Understorey Magazine is a Canadian online magazine of literary writing and review, spoken word, and visual art. Submissions are open to writers and artists who self-identify as women and live in Canada (or are Canadian citizens living abroad). Before submitting work, please read our mission and the guidelines below.

Understorey Magazine aims to publish as many different voices, styles, and perspectives as possible. We welcome submissions from women of various ages, cultures, ethnicities, gender identities, abilities and disabilities, and educational and economic backgrounds.

For our first seven issues (Fall 2013-Winter 2016), Understorey published stories of motherhood. We defined motherhood broadly to include adoptive, surrogate, and foster mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, co-mothers, and women who, through choice or circumstance, are not mothers. While we maintain a particular interest in stories of motherhood, from Issue 8 (forthcoming in summer 2016) forward, we also welcome submissions on topics beyond motherhood. Details of upcoming themes and special issues will be announced on this page and on Facebook and Twitter


As a literary magazine, we love a good story whether told through fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. We are open to traditional short story, essay and poetic forms as well as letters, prose poems, rants, anecdotes, dialogue, or any shape your story wants to take. Surprise us!

Please note we do not publish “how-to” articles or expository essays. Nonfiction pieces should be “creative” or literary. See What is Creative Nonfiction? for a detailed description.


We invite guest posts on subjects related to writing, visual art, recent books, and issues of current relevance to women in Canada. Please send ideas to [email protected]

Spoken Word Artists

We would love to include more spoken word on Understorey. If you would like to submit your work, please contact us at [email protected]

Visual Artists

Understorey Magazine illustrates each published story with visual art by Canadian women. We welcome photos of art or craft. Please see our current and past issues for examples.

The Details

  • Creative writing submissions must be original, unpublished work.
  • Keep submissions under 1,500 words.
  • Poets, submit no more than five poems at one time.
  • Visual art may be published elsewhere online. Please send a jpg file of approximately 800 x 600 pixels.
  • Writers and artists, please include a short biography with your submission and be sure to indicate that you are Canadian.
  • We encourage simultaneous submissions but let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Writers and artists retain copyright of their work. Writers grant Understorey Magazine nonexclusive Internet rights to publish their work.
  • We offer a small honorarium ($40-$65) to writers and artists whose work is accepted for publication.
  • Email your submissions [email protected] Writers, include your work in the body of the email.
  • You can also submit by regular mail. Send your work to Editor, Understorey Magazine, PO Box 821, Lunenburg, NS, B0J 2C0
  • Submissions for our Summer 2016 special issue on women and justice are now closed. Details of upcoming themes and special issues will be announced on this page and on Facebook and Twitter