Have you ever thought about publishing your poems or short stories? Consider looking into Canadian literary magazines!
Before submitting a creative work to a magazine, perhaps have a trusted friend or family member look over it as an editor. Getting their input and opinion could make your piece stronger! But it’s also important to remember that before submitting, you should be the one who is totally happy and satisfied with your work, so if someone suggests something that you feel doesn’t quite fit or make the piece stronger, then don’t feel bad about not taking the suggestion.
If you get a rejection (or even a couple), it’s hard not to get discouraged. Take this as an opportunity to edit your writing some more, and come back to the piece in a few weeks with fresh eyes, or consider working on a new piece. Everyone gets rejected at some point. Keep these little rejection letters as mini trophies in your back pocket to show your hard work and progress, because one day you’re going to get there and have something published under your name, and you can look back on that journey.
When submitting to literary magazines, it’s important to take note of their specific instructions: when to submit, how many pieces you can submit, and how long those pieces can be, etc. This information shouldn’t be too hard to find, and make sure you follow it to a T! Some magazines won’t even consider your work unless it follows their format exactly.
One more helpful tip is to try to find the right literary magazine for you. Each one accepts specific genres, certain themes, and choosing the correct creative piece can influence whether it’s rejected or accepted. Try reading a few of the published pieces in the magazine to get a sense of what they’re looking for! (Hint: you can find most of everything you need under a magazine’s “submissions” or “guidelines” page). Sometimes small magazines will ask for $3-$5 upon submission because it’s kind of like having a small business, but you shouldn’t ever have to pay more than that. Sometimes you’ll get compensation when you get published, and sometimes you won’t. It really depends on the magazine. If paying to submit work is not something you’re into, then there are a ton of other literary magazines that you can submit to for free. It just takes time to do a bit of research!
Here is a small list of Canadian literary magazines with a brief overview of what they’re looking for:
Our very own literary magazine here at UWindsor! The Windsor Review publishes twice per year and does not restrict writers to a certain theme or genre. They accept poetry, fiction, reviews, and creative nonfiction.
The Northern Appeal is a brand-new literary magazine created by Will Crosson and Barrie’s Poet Laureate Victoria Butler. They accept poetry, short stories, photography, and artwork from Ontarians. Their goal is to highlight the artistic quality of Ontario! Stay up to date by following their Instagram here.
Understorey Magazine publishes two to three times per year, and each issue has a theme to unite the writing. They accept poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They also accept submissions of photographs or art work to accompany the written pieces within each issue. Their submissions are open year-round. Check them out to see what the latest theme is!
subTerrain is another literary magazine that likes to focus each issue on a theme. They publish three times per year and are also open to submissions year-round. They accept poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, and works of art. Take a look and see if a theme inspires you!
Room likes to focus on the writing of and amplifing the voices of traditionally underrepresented individuals, including women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two Spirit, non-binary, and Black and Indigenous individuals. They accept poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art, and publish four times a year.
AE scifi looks specifically for science fiction. They publish four times per year and accept fiction, reviews, and visual art. Specifically, they look for writing that asks “what if” questions and choose to interpret the genre of science fiction as ‘speculative.’ If you’re a lover of science fiction, this is the magazine for you!
Arc specifically only publishes poetry, but there are usually no other restrictions than that on the writing. They publish three times per year, with submissions open from April to July and September to December. If you consider yourself a poet, this may be the magazine for you!
There are so many literary magazines out there to choose from. All you have to do is simply google “Canadian literary magazines” and loads will pop up! And even if you’re not into submitting creative writing, check out some of the issues that intrigue you and take a look at what your fellow Canadians are writing about.