The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest is sponsored by Kim Jernigan, the longtime editor of TNQ and her family "in celebration of the man who sparked their love of poetry". Occasional poems are defined as being written in response to an occasion, personal or public-poems of gratitude or grief, poems that celebrate or berate, poems that make of something an occasion or simply mark one. The grand prize is $1,000 and a further $1,000 will be distributed as the judges fancy, the magazines says. The winners will be published in The New Quarterly at its usual rates, and posted on its website. Entry fee is $40 for up to 2 unpublished poems, $5 for each additional. The competition is restricted to Canadian citizens or current residents.
The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest is named for one of the original founders of TNQ, the late magazine journalist, perhaps now best known for her series of "Schmecks" cookbooks. She was also a generous donor, founding many awards, scholarships and bursaries. The contest is financed in part out of a $25,000 gift she gave to TNQ. The winning essay may be any length, on any topic "in which the writer's personal engagement with the topic provides the frame or through-line". Again, it is open only to Canadian writers. The prize is $1,000 and the winning essay will be considered for paid publication in the magazine. Entry fee is $40 per essay.In both instances, the deadline is May 1 and decisions will be made by August 31.