or adults. We do not have minimum or maximum word counts; your manuscript must be a completed and polished work of literary nonfiction. 
  7. We consider literary nonfiction to include memoir, biography, historical investigation, literary journalism, political commentary, social or cultural criticism and essays that are personal or lyric or narrative. We will not accept technical or instructional work, conventional newspaper reportage or nonfiction work characterized by neutral (so-called objective) third person perspective. 
  8. The writer’s name and contact information should NOT appear on the manuscript. All entries will be numbered upon receipt so that they may be judged anonymously. If the writer’s name appears on any page of the manuscript, it will not be accepted for the competition. 
  9. Your manuscript must follow this submission criteria:
    • NEW - 2 printed copies of your manuscript must be received at the SWG office. Digitial manuscripts will not be accepted
    • May be printed double-sided
    • Bind the manuscript with a large clip or elastic - please do not staple or bind
    • Entries must be in English
    • Use plain text fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Courier) in black
    • 12 point font
    • Double-spaced
    • At least a one inch margin on all sides
    • The title and page number must appear on each page 
    • Illustrations, photos or graphics are discouraged
  10. Winners agree to permit the use of their name and title of their work in promotion by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.
  11. Winners agree to acknowledge the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild in any publication of the winning works.

The Jury

The Hicks Long Manuscript Award is judged by two established Canadian writers working in the genre under review. Their names will be announced after the award winners are announced. The jury may decide not to award a particular prize if they believe none of the submissions merits it. The decisions of the jury will be final.

Past Recipients

2022 (Fiction)

  • Karin Melberg Schwier (Saskatoon)
  • Kate O'Gorman (Saskatoon)
  • Byrna Barclay (Regina)

2021 (Poetry)

  • Barbara Klar (Eastend)
  • Rita Bouvier (Saskatoon)
  • Bernadette Wagner (Regina)

2020 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Judith Wright (Saskatoon)
  • Michael Trussler (Regina)
  • Jennifer S Wallace (Saskatoon)

2019 (Fiction)

  • Karin Melberg Schwier (Saskatoon)
  • Tim Blackett (Regina)
  • Beth Goobie (Saskatoon)

2018 (Poetry)

  • Katherine Lawrence (Saskatoon)
  • Shannon McConnell (Saskatoon)
  • Joy M. Brown (Regina)

2017 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Dauna Ditson (Regina)
  • Lois Simmie (Saskatoon)
  • Debby Adair (Regina)

2016 (Fiction)

  • Leona Theis (Saskatoon)
  • Sheri Benning (Saskatoon)
  • James Trettwer (Regina)




2015 (Poetry)

  • Katherine Lawrence (Saskatoon)
  • Gerald Hill (Regina)
  • Carla Barkman (Regina)

2014 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Robert Calder (Saskatoon)
  • dee Hobsbawn-Smith (Saskatoon)
  • Lloyd Ratzlaff (Saskatoon)

2013 (Fiction)

  • Linda Biasotto (Regina)
  • Lisa Guenther (Livelong)
  • Marliss Wesseler (Regina)

2012 (Poetry)

  • Andrea Ledding (Saskatoon)
  • Mari-Lou Rowley (Saskatoon)
  • Bruce Rice (Regina)

2011 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Joanne Webber (Regina)
  • Leona Theis (Saskatoon)
  • Andrea Ledding (Saskatoon)

2010 (Drama)

  • Mansel Robinson (Saskatoon)
  • B.D. Miller (Regina)
  • Rodney McLean (Regina)

2009 (Fiction)

  • Terry Jordan (Saskatoon)
  • Anne Patton (Regina)
  • Bernice Friesen (Saskatoon)



2008 (Poetry)

  • Jennifer Still (Saskatoon)
  • Bruce Rice (Regina)
  • Shelley A. Leedahl (Middle Lake)

2007 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Sally Crooks (Regina)
  • Ted Dyck (Shaunavon)
  • Ven Begamudré (Regina)

2006 (Drama)

  • Barbara Sapergia (Saskatoon)
  • Gordon Portman (Regina)
  • Geoffry Ursell (Saskatoon)

2005 (Fiction)

  • Brenda Baker (Saskatoon)
  • Byrna Barclay (Regina)

2004 (Poetry)

  • Daniel Scott Tysdal (Moose Jaw)

2003 (Literary Non-Fiction)

  • Robert Calder (Saskatoon)
  • Pat Krause (Regina)
  • Allan Safarik (Dundurn)

2002 (Drama)

  • Pam Bustin (Saskatoon)
  • Mansel Robinson (Saskatoon)

2001 (Fiction)

  • Shelley Leedahl (Saskatoon)
  • Dave Margoshes (Regina)
  • Joan Olson (Regina)

2000 (Poetry)

  • Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen (Saskatoon)
  • Gerald Hill (Regina)
  • Ken Howe (Regina)

For more information, please contact:

Program Director
 306.791.7743 | E:

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