The Humber Literary Review’s Emerging Writers Fiction Contest

Deadline: 15 February 2018

We are now accepting submissions for our biennial emerging* Canadian writers fiction contest. All winning entries, including three honourable mentions, will be published in print in the spring 2018 issue.

 *An Emerging Writer = A Canadian writer who has not yet published a book.

All entries will be judged blind.


In addition to publication in the Humber Literary Review, we offer the following prizes: 

First Place: $500
Second Place: $300
Third Place: $200

Three stories earning honourable mention will also be published; these writers will receive $100 each.

Entry fee: $20 per submission of one story not longer than 2500 words. (All contest entrants receive a one-year subscription to the HLR!)


Cherie Dimaline & Ayelet Tsabari

 Ayelet Tsabari

Cherie Dimaline is a writer and editor from the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario who has published four books. Her latest book, The Marrow Thieves, won both the 2017 Governor General’s Award and the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers and is a finalist for the White Pine Award. The Marrow Thieves was also named a Book of Year by the National Public Radio, the School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, and Kirkus Reviews and is a national bestseller. Cherie currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she coordinates the annual Indigenous Writers’ Gathering and is at work on her next novel.

Ayelet Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, (HarperCollins) won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Fiction and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, and has been published internationally. Excerpts from her forthcoming memoir, The Art of Leaving, have won a National Magazine Award and a Western Magazine Award in Canada. She lives in Toronto. 

General Submissions are now open

We are currently seeking general submissions of personal essays, poetry, artwork, and comics for our upcoming spring/summer issue, scheduled for release in the spring of 2018.

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. 

The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2018

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. Contributors will receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears plus a one-year subscription to the HLR.