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 and $60 CAD flat per poem. We are purchasing first publication rights, to revert back to the author after one year.

Canadian Writers

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
  • Women
  • Neurodivergent people

Our goal for each issue is to publish at least 50% Canadian content.

*Thank you Augur for providing the wording for this. For an excellent writeup, please see Augur Magazine's A NOTE ON CITIZENSHIP DECLARATION FOR INDIGENOUS CREATORS

Submission Deadlines and Publication Dates

Winter:  Opening December 1-31, Extended submission period for equity-seeking groups January 1-7 (Publishing February 1st, 2023)

Spring/Summer: Opening May 1-30, Extended submission period for equity-seeking groups June 1-7 (Publishing July 1st, 2023)

Fall:  Opening September 1-30, Extended submission period for equity-seeking groups October 1-7 (Publishing November 1st, 2023)

What We Want
  • 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
What We Don't Want
  • Erotica
  • Rape/abuse storylines
  • Extreme violence
  • Reprints
  • Multiple submissions in the same category

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