WPC Dafoe Writing Award

The Winnipeg Press Club Dafoe Writing Award recognizes the skill of translating and condensing important news events and issues into persuasive and incisive columns or features that would be suitable for publication on the op-ed and commentary pages/websites of mainstream media.

This award recognizes the value and contributions made by early career journalists.  John W. Dafoe was only 20 years of age when serving a short stint in Winnipeg as editor of the Evening Journal and became a founding member of the Winnipeg Press Club board in 1887. He returned to Winnipeg in 1901 as editor of the Manitoba Free Press and was thereafter a life-long member of the Press Club.

Dafoe was noted for his trenchant editorials—the “last of the thundering editors”, according to a Maclean’s tribute in 1953—and well understood the persuasive power of a focused and passionate editorial or commentary.

In honour of J.W. Dafoe, the Winnipeg Press Club and the J.W. Dafoe Foundation are offering a $1,000 award to a full-time student in a Manitoban post-secondary program who has written and published  a concise and persuasive commentary on a political or policy issue in a campus or community newspaper in the previous year (12 months) who was enrolled in their program of studies at the time of publication.

With permission of the award recipient, and the media outlet in which it originally appeared, the winning article will be submitted (with any required revisions) by the Foundation to the Editor of The Winnipeg Free Press, for its consideration.

If you wish to apply for the WPC Dafoe Writing Award, you must submit a cover letter which provides the following information.

  1. A copy of your published commentary by May 1 to the Secretary of the J.W. Dafoe Foundation (addresses below), and
  2. The date and title of the campus or community newspaper in which it appeared, and the online link (if available).
  3. Your program of study and the post-secondary educational institution in which you were enrolled when the article originally appeared.
  4. Your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.

It is hoped that recipients of this award may use these funds to enable them to do whatever additional research and writing is necessary to further their career in journalism and writing, whether this be in the mainstream news media (print, online or video) or through other avenues.

Submit your application package no later than May 1, 2024 to Andrea (dot) rounce (at) umanitoba (dot) ca.