Creative nonfiction contest
Deadline: February 14, 2019 (midnight EST)

Humber Literary Review and the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) have joined forces to bring you a Canada-wide creative nonfiction contest. Helen Humphreys is this year’s judge. 

Winners will be announced in June 2019 at the annual CNFC conference in Vancouver, BC. First prize includes payment of $750 and publication in The Humber Literary Review.

WHAT: Original previously unpublished creative nonfiction – maximum word length 3,000 words (no minimum). Literary journalismmemoir, the personal or lyric essay—all are welcome.  

WHO: The competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

WHEN: The deadline is February 14, 2019 at midnight EST.

FEE: General public $20; CNFC members $15. 

HOW: Submissions accepted via the CNFC’s online submission form only. The contest will be judged blind so PLEASE don’t put your name or contact information on the actual submission. If you do not delete identifying information, your submission will be disqualified. The judge will be Helen Humphreys, keynote speaker at the next CNFC conference.

For full contest details, please visit

ABOUT THE CNFC: The Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) promotes innovation and excellence in Canadian creative nonfiction writing. It provides close to 300 members from across Canada with opportunities to enrich professional skills, including support in adapting to new publishing contexts. The CNFC advocates for the genre’s prominence and inclusion in Canada’s educational institutions, cultural agencies, and literary organizations. The 2019 CNFC conference is scheduled for June 14 to 16 in Vancouver at UBC’s Point Grey Campus. Find out more at

General Submissions are currently open!

Work from the HLR has been featured in Best Canadian Poetry, Best Canadian Essays, and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. We are always looking to publish and promote more emerging artists. 

Previous issues of the HLR have included original work from:

Alberto Manguel // Anakana Schofield // Amber McMillan // Cassidy McFadzean // Leesa Dean // Cherie Dimaline // Corinna Chong // Douglas Coupland // Emily Schultz // Eufemia Fantetti // Billy-Ray Belcourt // Jennifer Lovegrove // Eva H.D. // George Elliott Clarke // Jen Sookfong Lee // Jowita Bydlowska // Kate Beaton // Karen Solie // Kim Dorland // Krista Foss // Lisa Walter // Mariko Tamaki // Rosena Fung // Padloo Samayualie // Matt Cahill // Phoebe Wang // Michael Fraser // Naben Ruthnum // Priscila Uppal // Russell Smith // Sarah Nind // Stevie Howell // Souvankham Thammavongsa // Teva Harrison // Travis Shilling // Liz Howard

The magazine has also featured interviews with Eden Robinson, Miriam Toews, Emma Donoghue, Wab Kinew, Marina Endicott, David Chariandy, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Miranda Hill, Sean Michaels, Sheila Heti, Ann-Marie MacDonald and more.

The Deadline for this submission window is February 15, 2019

General Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as you let us know right away if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Please read the departmental guidelines below and identify the genre of your submission, as well as all relevant information (bio, contact info) on the first page of your document. Word files are preferred.

All submissions may be submitted electronically via Submittable. A reading fee of $4 will be charged for each submission and is used solely to offset the administrative costs of maintaining our submission management system. 


Short stories should range from 2,500 to 6,000 words; longer pieces are harder to place. Shorter pieces will be considered.



We accept 3-6 previously unpublished poems per submission. 



Essays should run from between 2,000 and 6,000 words, and can span from memoir to more academic texts.


Our reviews usually cover fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama. If you would like to pitch a review on a related subject of literary interest, please query first.



We will accept a sample of 3-6 illustrations, photographs, cartoons, collages, or other artistic work. High-contrast images work best. PDF, JPEG, TIFF, PSD files are preferred. Please ensure that your submission is smaller than 2MB (if larger, please query us in advance).

Each issue of HLR showcases a single featured artist. We may request additional images if your work is selected by the editors.

***comics submissions will be considered separately from featured artist portfolios***

contributor compensation

We purchase first North American serial rights, and pay $100 each for essays, fiction, and reviews. Poets are paid $100 for 2 to 3 poems. Our featured artist and comic contributors are also compensated. Contributors will receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears plus a one-year subscription to the HLR.