In February of 2022, the Max Margles Fiction Prize will be awarded to a writer of prose fiction who is a resident of Quebec and whose writing practice is primarily in English. The winner will receive $8,500.
The award is designed to enable one writer to work on a specific solo writing project between April 1 and October 31, 2022.
About Max Margles
Max Margles loved to read. He was an in-depth reader of fiction, seeking out books that were well-written and engrossing, relevant and meaningful. He kept two Rolodex files – one arranged by author, the other arranged by title. On these small cards, in his meticulous printing (he was a structural engineer), he summarized the nature of the book and its plot and provided his eloquent assessment of the work.
When Max died suddenly in 2004, his widow Roslyn looked for projects to endow in Max’s memory. Since the couple had no children, Roslyn carries on this mandate with vigor and pride. She established the Max Margles Endowment Fund at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal to sponsor an annual lecture by outstanding literary authors. Recent guests have included Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, and Ian McEwan.
Roslyn has twice approached the Quebec Writers’ Federation to find out how she might support English-language literature in Quebec. In 2020, she funded the Max Margles Writing Residency in Dublin, Ireland, a city rich with literary history. Due to the Covid-10 pandemic, the inaugural residency, which was to have taken place in August 2020, is still unrealized. The winner, Tracey Waddleton, along with QWF and Roslyn, is patiently awaiting the time we can reschedule it.
In 2022, thanks to Roslyn’s unflagging generosity, we are launching The Max Margles Fiction Prize to allow a writer to work uninterruptedly on a manuscript for four months. This is the largest such prize to be awarded by any Canadian provincial writers’ organization.
These projects will keep Max’s memory alive and provide opportunities for talented Quebec writers to devote meaningful time to contemplation and creation, and will, together, support significant new contributions to English-language culture in Quebec.
- Application period opens: December 10, 2021
- Application deadline: January 28, 2022
- Announcement of successful applicant: March 2022
- The work period must be completed before October 31, 2022
- Deadline for final report: November 15, 2022
- Applicants must have had a residence in Quebec for at least 12 months leading up to the application deadline. A person who has been living outside of Quebec continuously for the past five years will be considered ineligible.
- There is no previous publication requirement, but applicants must have a writing practice conducted substantially in the English language.
- The writing project should be a novel or short story collection. Graphic novel and translation projects are not eligible.
- Employees, current board members, and the immediate families of employees or board members of the Quebec Writers’ Federation are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants must be QWF members in good standing at the time of application. For details on how to join QWF, visit https://qwf.org/activity/membership/.
- If you face financial barriers to becoming a QWF member, please contact the QWF office
Prepare a single PDF or WORD document with NO identifying information that contains the following components (see guidelines on how to prepare your application document below):
- a 1-2 page statement of intent, including…
- a project title
- a plan for how you will use the funds to further your writing project
- a description and brief outline of your writing project.
- a 10-page excerpt from your writing project, or, if you haven’t begun it, from a previous work. Do not send extra pages.
Note: The judging for this competition is blind; your name, biographical information and/or previous work titles cannot appear within the statement of intent/writing sample and cannot be referred to in any part of the outline or synopsis—your entry will be disqualified if your name or previous work does appear or if the guidelines are not followed. Do not submit literary resumes, letters of support, reviews of previous work, or evaluations; these will be discarded.
- Log into Submittable HERE and create an account if you don’t already have one (this is free).
- Complete the application form, including the statements relating to eligibility.
- Upload your prepared document
Guidelines for preparing your submission document
- Document name must match the project title in your statement of intent.
- All material must be typed in plain text fonts (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, Garamond).
- Use font size 12 point with at least a one-inch margin on all sides
- Number the pages.
- Statement of intent section should be single-spaced.
- Writing sample should be double-spaced.
Applications must be uploaded onto the Submittable platform by midnight January 28, 2022.
The decision of the jury will be final. Jurors may choose not to award the prize if they believe no submission merits it.