Room's Contests

Contest Calendar

Cover Art | Open September 1 - November 30
Short Forms | Open October 15 - January 15
Creative Non-Fiction | Open December 1 - March 8
Fiction & Poetry | Open April 15 - July 15

General Guidelines
Past Winners  

Questions or problems with your submission? Contact contests [at] roommagazine [dot] com.


Cover Art Contest

Our 2017 cover art contest is now open. Deadline: November 30, 2017.

Judge: Zainub Verjee

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication on the cover of issue 41.2 of Room
SECOND PRIZE: $50 + publication in issue 41.2 of Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: publication on Room's website

All winners will be published with an artist statement and profiled on Room magazine’s blog. Winners will have the option to submit additional artwork for the issue, which, if selected for publication, will be compensated for at our usual rates.

Enter Our Contest

Zainub Verjee is an artist, critic and a senior administrator in the arts and culture sectors. Her four decades of work has shaped culture policy at all levels of government as well as growth of cultural institutions and organizations. As the inaugural Director, Office of Arts and Culture at Mississauga, Verjee set up the city’s first Culture Division and developed the first comprehensive Culture Master Plan. As Senior Policy Advisor, Arts Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage and Program Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts, she served on cross-sectoral portfolios and developed initiatives in Digital Culture and Artist as Researcher. Prior to her work with the Federal government, she was the Executive Director at the Western Front, Vancouver, and co-founder and Co-Director of In Visible Colours. She was engaged by Gordon Campbell, Canadian diplomat and the 35th Mayor of Vancouver on his landmark Vancouver Arts Initiative, and among many appointments to Boards, she is proud of her work at the B.C. Arts Board that led to the formation of the B.C. Arts Council. She is published widely and is invited to speak nationally and internationally on culture policy, contemporary art and cultural diplomacy. Her art work has been shown nationally and internationally including at the Venice Biennale on its 100th anniversary, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Washington, and resides in private and public collections such as Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada.

Currently, she is the executive director of the Ontario Association of Arts Galleries in Toronto.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 40.4 (December 2017).


Short Forms Contest

Our 2018 Short Forms Writing Contest is now open! 

Deadline: January 15, 2018.

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication (2 prizes)
HONOURABLE MENTION: $50 publication on Room's website

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, and two prizes of $500 will be awarded. Winners will be published in our December 2018 issue.

2018 Judge: Jane Eaton Hamilton

Jane Eaton Hamilton is the author of nine books of creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry, including the 2016 novel Weekend. Jane’s books have been shortlisted for the MIND Book Award, the BC Book Prize, the VanCity Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Ferro-Grumley Award. Their memoir was one of the UK Guardian’s Best Books of the Year and a Sunday Times bestseller. They are the two-time winner of Canada’s CBC Literary Award for fiction (2003/2014). They’ve had a notable in BASS and BAE (2016) and have appeared in The Journey Prize, Best Canadian Short Stories, and Best Canadian Poetry. Their work has also appeared in publications such as Salon, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, the NY Times, and The Sun. They have been the recipient of numerous Canada Council and BC Arts Council grants. Jane edits for Many Gendered Mothers. They are on the Equity Task Force of The Writer’s Union of Canada. They mentor new queer writers. They have been a judge for juries such as the BC Book Prizes, the Alberta Book Prize, QWF, The Writer’s Trust Dayne Ogilvie Award, and a writer-in-residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House. A photographer and painter, Jane’s photography has hung at Kew Gardens, UK. A queer activist, they were one of Canada’s litigants in the same-sex marriage case. They are also known for speaking out on disability rights and against violence towards women and queer people. They live near Vancouver.

Read Room's interview with Jane Eaton Hamilton here.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 41.1 (March 2018). 

Enter Our Contest


Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Our Creative Non-Fiction Contest is now closed. Congratulations to the shortlisted authors and the winners. Thank you to our judge Carmen Aguirre and everyone who entered. Next year's contest will open in December 2017.

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: $50 publication on Room's website

2017 Judge: Carmen Aguirre

Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and is a #1 national bestseller. Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution, a Globe and Mail bestseller, was published in April 2016.

Read our interview with Carmen.

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 40:1 (March 2017).


Fiction & Poetry Contests

Our 2017 fiction and poetry contests are now closed. The winners will be announced in October or November 2017, and the 2018 competition will open in April 2018.

2017 Judges: Jónína Kirton (poetry) and Sigal Samuel (fiction)

FIRST PRIZE: $1,000 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: $50 publication on Room's website

Sigal Samuel is an award-winning novelist, journalist, essayist, and playwright. Currently the Religion Editor at the Atlantic, she has also published work in the Daily Beast, the RumpusBuzzFeedElectric Literature and the Walrus. She has appeared on NPR, BBC, CBC, and Huffington Post Live. The Mystics of Mile End, her debut novel, is nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award, and won the Fiction Prize at the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards and the Trade Fiction Book of the Year Award at the Alberta Book Publishing Awards in 2016. Sigal earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Jónína Kirton is a prairie-born Métis/Icelandic poet, author, and facilitator. She currently lives in Vancouver, on the unceded territory of the Salish people. She graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007 and is a member of its Advisory Board as well as the liaison for its Indigenous Advisory Board. In 2016, Jónína received the Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her work has been featured in a number of anthologies and literary journals, including the Humber Literary ReviewRicepaper magazine (Asian/Aboriginal Issue), V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown EastsideOther Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak OutPagan EdgeFirst Nations DrumToronto Quarterly and Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine. Her first collection of poetry, page as bone – ink as blood was released to wide acclaim by Talonbooks in 2015. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was published in spring 2017 by Talonbooks.

Unfortunately, do an unforeseen scheduling conflict, M. NourbeSe Philip will not be judging poetry this year. Thank you to Jónína Kirton for stepping in as our 2017 judge!

Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Room, beginning with issue 40.3 (September 2017).


General Guidelines

  • Room's contests are open to women, trans, two-spirited, and genderqueer people.
  • Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted or accepted elsewhere for publication or previously to Room, and not entered simultaneously in any other contest.
  • For entrants residing in Canada, each first entry cost $35 CAD to enter, and $7 CAD for each additional entry. For international entrants (anyone with an address outside of Canada): $42 USD, and $7 USD. All first submissions include a one-year subscription to Room. Additional entries do not include an additional free subscription. (Current subscribers will be given an extension on their subscription.)
  • We only use Submittable, a secure online submissions management tool, to manage our submissions. For more information about using Submittable, please check our Submissions page.
  • Judging will be blind. Please ensure that your name or any personal details are not included in your submission document; this includes 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.

Writing Contest Rules

  • 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.
  • One poetry submission includes up to three poems or 150 lines of poetry.
  • When submitting multiple poems, please begin your second and third poems on a new page, in the same document.
  • For the Short Forms Contest, submissions may be up to 500 words. Each entry may include up to two submissions, including additional $7 entries.
  • Additional details for each contest can be found on the Submittable page (click link below).

Cover Art Contest Rules

  • One cover art contest entry includes up to three images and corresponding artist statement(s). Please copy-and-paste the artist statement(s) in the section marked "Artist Statement" on the entry form in Submittable.
  • Artist statements must not exceed 150 words regardless of the number of artwork submitted.
  • Judging will be blind. Please ensure that your name and bio are not included in your submission document  (including the file names) or on your artist statement. You will have a chance to send us your bio once your work has been selected for publication.
  • Please upload your artwork in JPG or PDF form. Maximum file size 1 MB. Winners will be contacted for high resolution work.
  • There are no official guidelines for artwork dimensions, but please note that we will have to crop any artwork so that it fits the cover space (approximately 6 inches x 9 inches with a bleed). You can check out past covers of Room here.
  • Each entry must be original, and must not have appeared on the cover of another publication (works that have been published on your own website or on the interior pages of a book or magazine, and or have been featured in a public exhibition are eligible), and not entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition.

Enter Our Contest


 

Currently on Newsstands

  • Migration Cover
    Room 40.3, Migration
    Edited by Nav Nagra

    In this issue:

    Rasha Abdulhadi, Juliane Okot Bitek, Ariane Both, Aimee Henny Brown, Leonarda Carranza, Rose-Anne Chabot, Karla Comanda, Marita Dachsel, Stacy Gardner, Branwyn Holroyd, Sandeep Johal, Sharon Kirsch, Katherine Koller, Lydia Kwa, Emily McKibbon, Amanda Merpaw, Shelley Marie Motz, Dorothy Nielsen, Rita O’Grady, Kimberly Peterson, Claire Polders, Ramna Safeer, Nilofar Shidmehr, Arielle Spence, Chanda Stallman, Catherine J. Stewart, Florence Treadwell, Sarah Wolfson, Annie Wong

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