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Writer's Guidelines

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Click here to download these CWJ Writer's Guidelines
in PDF file for off-line reference.

Canadian Writer's Journal is a digest-size magazine for writers emphasizing short "how-to" articles which convey easily understood information useful to both apprentice and professional writers. General policy and postal subsidies require that the magazine must carry a substantial Canadian content. We try for about 90% Canadian content, but prefer good material over country of origin, or how well you're known.

Writers may query, but unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. (For submission format click here. All submissions are considered, and unused material is returned if a suitable self-addressed, stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.) is provided. When submitting from outside Canada, please note that International Reply Coupons (IRCs) are necessary. We cannot return your reponse from Canada if it has stamps from your country on it. We try to answer promptly; please allow 12 weeks for a response before contacting us again. We reserve the right to edit all material prior to publication.

Email queries and submissions by email are most welcome. Content and writing style will be primary considerations, but between two similar pieces of quality writing on the same topic, preference will be given to the article that can be submitted electronically. S.A.S.E. and paper copy by mail are still necessary for cross-checking and payment, but you can wait and send them only if there's an acceptance. It saves postage.

Email submissions should have the following format: click here to see sample


  • in the subject line please write Submission;

  • the body of the email should start out with your name, address and phone number, followed by a paragraph or two about you and the work you're submitting, then your submission should follow in the body of the email ** NOT ** as an attachment. We do not open attachments to email to minimize possible virus exposure. We follow the piece (in most cases) with short biographical information about you. (Poets' biographies are on a separate page.) We appreciate your input for those two or three lines, although we do reserve final editorial decision.

Payment increased to $7.50 per printed CWJ page (approximately 450 words) plus one complimentary copy of that issue. Payment made on publication, normally 2-9 months after acceptance. Please advise if you can accept payments through PayPalŪ and at what email address. Rates and payment schedules are always under review. Canadian Writer's Journal buys one-time rights, preferably first-time rights, and reserves the right to edit all material prior to publication.

Preferred article length is from 400 words to 2,500 words depending on subject matter. Tight, clear writing is essential. Shorter is better. Any subject related to writing, from the generation of ideas to marketing and publishing, may be covered. Writers should be specific and precise. Avoid overworked subjects such as overcoming writer's block, handling rejection, or finding time to write. Material based on the author's personal experience and achievements will usually be given preference. Be prepared to verify sources and quotations. We reserve the right to edit all material prior to publication.

Opinion pieces on issues affecting writers and publishers are sought. Humorous and seasonal items are joyfully accepted.

Three to four book reviews are used in most issues. Books about writing are favoured, but other books may be reviewed to exemplify a genre or to illustrate techniques useful to other writers. Reviews of books published in Canada are given preference. Length 250-500 words. If you have a book you'd like reviewed, send it to us.

Review Format

Top of the review article should contain:

  • NAME OF BOOK REVIEWED

  • AUTHOR

  • ISBN

  • Price, type of binding, number of pages, size

  • Publisher's Name (and, in most cases, address if possible, or where book is available)

  • Because we have started to feature the covers in our reviews, if we have not had a chance to scan the cover, we will need to be able to do so or be able to access a computer graphic of the book cover.

Fiction is published only through our annual short fiction contest. Deadlineis April 30th annually. S.A.S.E. to send for short fiction contest rules or print out text from the link here.

Poetry must be unpublished elsewhere. Payment between $2.00-$5.00 for each published poem, depending on length. Self-addressed, stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.) required for response and payment. Runs 4-6 pages of poetry per issue. Query by email first to save postage. (Send S.A.S.E and hard copy only after acceptance. Please put the word Query in the subject line.)

Fillers, line art, cartoons and anecdotes directly related to inspiration or the writing experience should be submitted for consideration to editor@cwj.ca but a paper manuscript and a #10 size S.A.S.E. may be required for response and cross-referencing after acceptance.

Email submissions to: editor@cwj.ca