Submission Guidelines

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Geist is a magazine of ideas and culture a strong literary focus and a sense of humour. The Geist tone is intelligent, plain-talking, inclusive and offbeat. Each issue represents a convergence of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, art, reviews, little-known facts of interest, cartography and the legendary Geist crossword puzzle. 

Geist is a Canadian magazine, and requires a Canadian connection in all non-contest submissions. We publish work from Canadian writers, or pieces that have a distinct connection to Canada or Canadian culture (for example, your story may be set in Canada, your characters may be Canadian or you may be Canadian, or you may be trying to get to or to escape from or to find a place called Canada, etc.). If you are submitting from outside Canada, make explicit note of the Canadian connection in your covering letter (not required for contest entries).

Contests: We DO accept contest submissions from outside Canada, with or without a Canadian connection. 

Before submitting work, please read an issue of the print magazine, or dig deep into the archives at geist.com. Some of our editorial biases derive from George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.”

Non-fiction: We publish short non-fiction, usually personal narrative, in the Notes and Dispatches section. Longer non-fiction pieces are published as Features. We are especially interested in photographs and stories about family history (see Julia L. Star’s “The Patio”) and in historical narrative (see Stephen Osborne’s “Signs and Portents”). Send a maximum of one longer piece or two shorter pieces.

Fiction: We publish short stories (see Michal Kozlowski's "Antonia") in the Features section. Send one story at a time. We also hold contests, including the annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest for short-short stories. Winning entries and honourable mentions appear in the magazine and at geist.com.

Poetry: Send a maximum of 5 poems.

Photography/Art: We look for art and photography to accompany written work in the magazine, and we also publish art and photo essays with text by the artist. For a good example of this, see "Memory and the Valley" by David Campion and Sandra Shields. When submitting artwork by mail, send digital media or photocopies only—no originals.

Reviews: Endnotes are written by Geist staff and correspondents. We do not publish unsolicited reviews, but we will always read and consider critical essays dealing with issues of the imagination as reflected, for instance, in the work of one more authors. (See Alberto Manguel’s “I Believe Because It’s Impossible” in Geist 71.)

Findings: We reprint excerpts from published work and works-in-progress in the Findings section, along with documents and interesting items found on the web, or anywhere in the real world. We appreciate suggestions from writers, artists and publishers.

Naturally, these categories are flexible. We like work that crosses genres or that surprises us in other ways.

With the exception of Findings, all submissions should be original and previously unpublished. (Note: Blogs are a form of publishing, as is any online venue). We do not accept email submissions. We also do not accept unsolicited pitches. Manuscripts can be sent through our Online Submission Manager or by mail to:

Editorial Board, Geist
#210 - 111 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6B 1H4

For responses, please include a SASE with Canadian postage or IRC, or your email address. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please note it in your cover letter and let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere. We buy first North American serial rights for most original work, and second or third serial rights for previously published work (including work published on the internet).

Please wait 4 months before e-mailing to check the status of your submission. And please, no phone calls.

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