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).
The Fiddlehead is now on Submittable!
We’re phasing in our use of Submittable. We are now only accepting poetry submission, but over the next year we will open Fiction and general Creative Nonfiction submissions via Submittable. For those who prefer snail mail and handwritten responses, we will still be accepting mailed submissions!
Click below to access our Submittable page. If you don’t already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to sign up for one before you submit. It is free and it only takes a few minutes.
General Guidelines for Unsolicited Submissions
We strongly encourage online submission through the Submittable platform, but as stated above, we are still open to mailed submissions. Many of the guidelines apply to both methods.
• No faxed or emailed submissions are accepted. Please do not send CDs, DVDs, USB drives, etc.
• 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, .rtf, 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.
• For online and mailed submissions, a cover letter should be included with contact information (especially your email address, if you have one), the title(s) and genre of the work(s) you are submitting, and a 50-word biographical statement. 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.
• To receive a handwritten response to mailed submissions, please include a SASE (a self-addressed stamped envelope); otherwise we will simply send you an email response. If you do not include a SASE or an email address, you will not receive a response unless your submission is accepted for publication.
• For mailed submissions, if you wish to receive your whole manuscript back, please say so in your cover letter and include a large enough self-addressed envelope with the correct postage. If the envelope is too small or there is not enough postage, your manuscript will not be returned. If you are submitting work from outside Canada, please include a valid email address for reply purposes, as we cannot use non-Canadian postage. Alternatively, you should include cash/cheque/money order (USD or CAD dollars only, please) to cover return postage.
Please send mailed submission to:
11 Garland Ct
University of New Brunswick
PO Box 4400
Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction
• A short fiction submission should be one story, double spaced and maximum 6,000 words. Unless a story is very, very short (under 1000 words), please send only one story per submission. Please specify at the top of the first page the number of words in the story submitted.
• A poetry submission may be single-spaced. Please submit no more than 6 poems per submission. No more than one poem on a page. If a poem runs more than one page, please put the poem’s title in the headers of the additional page(s) and make sure the pages are numbered. The Fiddlehead prefers to accept several poems by the same author; please do not limit your submission to a single poem.
• Creative nonfiction is construed widely and can include personal essays, narrative non-fiction, think pieces, etc. Check out the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society’s definition here. Submissions in this genre should be double-spaced and maximum 6,000 words. Accompanying images may be considered, but permissions for the images are responsibility of the author and must be arranged beforehand.
• Excerpts from novels and scenes from plays are occasionally accepted, but short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction are the preferred genres. Excerpts from novels should be double spaced, while play excerpts may be single spaced. Novel excerpts should be no more than 6,000 words, while play excerpts should be 10 pages max.
• Translations of creative work are also considered and occasionally published. With these submissions we need a copy of the text in its original language and a copy of a permissions letter from the copyright holder (usually the author or the original-language publisher).
The Fiddlehead has a long and proud tradition of publishing reviews of Canadian fiction and poetry that dates back almost to our beginnings. Payment for reviews is approximately $40 CAD per published page, plus one complimentary copy of the issue. Please query by email if you are interested in reviewing for The Fiddlehead. If you have reviewed for other literary magazines, please attached .pdf copies of one or two of your previous reviews to your email query.
The Fiddlehead pays $100 plus two copies of the issue for use of artwork on our cover . We do not consider unsolicited artwork for the cover or interior unless the artist is from Atlantic Canada. Please query by email with a link to your online portfolio.