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Issue 12, Volume 20 | December 2023

Issue 224, fall 2023

new fall issue

Featuring Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction winner Eleanor Fuller.

Cover art by Cammie Staros.

by Warren Heiti, Joseph Kidney, Y. S. Lee, Winshen Liu, Sadie McCarney, Matt Robinson, Sun Tzu-Ping translated from the Taiwanese Mandarin by Nicholas Wong, and Rhea Tregebov.

Fiction by Chee Brossy, Mark Anthony Jarman, and Kawai Shen.

Creative nonfiction
by Odette Auger, Alicia Gee, Karine Hack, and Olivia Wenzel translated from the German by Sylvia Franke.

Buy now.

Holiday Sale

Use code Holiday20 for $20 off any print subscription from now until January 31, 2024.

A one-year print subscription includes four issues that will arrive throughout 2024—the perfect gift for long-distance friends (we have subscribers all over the world), literary family, or for yourself. Go to our store website.

Best Canadian anthologies

We're incredibly excited to be included in all three Best Canadian anthologies this year. Congrats to all the authors!

Best Canadian Stories: Sara Power's "The Circular Motion of a Professional Spit-Shiner" (issue 218)

Best Canadian Essays: Daniel Allen Cox's "You Can't Blame Movers for Everything Broken" (219) and Kate Gies' "Foreign Bodies" (218)

Best Canadian Poetry: T. Liem's "There Are No Actual Monsters in This Poem, I Hope" (218), Francesca Schulz-Bianco's "10 easy steps to my body" (218), and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang's "The air, then" (220)
Plus three notable poems: Laura Cok's "Like Clockwork" (218), Chelsea Coupal's "The Optometrist" (220), and Louie Leyson's "killing flies in late september" (219)

There are so many excellent writers in these anthologies, both emerging and established. Get a copy at your local bookstore or library, or from Biblioasis.

discount until Dec. 31

Novella Prize

Our biennial Novella Prize is back! We're looking for 10,000- to 20,000-word stories. Get an Early Bird discount if you submit by December 31. Final deadline is February 1, 2024.

This year's judges:
Jenny Ferguson
Jack Wang
Read interviews with them below.

Early Bird entry fee (includes a 1-yr print subscription):
CAD $20 for each entry from Canada
CAD $30 for each entry from elsewhere
CAD $15 for each additional entry, no limit

Head over to our contest guidelines page to learn more.

Jenny Ferguson,
Novella Prize judge

Jenny FergusonPast judge and contributor Francine Cunningham talks with one of the two Novella Prize judges for our 2024 contest. They discuss experimenting with form, the role of writing in today’s world, and how the novella has that forgotten-room-in-that-forgotten-place kind of zing.


FC: What are you looking for in a winning entry?

JF: To be surprised. The hard and the soft. The human, the more-than-human. Language that insists I take notice. Hopeful questions. Many answers.

If it helps to make any of those statements more solid my favourite novellas this semester were Becky Chambers’ A Psalm for the Wild-Built (tea monk! robot! road trip!), Sarah Gailey’s Upright Women Wanted (the “West” revisited as very effing queer! librarians as hero! road trip!), and Sarah Tolmie’s All the Horses of Iceland (horses! saga/history as story! road trip!).

I mean, it’s so obvious now. But I do love a good road trip.

And I truly can’t wait to read your take on what the novella can do.

FC: What kind of stories are you drawn to and why?

JF: It might be a fault in my character, or it might be the human condition but I’m consistently drawn to stories that let me into the character’s hardest moments. Yet alongside that experience, I always want to be let into the characters softest moments too. Stories that manage to do both, or where in the first few pages I get the sense that the author is willing to do both—the hard and the soft, the cruel, the mean and the kind, the many sides of what makes us all human in this more-than-human world—then I’m along for the read.

Read the rest of Jenny Ferguson's interview.

Jack Wang,
Novella Prize judge

Jack WangFiction Editorial Board member Sarah Lachmansingh talks with one of the two Novella Prize judges for our 2024 contest. They discuss the editing process, writing advice, and how a novella finds the fulcrum between discipline and capaciousness.


SL: What are you looking for in a winning submission?

JW: Many who aspire to “literary fiction” think that action and event are somehow gauche. That’s because plot has been so thoroughly co-opted by popular forms of entertainment. To my mind, though, literary fiction depends on the skillful orchestration of language, character, and plot. It’s hard, actually, to make interesting things happen in plausible, artful, and psychologically astute ways. I’m open to a novella that’s unafraid to make things happen.

SL: What interests you most about the novella as a form?

JW: It’s often said that a novella combines the economy of a short story with the development of a novel, but “economy” and “development” can describe both form and content. Sometimes in a novella, novelistic content is given short story treatment. Other times, short story content is given novelistic treatment. And still other times, in what we might call the classically proportioned novella, medium-length content is given medium-length treatment. It’s always interesting to see how a novella finds the fulcrum between discipline and capaciousness.

Read the rest of Jack Wang's interview.

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