So you want to submit your writing for publication in TNQ? Here’s what you should know:

The Fun Stuff

We pay writers $250 for a short story or nonfiction entry, and $40 per poem or postscript story. In exchange, we get first Canadian publishing rights. You keep the copyright. And the bragging rights.

The Labour of Love Stuff

We aren’t set up to accept online submissions (yet), so you have to print your piece(s), a short bio, your fabulous cover letter, our submission cover sheet, and mail the whole thing to us at:

The New Quarterly c/o St. Jerome’s University
290 Westmount Road N
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3G3

[Click to download the submission cover sheet.]


The “Patience Is A Virtue” Stuff

For fiction and poetry submissions, you can expect this cycle:

Submissions Postmarked         Responses Released

March 1 to August 31                  Late January

September 1 to February 28     Late August

The Boring Stuff

  1. Include our cover sheet with your submission. We need this information to keep track of your submission.
  2. We publish “Canadian writers & writing,” which means that you, the writer, must either be a Canadian citizen (living home or abroad), or a landed immigrant living in Canada.
  3. Submission Formatting:
  • Typed, single-sided, double spaced (fiction), stanza breaks (poetry).
  • Word count at the end of your work, page numbers on prose or multi-page poems.
  • Make sure your name is on every page, please.
  1. We will accept one piece per author, per genre, per calendar year. That is a grand total of one piece of fiction or nonfiction, up to three poems, and three postscripts. Contest submissions do not count towards this total.
  2. We reply to EVERYTHING! Please provide a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) if you want a written reply, or an email address for an electronic response.
  3. To know if your work is a fit for TNQ, please read our back issues. Anything older than 5 years is free to read.

The Creative Nonfiction Stuff

Creative Nonfiction (CNF) is hot these days. We get that, and we love CNF. But sometimes what’s needed is an elegant research essay, a quirky diatribe, or a riveting discussion among peers. That’s why we encourage you to look for the lively mix of nonfiction in each TNQ issue. You can also check out our latest nominee for the Best New Magazine Writer Award at the National Magazine Awards, and even more TNQ writers in the annual Best Canadian Essays series.

As we say at TNQ—look, and listen.

So, if you’re new to us, or if you have stellar work you’d like to share, try entering the annual Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, where submissions of any length, on any subject matter, are considered for publication.

To learn about the beauty and aptness of the essay form, check out these interviews with contest winners on our blog.

(In fact, writing for our blog is another way to introduce yourself to readers. Check out these outstanding posts by emerging writers in our Back Story series. If you have an idea for a blog post, tell us about it.)

But wait, the PE Contest is only half the picture. TNQ has a range of features that focus on the writing life:

Day Jobs (thriving or surviving?)
In Conversation (interviews, profiles, dialogues)
Magazine as Muse (just what it says)
On Writing (craft)
Soundings (spiritual memoir with a literary bent)
The Writer at Large (life away from your desk)
Word & Image (the literary and visual arts)

Most of these are works we’ve solicited from writers we know and love. We are open to queries, though, so pitch your best notion to, and we’ll talk.

One last thing—TNQ does not use footnotes (think The New Yorker). If notes are central to your project, try to sort out attribution issues before submitting, or in conversation with the editors.

The FAQ Stuff

Q: Do you accept multiple submissions (submissions that have also been submitted elsewhere)?

A: Yes, but please let us know right away if your work is accepted somewhere else so we don’t get too attached. Also, so we can send you our felicitations!

Q: What’s with the submission cap?

A: Our editors are volunteers extraordinaire who comment on hundreds of submissions each year—and that’s what’s with the cap, to honour (the rest of) their free time.

Q: What is the theme of upcoming issues?

A: That decision is made once the content has been chosen for an issue. Try to submit something unlike what we’ve published in the past year.

Q: Do you have length restrictions?

A: No, but the longer the piece, the more we have to justify its appearance in the magazine. That said, we have published long poems, poem cycles, and novellas. We rarely publish pieces longer than 6000 words.

Q: What do you mean by “poetry”?

A: We print it all! Free verse, ballad, sonnet, epic, and prose poems.

Q: Do you print novel excerpts?

A: Generally speaking, no. Think “short fiction” as a genre.

Q: Do you consider work from first-time authors?

A: Yes, we are The NEW Quarterly, but we are not an entry-level magazine. We are, however, interested in hearing from writers at all stages. And remember, a conversation with an editor—even if it results in a rejection—is just a part of the writing life.