Off the Page, with poet Michael Prior

At the start of summerfall, and early spring, the National Magazine Awards Foundation publishes a comprehensive list of magazine writing contests and prizes. These contests are great opportunities for emerging writers and poets to establish their presence in CanLit. Michael Prior is one such emerging writer, and in just a few years he’s compiled an impressive record of Canadian magazine publications and contest wins.

Doggedly submitting his work to numerous literary publications, between 2013 and 2015 Michael placed in over a dozen competitions and garnered scores of publications in literary journals and magazines across Canada.

His success as a poet has evolved from literary publications to small-press chapbooks–Swan Dive (Frog Hollow Press, 2014) included poetry first published in The Walrus, Lemon Hound and the Winnipeg Reviewto a debut, book-length collection recently published by Véhicule Press: Model Disciple (Spring 2016).

Recently the NMAF caught up with Michael, currently pursuing an MFA at Cornell University, to chat about magazine contests and building a career as a writer.

NMAF: Your poetry career emerged quite recently and has been moving at breakneck-speed. How and when did you first set foot in the world of Canadian poetry, and why were you drawn to this world?

Michael Prior: I think, like a lot of other writers, I was nudged into this by a series of passionate teachers and professors. I had always liked poetry, but it wasn’t until later in my undergrad that I actually began to read poems deeply. And then, when I did, they became these fascinating and visceral experiences: Dickinson took off the top of my head. Lowell made me feel like my mind was in a vise. Bishop asked me to look more carefully until the act of looking became a way of thinking.

NMAF: “To Hunt” (2013) garnered you your first poetry contest win: 2nd place in Echolocation’s Chase Chapbook Competition. You were in Vancouver at the time; what drew you to submitting to the Toronto-based Echolocation? What did it mean to win, and what happened—personally and professionally—next?

Michael Prior: Well, I’m not sure anything happened immediately, but placing second certainly gave me a little more confidence. I hadn’t been making poems for long at that point, and I remember having received a few rejections around the same time, so it was a nice validation to think that someone liked something I had written.

 

NMAF: You’ve since won poetry contests in acclaimed Canadian magazines, such as Vallum, Grain, The Walrus, and Matrix Magazine. There are often financial incentives to entering magazine writing contests, but what are some of the not-so-obvious perks? (Winning the Matrix Lit POP Award, for instance, includes tickets to POP Montreal and offers poets the opportunity to present on stage.)

Michael PriorPrairie Fire’s Bliss Carman Poetry Prize invites its winner out to the Thin Air Festival, and the Robert Kroetsch Award from Matrix comes with perhaps the ultimate prize: a first book publication deal for its winner.

But in terms of less tangible perks, I would argue that the primary benefit of literary magazine contests is that most are run through a blind submission process; that is, the readers and judges aren’t permitted to see the authors’ names, and therefore have to judge the work on its own merits without the context of a writer’s corpus, their stature in a literary community—in theory, this should level the playing field a bit for less-established writers.

But of course, the factors involved in any contest’s outcome are undeniably complex. There are aspects of contest culture that might favour certain aesthetics, certain experiences, certain types of poems about certain things. Connected to this is the question of who’s actually entering literary magazine contests. Economic means can be an obstacle to submitting (contests usually cost around $30 to enter, which is a lot for someone struggling to make ends meet) and identity can also be a determining factor: writers of colour may be uneasy about sending their work to prizes if the judge is of European descent, while LGBTTQI writers may apprehensive about submitting to a contest judged by a cisgender, straight individual.

 

Regardless of whether one wins, or doesn’t, I think it’s important to remember that placing in a contest is only a small measure of success. What matters is that one keeps writing and reading and writing.

 

I do think, however, that contests present an important opportunity for writers, as long as one takes their inscription of hierarchies, their tendencies, with a grain of salt; the magazines that run contests should be thinking (if they aren’t already) about how to attract more diverse submissions from diverse writers. Mostly, I hope that judges and readers are doing their best to be respectful, empathetic, imaginative, and inclusive when considering contest submissions.

 

NMAF: Which Canadian literary magazines are on your reading list right now?

Michael Prior: There are many great Canadian literary magazines, though due to budget constraints I have to rotate subscriptions. Right now, the stack of periodicals on my bedside table includes issues of Ricepaper, Poetry is Dead, The New Quarterly, Canadian Notes and Queries, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and The Fiddlehead.

I do my best to keep up with Canada’s burgeoning online publications, and like many of the poet folk I know, I eagerly await each new issue of The Puritan and The Rusty Toque. Also online: the poet Robin Richardson recently founded the Minola Review in order to create a unique publishing space for women, femme-identifying, and non-binary writers; the influential website Lemon Hound, though no longer publishing, remains an important archive; and Plenitude Magazine continues to publish and promote the work of LGBTTQI writers in Canada.

Needless to say, I think it’s apparent that there’s a lot of exciting work happening among Canada’s many literary magazines, of which I’ve only mentioned a small number, and I’m very grateful for all the editors and staff who volunteer countless hours to sift through the submissions and support new work.

 

NMAF: While completing your Master’s at the University of Toronto, you were a Poetry Editor at Echolocation. You’re now an MFA candidate at Cornell, and an Assistant Editor at Cornell’s Epoch Magazine. How does a magazine editor at a small press literary journal go about attracting new writing talent and new readers? As an editor, what do you look for in poetry submissions?

Michael Prior: To answer the first part of your question, I think an engaged editor obviously needs to read widely: books, journals, websites, blogs, and all the other places poems might be proliferating. This is undoubtedly time consuming—we’re all busy, and resources tend to be scarce at small magazines—but I think this sort of effort is essential to fostering a magazine’s ethos, which emerges over time through both the work an editor solicits, and the work an editor accepts from the slush pile. This becomes an even harder thing to foster at a student-run journal, where the staff changes every year.

Editorial work, in my opinion, requires a simultaneously historical and forward-looking perspective (what has happened, what is happening, what will happen next / what might I like to see happening more in the future). Editors are unavoidably gate-keepers. There’s no way around it: a magazine cannot, nor should it try to be, everything at once (though its scope of interest need not be narrow)—what’s important is that the literary landscape is able to support a diverse range of publications, and by extension, a diverse range of editors.

And of course, I believe editors should always be questioning what they like and why. As Jim Johnstone once said to me, it’s much easier to quickly dismiss a piece of writing than it is to spend the time and learn how it’s asking to be read. Some writing opens up in unexpected ways with a little persistence.

"Model Discipline" by Michael Prior is now available from Véhicule Press.
“Model Discipline” by Michael Prior is now available from Véhicule Press.

As for what I personally look for in a submission, well, I’m interested in poems that are compelling experiences, surprising experiences, experiences that are emotionally complex and powerful—poems that have something at stake beyond language as a game of phonemic pick-up sticks. Memorability is often a good marker of this for me: if I am re-experiencing a poem at unexpected times (while riding the bus, or when walking a corgi) moments when the poem is not right in front of me, that’s usually a good sign.

I am also interested in a poem’s formal qualities, especially its engagement with what has preceded it—its conversation with other poems, traditions, and modes. In other words, how aware is the poem of the fact it wasn’t written in a vacuum? This isn’t to say I’m only interested in canonically inherited formal structures (though I am a sucker for a well-written sonnet): I’m as equally enraptured by Alexandra Oliver’s metrical brilliance as I am by Alice Fulton’s fractal poetics or Cathy Park Hong’s renovation of the ballad form through lipogrammatic constraints.

NMAF: As both a writer and editor, what advice do you have for those new poets who have yet to enter a magazine writing contest?

Michael Prior: While it’s nice to win, entering a contest can be a helpful creative impetus: use the contest as a deadline to generate new work; use the contest as a way to support an admired publication; use the contest to hopefully get one’s work before the eyes of a favourite writer.

And regardless of whether one wins, or doesn’t, I think it’s important to remember that placing in a contest is only a small measure of success. What matters is that one keeps writing and reading and writing.


From the National Magazine Awards Foundation:


Michael Prior’s Model Disciple was released on March 29th, 2016. Véhicule Press has declared it “one of the most commanding poetic debuts in years” and the CBC included Model Disciple on their Spring 2016 Books Preview. Model Disciple is available in bookstores and for order now.

Michael holds an MA in English with a Creative Thesis from the University of Toronto, where he was the poetry editor of EcholocationHe’s now a poetry candidate at Cornell University, and an assistant poetry editor at Epoch Magazine. Though living in America, he’s still actively publishing in Canadian magazines, with work recently appearing in recent issues of The Puritan and Canadian Notes and Queries. He also has poems forthcoming in Ricepaper and The Fiddlehead. Discover more at MichaelPrior.ca and on Twitter @MichaelPrior06.

Special thanks to Leah Edwards for researching and conducting this interview on behalf of the NMAF.

The nominees for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards will be announced on Monday,. May 2, 2016. Follow us right here on this blog or on Twitter (@MagAwards) to find out who will be the finalists this year. 

A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals

THIS POST WAS LAST UPDATED ON January 4, 2017

They publish much of Canada’s best poetry and prose. The writers whose creative work appears in their pages range from established icons of Canadian literary arts–such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Lynn Coady, to name just a few–to new writers published for the first time.

They are Canada’s literary magazines, and they are not only a source of reading pleasure, but also a critical part of our country’s culture and a forum for literary artists across the land.

The following list, an A-to-Z guide to Canadian literary periodicals and their submissions guidelines, compiled by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, focuses on those magazines that currently publish short fiction, poetry and/or creative (aka literary) non-fiction. Many also accept submissions for essays, literary criticism, reviews, interviews, graphic narratives and visual art. And many have won National Magazine Awards. If we missed any, tell us via Twitter @MagAwards or contact us by email.

Acta Victoriana
Published in: Ontario (Victoria University, Toronto)
Founded: 1878
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Antigonish Review, The
Published in: Nova Scotia (St. Francis Xavier University)
Founded: 1970
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Articles, Reviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1
Submissions Guidelines

Arc Poetry Magazine
Published in: Ontario (Ottawa)
Founded: 1978
Genres: Poetry, Reviews, Essays
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Awards: 5 (most recently: Louise Halfe, Silver Medal, Poetry, 2015)
NMA Nominations: 23
Submission Guidelines

Artery, The
Published in: Ontario (Lakehead University)
Founded: 2008
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Plays
Issues per Year: 1-2
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission Guidelines

Ascent Aspirations
Published in: British Columbia (Vancouver)
Founded: 1997
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: Online, with annual anthology
National Magazine Award Nominations: 0
Submissions Guidelines

Baldhip
Published in: Canada
Founded: 2014
Genres: Poetry, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 0
Submissions Guidelines

Brick
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 1977
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 5 (most recently: Linda Spalding, Silver Medal, One of a Kind, 2013)
NMA Nominations: 13
Submission Guidelines

Broken Pencil
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 1995
Genres: Fiction, Reviews, Interviews, Zine Culture
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 2
Submission Guidelines

Bywords.ca
Published in: Ontario (Ottawa)
Founded: 1990
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: Monthly (online)
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

cover220-1Canadian Literature
Published in: British Columbia (Univ. of British Columbia)
Founded: 1959
Genres: Poetry, Reviews
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries
Published in: Ontario (Windsor)
Founded: 1968
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Essays
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Awards: 2 (most recently: Russell Smith, Gold Medal, Fiction, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 4
Submission Guidelines

vol1Canadian Poetry
Published in: Ontario (Univ. of Western Ontario)
Founded: 1977
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission Guidelines

Canthius Journal 
Published in: Canada
Founded: 2015 (debut issue Fall 2015)
Genres: Poetry & Prose (from women and genderqueer writers)
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission Guidelines

Capilano Review, The
Published in: British Columbia (Capilano University, Vancouver)
Founded: 1972
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Visual Arts, Interviews
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Awards: 4 (most recently: Weyman Chan, Silver Medal, Poetry, 2001)
NMA Nominations: 12
Submission Guidelines

Carousel
Published in: Ontario (University of Guelph)
Founded: 1983
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 1 (Julie Bruck, Gold Medal, Poetry, 1998)
NMA Nominations: 3
Submission Guidelines

Carte Blanche
Published in: Quebec (Quebec Writers’ Federation, Montreal)
Founded: 2004
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Cede Poetry
Published in: British Columbia (Vancouver)
Founded: 2015
Genre: Poetry
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Contemporary Verse 2
Published in: Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Founded: 1975
Genres: Poetry, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 2
Submission Guidelines

Cosmonauts Avenue
Published in
: Quebec (Montreal)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Interviews, Essays, Visual Arts, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 11
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines
 .

Dalhousie Review, The
Published in: Nova Scotia (Dalhousie University, Halifax)
Founded: 1921
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Essays
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Danforth Review, The
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 1999
Genres: Fiction
Issues per Year: 8 (online)
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Dorchester Review, The
Published in: Ontario (Ottawa)
Founded: 2011
Genres: Reviews, Essays, Translations
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Echolocation
Published in: Ontario (Univ. of Toronto)
Founded: 2003
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Drama, Reviews, Visual Arts
Issues per year: 1-2
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission Guidelines

Eighteen Bridges
Published in: Alberta (University of Alberta, Edmonton)
Founded: 2011
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Essays, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 2-3
National Magazine Awards: 12 (most recently: Lisa Gregoire, Gold Medal, Essays, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 39
Submission Guidelines

Event
Published in: British Columbia (Douglas College)
Founded: 1971
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Awards: 12 (most recently: Bill Gaston, Gold Medal, Fiction, 2011)
NMA Nominations: 45
Submission Guidelines

Existere
Published in: Ontario (York University, Toronto)
Founded: 1978
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Exit, revue de poésie
Published in: Quebec (Montreal)
Founded: 1995
Genres: Poetry, Reviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

332ELQ: Exile, the Literary Quarterly
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 1972
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Drama
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Feathertale Review, The
Published in: Ontario (Ottawa)
Founded: 2008
Genres: Humour, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry, Cartoons
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 5 (most recently: Jacob Pacey, Gold Medal, Humour, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 10
Submission Guidelines

Fiddlehead, The
Published in: New Brunswick (University of New Brunswick, Fredericton)
Founded: 1945
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 2 (most recently: Shane Neilson, Silver Medal, Poetry, 2011)
NMA Nominations: 13
Submission Guidelines

filling Station
Published in: Alberta (Calgary)
Founded: 1993
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews, Interviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1
Submissions Guidelines

Freefall
Published in: Alberta (Lit. Society of Calgary)
Founded: 1990
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Geez
Published in: Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Founded: 2007
Genres: Creative Non-fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Journalism, Photography
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Geist
Published in: British Columbia (The Geist Foundation, Vancouver)
Founded: 1990
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 6 (most recently: Karen Connelly, Gold Medal, Poetry, 2012)
NMA Nominations: 16
Submission Guidelines

Glass Buffalo
Published in: Alberta (Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton)
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1
Submissions Guidelines

Grain
Published in: Saskatchewan (Sask. Writers’ Guild, Saskatoon)
Founded: 1973
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 4 (most recently: Ayelet Tsabari, Silver Medal, One of a Kind, 2012)
NMA Nominations: 28
Submission Guidelines

GUTS: Canadian Feminist Magazine
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Essays, New Media
Issues per Year: Biannual, plus regular online content
National Magazine Awards Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Hamilton Arts & Letters
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 2008
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Hart House Review
Published in: Ontario (Univ. of Toronto)
Founded: 1991
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Award Nominations: 0
Submissions Guidelines

urlHazlitt
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: Online (1 print edition per year)
National Magazine Awards: 11 (most recently: Sasha Chapin, Gold Medal, Personal Journalism, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 37
Submission Guidelines

Humber Literary Review, The
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Essays, Art
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1 (Personal Journalism, 2016)
Submission Guidelines

Impressment Gang, The
Published in: Nova Scotia (Halifax)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Reviews
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

In/Words
Published in: Ontario (Carleton University, Ottawa)
Founded: 2001
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 2-3
National Magazine Awards Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Lettres québécoises
Published in
: Quebec (Montreal)
Founded: 1976
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Literary Review of Canada, The
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 1991
Genres: Poetry, Essays, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 10
National Magazine Award Nominations: 6
Submission Guidelines

Little Brother
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Essays, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award: 1 (Jess Taylor, Gold Medal, Fiction, 2013)
NMA Nominations: 7
Submission Guidelines

MacroMicroCosm
Published in: British Columbia
Founded: 2015
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 4 (online)
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission guidelines

Maisonneuve
Published in: Quebec (Montreal)
Founded: 2003
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews, Journalism, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 39 (most recently: Magazine of the Year 2016)
NMA Nominations: 144
Submission Guidelines

Malahat Review, The
Published in: British Columbia (University of Victoria)
Founded: 1967
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 28 (most recently: Liz Windhorst Harmer, Gold Medal, Personal Journalism, 2013)
NMA Nominations: 84
Submission Guidelines

Matrix
Published in: Quebec (Concordia University, Montreal)
Founded: 1975
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

coverMaynard, The
Published in: British Columbia
Founded: 2008
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: Online
National Magazine Award Nominations None
Submissions Guidelines

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Mystery Weekly
Published in: Ontario (Ancaster)
Founded: 2015
Genres: Fiction (crime + mystery)
Issues per Year: 12
National Magazine Awards Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

coverNashwaak Review, The
Published in: New Brunswick (St. Thomas Univ.)
Founded: 1994
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

New Quarterly, The
Published in: Ontario (St. Jerome’s University, Waterloo)
Founded: 1981
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 15 (most recently: Tamas Dobozy, Gold Medal, Fiction, 2014)
NMA Nominations: 52
Submission Guidelines

NōD
Published In: Alberta (U. of Calgary)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission Guidelines

Northword
Published in: Alberta (Fort McMurray)
Founded: 2012
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: 0
Submissions Guidelines

Nouveau Projet
Published in: Quebec (Atelier 10, Montreal)
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Poetry, Essays, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 5 (Most recently: 2015 Magazine of the Year)
NMA Nominations: 18
Submission Guidelines

One Throne
Published in: Yukon (Dawson City)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1 (Essays, 2016)
Submission Guidelines

Open Minds Quarterly
Published in: Ontario (Sudbury)
Founded: 1998
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Reviews, Personal Essays (on the subject of of mental health recovery)
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

(parenthetical)
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction
Issues per Year: 6
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Petal Journal
Published in: Ontario (Toronto); an online journal of female perspectives
Founded: 2015
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: Continuously (online)
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Plenitude
Published in: British Columbia (Victoria)
Founded: 2012
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Graphic Narrative
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Poetry is Dead
Published in: British Columbia (Burnaby)
Founded: 2009
Genres: Poetry
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Polymath
Published in: British Columbia
Founded: 2015
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 4 (online)
National Magazine Awards: None
Submission guidelines

Prairie Fire
Published in: Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Founded: 1978
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 14 (most recently: Harold Hoefle, Silver Medal, Poetry, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 47
Submission Guidelines

Prairie Journal
Published in: Alberta (Calgary)
Founded: 1983
Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Drama, Literary Criticism
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: 2
Submissions Guidelines

PRISM International
Published in: British Columbia (University of British Columbia)
Founded: 1959
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Drama, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 12 (most recently: Jody Smiling, Silver Medal, Essays, 2014)
NMA Nominations: 28
Submission Guidelines

Pulp Literature
Published in: British Columbia
Founded: 2014
Genres: Short Stories, Novellas, Novel Excerpts and Graphic Novel Shorts
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Puritan, The
Published in: Ontario (Ottawa)
Founded: 2006
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Queen’s Quarterly
Published in: Ontario (Queen’s University, Kingston)
Founded: 1893
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Reviews
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Awards: 11 (most recently: Nick Mount, Silver Medal, Arts & Entertainment, 2008)
NMA Nominations: 44
Submission Guidelines

Quilliad, The
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 2013
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Art
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

QWERTY
Published in: New Brunswick (UNB)
Founded: 1996
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction; Reviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

0Rampike
Published in: Ontario (Univ. of Windsor)
Founded: 1979
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Rhubarb
Published in: Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Founded: 1970
Genres: Creative Non-fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Visual Art, with a focus on Canada’s Mennonite communities
Issues per Year: 2-3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Ricepaper
Published in: British Columbia (Vancouver)
Founded: 1995
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 5
Submission Guidelines

Riddle Fence
Published in: Newfoundland & Labrador
Founded: 2009
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Room
Published in: British Columbia (Vancouver)
Founded: 1975
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Interviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 4
National Magazine Award Nominations: 2
Submission Guidelines

Rusty Toque, The
Published in: Ontario
Founded: 2011
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Graphic Narratives
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Award Nominations: 1 (Poetry, 2016)
Submission Guidelines

Scarborough Fair
Published in: Ontario (Univ. of Toronto, Scarborough)
Founded: 1967
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 1
National Magazine Award Nominations: 0
Submissions Guidelines

sub-Terrain
Published in: British Columbia (Vancouver)
Founded: 1992
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Reviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Awards: 2 (most recently: Zsuzsi Gartner, Silver Medal, Fiction, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 7
Submission Guidelines

Taddle Creek
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 1997
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 1 (Michael Cho, Silver Medal, Words & Pictures, 2007)
NMA Nominations: 15
Submission Guidelines

THIS Magazine
Published in: Ontario (Red Maple Foundation, Toronto)
Founded: 1966
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Essays, Visual Art
Issues per Year: 6
National Magazine Awards: 19 (most recently: Min Gyo Chung, Silver Medal, Illustration, 2016)
NMA Nominations: 85
Submission Guidelines

Understory Magazineus
Published in: Nova Scotia (Halifax & Lunenberg)
Founded: 2013
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Spoken Word
Issues per Year: 2-3
NMA Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

untethered
Published in: Ontario (Toronto)
Founded: 2014
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction and Visual Art.
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submissions Guidelines

Vallum
Published in: Quebec (Montreal)
Founded: 2000
Genres: Poetry, Reviews, Essays, Interviews
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Awards: 2 (most recently: David McGuimpsey, Gold Medal, Poetry, 2016)
NMA Nominations
: 8
Submission Guidelines

Windsor Review
Published in: Ontario (University of Windsor)
Founded: 1965
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Interviews, Visual Arts
Issues per Year: 2
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

Winnipeg Review, The
Published in: Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Founded: 2010
Genres: Poetry, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 4 (online)
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

XYZ, La Revue
Published in: Quebec (Ville Saint-Laurent)
Founded: 1985
Genres: Fiction, Reviews, Interviews
Issues per Year: 3
National Magazine Award Nominations: None
Submission Guidelines

In addition to the above list, many of Canada’s news, general-interest and arts magazines publish fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, including but not limited to Border Crossings, The WalrusToronto LifeBoulderpavement, Inroads, Newfoundland Quarterly, Ottawa Magazine, Georgia Strait, Alberta Views.

See also these great guides to entering Canadian magazine writing contests:
Your Guide to Fall Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Summer Magazine Writing Contests
Your Guide to Winter/Spring Magazine Writing Contests

Read all about this year’s National Magazine Award winners, which included medals by literary magazines Arc Poetry Magazine, Event, Hazlitt, Little Brother, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, sub-Terrain, The Feathertale Review, The New Quarterly, Vallum and Maisonneuve, which won Magazine of the Year.