Language: ​English/Français

Criteria: ​The John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer is a biennial award established by the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts with a bequest from the late John Hirsch, co-founder of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and its first artistic director from 1958 to 1966. The endowment from the Hirsch estate will provide a cash award of $2500 to the most promising Manitoba writer selected by a jury of senior members of the Manitoba writing and publishing community.

Administrator: Manitoba Writers' Guild


  • Manitoba English and French language writers in all genres are eligible. 
  • Eligible authors will have been resident in Manitoba for three of the last five years as well as one of the past two years. 
  • Authors who have been previously short-listed for the John Hirsch Award are eligible for nomination providing the nomination did not occur prior to 2015.
  • Nominations may be made from the community at large as well as by self-nomination. 
  • Only writers with a publishing or production track record will be considered eligible. 
  • Writers of fiction, non-fiction and creative non-fiction must have published a minimum of one book or 100 pages in recognized, reputable journals. 
  • Poets must have published a minimum of a poetry collection/chapbook or 30 poems in recognized, reputable journals. 
  • Publication in newsletters and/or non-professional publications will not be counted.
  • Playwrights/screenwriters must have a minimum of one play professionally produced (Equity or equivalent) or two Fringe or professional independent productions, or a minimum of one professional production in another dramatic writing medium. 
  • A writer is not considered to be promising if she/he has begun to receive national or international recognition for professional achievement.

Books submitted for this award may also be submitted to all other pertinent categories. Applicants must send four (4) copies of the book, a CV, and supporting material demonstrating community involvement and supporting materials showing their promise as an author. These materials should include:
Copies will not be returned. 

  • press materials
  • reviews
  • documents showing the nominee’s commitment to the craft of writing
  • a 25-page writing sample and a brief explanation of the nominee’s Manitoba connection

Manitoba Book Awards Submissions
Millennium Library, attn: Kathleen Williams
251 Donald Street, Winnipeg MB, R3C 3P5

All entries must be made through the online form by November 18, 2019. Books published between January 1 and October 31 must be sent to the address above and postmarked by November 18, 2019. Books published between November 1 and December 31 must be postmarked by January 10, 2020, and will only be accepted if the online entry form was submitted by November 18, 2019.