Submission Guidelines

Now accepting submissions for Issue 14: Age. Deadline September 15, 2018. See details here.

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


We love a good story. Part of Understorey‘s mission is to publish voices of Canadian women, particularly underrepresented voices. As such, we lean toward personal stories, 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Please note we do not publish “how-to” articles or expository essays.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.

Audio / Video

We welcome audio and video recordings of written submissions. Please see Granny and Walls for examples.

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

  • Please include a cover letter that demonstrates you have read at least one issue of Understorey Magazine (all issues are here) and that you are familiar with our tone and content. Also include a short biographical statement.
  • Creative writing submissions must be original, unpublished work.
  • Keep all submissions under 1,500 words. Poets, submit no more than five poems at one time. Prose-writers, please submit only one piece per issue.
  • Visual art may be published elsewhere online. Please send a jpg file of approximately 800 x 600 pixels.
  • 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 ($30-$60) to writers and artists whose work is accepted for publication. Please note: Due to our administrative partnership with Mount Saint Vincent University, to receive an honorarium, contributors to Understorey are required to provide their Social Insurance Number. This is only required when and if your piece is accepted for publication. (Contact us with any questions.)
  • Email your submissions to 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 8, RR #1, Lunenburg, NS, B0J 2C0
  • Submissions for Issue 14: Age are now open.