While Canada may be better known for maple syrup, mounties, and moose, it is also home to many high-quality literary magazines and online journals, the majority of which also publish non-Canadians. Quite a few pay contributors!
If you’re looking for an excellent home for your fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction, read on for our mammoth list of Canadian literary magazines that welcome work from emerging writers around the world.
This is not a comprehensive list. We’ve targeted magazines that are either currently open to submissions from international writers or will reopen shortly, so some great ones like The Fiddlehead, didn’t make the cut this time around. We will revisit in the future.
Unless we’ve noted otherwise in the description, these magazines do not charge a submission fee and welcome simultaneous submissions. Fees and payments are as listed by the journal, presumably in Canadian dollars. At the time of publication, 1 CAD equaled around 0,69 EUR.
Note: We are a creative writing school and compile these lists for the benefit of our students. We’re happy to answer questions about our courses, but please don’t send us your publishing queries or submissions :). Instead, click on the green links to go to the publication’s website and look for their submissions page. If you find something has changed, we appreciate it if you let us know in the comments. For more great places to submit as well as our best tips on getting published, check out our other lists and resources.
The /temz/ Review is a quarterly online journal that aims to “reflect a wide variety of editorial perspectives and publish an eclectic mix of writing.” They are seeking innovative fiction and creative nonfiction and boundary-pushing poetry. They suggest sending up to eight poems (10 pages max), stories of up to 10K words, or multiple flash pieces under 1000 words. They pay a $20 honorarium per published prose piece or group of poems. The editors are usually able to decide within a couple of months if your work is a good fit or not but may need longer. Submissions for their next issue are open until 31 January 2024.
Archetype, established in 2021, publishes three online issues each year. They are looking for poetry and fiction that “celebrate life, explore human connection, and investigate the idea of being alive.” Their sweet spot for fiction submissions is 1000 to 5000 words, but they will consider work outside that range. All forms of poetry are welcome; send in a maximum of five poems at a time. The editors aim to respond within a month after their submission deadline. They have two submission periods: 1 November to 7 January for the spring issue and from 1 June to 6 August for the autumn issue
Augur Magazine, published digitally twice a year, is looking for fiction and poetry with a speculative spin. They are especially interested in “writing that is difficult to classify, whether speculative, surreal or slightly strange.” They accept short stories up to 5000 words and pay $0.11 per word. For flash stories (up to 1000 words), they pay a standard fee of $110. As for poetry, you can send up to five poems for a maximum of 10 pages, and they pay $60 per poem. The editors aim to respond within two months. They are open to submissions “from everyone, everywhere” from 15 December 2023 until 31 January 2024. Writers who identify as any of the following can also submit 1 – 14 February 2024: BIPOC, trans, disabled, Canadian citizens/permanent residents, and/or those who are living within the settler-defined border of the land colonially known as Canada.
Barbar was launched in 2022 and publishes online daily. They describe themselves as a “genre-fluid platform” and are welcoming to many types of submissions including poetry, flash fiction, short stories, novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction. For prose, there is a soft cap word count of 5000 words, which can consist of either a single piece or multiple flash pieces or micros. They guarantee they will read the first page of the submission free, but if you want to ensure they read the whole thing before declining, you’ll need to pay a little something. Seems fair. Their response time is around one to two months, and they accept work year-round.
Bewildering Stories is an online weekly devoted to speculative and experimental writing but is also open to unconventional writing in all genres of fiction and nonfiction. There are no length restrictions. If the work is over 6000 words, it will normally appear in multiple installments in more than one issue. They also welcome short poems, but not micro poetry such as haikus. The editors allow but take “a dim view” of simultaneous submissions. They try to decide within a month, and, for exclusive submissions (i.e., not simultaneous), they will provide an explanation if they reject. Submissions are open all year long.
Commuterlit is an online journal that is looking for fiction and poetry in any genre. From Monday to Friday, they publish a new piece every day that is designed to be read on a mobile device, for example on the way to work. Send in your short stories, memoirs, and novel excerpts of between 500 and 4000 words. Poets, one poem at a time please unless it’s a series to be published together. For $50, they will provide a 2-page critique of your prose submission (see the fee scale on their website for longer pieces) within three weeks. Regular submission is free and open year-round. Expect to hear back in between two to three months.
The Ex-Puritan is a quarterly online magazine that is looking for fiction between 1000 and 10.000 words, and poetry of any length. They are especially interested in writing from marginalised people and poetry in translation. They offer a limited number of no-fee submissions; the regular fee is $3. Accepted authors will receive $150 per work of fiction and $35 per poem or page (with a maximum of $120) when published. The editors try to get back to you within four months. Submissions are open year-round.
Grain Magazine, is a quarterly print publication, seeking eclectic, engaging, and challenging writing. Individual poems, sequences, or suites are accepted, as well as fiction up to a maximum of 3500 words. Published authors receive $50 per page to a maximum of $250 plus two copies of the issue. There is a nine-month submission period from 15 September until 15 June. If their monthly submissions cap is reached, you can submit through the post or wait until the next month. They will typically respond within six months.
Long Con Magazine is a quarterly online magazine that publishes work “created in direct response to other objects, artifacts, or performances that can be considered ‘art’.” They are looking for poetry (up to 4 poems) and fiction (up to 15 pages) that meets this theme. The contributor compensation is $25 for poetry under 50 lines or prose under 1000 words and $50 for work above. Submissions are accepted throughout the year and the response time is under four months.
JONAH magazine publishes twice a year online and accepts fiction, nonfiction (max 2500 words), and poetry (max 3 poems). They like to highlight “journeys, in space, in time, in heart, or the mind.” They have submission deadlines on 15 October and 15 April, which are 3 months before their biannual publication dates. You may not get an answer until close to the publication date whether your piece is accepted or declined.
The Malahat Review, established in 1967, is a quarterly print journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. For poetry, you can submit three to five poems up to a maximum of 10 pages. For fiction, you can submit a single story of 8000 words or up to three flash pieces (max 750 words each). For creative nonfiction, a single submission can be up to 5000 words, or you can submit up to three flash pieces (max 1000 words each). The journal pays $70 per published page, provides a yearlong subscription, and two copies of the issue in which your work appears. They accept creative nonfiction year-round as well as submissions by Canadian writers in any genre. Submissions by international writers are limited to specific months: for poetry, it’s January, February, and May, and, for fiction, it’s April and May. The response time for poems is one to six months and for fiction/creative nonfiction one to nine months.
PRISM International is a print quarterly with a mandate to publish “the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world.” Send in your fiction and creative nonfiction of up to 4000 words (including flash) and up to four poems for a maximum of six pages. The magazine pays $40 per printed page for prose and $45 per printed page for poetry and will send two copies of their magazine. Submissions are accepted all year and there is a $3 submission charge. The editors try to decide within 6 months but sometimes need longer.
PULP Literature publishes digitally as well as in print four times per year. As you may have guessed from their title, they have a soft spot for genre fiction but are open to general fiction as well as poetry. They are looking for entertaining, accessible stories (including novellas and novel excerpts) that have a balance of seriousness and lightheartedness. They prefer stories under 5000 words but will consider works up to 50 pages. For poetry, submit up to three poems totaling no more than five pages. They pay 5-8¢ per word for stories up to 5000 words and 3-6¢ per word for stories between 5000 and 10,000 words, and $25-$50 for poetry. The editors ask for six months to make a decision and don’t respond to all submissions. As of our publication in December 2023, they were open to poetry but temporarily closed to short fiction.
The Riddle Fence is a quarterly print journal. They publish contemporary short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction with a strong narrative drive. For fiction and nonfiction, the advised maximum word count is 3000 words. For poetry, submit up to 10 pages. They pay $50 per published page. The editors try to respond within six months. For the 2024 publication year, submissions are open until 31 March 2024.
Quagmire Magazine publishes on its online platform weekly and puts out one print issue annually. They are a small press, aiming to introduce under-appreciated and little-known writers. Fiction submissions should be between 1000 and 3000 words, and poetry submissions should include a maximum of five poems. For online publication, the writer will receive $25 per published short story and $12.50 per poem. For print publication, writers will receive $50 per short story and $15 per poem. The submission fee is $3 and the average response time is 2.5 months. They will reopen to submissions 1 January 2024.
Queen’s Quarterly is a print journal featuring fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry “on any topic that presents a novel perspective and point of departure for thinking about our contemporary world.” There is a limit of 3000 words or six poems and the payment will be determined at the time of acceptance, which should take between four and eight weeks.
Qwerty Magazine is a graduate student-run magazine at the University of New Brunswick. Their number one criterion is a mastery of craft. Submissions for fiction and creative nonfiction can be up to 5000 words and for poetry, you can submit up to six pages. Published authors receive an honorarium of $15 and a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears. Although you can submit year-round, their reading period is from 1 September to 1 April. Response time can vary between six and 12 months.
Surging Tide, a BIPOC-led experimental journal founded in 2020, publishes three online issues annually. They particularly encourage BIPOC and underrepresented authors to share their work. Their slogan is: “We want daring. Unapologetic. Unforgettable.” Submit up to two pieces of fiction and nonfiction totaling no more than 8,000 words together or up to five poems. Translations are also welcome. They nominate for multiple awards including Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. They read year-round on a rolling basis, and aim to respond within a month but sometimes need a little longer. For a $5 donation to their GoFundMe campaign, they’ll get back to you within 36 hours.
White Wall Review is an online journal that publishes fiction (300-6000 words), nonfiction (600-6000 words), and poetry (in total no more than eight pages) multiple times per week. They are looking for bold writing by emerging and established writers. They typically take three months to respond.
Yolk comes out with a print publication twice a year, as well as publishing regularly online. While they only accept work from Canadian contributors for their print issue, they accept writing year-round from anywhere for their digital publication. Fiction and poetry should not exceed 3000 words, and creative nonfiction 4000 words. They pay a $100 honorarium for digital publication. Yolk also nominates work for the Digital Publishing Awards. They generally respond within one to three months.
List complied by Sterre Van Ewijk