Thank you for considering Room for the publication of your original short stories, poems, creative non-fiction, or art. 

Get a sense of our tastes by reviewing material we’ve published in recent issues. Visit our shop to order single copies of specific issues, including our sold-out digital exclusives for just $10.  Questions or problems with your submission? Contact us at contests[at]

Contest Calendar

Poetry | July 1 – August 30
Short FormsSeptember 1 – November 1
Fiction | January 10 – March 10
Creative Non-Fiction | April 15 – June 30

We have ten free entries to offer to low-income writers for each of our contests in order to encourage barrier-free access to contest submission. We encourage those who may benefit from a free entry, for any reason at all, to contact us at contests [at] roommagazine [dot] com.

Read our Contest General Guidelines
See our Past Winners  

Poetry Contest

Our 2024 Poetry Contest is now open!

FIRST PRIZE: $1,000 +  publication in Room
$250 + publication in Room
$100 + publication on Room’s website

DEADLINE: August 30th, 2024

2024 Judge: Rafeef Ziadah

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian spoken word artist and human rights activist based in London, UK. Her performance of poems like ‘We Teach Life, Sir’ and ‘Shades of Anger’ went viral within days of its release. Her live readings offer a moving blend of poetry and music. Since releasing her first album, Rafeef has headlined prestigious performance venues across several countries with powerful readings on war, exile, gender and racism.

Her third album Three Generations is a selection of spoken word poems, with original music compositions. The sequence of linked poems is a deeply moving, powerful, personal remembrance of Palestine, Al-Nakba, exile, defiance, and survival. It is also a beautiful testament to the human spirit, to ‘love and joy against skies of steel’.

We Teach Life, her second album, is a powerful collection of spoken word with original music compositions, which she brings to the stage with Australian guitarist and We Teach Life producer Phil Monsour.  Rafeef received the Ontario Arts Council Grant from the Word of Mouth programme to create her debut spoken-word album Hadeel. She regularly conducts spoken word workshops with the aim of empowering expression through writing and performance. She was chosen to represent Palestine at the South Bank Centre Poets Olympiad in 2012.

Rafeef’s debut ablum Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names of their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel over Gaza. Rafeef’s debut CD Hadeel, We Teach Life and Three Generations are available at Bandcamp.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 47.4.

Short Forms Contest

Our 2023 Short Forms Contest is now open!

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $350 + publication in Room 
HONOURABLE MENTION: $150 + publication on Room’s website

EXTENDED DEADLINE: December 31, 2023

Please note: Each entry can consist of one or two prose poems, flash fictions, or flash creative non-fiction works of up to 500 words. Authors are not required to clarify which genre(s) they are writing in, as long as each work is 500 words or less. All submissions, regardless of genre, will be judged in a single category.

2023 Judge: Tsering Yangzom Lama

Photo credit: Paige Critcher

Tsering Yangzom Lama’s debut novel, WE MEASURE THE EARTH WITH OUR BODIES, was a finalist for The Giller Prize, The Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writers Prize, The Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and The Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes. Winner of the GLCA New Writers Award, the novel has also been longlisted for The Carol Shields Prize, The VCU Cabell First Novel Prize, The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The Toronto Book Awards.

Tsering holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Creative Writing and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. A lifelong activist, Tsering is a Storytelling Advisor at Greenpeace International, where she guides and trains people around the world in storytelling. Born and raised in Nepal, she currently splits her time between Vancouver, Canada and Sweden. WE MEASURE is being published in eight languages and ten countries.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with Issue 47.1 (March 2024).

Fiction Contest

Our 2024 Fiction Contest is now closed. The Fiction Contest will open again in January 2025.

FIRST PRIZE: $1,000 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: $100 + publication on Room’swebsite

DEADLINE: March 10

2024 Judge: Sarah Bernstein

Sarah Bernstein is from Montreal, Canada, and lives in Scotland. Her writing has appeared in Granta among other publications. Her first novel, The Coming Bad Days, was published in 2021. In 2023 she was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Photo by Alice Meikle.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 47.3 (September 2024).

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Our 2024 Creative Non-Fiction Contest is now closed. The CNF contest will reopen in Spring, 2025.

FIRST PRIZE: $1000 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
THIRD PRIZE: $100 + publication on Room‘s website

DEADLINE: June 15th, 2024

2024 Judge: Angela Sterritt

Angela Sterritt is an award-winning investigative journalist and national bestselling author from the Wilp Wiik’aax  (we-GAK) of the Gitanmaax (GIT-in-max) community within the Gitxsan (GICK-san) Nation on her dad’s side and from Bell Island Newfoundland on her maternal side. Sterritt worked as a television, radio, and digital journalist at CBC for more than a decade. She hosted the award-winning CBC original podcast Land Back.

Her book Unbroken, a work that is part memoir and part investigation into the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls, published by Greystone Books became an instant national bestseller in May of 2023. Unbroken was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Awards, one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. It is also nominated for the prestigious Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust award for best non-fiction book in Canada.

In 2021, Sterritt won an Academy Award (Canadian Screen Award) for Best Reporter of the Year in Canada for her coverage of an Indigenous man and his then 12-year-old granddaughter who were arrested while trying to open a bank account at BMO. Sterritt also won a national Radio Television Digital News Association award for the same reporting. In 2020, Sterritt was named in Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 list of the city’s 50 most influential people.

As a motivational speaker, Sterritt talks about overcoming adversity, breaking stereotypes, and creating change and relationships in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Photo Credit: Georgie Lawson

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 47.3 (September 2024).

General Guidelines

  • Room‘s contests are open women (cisgender and transgender),  transgender menTwo-Spirit and nonbinary people.
  • Each entry must be original and unpublished.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but if your submission is accepted elsewhere, please notify us and withdraw your submission immediately.
  • All first submissions include a one-year subscription to Room. We’ve priced our entry fee to cover shipping costs and they are:
    Canada: $39
    US: $49
    Everywhere else: $59
    Additional entries are $7 each and do not include an additional subscription.*Current subscribers will be given an extension on their subscription.
  • We use Submittable, a secure online submissions management tool, to manage our submissions. For more information about using Submittable, please check our Submissions page.
  • Submissions must be anonymous—please do not include your name or personal details anywhere in your document, including the file name. You will have a chance to include your contact information on the Submittable form. Cover letters are not necessary and will not be forwarded to the judge.
  • Previously commissioned Room writers (writers who have been featured on the cover of an issue) and contest judges are barred from participating in subsequent contests at Room.


Contest-specific guidelines

  • For Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction, one submission includes one short story or essay of up to 3,500 words.
  • Please double space your prose.
  • Submit all work in 12-point font, Times New Roman preferred.
  • One poetry submission can include up to three poems or a maximum of 150 lines of poetry altogether. (The titles and spaces between lines do not count)
  • When submitting multiple poems, please begin your second and third poems on a new page in the same document.
  • For the Short Forms Contest. a submissions may be up to 500 words in any genre. Authors are not required to clarify the genre(s) they are writing in; all pieces submitted will be considered on their individual merit as standalone pieces.
    Each entry may include up to two submissions.
  • Additional details for each contest can be found on Submittable.

Past Contest Winners

Fiction Contest 2024: The Winners

Fiction Contest 2024: The Winners

We are so excited to bring you the results of this year’s Fiction Contest, judged by Sarah Bernstein. The wait is finally over: here are this year’s winners! ---- FIRST PLACE: Sad Robot, by Camie Kim Camie Kim's work has appeared in Books in...

Fiction Contest 2024: The Longlist

Fiction Contest 2024: The Longlist

We are so thrilled to announce the longlist for our 2024 Fiction Contest! A big thank you to our Room collective members for selecting our longlist. These submissions will now be reviewed by this year's judge, Sarah Bernstein. A big congratulations to these talented...

Making Moccasins

Making Moccasins

“Making Moccasins” is the Third Place Winner for Room’s 2023 Creative Non-Fiction Contest. Of this piece, judge Tajja Isen writes: This is a blazing, deeply felt essay about pregnancy, miscarriage, and family-making. As well as being a moving act of remembrance, the...

Creative Non-Fiction Contest 2023: The Winners

Creative Non-Fiction Contest 2023: The Winners

Drumroll, please! Here are the three winners of our 2023 Creative Non-Fiction Contest, as chosen by judge Tajja Isen. A big congratulations to these three writers! --- FIRST PLACE: our brothers started dying, by Natalie Appleton Natalie Appleton is a graduate of the...

Creative Non-Fiction Contest 2023: The Shortlist

Creative Non-Fiction Contest 2023: The Shortlist

The Creative Non-Fiction Shortlist has arrived! A big congratulations to the five writers whose submissions have been shortlisted by our esteemed judge, Tajja Isen! — Room Magazine 2023 Creative Non-Fiction Contest: The Shortlist The Train, by Murgatroyd Monaghan Holy...

Fiction Contest 2023: The Winners

Fiction Contest 2023: The Winners

We are so excited to bring you the results of this year's Fiction Contest, judged by Heather O'Neill. The wait is finally over: here are this year's winners! ----- FIRST PLACE: "Eggshells" by Rebekah Skochinski Rebekah Skochinski is a writer based in Northwestern...

Seasons Change

Seasons Change

“Seasons Change” is the Third Place winner for Room’s 2023 Fiction Contest. Of this piece, judge Heather O'Neill writes: "This story was so elegant and perfect. There was not a spare word. In this small story, a relationship between a man and woman is explored in a...

The Chipmunk

The Chipmunk

The Chipmunk is the Third Place Winner of Room’s 2022 Short Forms Contest, as judged by Alix Ohlin. You can find the full list of winners, and what judge Alix Ohlin had to say about each winning piece, here. ___ The Chipmunk At the campsite, my sister and I knot...

Short Forms Contest 2022: The Winners

Short Forms Contest 2022: The Winners

We are so very pleased to announce the winners of our 2022 Short Forms Contest. A huge congratulations to the following three writers whose works were handpicked by our amazing judge, Alix Ohlin. We won’t keep you waiting any longer: here they are! ____ First Place:...

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