The Litpop Awards: Scaring Parents and Breaking Hearts

Literature, like music, should make your heart pound and your stomach lurch. It should terrify and inspire. It should reveal truths we didn’t realize we had within ourselves. Matrix Magazine, partnered with the POP Montreal festival, want to find the next generation of poets and writers who are doing just this.

“I do believe that all good literature should frighten one’s parents,” says Jon Fiorentino, Editor-In-Chief of Matrix Magazine.

Now in its fifth year, the Litpop Awards will give two winners (one in poetry and one in fiction) a rock star experience, opening for a band at this year’s POP Montreal festival, which hits Montreal from September 19-23.

Why the connection with POP Montreal, you ask? Let’s call it innovative thinking.

“We were looking for a way to increase readership, developing a contest that would be unique,” says Fiorentino. “I thought it would be cool to partner with a non-literary festival.”

Cool is a bit of an understatement. How many writers get to open for a band at the now-legendary POP Montreal festival?

In addition, winners receive paid return travel to Montreal, a VIP pass to POP Montreal events, accommodations at a Bed and Breakfast, and publication in the autumn issue of Matrix Magazine with full honorarium.

Deadline for submission is July 1, 2012, and winners will be notified in August. Multiple entries are accepted and encouraged, but poets should send no more than five poems, and stories (both fiction and non) should be no more than 3,000 words. Each entry is $25, to be sent along with the entry and your email address to Matrix Publications, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., LB 658, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8. Entries can also be emailed to, and will be considered valid once the payment has been received by cheque, money order or PayPal. Please make them payable to “Matrix Publications.”

About the Judges:

The POETRY judge is Ken Babstock the author of Methodist Hatchet (Anansi 2011) and Airstream Land Yacht (Anansi, 2006) winner of The Trillium Prize for Poetry, finalist for the Governor General’s Award, The Griffin Prize for Poetry, and The Winterset Award. Earlier collections include Mean, winner of The Atlantic Poetry Prize and The Milton Acorn Award, and Days into Flatspin, winner of a K.M. Hunter Award and finalist for the Winterset Prize. All three books were listed inThe Globe and Mail‘s Books of the Year. His poems have won Gold at the National Magazine Awards, appeared widely in anthologies in Canada, The US, and Ireland, and have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Serbo-Croatian and Czech.

The FICTION judge is Melanie Little. Her debut book, the story collection Confidence, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and named one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 books of 2003. Her writing has appeared in the anthologiesScribner’s Best of the Fiction WorkshopsOutskirts: Women Writing from Small PlacesCertain Things About My Mother, and Nerves Out Loud, as well as in magazines including The Malahat Reviewsub-TERRAINPrairie FireEventThe Fiddlehead, and Books in Canada. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Globe and MailOttawa CitizenGeorgia StraightVancouver Sun, and National Post. She is a past winner of the Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competition and the Periodical Writers’ Association of Canada Journalism Award. Little holds a Masters of Arts in English Literature from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, where she served as an editor of PRISM International. She is now the Senior Editor with Anansi Press.

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