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

Please note: at this time only the Poetry category is open on Submittable. Fiction and Nonfiction categories will only open on January 1, 2019. We want to ensure we enough readers in place so you don't have a long wait hearing back from us. Thank you for your patience. Mailed submissions (in any category) are accepted and considered throughout the year.


* * *

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.

Ends on December 3, 2018$10.00 - 30.00
$10.00 - 30.00

$2000 for Best Short Story!

$2000 for Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem!

$250 for two honourable mentions in each category!

Good luck to all entrants. Since December 1st falls on a Saturday, this year's contest deadline is Monday, December 3, 2018 (postmarked for mailed entries and 11:59 pm Atlantic Standard Time for Submittable entries)

Annual 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 Monday December 3, 2018 (postmarked for mailed entries and before December 3rd, 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.
  • The contest has two categories: short fiction and poetry.  Contestants are limited to one category per entry. If you, for example, send 1 poem and a story, then you have sent two entries – one for the poetry category and one for the short fiction category — and you must include payment for two entries.
  • One short-fiction entry is one story (6,000 words maximum). Short-fiction entries should be double spaced and paginated. For mailed entries the word count should be noted on cover page that accompanies your entry. For Submittable entries the word count should be noted on the Submittable form.
  • One poetry entry is up to 3 poems; no more than 100 lines per poem. If a poem is longer than one page, please make sure that each page is numbered and has the poem’s title in the header. Each poem should start on a new page. Poems may be single spaced. For mailed entries the title and the number of lines for each poem should be noted on the cover page. For Submittable entries the title and the number of lines for each poem should be noted in 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. Additional entries after that first contest entry (to either contest category) are $10. If you do not live in Canada, then the fee for your first entry is $36 and additional entries after that first entry (to either contest category) are $10.
  • 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 winter 2019 issue (no. 278). 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.
  • 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. 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 winners and honourable mentions are announced on The Fiddlehead website and on The Fiddlehead’s social media spaces once the spring issue comes out.
  • 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. The current publication payment rate is $60/page.
  • The two winners will be interviewed. The interviews will be published on The Fiddlehead’s website when the spring 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, so your entire submission must be in that one file(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.
  • For poetry entries: Remember that all the poems in your entry (maximum of three poems in one entry) must be in one file. Submitting two or three poems? — please begin each poem on a new page within the document file.
Ends on December 3, 2018$10.00 - 30.00
$10.00 - 30.00

$2000 for Best Short Story!
$2000 for Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem!
$250 for two honourable mentions in each category!
Good luck to all entrants. Since December 1st falls on a Saturday, this year's contest deadline is Monday, December 3, 2018 (postmarked for mailed entries and 11:59 pm Atlantic Standard Time for Submittable entries)
Annual 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 Monday December 3, 2018 (postmarked for mailed entries and before December 3rd, 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.
  • The contest has two categories: short fiction and poetry.  Contestants are limited to one category per entry. If you, for example, send 1 poem and a story, then you have sent two entries – one for the poetry category and one for the short fiction category — and you must include payment for two entries.
  • One short-fiction entry is one story (6,000 words maximum). Short-fiction entries should be double spaced and paginated. For mailed entries the word count should be noted on cover page that accompanies your entry. For Submittable entries the word count should be noted on the Submittable form.
  • One poetry entry is up to 3 poems; no more than 100 lines per poem. If a poem is longer than one page, please make sure that each page is numbered and has the poem’s title in the header. Each poem should start on a new page. Poems may be single spaced. For mailed entries the title and the number of lines for each poem should be noted on the cover page. For Submittable entries the title and the number of lines for each poem should be noted in 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. Additional entries after that first contest entry (to either contest category) are $10. If you do not live in Canada, then the fee for your first entry is $36 and additional entries after that first entry (to either contest category) are $10.
  • 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 winter 2019 issue (no. 278). 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.
  • 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. 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 winners and honourable mentions are announced on The Fiddlehead website and on The Fiddlehead’s social media spaces once the spring issue comes out.
  • 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. The current publication payment rate is $60/page.
  • The two winners will be interviewed. The interviews will be published on The Fiddlehead’s website when the spring 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, so your entire submission must be in that one file(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.
  • For poetry entries: Remember that all the poems in your entry (maximum of three poems in one entry) must be in one file. Submitting two or three poems? — please begin each poem on a new page within the document file.


Ends on December 1, 2018

***In order to accommodate staff holidays and address the large increase in submissions that has been generated by Submittable, The Fiddlehead will be closed to submissions effective July 15 and will reopen in September.


A poetry submission should be single-spaced. 


Please submit no more than 6 poems, although The Fiddlehead is open to a long poem or long sequence. 


No more than one poem on a page, and all poems should be included in one file. 


We at The Fiddlehead love hearing that you appreciate the comments we offer, but unfortunately, given the volume of submissions we get, we can’t respond to further emails or inquiries.  And please remember that you can only submit once a year!

The Fiddlehead