The Fiddlehead

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


The Fiddlehead's submission periods via Submittable are September 15 - November 30 and January 1 - April 30.  

Mailed submissions (in any category) are accepted and considered throughout the year.


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The Fiddlehead’s 28th annual literary contest is now closed. Thanks so much and good luck to everyone who entered. 

Contest winners and honourable mentions will be contacted directly (by either email or telephone) before the end of February 2019. Other entrants will not be individually contacted about the results, and at the end of February, can send their work elsewhere. Authors’ names and the titles of the works that made the longlist of 15 in both categories will appear on The Fiddlehead’s website in early March 2019. The shortlists will appear in early April 2019. 

The winning entries and honourable mentions are published in The Fiddlehead’s spring 2019 issue and on our website. Authors are paid for publication in addition to their contest prizes. 

And stay tuned for changes to our contest, starting in 2019. For starters, we’re adding a creative nonfiction prize! And our new contest deadlines are as follows: 

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.


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The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English or translations into English from all over the world and in a variety of styles, including experimental genres. 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. Work is read on an ongoing basis; the acceptance rate is around 1-2% (we are, however, famous for our rejection notes!). Apart from our annual contest, we have no deadlines for submissions.

We particularly welcome 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.

If you are serious about submitting to The Fiddlehead, you should read an issue or two to get a sense of the journal. Consider subscribing  or contact us to order sample back issues ($10-$15 plus postage). 

We are phasing in our use of Submittable. Right now you can submit Poetry. The Fiction and Creative Nonfiction categories open in January 2019.  

General Guidelines for Unsolicited Submissions

• Pay is $60 CAD per published page, plus two complimentary copies of the issue with your work. Contributors may purchase additional copies of an issue at a discount.

The Fiddlehead buys first serials rights; copyright is retained by the author at all times, and authors are free to resell the work, though we do ask for a 90-day exclusive from our first publication of the work.

• Writers may only submit once per calendar year per genre. (This does not include our annual contest: you may submit multiple times, so long as the work is not under consideration elsewhere. See complete contest guidelines here .) 

• Please wait for an editorial response before submitting again. We try our best to respond in a timely matter, but due to volume of submissions, a response may take 6 months or more. Please wait 6 months before querying. 

• We only consider unpublished work. Please do not submit work that has been previously published or accepted for publication, including in anthologies, chapbooks, blogs, Facebook pages, or online journals.

• For online submissions, please submit one file containing your creative work (.doc, .docx, or .pdf). Log back in any time to check the status of your submission.

• For hard copy, mailed submissions, all submissions should be typed/word-processed, spell-checked, and paginated. Please use white paper, print on one side only, and put your name on every page of your submission.

• In Submittable, please copy and paste your cover letter and biographical statement in the appropriate fields. 

• Tell us in your cover letter whether your submission is exclusive to The Fiddlehead or whether you have submitted it to other magazines simultaneously. If another magazine accepts your work for publication that you have also submitted to us, then please advise us immediately.



The Fiddlehead