Frequently Asked Questions About The New Quarterly’s Submission Requirements
Q: Why can I only submit 3 poems or one story AND why only once per calendar year?
A: Our editors are volunteers extraordinaire. They generously eke out time from their day jobs, families, and free time not only to read your work but also to make notes and then meet in person to choose the accepted pieces. Work is filed into bundles of 10 authors. Each round of reading sees at least 15 bundles. That’s 450 poems or 150 pieces of fiction every few months and usually 4 or 5 editors to read them. If our editors want to see more or your work, they will ask.
Q: Why won’t you help me fix my submission if I make a mistake following the requirements?
A: It all comes down to (wo)man hours. TNQ has exactly one full-time staff member and an occasional part-timer. Everyone else is a volunteer. If a volunteer extraordinaire can only spare two hours a week working our flood of mail through the submissions process, that time can easily be consumed pointing out to each John D’Oh that he sent in 4 poems instead of 3. Please read and follow our guidelines!
Q: What is the theme of the next issue?
A: We don’t know. Really! Unless we have a special issue in the works (for which there would be a special call for submissions posted on our website), our editors choose a theme after the fact based on the content of the work they have accepted for that particular issue. Our goal is variety, so if you were hoping for a solid answer to this question, try out a theme we haven’t addressed in the last year.
Q: To query or not to query? That is the question.
A: And the answer is no.
Unless you want to write an essay on writing; then the answer is yes.
Q: Do you only print rhyming poetry?
A: We print it all! TNQ is a generalist magazine, interested in work in a wide variety of formal and stylistic modes. Freshness of style, subject matter, perspective is something we look for. Pick up an issue to get an idea of our tastes.
Q: Do you have length restrictions?
A: No, but the longer the piece, the better we have to like it to justify the pages devoted. That said, we have published long poems, poem cycles, and novellas.
Q: Do you print novel excerpts?
A: Only if they can stand alone—in other words, if you can fool us into thinking they are worlds unto themselves.
Q: Do you consider work from first-time authors?
A: Yes. All editors are part-time gamblers betting on literary futures. Being at the start of things may actually be an advantage if the work is strong. We are The New Quarterly.
Q: What if I don’t live in Canada?
A: If you aren’t a Canadian citizen, or a landed immigrant living in Canada, I’m afraid we can’t accept your submission. If you're not Canadian, why would you want to be published in a mag called The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers & Writing?
Q: Why do you only consider Canadian writers?
A: It’s just what we do.
Q: Who do I contact about my submission/withdrawing my work/my change of contact info?
A: Email info [at] tnq [dot] ca for anything regarding a submission (unless it's a contest submission, in which case you should contact contests [at] tnq [dot] ca). Questions, comments, concerns, or anything else you can think of, info is there for you. Even if the info manager doesn’t know the answer, he or she can easily find out. We work in an open-concept office large enough for someone to stretch out and take a nap on the floor, but small enough that everyone else would have to step over them to get anywhere, so questions can be called out and answered fairly quickly. Not that anyone has ever taken a nap on the floor. Yet.
If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please go back and read the submission requirements one more time. If you still don’t have an answer, write an email to info [at] tnq [dot] ca or give us a call at 519-884-8111 x28290.