The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The prize is open for submissions each year from May 1st to October 10th through the publication’s online submissions manager. The judges for this year’s prize are Ian Williams (for poetry) and Miriam Toews (for fiction).

In addition to publication in Issue 31: Fall 2015, each winning author receives $1000 in addition to a prize pack of books, each valued at over $900, from the following stalwart Canadian publishers:

Anvil Press, BookThug, Brick Books, Brindle & Glass, Caitlin Press, Chaudiere Books, Coach House Books, Cormorant Books, Coteau Books, Dundurn Press, ECW Press, Freehand Press, Guernica Editions, House of Anansi, Goose Lane Editions/icehouse poetry, Mansfield Press, Mawenzie House, Pedlar Press, Quattro Books, Random House/McClelland & Stewart, Talonbooks, Turnstone Press, Véhicule Press, and Wolsak & Wynn!*

Winners will be announced in late October or early November 2015, and will be invited to our annual Black Friday celebration and year-in-review party in Toronto, Ontario.

All submissions must be written in 11 or 12 point font, and must not have identifying information on them to ensure a blind process reading process (remove your name, address, and contact information from the document itself). For fiction submissions, please include a word count. No works over 7,500 words or under 1,000 will be accepted or read. Each submission of poetry can include up to 4 poems, or up to 4 pages. We welcome multiple entries in either genre.

All submissions must be accompanied by a $15 PayPal donation. If your PayPal account differs from the email address you include in our Submission Form, please leave us a note indicating this discrepancy.

Thank you for entering our literary contest, and good luck!

*Here is the (semi)final list of books for each of our winners. Scroll down for our General Submission Guidelines!

Our Fiction Winner Receives:
Savage 1986-2011 by Nathaniel G. Moore (Anvil Press)
Hysteric by Nelly Arcan (Anvil Press)
Giving Up by Mike Steeves (BookThug)
One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks (BookThug)
Alice in Plunderland by Steve McCaffrey (BookThug)
Do You Think This Is Strange? by Aaron Cully Drake (Brindle & Glass)
The Pull of the Moon by Julie Paul (Brindle & Glass)
This Forsaken Place by Cinda Gault (Brindle & Glass)
Pedal by Chelsea Rooney (Caitlin Press)
This Place a Stranger by Vici Johnstone (Caitlin Press)
Ground Truthing by Derrick S. Denholm (Caitlin Press)
The Uncertainty Principle by rob mclennan (Chaudiere Books)
The Lizard and Other Stories by Michael Bryson (Chaudiere Books)
Ground rules: the best of the second decade of above/ground press, 2003-2013, edited by rob mclennan (Chaudiere Books)
The City Still Breathing by Matthew Heiti (Coach House Books)
Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis (Coach House Books)
Cosmo by Spencer Gordon (Coach House Books)
Music for Love or War by Martyn Burke (Cormorant Books)
The Breaking Words by Gilaine E. Mitchell (Cormorant Books)
River Music by Mary Soderstrom (Cormorant Books)
Street Symphony by Rachel Wyatt (Coteau Books)
Wiseman’s Wager by Dave Margoshes (Coteau Books)
Swedes’ Ferry by Allan Safarik (Coteau Books)
Red Jacket by Pamela Mordecai (Dundurn Press)
Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother by Priscilla Uppal (Dundurn Press)
Cauchemar by Alexandra Grigorescu (ECW Press)
A Free Man by Michel Basilieres (ECW Press)
The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel (Freehand Books)
Not Anyone’s Anything by Ian Williams (Freehand Books)
Welcome to the Circus by Rhonda Douglas (Freehand Books)
Knife Party at the Hotel Europa by Mark Anthony Jarman (Goose Lane Editions)
Split by Libby Creelman (Goose Lane Editions)
Lotusland by David Joiner (Guernica Editions)
Holy Fools by Marianne Ackerman (Guernica Editions)
Rust Is a Form of Fire by Joe Fiorito (Guernica Editions)
The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan by Robert Hough (House of Anansi Press)
The Gallery of Lose Species by Nina Berkhout (House of Anansi Press)
When the Bottom Falls Out by M. Nigel Thomas (Mawenzie House)
Lingering Tide by Latha Viswanathan (Mawenzie House)
How You Were Born by Kate Caley (Pedlar Press)
The Search for Heinrich Schlogel by Martha Baillie (Pedlar Press)
Duke by Sara Tilley (Pedlar Press)
Bitter Lake by Marika Deliyannides (The Porcupine’s Quill)
Every Minute Is a Suicide by Bruce McDougall (The Porcupine’s Quill)
Revenge of the Grand Narrative by Richard Rosenbaum (Quattro Books)
The Escape Artist by Anita Kushwaha (Quattro Books)
Jazz by Elizabeth Coupland (Quattro Books)
Brilliant by Denise Roig (Signature Editions)
It Is Just That Your House Is So Far Away by Steve Noyes (Signature Editions)
Castles in the Air by Mary Hagey (Signature Editions)
Letters to Brian by Martha Brooks (Turnstone Press)
Swing in the House and Other Stories by Anita Anand (Vehicule Press/Esplanade Books)
Ex-Yu by Josip Novakovich (Vehicule Press/Esplanade Books)
Breathing Lessons by Andy Sinclair (Vehicule Press/Esplanade Books)
The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis von Konigslow (Wolsak & Wynn)
Vesuvio/Vesuvius by Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares, translated by Hugh Hazelton (Wolsak & Wynn)


Our Poetry Winner Receives:


Rue by Melissa Bull (Anvil Press)
Jabbering with Bing Bong by Kevin Spenst (Anvil Press)
A More Perfect [ by Jimmy McInnes (BookThug)
The Pet Radish, Sunken by Pearl Pirie (BookThug)
Endangered Hydrocarbons by Lesley Battler (BookThug)
Merz. Structure No. 2 Burnt by Children at Play by Jake Kennedy (BookThug)
Their Biography: An Organism of Relationships by kevin mcpherson eckhoff  (BookThug)
House Dreams by Deanna Young (Brick Books)
Omens in the Year of the Ox by Steven Price (Brick Books)
The Fleece Era by Joanna Lilley (Brick Books)
Orient by Gillian Wigmore (Brick Books)
A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth by Stephanie Bolster (Brick Books)
For Your Own Good by Leah Horlick (Caitlin Press)
average height of flight by Beth Kope (Caitlin Press)
Movement in Jars by Meghan Jackson (Chaudiere Books)
Singular Plurals by Roland Prevost
Kiki by Amanda Earl (Chaudiere Books)
Understander by N.W. Lea (Chaudiere Books)
Dear Leader by Damian Rogers (Coach House Books)
Otter by Ben Ladouceur (Coach House Books)
The Sleepworker by Cyrille Martinez (Coach House Books)
Crossover by M. Travis Lane (Cormorant Books)
Catullus’s Soldiers by Daniel Goodwin (Cormorant Books)
The Days Run Away by Robert Currie (Coteau Books)
The Tongues of Earth by Mark Abley (Coteau Books)
The Trouble with Beauty by Bruce Rice (Coteau Books)
Cut-up Apologetic by Jamie Sharpe (ECW Press)
The Pemmican Eaters by Marilyn Dumont (ECW Press)
Personals by Ian Williams (Freehand Books)
the gun that starts the race by Peter Norman (Goose Lane Editions/icehouse poetry)
Safely Home Pacific Western by Jeff Latosik (Goose Lane Editions/icehouse poetry)
Sharps by Stevie Howell (Goose Lane Editions/icehouse poetry)
Verge by Lynda Monahan (Guernica Editions)
In the Garden of I Am by Max Layton (Guernica Editions)
Impromptu: A Trilingual Edition by Amelia Rosselli (Guernica Editions)
Mirrors of Absence by Faraj Bayrakdar, translated by John Mikhail Asfour (Guernica Editions)
The Exiles’ Gallery by Elise Partridge (House of Anansi Press)
Sequence by A.F. Moritz (House of Anansi Press)
Firesmoke by Sheniz Janmohamed (Mawenzie House)
Love in a Time of Technology by Sasenarine Persaud (Mawenzie House)
undercurrent by Rita Wong (Nightwood Editions)
Floating Is Everything by Sheryda Warrener
Barren the Fury by Brenda Leifso (Pedlar Press)
Subduction Zone by Emily McGiffin (Pedlar Press)
On Shaving off His Face by Shane Neilson (The Porcupine’s Quill)
A Serious Call by Don Coles (The Porcupine’s Quill)
The Essential Anne Wilkinson, selected by Ingrid Ruthig (The Porcupine’s Quill)
Stone Soup by Kate Marshall Flaherty (Quattro Books)
Midnight by Ian Burgham (Quattro Books)
Georgia and Alfred by Keith Garebian (Quattro Books)
What You Can’t Have by Michael V. Smith (Signature Editions)
Still Hungry by Alisa Gordaneer (Signature Editions)
Metropantheon by Steven Artelle (Signature Editions)
Exquisite Monsters by K.I. Press (Turnstone Press)
The Significance of Moths by Shirley Camia (Turnstone Press)
Laws & Locks by Chad Campbell (Vehicule Press/Signal Editions)
Installations by David Solway (Vehicule Press/Signal Editions)
Leaving the Island by Talya Rubin (Vehicule Press/Signal Editions)
Thrillows and Despairos by Chris Chambers (Wolsak & Wynn)
We Can’t Ever Do This Again by Amber McMillan (Wolsak & Wynn)



The Puritan seeks submissions all year round.

Submissions received between Dec. 26 and Mar. 25 are considered for the spring issue, published in late April/early May. Those received between Mar. 26 and June 25 are considered for the summer issue, published in late July/early Aug. Those received between June 26 and Sept. 25 are considered for the fall issue, published in Nov. Those received between Sept. 26 and Dec. 25 are considered for the winter issue, published in Feb.

The Puritan pays high bounties for quality work!

Our current publication rates stand as:

  • $100 per interview,
  • $100 per essay,
  • $100 per review,
  • $50 per work of fiction, and
  • $15 per poem (or page, capped at $60 for poems running four pages or more).

Check back with the magazine regularly; The Puritan is working ever assiduously to increase these figures.

Please note that the publication rates for works that appear in our occasional Supplement Series are reduced due to volume. Each accepted work of non-fiction, fiction, or group of poems will receive an honorarium of $20.

Regular submissions to the magazine are free of charge and should fall under one of five categories: fiction, essays, poetry, interviews, and reviews. Unless we are soliciting your work, all submissions must be previously unpublished (this includes self-publishing, publishing on blogs, and in chapbook format). Only e-mail submissions through our online submissions manager are accepted (save those trees for maypoles, or theses).

Send all questions and messages to puritanmagazine [at] gmail [dot] com

Send only your very best writing.

Upon receiving your submission, we will promptly respond with an e-mail confirmation. You may have to wait a few months to hear back from us on our final verdict. This is standard procedure. Only inquire about your work if you haven’t heard back from us after four months.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please remember to inform us immediately if your work is picked up by another publication. Please only submit one story, one review, one interview, or up to four poems per issue reading period. Any additional work received will be deleted without acknowledgement.

The Puritan purchases first North American serial rights for published works, reverting back to the author upon publication. We would appreciate a statement of acknowledgement in any reprinted editions. The Puritan grants permission to anthologists for printing contributors’ work if their whereabouts are unknown.

For all work other than poetry, please abide by the following rules. Leave only one space after periods. Use three periods for an ellipsis … like so. Double-space your work, include your name and contact information on the first page, provide a clear title, and number your pages. Use a no-nonsense font (submissions in Comic Sans, Jokerman, and Papyrus will be cast off immediately). Use proper EM dashes and try to abide by Canadian spelling (and spellcheck, proofread, obsess, etc.). Be consistent in your formatting.



As our mandate describes, feel encouraged to push boundaries. We have diverse tastes; try us out. Length is up to you, but a story over 10,000 words will only be considered if it is of exceptional quality (and nothing over 12,000 words, please). Stories of high quality and high word counts may be considered for serialization. Please read the fiction in our last two or three issues in our Archive in order to familiarize yourself with the work we’ve published. Only send one story at a time, unless you are writing flash fiction (or stories under 500 words), in which case you can send up to three.


See above. Send only one piece at a time. Non-fiction submissions can be anything from memoirs and creative non-fiction to academic essays on a literary subject. We’re open to just about anything, but the more literary your topic, the better.


Baffle us, tangle us up, or break our hearts. We’re looking for poems of any length (including sequences and long poems). Once again, please familiarize yourself with our last two issues. Send up to four poems at a time.


We’re looking for longer-form interviews—anything under 2,000 words will not be accepted. Interviews must be thoughtful, compelling, and original. Strive for depth. They must also be conducted with writers, publishers, editors, and other sorts involved in the world of books and publishing. Please read the last few interviews we’ve published to get a feel for what we might be interested in. Understand that your subject may be contacted in order to verify that your submission was indeed a legitimate conversation.

Please supply your interview with a title that includes the name of your interviewee, such as “The Steadfast Heart:” An Interview with William Bradford. Send only one interview at a time.


Reviews can be up to 6,000 words in length, with a minimum word count of 1,500 words. We are looking for insightful and challenging reviews of recently released fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Whatever your focus, perspective, or opinion, provide us with a close reading of the text. We prefer to publish reviews of books released by small(er) Canadian publishers, but are open to other works, as well; as always, please read our last few issues to get a sense of the scope and depth of the reviews we’ve published.

Please supply your review with a title, and the necessary information about the book you are reviewing. Send only one review at a time. Abide by the following model as a heading for your piece: Title, Publisher, Year, Price, Number of Pages, and then your name, like so:

“Ahead of His Time:” A Review of Thomas Morton’s The New English Canaan.
The Prince Society, 1883.

$19.95, 300 pages.

Review by Mortimer Sneed.

If you would like to review on a regular basis for The Puritan, please send us a sample review (published or not), and we may enlist you in our ever-growing team of elect reviewers.

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