Love Letters Contest

Your last chance to write a love letter for us and win $1,000!
The deadline for this competition was Feb 14, and the contest is now closed. Thanks for your interest!

Dear Brave and Thoughtful Walrus Reader, In celebration of the Canadian paperback launch of Four Letter Word, the acclaimed collection of fictional love letters edited by Joshua Knelman and Rosalind Porter, The Walrus magazine and Vintage Canada are begging and pleading and down on their knees, hoping against hope that you will consider writing an extraordinary love letter, so that you may enter it in this incredible contest of love letters from across the nation.

But don’t worry, darling, the rules of the contest aren’t nearly as complicated as love. Just follow these simple instructions:

1. Write a love letter.

Choose a person, object, or even an abstract idea that you believe deserves a love letter. Then let your heart race, and put pen to page.

Your love letter may address someone you know, or perhaps that illusive stranger you’ve pined for in desperate silence all these years. Your letter may be a dazzling work of fiction or real events disguised as thinly veiled fiction. Maybe you need to confess your love to Britney Spears, or to the Prime Minister of Canada, or to your favourite pair of designer jeans. Perhaps a sonnet to your trusted neighbourhood tailor who so carefully patched the hole in your football jersey from high school. Or the girl you never had the nerve to actually talk to in high school. Maybe it’s a love letter to Free Market Capitalism. No one will judge you (Actually, we will. This is a contest after all).

There are so many ways to write a love letter, so surprise us: it could be a formal letter, a quick note, a short text message, or an email. (An enterprising young writer might even pen a letter to one of the wonderful authors who contributed to Four Letter Word, say Margaret Atwood or Douglas Coupland.) And remember — don’t be nervous, be yourself, and write something inspiring.

2. Your love letter must be devastatingly sincere, true to your heart, and LESS THAN 500 WORDS.

3. Once you have finished pouring your heart’s deepest and most secret desires onto a Microsoft Word document (and then painstakingly editing your heart’s desires over and over again), you should harness the necessary courage and send your love letter to

4. Translating those pent up feelings onto the page or screen takes time. Do not fret. You have a few months to work it out. Kindly deliver your letter to us before the CONTEST CLOSES ON VALENTINE’S DAY, 2009.


The winning love letter will be announced on March 1, 2009. The letter that wins the judges’ hearts will earn a $1,000 GRAND PRIZE, as well as another $1,000 in prizes from Deutsche Grammaphon. The letter will also be published on the Walrus website.

Runners-up prizes include:

A ROMANTIC GETAWAY weekend for two
A LOVE LETTER FROM BIGFOOT, written by Graham Roumieu
Your love letter PUBLISHED for all to read on the Walrus website
Signed copies of Four Letter Word
Prize packages from DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON


The Love Letters contest celebrates the Canadian paperback launch of Four Letter Word, a heart-wrenching collection of fictional love letters written by the finest authors from across the globe. Four Letter Word brings us 41 new love letters, many of them from Canada’s most beloved writers, including Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Douglas Coupland, Miriam Toews, David Bezmozgis, Joseph Boyden, and MG Vassanji — to name just a few.

And just in case you forgot, even though Four Letter Word has been published in eleven countries and translated into eight languages, it all started right here at The Walrus, with an innovative fiction series featured in the 2005 Summer Reading Issue, titled Seven Love Letters, and edited by former Walrus fiction editor Joshua Knelman. The Walrus has always been committed to publishing the most exciting new fiction in Canada.

So help us celebrate the launch of Four Letter Word and the fifth anniversary of The Walrus by taking a risk and sending us a love letter. We anxiously await word from you.

Fondest wishes,

The Walrus & Vintage Canada
19 Duncan Street, Suite 101
Toronto ON M5H 3H1

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