Leave a comment

Canadian Literary Short Fiction Markets (A-E)

I wrote short stories in my youth and published a dozen in Canadian literary journals–long defunct ones like Writ and Quarry, and still-going-strong ones like The Windsor Review and The New Quarterly (it really was a new quarterly back then). Though I’ve kept up with reading lit mags all my life, I only recently resumed writing short fiction for adults–which requires viewing lit mags as markets.

While some of today’s great Canadian lit mags still have the same submission guidelines they had 20 years ago (snail mail, SASEs and all), I’ve had to make a few updates on my “Lit Mag Submission Guidelines” file (the main change being that the file was on a 3 1/2″ floppy disk so I had to retype the whole thing).

The best resource for Canadian lit mag info is “A Writer’s Guide to Canadian Literary Magazines & Journals” on the Magazine Awards Blog. I’ve cribbed from that guide to make my own list of short story markets, which omits all the poetry bits but adds essential info like word limits, submission methods, and payments. If you’re a short story writer, feel free to crib from my list.

I’m offering the list in 4 parts of 10-12 magazines each because (a) I’m not finished typing the full list yet; and (b) you need time to buy/borrow and read the magazines before you submit to them. Because it would be crazy to try to publish your work in a magazine you’ve never read and might not even like. Right?

Canadian Literary Magazines–Short Fiction Markets A-E

The Antigonish Review (Antigonish, Nova Scotia).antigonish

  • Publishes established and emerging writers from the Maritimes and across Canada. 4 issues/year (print). Since 1970.
  • Considers fiction up to 3,000 words, plus poetry, essays, articles, book reviews, and translations.
  • Open submission period. Submit by snail mail. Exclusive submissions only. Response in 4-8 months.
  • Pays $50 + 2 copies.
  • Submissions Guidelines

Canthius Journal (Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario)canthius

  • Publishes emerging and established female-identifying writers. 2 issues/year (print). Since 2015.
  • Considers prose (mostly essays but also some fiction) up to 3,500 words, and poetry.
  • Submissions are open for the summer issue until April 1st, 2017. Submit through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 3-4 months.
  • Pays $5/page + 1 copy.
  • Submission Guidelines

The Capilano Review (Vancouver, British Columbia)capilano

  • Publishes experimental writing by emerging and established Canadian and international writers. 3 issues/year (print and pdf). Since 1972.
  • Considers fiction up to 5,000 words, plus poetry, creative non-fiction, reviews, and visual arts.
  • Open and themed issues with specific submission periods, e.g., Deadline April 1, 2017 for themed issue on “Food.” Submit through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 4 months.
  • Pays $50-$150.
  • Submission Guidelines

Carousel (Guelph, Ontario)C25-cover+spine.qxd

  • Publishes new and established Canadian and international artists. 2 issues/year (print). Since 1983.
  • Considers fiction up to 3,000 words, plus poetry, comics and visual arts.
  • Submissions are closed from January 10-June 30. (So submit after July 1st,, 2017.) Submit by snail mail or through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 4-6 months.
  • Pays $55-$100 + a subscription.
  • Submission Guidelines

Carte Blanche (Montreal, Quebec)carte_blanche

  • Publishes emerging and established writers and artists from Quebec, Canada, and the world. 3 issues/year (online only). Since 2004.
  • Considers fiction up to 3,500 words, plus poetry, creative non-fiction, translations, comics, photography, and audio arts.
  • Submission periods: March 16th-May 1st and October 1st-December 31st. Submit online. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 4-6 months.
  • Pays “a small honorarium.”
  • Submission Guidelines

Cosmonauts Avenue (Montreal, Quebec)cosmonauts

  • Publishes literary work from writers around the world. 11 issues/year (online only). Since 2014.
  • Considers fiction up to 8,000 words, plus poetry, creative non-fiction, translations, interviews, essays, reviews, and novel excerpts.
  • Open submission period. Submit through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 10 weeks.
  • No payment.
  • Submission Guidelines

The Dalhousie Review (Dalhousie, Nova Scotia)dalhousie

  • Publishes new and established writers of academic and literary works from the Maritimes and across Canada. 3 issues/year (print and digital). Since 1921.
  • Considers fiction up to 5,000 words, plus articles, essays, creative non-fiction, poetry, and reviews.
  • Open submission period. Submit by snail mail. Exclusive submissions preferred. Responds in 3-9 months.
  • Pays 2 copies + offprints.
  • Submission Guidelines

Eighteen Bridges (Edmonton, Alberta)eighteenbridges

  • An arts and culture magazine that publishes mostly commissioned work from established Canadian writers. 4 issues/year (print). Since 2011.
  • Considers fiction (no word limit), plus poetry and proposals for articles.
  • Open submission period. Submit by snail mail or online. Response time varies.
  • Payment varies.
  • Submission Guidelines

Event (New Westminster, British Columbia)event

  • Publishes contemporary poetry and prose from emerging and established Canadian and international writers. 3 issues/year (print and digital). Since 1971.
  • Considers fiction up to 5,000 words, plus poetry, creative non-fiction, and reviews.
  • Open submission period. Submit through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 6 months.
  • Pays $25/page.
  • Submission Guidelines

Existere (Toronto, Ontario)existere

  • Publishes emerging and established writers from York University and around the world. 2 issues/year (print). Since 1978.
  • Considers fiction up to 3,500 words, plus poetry, essays, novel excerpts, reviews, creative non-fiction, photography and visual arts.
  • Open submission period. Submit by email. (There is a precise submission format – see guidelines.) Simultaneous submissions accepted. Responds in 3 months.
  • Pays a small honorarium + 1 copy.
  • Submission Guidelines

Exile, the Literary Quarterly (Toronto, Ontario)exile

  • Publishes new and established writers and artists from Ontario and Canada. 4 issues/year (print). Since 1972.
  • Considers fiction (no word limit) and poetry.
  • Open submission period. (Exile also publishes themed anthologies which have specific deadlines. Nothing open at the moment). Submit by snail mail. Exclusive submissions only. Responds in 4-6 months.
  • Payment not specified. (Exile anthologies pay approximately 5 cents/word.)
  • Submission Guidelines

That’s the top of the alphabet to start with. Happy reading and submitting. More to come Friday.

Have a great week.


A Year Around Here

snow-dayI found some pictures on my phone taken during dog walks along the Ottawa River over the course of an entire year. (Not this past year, alas–these are from 2015. But nothing much has changed in this particular spot in the world, so these will do as a representative year.)

This is what a year looks like around here. (Notice how short summer is.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy New Year!


All Good Children go to Heaven (or at least to paperback and Booktrack editions)

A couple of cool things have happened this fall with my 2011 teen novel, All Good Children.

First, All Good Children is now available in paperback! Orca Book Publishers has produced a gorgeous paperback version of the book. It’s blue, it’s ominous, it’s a keeper. Check it out in their Fall 2016 catalogue:



So now you can buy the book in hard cover or paperback from the Orca website. Awesome.

While you’re on the Orca website, check out the whole Fall 2016 catalogue. (Then check out the Spring 2017 catalogue.) As they do every season, Orca has a great selection of books for kids, teens, and reluctant readers of all ages. (I’m partial to picture books and since I just learned how to take screen shots–seriously, I just looked it up five minutes ago–I’ll show you a few new gorgeous titles here:


If you prefer to read on a screen, All Good Children is available as an ebook from Amazon or a dozen other ebook vendors.

If you like an ebook with a little something extra, then my second bit of news is for you:

All Good Children is now available from Booktrack! Booktrack is a very cool electronic publisher that offers ebooks with a synchronized movie-­style soundtrack. Music and ambient audio are perfectly synched to the story and to the reader’s pace. Now that’s immersive. Check it out and try a free preview.


What a lovely 5th birthday for this book!

Have a great weekend. 🙂



Oh my Goodreads!

goodreads logoThe Goodreads folk are awfully good at keeping in touch. They send me monthly updates, alert me when a favourite author publishes a new book, advise me on how to generate reader interest in my own books, and notify me whenever someone likes one of my reviews.

Alas, I cannot reciprocate in good time! Even their notices reminding me, “You started Confessions 127 days ago; why not post an update?” rarely get me signing in. (I finished that book in two days. It took a while to update its status.)

I’ve developed a rhythm of adding reviews to my Goodreads account every, oh, six months. (A tad slower than adagio.) It goes on the to-do list at around 3 months, and then takes another 3 to cross off. By that time, I’ve forgotten half of what I’ve read, which significantly lessens the burden.

I only post ratings of books I really like, having been told once by an editor at The Malahat Review that bad books should be allowed to die quietly and there is no need to murder them–what fine advice! My Goodreads account thus makes me look easy to please. (But I’m not. Sometimes I yearn to mock a bad book in a biting review, but instead I bite my tongue because (a) not connecting with a book is hardly newsworthy; (b) nobody really cares about my opinion; and (c) the website is not called Badreads, is it?)

I may be slow, but I do love sharing good reads with good readers. So today I added a couple of dozen novels, picture books, and non-fiction titles to my online shelf.

One of today's 5-star reviews.

One of today’s 5-star reviews.

And another, which happens to have the same title.

And another, which happens to have the same title.

Online activity does not come naturally to me. (I don’t often read blogs or watch YouTube videos or even check websites except to find a phone number. I go online mostly to scour the library catalogue and place books on hold.) So I’m doubling my return on today’s online investment by blogging here about my Goodreads additions. Hah! What social media savvy! Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll update my website and scan the thousand posts I’ve missed on Facebook and come up with something else to blog about. For now, I’m signing out.

Have a great weekend. (Yes, I know it’s Sunday afternoon.)




Leave a comment

Satan Makes Lemonade

devilFor the eighth time in my life, I’m trying to finish Milton’s Paradise Lost. (So far, I’ve reread Book I, the bit about the fallen angels landing in hell. It’s fun to read aloud when you get to lines like, “Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!”—which does not work on sleeping teenagers, BTW).

I happened to read Book I of Paradise Lost just after reading a book about depression, and I was struck by the parallels. Satan may have lost the war with God but he’s not going to lose any battles with the blues. If he wasn’t dedicated to the downfall of humankind, he could write a self-help book for us. (Just on this one topic. He’s not the go-to guy for mental health issues in general, being an evil self-deluded egoist and all.)

I’ve read that Milton’s Satan is like an unreliable narrator whose prideful magnificence of Book I (he gets all the best lines) is exposed as lowliness by Book XII. But I’ve never made it past Book II. So I find him quite quotable. Here are

Satan’s Top Ten Tips for Fighting Depression.

1. Reach out to others.

Satan could drag himself to a lonely corner of Chaos and ruminate for eternity. When the other fallen angels invited him to play cards or go for coffee, he could make up a story about being too busy and then sit in his corner and eat worms. But no, Satan knows it’s bad to isolate himself. The first thing he does is reach out to Beelzebub and “break the horrid silence.” So what if you hate everyone and you’re pretty sure everyone hates you? If you are depressed, find better company.

2. Accept your emotions…

Satan is tormented, no doubt. He had it all and he blew it. He thought he was better than God and, man, was he wrong. And everybody knows it. Up in Heaven they’re all thinking, “What a maroon.” Lost happiness and lasting pain is what’s left in Hell. Does Satan deny all the sadness, anger, and frustration? Does he say, “No really I’m fine?” Well, actually, he claims to be better than ever. But first he vents a great deal, and he even has a little cry. Because you’ve got to let it out.

3. …But don’t wallow.

Satan can’t help thinking about how badly God whupped his ass, but whenever he catches himself ruminating, he immediately stops and finds a silver lining. It’s like he had cognitive behavioural therapy training back in Heaven. He doesn’t go over and over that idiotic war he waged that cost him eternal happiness. He doesn’t shudder and repeat, “I’ve been blotted from the Books of Life, oh my god, I’ve been blotted from the Books of Life.” Nope, he’s all, “Be it so.” Move on.

lemonade4. Focus on the positive.

Satan must have listened to that old Cat Stevens song, Moonshadow (If I ever lose my legs, I won’t have to walk no more, etc.). He repeatedly sings, “If I ever lose my place in Heaven, I’ll get to reign in Hell, and that’s even better.” (No one believes it, but the other fallen angels just shrug and sing along because what can they do? They’re not getting back into Heaven, are they?) “What though the field be lost?” Satan asks. “All is not lost—the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate… we still got all that” (paraphrasing at the end there). Satan always finds an upside: at least God isn’t here. Like a human might say, “Yes, I lost my family, but now I can stretch out in the bed and watch whatever I want on the TV.” Take note of the good stuff.

5. Get some exercise.

Does Satan just lie there, groveling and prostrate on the lake of fire, binging on Netflix and drinking too much wine? No. He’s barely awake when he calls the fallen angels to their feet and gets them to move from one part of the fiery landscape to another part of the fiery landscape. He knows that exercise cures what ails you. Get moving.

6. Help others.

Though his motives are suspect, Satan does his bit for his fellow fallen angels. He sees them wallowing in fire and depression, and he raises their failing courage and dispels their fears with a few white lies and some self-congratulatory motivational speeches. He fakes it till they all make it. The fallen hordes have a glimpse of joy to find their chief not in despair. There’s always something we can do to help those worse off.

paradise lost7. Make plans.

Satan could while away eternity in the fire and ice and darkness visible, but he’s got drive. He immediately comes up with a new goal. Sure, Heaven was aiming too high. They know that now. But there’s another goal within reach: “to wage by force or guile eternal war, irreconcilable to our grand Foe.” Satan could even try a regular evening reflection and ask himself, “Did I piss off God today?” to see if he’s moving toward his goal. Plans invest life with meaning, so muster up a sense of purpose.

8. Take concrete action. 

Satan talks a lot, but he’s really a devil of action. Today’s to-do list: wake the legions; build pandemonium; find out if God has built any new worlds we could ruin; etc. Satan does not procrastinate. If it takes less than five minutes to disturb God’s inmost counsels, then he does it now. He doesn’t file that one. It feels good to get something done.

9. Assess your situation realistically (ish).

Satan takes a good look at his dismal situation, waste and wild, and he accepts that it’s not temporary. He doesn’t nurse the false hope of getting back into Heaven. That dream is gone, that window has closed, that train has left the station. A giant dark furnace is the new normal. And what does Satan do when he sees this clearly? He deals. “Farewell happy fields where joy forever dwells. Hail horrors.” Like a psychopath in prison, he looks around and thinks, “This is workable.” Deal with reality.

10. Don’t lose hope.

Not only does Satan say (paraphrasing), “At least we have this awesome Hell to rule in, and we can still annoy God even if we can’t defeat him,” but he adds, “Space may produce new worlds, you never know. We could get out of Hell one day and have some real fun.” Which seems like optimism verging on insanity—but then he really does leave Hell (it’s coming up in a later Book) and he finds Earth and has lots of fun there. Never give up. You just don’t know what life might bring you.

tasmanian-devilSo there you have Satan’s depression-fighting tips, which are surprisingly the same as everyone else’s. Try them out. And have a happy weekend.

(Sorry to disappoint anyone who came to this blog hoping to see a video of an actual devil making lemonade. That doesn’t exist. Here is a Tasmanian Devil for you instead.)

Leave a comment

The Willow Awards

willowlogoIt is an honour to have my latest middle-grade comedy, 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6, selected as a 2016 Diamond Willow Nominee!

For those who may not know, Willows are not just gorgeous trees. They are also Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Awards (SYRCA). Every year, the Willow Awards offer Saskatchewan students an opportunity to vote for their favourite book among ten nominated titles in each age category. Books nominated for a Willow are thus introduced to thousands of students in the province.

My book is in excellent company as one of these ten 2016 Diamond Willow nominees, selected for readers in grades 4-6:

audreyAudrey by Dan Bar-el


 Finding Grace by Becky Citra


Friend or Foe by Etta Kaner


Frostbite Hotel by Karin Adams


Lost in the Backyard by Alison Hughes


Masterminds by Gordan Korman


Rain Shadow by Valerie Sherrard


Seven Dead Pirates by Linda Bailey


Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang


28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6 by Catherine Austen (me)

winniegospelYounger readers have a beautiful selection of ten titles (including Lindsay Mattick’s Finding Winnie, at left) nominated for the Shining Willow Award.

Older readers have an excellent selection of titles (including Caroline Pignat’s Gospel Truth, at right) nominated for the Snow Willow Award.

This year’s nominated titles will be read by students throughout the summer, fall and winter months, with student votes being tallied in April, 2017.

Last year’s Willow Awards have just ended and the winners are being announced today. You can check out today’s award ceremony online via the “Gala 2016 Live Event Video” on the SYRCA website. And check out all the nominated titles from 2015 on the CanLit for LittleCanadians blog.

willowtreeFor more information on SYRCA and the nominated titles from this year or earlier years, visit the Willow Awards website. If you’re a student or teacher in Saskatchewan, be sure to get involved in this children’s choice contest. I and the other authors will soon be adding suggested activities to supplement our books on the SYRCA website. (Because it’s not all about reading. It’s also about writing and drama and arts and crafts.)

A big congratulations to all of this year’s and last year’s nominated titles. And a big thanks to the teachers and students of Saskatchewan, and the volunteers at SYRCA, who keep this reading program going strong.


SCBWI Spring Conference in Ottawa

There are still a few spaces left for Ottawa’s SCBWI Art of Story Conference scheduled for the end of the month. For two days, guest speakers will offer workshops and presentations to everyone interested in writing or illustrating children’s books, from aspiring picture book illustrators to established YA novelists. There’s something for every level of experience.

Art-of-Story-2016-Poster copy

I love this poster! (The illustration is by Julien Chung; check out more of his work at http://www.julienchung.com.)

The conference will offer presentations, workshops, one-on-one critique sessions, first-page critique panels, as well as networking and catching up opportunities. There’s even a steampunk costume party. Check out the full conference schedule on the SCBWI Canada East website.

SCBWI members get a price discount, but you don’t have to be a member to attend. You don’t even have to know that SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization with 22,000 members in 70 regional chapters. All you have to know is that very talented writers, illustrators, editors, agents and art directors will  gather in Ottawa at the end of April to talk shop–and you can take part.

If you’ve never been to a writing conference, this might be a good one to try because this year’s conference faculty includes:
✓ Alex Arnold, Associate Editor, Katherine Tegen Books, Harper Collins
✓ Jennie Dunham, agent, Dunham Literary
✓ Grace Kendall, editor, Farrar Strauss Giroux
✓ Whitney Leader-Picone, art director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Books for Young Readers
✓ Christian Trimmer, senior editor, Simon and Schuster
✓ Helaine Becker, author
✓ Tim Wynne-Jones, author
✓ Ruth Ohi, author and illustrator

So you know you’re going to learn a thing or two. Get the details on the conference faculty at the SCBWI Canada East website.

There are pre-conference feedback opportunities for both writers and illustrators to polish their work in advance of showing it off at the conference itself. It’s too late to sign up for a one-on-one manuscript critique, but it’s not too late to send in a book pitch or first page for critique at the panel session. So get on that. Check out the Conference Details for more info.

Some wonderful conference prep tips were created by the Maryland USA “Team SCBWI” in advance of their own local spring conference. The details are NOT for Ottawa’s Art of Story — don’t follow the directions to Maryland if you’ve signed up for Ottawa — but the general tips and links are useful for anyone heading to their first writing conference. Plus they made this fun meme:


So check out Ottawa’s Art of Story Conference details and sign up.

See you there.

I am Buddy

It's a dogs life

Roxie Munro

Children's books, kid's apps...

The Wilden Marsh Blog

A blog about Wilden Marsh. Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest


Original New Stories about Musical Notations by "Golnaran", The musical cube maker

Jan L. Coates - "What if...?"

life as a kids' writer


Children's Book Reviews

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People


This site is about encouraging reading throughout the school years. By watching book trailers it is hoped that you will be inspired to read the book.

(Lost in) Believing in Books

A Young Adult & New Adult Book Blog

The Sweet Sixteens

2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade Debut Authors

Young Adult Book Madness

YA & NA Book Reviews

YA Book Reviews

Reviews for Young Adults or just Adults.

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Leaping to your bookshelves in 2015!

Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

YA Crush

Pass a note to your favorite YA book


A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

The Whole Megillah

The Writer's Resource for Jewish-themed Story: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Cheryl Willis Hudson's Blog

Children's Book Author/Editor/Publisher


the networking e-zine for children's writers & illustrators

Julia Lee Author

A blog about reading and writing children's books

Tracey Baptiste


Random Acts of Reading

reviews, raves and a random assortment of book buzz

Children's Literature Crossroads

children's literature meets teaching, reading, talking, writing, and thinking

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.


Booksellers New Zealand's blog

Flowering Minds

Children's Book Review Site

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Bobs Books Blog

Childrens and Young Adult Book Reviews by Bob Docherty

Pretty Books

Fiction, Young Adult and Children's Books & Reviews

1001 Children's Books

I must read before I grow up (too much)

Writing and Illustrating

Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children

Lucybird's Book Blog

Book reviews and discussion

%d bloggers like this: