Submissions are now open for our BIPOC Solidarities Special Issue! General guidelines apply, unless otherwsie noted below. The Deadline for submissions is September 1, 2021!

The Fiddlehead's regular submission period via Submittable is currently closed. Our reading periods are February 15 - April 30 and September 15 - November 30. We accept poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Due to overwhelming submission volume, once your work has been submitted, we cannot process substitutions or modifications. Mailed submissions (in any category) are accepted and considered throughout the year.

We have three writing 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.

*If a deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline moves to the Monday. Deadlines are midnight Atlantic Time. Mailed submissions must be postmarked.

* * *

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.

The Fiddlehead will not read work that is ableist, misogynistic, queer-phobic, or racist.

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). 

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 contests or BIPOC Solidarities Special Issue: you may submit multiple times, so long as the work is not under consideration elsewhere.

• 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.

What conversations would you have in a room filled with fellow BIPOC writers? What stories would you write for one another that you have held back from publishing in a pervasively white literary industry? The Fiddlehead invites submissions of poetry, fiction, creative-nonfiction, and cross-genre innovations by racialized writers residing in the area known as Canada (citizenship not required). This includes writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and racialized writers who wish to push back against the BIPOC acronym. Possible topics and considerations include, but are not limited to:

· BIPOC solidarities (eg. with Indigenous land defenders, with Black Lives Matter, with undocumented migrant workers, etc.)

· Critiques of the BIPOC acronym and its tensions or exclusions

· Intersections with other identities/oppressions such as gender, sexuality, ability, class, etc.

· Immigration and diaspora

· Relationships to the English language (eg. dialect, ESL, accents, multilingual work)

· Treaty responsibilities

· Tokenism

· Complicity

· Mixed-race identities

· Colourism

· Literary craft beyond/outside of Eurocentric standards

· Subversions of “CanLit”

· Self- and community-care as resistance against white supremacy

· BIPOC love, kinships, and joy

The general rule of only submitting once per calendar year does not apply to the BIPOC Solidarities issue. Please do submit to the BIPOC issue, even if you have already submitted to one of our regular submission periods this year!

The issue will be edited by Fiddlehead poetry editor Rebecca Salazar, creative nonfiction editor Rowan McCandless, incoming poetry editor Phoebe Wang, incoming fiction editor Saleema Nawaz and advisory editor Shannon Webb-Campbell.

This special issue is meant as an opening, extending the invitation to BIPOC writers to transform the content and spirit of The Fiddlehead far beyond a single issue; this issue is a commitment to transformation and accountability.

***Please note, submissions to the BIPOC special issue will be limited to racialized writers residing in the area known as Canada (citizenship not required). We will politely decline international submissions received during this reading period.***

•A short fiction submission should be one story, double spaced and maximum 6,000 words. Unless a story is flash fiction (under 1000 words), please send only one story per submission. Please specify at the top of the first page the number of words in the story submitted. For flash fiction, we accept up to two stories per submission. If submitting two, please include both stories in the same word document and ensure that the second story begins on a new page with the title included to mark the beginning of the new story. 
• A poetry submission may be single-spaced. Please submit no more than 6 poems per submission, and no more than 12 pages total. No more than one poem on a page. If a poem runs more than one page, please put the poem’s title in the headers of the additional page(s) and make sure the pages are numbered. The Fiddlehead prefers to accept several poems by the same author; please do not limit your submission to a single poem.
• Creative nonfiction (CNF) is construed widely and can include personal essays, narrative non-fiction, think pieces, etc. Check out the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society’s definition here.  Submissions in this genre should be double-spaced and maximum 6,000 words. Unless a CNF work is very, very short (under 1000 words), please send only one work per submission. Accompanying images may be considered, but permissions for the images are responsibility of the author and must be arranged beforehand.
• Excerpts from novels and scenes from plays are occasionally accepted, but short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction are the preferred genres. Excerpts from novels should be double spaced, while play excerpts may be single spaced. Novel excerpts should be no more than 6,000 words, while play excerpts should be 10 pages max.
• Translations of creative work are also considered and occasionally published. With these submissions we need a copy of the text in its original language and a copy of a permissions letter from the copyright holder (usually the author or the original-language publisher).

Ends on $10.00 - 35.00
$10.00 - 35.00

$2000 CAD for Best Short Story!

Good luck to all entrants. This year's contest deadline is Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (postmarked for mailed entries and 11:59 pm Atlantic Standard Time for Submittable entries) . Our judge this year is Yasuko Thanh! 

Yasuko Thanh is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Vancouver Island. She won the 2009 Journey Prize for the title story in her collection Floating Like the Dead. Her first novel, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, a historical tale set in Vietnam, won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2016. Her best-selling memoir, Mistakes to Run With, reflects on her journey from a runaway to prostitute to a successful writer. She lives in Victoria with her daughter, and is currently at work on a novel.

Contest General Rules and Information:

  • The Fiddlehead will not read work ableist, misogynistic, queer-phobic or racist.

  • Entries must be original and unpublished. No simultaneous submissions and no previously published (or accepted for publication) submissions. This means that an entry must not be under consideration elsewhere for publication, nor accepted elsewhere for publication, nor entered in any other contest. Work that has appeared on the internet (e.g., online magazines, blogs, or social media sites) is considered published for the purposes of this contest and is ineligible.

  • An entry must be the original work of the person who is submitting it and the name and contact information provided must be the author’s. Contest entries should be submitted under the author’s real name. If you use a pseudonym for your published works, you will have a chance to inform the editor of this should your work be selected by the judges.

  • All entries must be submitted by mail or via Submittable. This year's contest deadline is Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (postmarked for mailed entries and before 11:59 pm Atlantic Standard Time for Submittable entries). No faxed or emailed submissions are allowed.

  • No revisions or changes may be made to an entry once you have submitted it. So please carefully check your entry before you enter it into the contest.

  • Judging for the contest is anonymous. Do not put your name or contact information or other identifying information (e.g., publishing pseudonyms) anywhere on your actual entry. For mailed entries place your name and contact information on an accompanying cover page along with information about the submission requested below. For Submittable entries, there will be a place on the Submittable form for your name and contact information.

  • One Fiction entry is one short story (6,000 words maximum). Fiction entries should be double spaced and paginated. For mailed entries the word count should be noted on the cover page that accompanies your entry. For Submittable entries the word count should be noted on the Submittable form.

  • The entry fee for your first entry depends on where you are living. If your address is in Canada, then the fee for first entry is $35 CAD. Additional entries after that first contest entry are $10 CAD. If you do not live in Canada, then the fee for your first entry is $40 USD and additional entries after that first entry are $10 USD.

  • You must submit a first entry (and pay the first entry fee) before submitting an additional entry. If you submit an additional entry without first submitting that first entry, your entry may be disqualified, and the entry fee will not be returned.

  • You will receive a one-year subscription to The Fiddlehead with your first entry. New subscriptions will start with the next issue published after the contest closes. Already a subscriber? — you'll receive a one-year extension to your current subscription. Additional entries do not receive an additional subscription or subscription extension.

  • The Fiddlehead occasionally swaps its subscription list with other literary organizations. If you don't wish to be included in such exchanges, please state this on your entry's cover page.

  • The contest winner will be contacted directly (by either email or telephone) 2-3 months after the contest deadline. Other entrants will not be individually contacted about the results. Authors’ names and the titles of the works that make a shortlist of 10-15 will appear on The Fiddlehead website. The winner will be announced on the website and on The Fiddlehead social media spaces at a later date.

  • The winning entry will be published in the Winter 2022 issue of The Fiddlehead and on our website. There is a publication payment in addition to the contest prize. The current publication payment rate is $60/page.

  • The winner will be interviewed. The interview will be published on The Fiddlehead website when the issue featuring the winning piece is published.

  • An entry will be disqualified (no matter at what stage in the contest process it is at), if it is discovered that an entry has violated the contest rule on simultaneous submissions, prior publication, or original authorship. The entry fee will not be reimbursed; however, the entrant will still receive the one-year subscription if the entry was an initial entry.

  • An entry may be disqualified (no matter at what stage in the contest process it is at), if it is discovered that the author entered that entry as an additional entry and never submitted and paid for a first entry. The entry fee will be not be reimbursed; and if a subscription was started in error, it will immediately be cancelled.

  • You can only upload ONE file when entering via Submittable, (doc or .docx preferred; rtfs acceptable). Please do not submit your entry as a pdf. Do not include a cover letter or bio as part of that file. Cover letters and bios will be deleted from any entry file.

  • Remember only use the additional entry category IF you have already submitted and paid for a first contest entry.

75th Anniversary Cover 

Place your order now for our 75th Anniversary Issue

This issue, edited by The Fiddlehead's advisory board, includes contributions from  Roy J. Adams, Mary Barnes, Brandi Bird, J.D. Black, Selina Boan, Nicole Breit, Brian Brett, Laurie Brinklow, Jake Byrne, Antony Di Nardo, Jo-Anne Elder, Tanya Evanson, Alyda Faber, Sue Goyette, Mackenzie Ground, Maureen Scott Harris, Maheen Hyder, shalan joudry, Jónína Kirton, Eva Kolacz, Hege A. Jakobsen Lepri, Lee Maracle, Rachel McCrum, Sofia Mostaghimi, Susan Musgave, Nolan Natasha, Cecily Nicholson, Arleen Paré, Barbara Pelman, E. Alex Pierce, Michelle Porter, Gabriel Robichaud, Ingrid Ruthig, Clarisse Baleja Saïdi, Anna Swanson, Michelle Sylliboy, Émilie Turmel, Arielle Twist, Jean Van Loon, Margo Wheaton.

Includes artwork is by Sophie Hamidovic, Saman Sarheng, April White.

For Canadian addresses, the price for this special issue is $15 CAD. For US addresses, the price is $15 USD. And outside of North America, the price is $20 USD.  

All these prices include shipping.

Order an issue! 

Note: No. 285 (Autumn 2020) and No. 286 (Winter 2021) are sold out!

For Canadian addresses, the price for a single issue is $17 CAD ($23 CAD for Summer). 

For US addresses, the price is $17 USD ($23 USD for Summer), and outside of North America, the price is $22USD ($28 USD for Summer).

Please contact us if you don't see the issue you want or if you would like to bundle several back issues together. 

Price includes $5.00 shipping and handling.

Summer issues are significantly larger and focus on one genre. Here's the upcoming publication schedule:

  • Summer 2021: Fiction  
  • Summer 2022: Creative Nonfiction
  • Summer 2023: Poetry
The Fiddlehead