Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award

Awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities through the generosity of Marguerite R. Dow, Professor Emerita, The University of Western Ontario, who taught English and Drama in the Faculty of Education from 1965 to 1985.

A prize up to $1,000 is awarded competitively to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident registered in any undergraduate or graduate program at Western. 

Congratulations 2021 Recipient - Zanna Fong, Faculty of Science
"Lost in Translation"

In a narrative that centres upon food as a powerful central metaphor, this story deals with the difficult issues of generational and cultural conflict, as well as with the onset of dementia, in a manner that is sensitive, intelligent, and generous. It is populated with characters who are alive and fully-realized as well as sympathetic, and employs these and the relations between them to tackle issues that are centrally and importantly “Canadian,” but at the same time universal in their application. Most vitally and engagingly, it explores the manner in which we build bridges to connect with each other across wide divides of time, culture, and language using, sometimes, surprising strategies and means. And it does so using a relatively spare language that is nonetheless elegant and quietly poetic. -- Professors Gabrielle Ceraldi and Mark McDayter, Adjudicators

Contest Rules

  1. Entries must be submitted by Monday, February 1, 2021.
  2. Participants must submit, in English or French, any personal and recent work of creative writing, in any genre or length, on a theme of Canadian Heritage.
  3. The theme may focus on any subject (such as place, relationships, history, circumstances, etc.).
  4. You should submit work that has not hitherto been published or entered in any other competition.
  5. If submitting in French, please include an English translation.
  6. One entry per person.
  7. One of the following would be a suitable submission:
    • a poem, or a brief series of linked poems
    • a one-act play, or scenes from a longer work
    • a short story or novella, or selections from a longer work of fiction
  8. Submissions must include a separate cover page with the following information:
    • your name
    • student number
    • email address
    • permanent mailing address
    • telephone number
    • contest name: Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award
  9. Do not include any personally identifiable information on the work itself.
  10. Entries must be submitted by email in PDF format to:
  11. The winning entry will be named by April of 2021.
  12. The winner will be notified by email.
  13. The results will be posted on the Department of English and Writing Studies website and social media channels.

Printable version Marguerite R. Dow 2018


Shelli Hunter |


Year First prize Title Adjudicators
2020 Brittany Robinson “27 Kilometers North of Moscow” Professors James Purkis and Gabrielle Ceraldi

2019 Gabrielle Drolet
Noelle Schmidt
"Little Malta" & "an inheritance" Professors Joshua Schuster and James Purkis
2018 Emma Croll-Baehre & Trevor Zaple "Untitled" & "Sodom Road" Professors Madeline Bassnett and Joshua Schuster
2017 Alero Ogbeide “The Best Worst Place I’ve Ever Lived” Professors Madeline Bassnett and Joshua Schuster