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Issue 5, Volume 20 | May 2023

Issue 222, spring 2023

new spring issue

Featuring Open Season Awards winners Gloria Blizzard (cnf), Caroline Harper New (poetry), and Deepa Rajagopalan (fiction).

Cover art by SGidGang.Xaal / Shoshannah Greene.

by Jenna Lyn Albert, Kayla Czaga, Sue Goyette, Maggie Helwig, Kate Kennedy, D. A. Lockhart, Pauline Peters, Cale Plett, C. Rafuse, and Shane Rhodes.

Fiction by Katherine Abbass, Mehr-Afarin Kohan, Rebecca Mangra, and Paul Ruban.

Creative nonfiction
by Paul Dhillon and S. I. Hassan.

Buy now.

2023 CNF Prize judge

Meet the 2023
CNF Prize judge:
Daniel Allen Cox

Our Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize is about to open for submissions next week. Read the judge's bio and start writing now! Look for an interview with him in our July newsletter.

Daniel Allen Cox is the author of four novels and the memoir I Felt the End Before It Came. His essays have appeared in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, and Maisonneuve. His essay “The Glow of Electrum,” which appeared in The Malahat Review (issue #211), was a finalist for a 2021 National Magazine Award and named a Notable essay in The Best American Essays 2021.

Looking for a discount on your entry fee? Once the contest opens next week, make sure to submit by June 30 for an early bird deal—$15 off your initial entry fee!

Creative nonfiction is a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization. Read our creative nonfiction mandate here.

submission guidelines

Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction banner

We welcome submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as translated work in any of these three genres, by new and established writers.

The best way to know what kinds of work we might publish is to order a print or digital issue or subscribe.

We read submissions from Canadian writers all year. Because we receive so many submissions, we accept work from international writers only during certain months, depending on the genre. We also run four contests per year and these have their own separate guidelines. Head on over to our submission guidelines page to learn more.

S. I. Hassan, issue #222
cnf contributor

S. I. HassanVolunteer Kathy Mak talks with the spring issue #222 contributor about metabolizing complex feelings, her interest in the myth of Inanna, and writing as a way to process memories and grief in her essay, "Preparing the Eulogy."


KM: “Preparing the Eulogy” is written in fragments, but these fragments mirror the way memory works—how certain moments are retained clearer than others and not necessarily in chronology. Layered like an onion, each fragment reveals the fluctuating nature and complexity of a father-daughter relationship that can feel exposing and vulnerable. What was the process like for writing this piece? Were there moments that you found easier or harder to write than you initially thought?

SIH: Right after my father died, a whack of memories surfaced and writing this piece was part of my grief process. It may have been an attempt to hold on to him a little longer, and a way to free myself to tell the stories about some behavior I’d covered up my whole life. In my first draft, I had titled each vignette with the kind of memory I had: sad, funny, confused, etc. When I went into revision, I wanted the memories to stand on their own without my interpretation: simple snapshots of time and place. Writing about his violence was obviously tough but it was equally challenging to write about his kindness and feel my tenderness for him. I didn’t just lose my father, who loved me deeply and imperfectly, I also lost my living link to Egypt and my visible identity as an immigrant. This is one of several pieces I wrote about him in the year following his death.

Read the rest of S. I. Hassan's interview.

Sue Goyette, issue #222 poetry contributor

Sue GoyetteVolunteer Elizabeth Adilman talks with the spring issue #222 contributor about repetition as a tuning fork, needing time to recharge, and the hybrid form of her essay/poem, "In which Haraway’s ‘multispecies flourishing’ radiates over the threshold of death to mothers and sisters by way of two endangered wolves on a live cam at this late stage of, well, everything."


EA: The late Steven Heighton in his workbook, Memos and Dispatches on Writing defines poetry as: “The art of calling things by their true and secret name.” And, you have said: “I speak in poetry” in a conversation with translator Georgette Le Blanc about your book, Ocean. What was your hope in writing, “In Which Haraway’s…”? What are you naming?

SG: I’m grateful for Steve’s company in this question. Thank you for bringing his good words to our conversation. I consider this “poetry” I claimed in that quote and your “naming” as verbs, or as ways of being. I wrote “In which Haraway’s…” as a way of recording the cresting and active experience of the days leading up to and following my mother’s dying and the revelation of finding out that she had birthed a daughter before our family who she’d given up for adoption. That was a total shock and, adding to the surprise, was that she’d come to Halifax to give birth all those years ago, a city she had no ties to but chose randomly, and stayed at a nunnery that was literally two blocks from my house and on a street I walk most days. This collision of her earlier self with this specific place and time in such close proximity to me now still astounds me. The work is addressing this half-sister and the more general idea of the complexity of connections and synergy and temporal fluidity.

Read the rest of Sue Goyette's interview.

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