Submission Guidelines


Geist is a magazine of ideas and culture with 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, comics, reviews, little-known facts of interest, cartography and the legendary Geist crossword puzzle.  

Submissions are closed.

Before submitting work, read several issues of Geist, or dig deep into the archives at, to get a sense of the tone and nature of the work we publish. Some of our editorial biases derive from George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.”

Geist is always seeking short (800-1200 words) non-fiction, typically personal narrative, for the Notes & Dispatches section. Notes & Dispatches are brief and often humorous or lighthearted evocations of life (most often) set in the land north of America, written in plain language with strong verbs. They are usually first hand reports of apparently simple encounters—with people, places, objects—that capture the spirit of our time. We are especially interested in historical narrative (see Robert Everett-Green’s “Checkered Past”), profiles of ordinary people with extraordinary stories (“Mr Tubesteak and the Schoolteacher” by Stephen Osborne), cultural news or non-news (“Giller Filler” by Diana Bryden) and everyday occurrences that show the strangeness of life (“Chainsaw Man” by Lucianne Poole). Notes & Dispatches have been filed from the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, a Nuu-chah-nulth naming ceremony, Question Period at Parliament Hill, a family reunion, bra shopping at Zellers, a cross Canada train, a floatation tank, the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, a salt mine in Poland, high tea at Buckingham Palace, a bathtub on the Sunshine Coast, among others. We now accept pitches for this section, as well as completed submissions. Please send a few sentences about who you are, what you’d like to write, and why you think it’s a good fit for Geist to with the subject heading DISPITCH. Due to the expected volume of pitches, we will only contact you if your pitch has been accepted. Pay is commensurate with length, usually $300-600. 

Longer non-fiction pieces (up to 5000 words) are published as Features. We pay up to $1200.

Fiction: We publish short stories (up to 5000 words; Stephen Smith’s “Sir John’s Lost Diaries”) in the Features section. We publish one story per issue, so please send only your best work. We pay up to $1000.

Poetry: Send a maximum of 5 poems. We pay $100 per page.

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. We pay between $50-$120 per page.

Comics: We’re interested in comics that are weird, funny, unexpected or experimental. We pay $100 per page. 

Reviews: Endnotes are written by Geist staff and correspondents.

Findings: We reprint excerpts from published work and works-in-progress in the Findings section, along with documents and interesting items found online, 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. Pitches are only accepted for the Notes & Dispatches section. We accept submissions via Submittable and by mail. Please send only one submission at a time.

Click here to submit your work through Submittable. 

Manuscripts can be sent by mail to:

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

For responses, please include your email address or a SASE with Canadian postage or IRC. We accept simultaneous submissions, 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).

Wait six months before emailing to check the status of your submission. And please, no phone calls.

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