Frequently Asked Questions
Room was started in 1975 by a Vancouver collective of women who wanted to create a forum for female voices in the Canadian literary landscape. The magazine was originally called Room of One's Own, in honour of Virginia Woolf's assertion that, “[for a woman] it is necessary to have five hundred [pounds] a year and a room with a lock on the door if you are to write fiction or poetry.”
When the magazine began 40 years ago, Room originally supported primarily cisgender women writers. We have been and are continually growing and changing, and now envision Room as an open forum for women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people of all backgrounds and identities.
Room publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people. Room’s quarterly issues are edited by a rotating team of editors from our collective, and as such many tastes and interests are represented. Of our four issues, two have themes that are chosen in advance by the editors; for these issues, calls for submissions have specific deadlines. The other two issues are unthemed, in which we seek the best work by emerging writers and artists; work for these issues can be sent to us at any time throughout the year. We aim to publish work that expresses the complex, nuanced, and truly rich interior and exterior lives of a broad variety of folks.
You can make sure you never miss a copy of Room by subscribing to us!
We are also available at many independent book and magazine stores across Canada (click here to see the current list of distributors), and you can usually find a copy in the magazine section of Chapters/Indigo. If your library or local magazine store doesn't carry Room, ask them to order us in. We are distributed by Magazines Canada and available through library subscription services such as Ebsco.
Click here to subscribe to Room. When you receive your first issue depends on our publishing schedule (we release a new issue about every three months), but if you want to receive an issue right away, include a note saying “please start me with the last issue” and we'll mail one out as soon as we can.
If you already subscribe, you should receive renewal notices via email when your subscription is due for renewal. If you aren't sure and want to know how many issues you have left in your subscription, contact our circulation department.
Our prices start at $35 for a one-year, Canadian subscription to Room, but there are quite a few different prices depending on whether you’re subscribing from the US, overseas, or on behalf of an institution. For detailed prices, please visit our subscription page.
We pay $50 for up to 2 pages, $60 for 3 pages, $80 for 4 pages, $100 for 5 pages, $120 for 6+ pages, and $250 for cover art. Contributors also receive two copies of the issue in which the work appears and a year’s subscription to Room. We purchase First North American Serial Rights only (prior to publication in Room, the work may not have appeared in print in North America or on-line), and copyright always remains with the author. We may also ask you for non-exclusive electronic rights to publish a portion of your work on our website, but these will be negotiated separately.
Yes. Please be sure to mention in your cover letter whether your submission is exclusive to us or whether you have submitted it to other magazines. And if another magazine accepts for publication work you have submitted to Room, please advise us immediately.
- Read and follow the guidelines carefully: We get a lot of submissions. Our guidelines are there to help us get through them (and back to you) quickly.
- Send us more than one poem: Even if we love the poem you sent, it alone might not fit with a theme or gel with the other work accepted for the next issue. If you send us a selection, you give us a better chance of finding a fit.
We receive more than 2000 submissions per year and publish approximately twenty pieces in each quarterly issue. We aim to respond within three to four months of the manuscript cut-off date, but it can sometimes take much longer. (Check our home page for information about upcoming themes and cut-off dates.) You can log into Submittable, our online submissions tool, to check the status of your submission any time. If you find your submission is "In Progress" for a long time, it may often mean that your piece is being considered by an editor for potential inclusion in an upcoming issue. If you haven’t heard from us after six months, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll let you know where your submission is in the reviewing process.
No. Unless the editor specifically asked you to resubmit a certain piece, the rejection letter you receive from us means that we will not be able to publish it. But, one of our readers would have liked your writing enough to send you an encouraging rejection, meaning that we would very much like to see some of your OTHER work.
Please do. We review fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, published by smaller Canadian publishers, in an effort to suggest intriguing and original new work for our discerning readers.
Room is run by a small volunteer collective of folks in Vancouver and some long-distance members in other Canadian cities. If you have experience in the writing and publishing world and would like to join the collective, we'd be happy to consider your application. Note we generally like to fill long-term specific roles on the collective, so if something suitable isn't available right away, we will keep your info on file and contact you when a position comes up. Please complete an application form if you're interested in joining us.
If your work is targeted for a particular theme, it will be considered for that theme as long as it is sent by the deadline. There is no need to add a special note or designation.
Yes we do. The English translation must be unpublished, but the original text doesn't have to be. If you consider submitting a translation, please make sure you secure the permission of the originator (and that the originator meets our gender criteria—i.e. identifies as a woman.)
Currently on Newsstands
Room 41.4, Emergence
Edited by Alissa McArthur
In this issue:
Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall.