SAAG Arts Writing Prize Call for Submissions

Classified Categories: Call for Submissions

SAAG logo

SAAG Arts Writing Prize Call for Submissions

Deadline: March 30, 2024

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery Maansiksikaitsitapiitsinikssin is excited to announce the 13th annual SAAG Arts Writing Prize. This prize aims to recognize and support emerging writers whose writing relates to the field of contemporary art. Art writing is essential to supporting a healthy art ecosystem, providing access points for contemporary art practice, engaging different voices in the field, and encouraging and developing discourse in the arts.

Writers can be considered for one or both of this year’s categories: Arts Writing and the Aruna D’Souza Award for BIPOC Writers. The requirements and prizes for each category are listed below. All entries are eligible to be published in the 2024 SAAG Arts Writing Prize Reader, made in-house at the Gallery’s Tiny Press. All submitters will be provided with a complimentary copy of the reader.

This prize focuses on submissions of writing about contemporary art. This includes but is not limited to: Exhibition reviews, critical essays, ekphrasis, etc. We will also consider experimental and innovative approaches to writing about contemporary art, including poetry, prose, creative fiction, etc.

Categories & Prizes

Arts Writing

  • Winner: $1,000 CAD cash prize, opportunity for a paid public program ($500 CAD) with the Gallery, opportunity for an arts writing mentorship (Please see the FAQ for more details).
  • Runner-up: $250 CAD cash prize.
Aruna D’Souza (Biopic)
  • Winner: $1,000 CAD cash prize, opportunity for a paid public program ($500 CAD) with the Gallery, opportunity for an arts writing mentorship.
  • Runner-up: $250 CAD cash prize.

Writers must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. The competition is open to anyone residing in Canada, regardless of citizenship status, and to Canadians living abroad.

For the purposes of the award, an emerging writer is defined as anyone who has not published more than one piece of art writing in a recognized print or online publication, exclusive of student-run journals and magazines, as well as self-published works. Submitters may be asked to provide evidence of publication history upon request.

Writers may submit one piece of writing for consideration. Submissions are limited to 1000 words. Participants may be considered for both awards depending on their eligibility. Submitters must identify which awards they would like to be considered for. All submissions must be original and previously unpublished, inclusive of online publications.

The Gallery is committed to continually working towards more equitable systems and practices. We welcome applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, d/Deaf and disabled, and from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Submission Process

Electronic submissions are preferred. To apply please complete the application form and send a formatted PDF file of your submission to This PDF will be included as-is without any formatting changes or copyedits in the 2024 reader.

For more information and the application form visit

Writers retain all copyrights to their submitted work. The two winners and two runners-up of the awards will have their work published in the SAAG Arts Writing Prize Reader 2024. All other submissions are eligible to be included in this publication, but writers who have not been selected for an award may choose to opt out.

The deadline for submissions is March 30, 2024.


The SAAG Arts Writing Prize and Aruna D’Souza Award is assessed by a peer jury of arts writing professionals. The 2024 Arts Writing Prize jury will include editor, writer, and curator Aruna D’Souza, editor of Galleries West Shelley Boettcher, and writer Henry Heavy Shield.

The Arts Writing Prize and Aruna D’Souza Award will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic Impact (30%): The submitted piece of writing is effective and interesting. The submitted piece of writing demonstrates a new and exciting contribution to the field of art writing.
  • Connection to art (30%): The submitted piece of writing provides a unique and insightful perspective on contemporary art, art history, and/or artistic practice.
  • Originality (20%): The submitted piece of writing shows imagination, creativity, and individuality. The submitted piece of writing demonstrates a unique perspective.
  • Technical excellence (20%): The writer demonstrates a high level of skill in their craft, and rigor and intentionality in their chosen format.

While we appreciate the time and effort taken to write and submit work to the prize, we are not able to provide individual feedback or comments on submissions.

Please review the full call for submissions and FAQ prior to submitting at

If you have any additional questions or accommodation requests, please contact Heather Kehoe, Program & Event Coordinator,

Southern Aberta Art Gallery's Arts Writing Prize, which includes an illustrated version of a hand, with a pen writing.

Share this page