Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award

Congratulations to Emma Croll-Baehre and Trevor Zaple who tied for first place for the 2018 Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award!

Adjudicators Professors Madeline Bassnett and Joshua Schuster noted that Emma Croll-Baehre's untitled poem pulsates with language snapped up from disparate places including social media life and landscapes of Canadiana. The poem is "gull-mouthed" and dappled with "maple cheeks" but winks back "caught-ya / in double / speak." Croll-Baehre's crisp voice and fresh poetics sparkle here in an unforgettable poem. Her work insists on a restlessness of both place and displacement in words, desires, and Canadian feeling.
They also noted that Trevor Zaple’s “Sodom Road” is an unnerving ghost story that takes us into the underbelly of rural south-western Ontario. When the coffee-slinging Jered gets a letter from his uncle giving Jered ownership of his property, he leaps at the chance to escape his dead-end life in Toronto. But what Jered finds is a derelict pair of houses that lead him, not to the back-to-the-land idyll he hopes for, but to the sordid history of a once populous mill-town. Zaple skillfully juxtaposes the clash between Jered’s urban and romantic expectations and the rural decay and isolation he encounters. Equally skillfully, Zaple’s story erodes the line between past and present, placing us in a world where the two collide and nothing is quite what it seems. Giving us a very Canadian look at the rural/urban divide, “Sodom Road” is neither comforting nor tidy in its defamiliarization of our own SoWesto region.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all those who entered!

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 to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident registered in any undergraduate or graduate program at Western. 

Contest Rules

  1. Entries must be submitted by Thursday, February 1, 2018.
  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. One entry per person.
  6. 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
  7. Submissions must include a cover page with the following information:
    • your name
    • student number
    • email address
    • telephone number
    • contest name: Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award
    • do not include any personally identifiable information on the work itself
  8. Entries must be submitted in hard copy only to the Department of English and Writing Studies, 2G02 Arts & Humanities Building, Western University.
  9. The winning entry will be named by April of 2018.
  10. The winner will be notified by email.
  11. The results will be posted on the Department of English website and social media channels.

Inquiries to: Shelli Hunter |

Printable version Marguerite R. Dow 2018


Year First prize Title Adjudicators
2017 Alero Ogbeide “The Best Worst Place I’ve Ever Lived” Professors Madeline Bassnett and Joshua Schuster