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

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.

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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.

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). 

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.

Ends on September 3, 2019$10.00 - 36.00
$10.00 - 36.00

$2000 CAD for Best Short Story! 

Good luck to all entrants. Since September 1 falls on a Sunday, and Labour Day is September 2, this year's contest deadline is Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (postmarked for mailed entries and 11:59 pm Atlantic Standard Time for Submittable entries)  

Contest General Rules and Information: 

  • 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 Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (postmarked for mailed entries and before September 3, 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 blind. 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 Short Fiction entry is one piece (6,000 words maximum). Short 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 $30 CAD. Additional entries after that first contest entry (to either contest category) are $10 CAD. If you do not live in Canada, then the fee for your first entry is $36 USD and additional entries after that first entry (to either contest category) 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 Autumn 2019 issue (no. 281). 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) by the end of November 2019. Other entrants will not be individually contacted about the results. Authors’ names and the titles of the works that made a shortlist of 10 will appear on The Fiddlehead’s website by early December 2019. The winner is announced on The Fiddlehead website and on The Fiddlehead’s social media spaces around the time that the winter 2020 issue comes out.
  • The winning entry will be published in The Fiddlehead’s Winter 2020 issue and on our website. There is a publication payment in addition to the contest prizes. The current publication payment rate is $60/page.
  • The winner will be interviewed. The interview will be published on The Fiddlehead’s website when the winter issue comes out.
  • 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.

 For Submittable entries:

  • You can only upload ONE file when entering via Submittable, (doc or .docx preferred; rtfs acceptable; no pdfs please). 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. 

The Fiddlehead