2021 Writing Prize

We are pleased to announce the second annual Capture Writing Prize, a juried award to support emerging writers and broaden the discourse on lens-based art.

The winner of this competition will be commissioned to write a 1,000 word text for Capture’s annual catalogue on a current issue in lens-based art for which a $2,000 CAD prize will be awarded. The winner’s work will be featured alongside the writing of established contemporary thinkers in the field. Applicants must self-define as an emerging writer, be 18 years of age or older, and have a limited publishing history; applications are open to both Canadian and international participants. Capture is committed to amplifying underrepresented voices and encourages applicants from these communities.

Capture’s annual catalogue features editorial writing from a range of writers, curators and artists–past issues have included texts by Gabrielle Moser, Katie Belcher, David Campany, Douglas Coupland, Dean Daderko, Cliff Lauson, Kimberly Phillips, Cheyenne Rain LeGrande, and last year’s Writing Prize winner Cheryl Mukherji. Past issues of Capture’s catalogues can be viewed here.

This year’s jury will consist of Heather Rigg, Curatorial Resident at Gallery TPW, Jayne Wilkinson, independent curator, writer, former editor-in-chief at Canadian Art, and Capture’s Executive Director, Emmy Lee Wall.

Application Guidelines:

Due Date:  June 21, 2021 5:00pm PST

Please submit an unpublished sample of your art writing (max. 1000 words) and a c.v. or bio in PDF format to [email protected] with the subject line Capture Writing Prize 2021. Any questions can be directed to the submission email address, [email protected]. While the winner will be commissioned to write about lens-based art, the writing sample may be about art in other media.

The winner will submit writing samples that are original, thought-provoking, and with a clear point of view. Capture values writing that is challenging but accessible and that connects art to ideas that permeate contemporary society.

The winner will be commissioned to submit their text for the 2022 Capture catalogue.


Heather Rigg is the inaugural Curatorial Resident of the artist-run centre Gallery TPW in Toronto, and is half of the curatorial collective ma ma.

Jayne Wilkinson is a writer, editor and curator. She holds an MA in Art History and Critical Theory from the University of British Columbia and her writing blends research into environmental politics, surveillance, and the elemental cultures of the Anthropocene, with a focus on contemporary art and photo-based practices. Most recently she was editor-in-chief at Canadian Art and regularly contributes art criticism to a variety of publications and peer-reviewed journals.

About Capture:

Based in Vancouver, Capture Photography Festival is Western Canada’s largest photography festival and is dedicated to celebrating local and international photography and lens-based art. The Festival aims to showcase critically acclaimed artists, foster emerging talent, encourage active community participation, and initiate public dialogue about lens-based art. Every April, Capture features dynamic public installations, exhibitions from Vancouver’s leading galleries and institutions, and a comprehensive set of public programs including talks, tours, workshops, and film screenings.

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