We're looking for short fiction and poetry focused on long-term relationships: platonic, romantic, or familial. We don't want the blaze of new love or the obsession of a new friend. We want pieces that show that comfort that develops when people know each other for years.
Give us deep space, dusty frontiers, or dreamy fantasy. We want stories and poetry with strong, confident relationships amid all the sci-fi/fantasy. While we are primarily looking for stories with happy endings (yeah, yeah), we also want endings that are earned. If things get a little teary or gory, that's ok.
We are especially interested in stories featuring queer platonic relationships, ace/aro love stories, and polycules.
Payment is $0.08 CAD per word for short fiction (1,000-3,500 words) and $60 CAD flat per poem. We are purchasing first publication rights, to revert back to the author after one year.
Since Heartlines Spec is primarily a Canadian magazine, we're looking to feature writers identifying as being from Canada/Turtle Island. This includes expats, refugees and displaced people living in Canada, new immigrants, and people who refuse/resist Canadian Identity.
Heartlines welcomes submissions from writers of all identities. If you are comfortable, we encourage writers to indicate their intersections in their cover letter. Disclosure is not a requirement to submit, and we recognize that not all people are safe to disclose their identities.
We are committed to addressing barriers and systemic discrimination faced by equity-deserving groups, which includes (but is not limited to):
- Racialized people
- People with disabilities
- LGBTQIA+ people
- Indigenous people
- Neurodivergent people
Our goal for each issue is to publish at least 50% Canadian content.
Submission Deadlines and Publication Dates
Winter: Opening December 1-31, Early submission period for equity-deserving groups November 23-30 (Publishing February 28th, 2023)
Spring/Summer: Opening May 1-31, Early submission period for equity-deserving groups April 23-30 (Publishing July 31st, 2023)
Fall: Opening September 1-30, Early submission period for equity-deserving groups August 24-31 (Publishing November 30th, 2023)
We try to have a fairly-quick turnaround for rejections and let writers know when their work will be held for further consideration. Please query if you have not heard anything by the 14th of the following month.
- Stories - 1,000 - 3,500 words
- Poetry - send up to 5 pieces per submission
- Stories featuring long-term relationships (romantic, platonic, or familial)
- Strong speculative elements that start on page 1 or 2
- Intersectional writers and works
- Simultaneous submissions
- AI-generated content
- Rape/abuse storylines
- Extreme violence
How to Submit
We will be accepting submissions through our Moksha portal.
We don't have any set formatting guidelines, all we ask is:
- Black font on a white background
- Title and author name on the front page
- Please send files as doc, docx, or rtf
At the moment we are allowing writers to submit twice during the submission period. If a work is rejected, a writer may resubmit another piece that they think might be a better fit.
If multiple pieces from the same writer are held for consideration, only one work may be selected for publication.