Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Contests and Markets for your short stories, memoirs, personal essays, book reviews, poerty, and kid lit

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The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English or translations into English – usually from all over the world – but until April 30, 2021, only from Canadians. 

"Our editors are always happy to see new unsolicited works in fiction, including excerpts from novels, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We also publish reviews, and occasionally other selected creative work such as excerpts from plays.”

Like everyone, The Fiddlehead particularly welcomes submissions from "Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, LGBTQQIA+ writers, and writers from other intersectional and under-represented communities. If you are comfortable identifying yourself as one or more of the above, please feel free to mention this in your cover letter.” 

Pays $60 per published page, plus 2 complimentary issues; $200 for cover artwork, plus 2 complimentary issues.

Submission periods: Feb 15 – Apr 30 and Sept 15 – Nov 30. Guidelines here.

The Fiddlehead has three annual contests:

  • Creative Nonfiction: opens March 1. Deadline June 1. Winning piece to be published in fall issue. 
  • Short Fiction: opens June 1. Deadline September 1. Winning story to be published in winter issue.
  • Poetry: opens September 1. Deadline December 1. Winning poem to be published in spring issue.

The Nonfiction Contest is currently accepting entries. Maximum 6,000 words. Entry fee $35, includes a one-year subscription. In addition to (an undisclosed prize) the winner will receive publication payment of $60 per page.

Guidelines here.

Sutra Press is an independent micro-press dedicated to poetry. Sutra publishes limited edition, hand-stitched chapbooks. 

Submit chapbook manuscripts of 12 – 32 pages.

Pays $200 per manuscript.

Reading period: February 1 – April 30. Guidelines here.


WordCity Monthly (issue 7 here) promotes literary activism and the arts. It seeks poetry, fiction, memoir, essays, and book reviews and often gives preference to works related to human rights, equality, tolerance, and peace-building. 


Poetry – 3 short or one long poem (aprox 60 lines, but flexible)

Short stories – maximum of 3,000 words

Memoir or Personal essays – maximum of 3,000 words

Flash fiction – maximum of 1,000 words  

Book reviews – maximum of 1,000 words

Deadline: the 21st of each month. Guidelines here. Guidelines here.

Quick Brown Fox Quick Brown Fox welcomes your book reviews and your short stories, poems, and essays about reading, writing, favourite books, and libraries. Read a few essays on the blog to get a taste of what other writers have done (see here and scroll down). Quick Brown Fox also welcomes reviews of any kind and of anything, anywhere or anybody. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. See examples of book reviews  here (and scroll down); other reviews here  (and scroll down).

Submit to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Include a short bio at the end of your piece and attach a photo of yourself if you have one that’s okay.

Entropy is a website featuring literary and related non-literary contents.  

“We like to think of ourselves as more than just a magazine or a website, but also as a community space. We seek to create a space where writers can engage with other writers, can participate in a literary community, where thinkers can collaborate and share both literary and non-literary ideas, and where writers can feel included.

“We also seek to provide a diverse platform for content and interests, including topics such as small press literature, video games, graphic novels, interactive literature, science fiction, fantasy, music, film, art, poetry, and other topics in addition to literary reviews, interviews, conversations, essays, and articles on experimental literature, translation, small press practices, and performance. We appreciate diverse beliefs and perspectives and want to encourage open discussion through a variety of opinions.”

Submissions always open. Guidelines here.


CANSCAIP's Writing for Children Competition for unpublished writers aims to encourage and promote not-yet-published kid lit writers across Canada.  

Entries for the Competition are by reading age: Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade or Young Adult.   

Previously submitted entries can be re-submitted. Maximum length of an entry is 1,500 words.  

Written feedback for every entry is a unique benefit of the Competition. Every entry gets a paragraph of written evaluation, and sometimes more.  All entries get evaluations from the first round of reading. Entries that proceed to second round also get evaluations from those readers. Entries proceeding to the longlist get evaluations from each jury member. 

Sarah Ground-Water Law who some readers
will know from the Friday morning Intensive class,
was a finalist in 2020

The Competition's volunteer readers and juries are published CANSCAIP Members. The readers and jurors evaluate entries in the categories of their books; e.g., picture book authors evaluate picture book entries.  The evaluation comments and suggestions can be very helpful for writers working on their craft. Many writers enter the Competition every year for feedback on the stories they're working on.     

Four writers receive $500 for the winning entry of a Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult; two finalists in each of these categories are also selected.

The winners and finalists are sent to Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for consideration. These entries also get the publishers’ evaluations.  Although over the years writers have had their work published, being a finalist or winner is not a direct path to publication.

The entry registration fee is $30 for 1 entry, $50 for 2 and $75 for 3.

Deadline May 31, 2021. Guidelines here.


See Brian Henry’s schedule hereincluding online and in-person writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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