Room's Annual CNF, Poetry & Fiction, and Cover Art Contests

Room now has three annual contests. Our first annual Cover Art Contest is open from September to November 30, 2015, our Creative Non-Fiction Contest is open from October 15, 2015 to March 8, 2016, and our Poetry and Fiction Contest is open from April 15, 2016 to July 15, 2016.

Cover Art Contest

Submissions are now open to our first annual Cover Art Contest. EXTENDED DEADLINE: DECEMBER 7, 2015.

Judges: Amy Friend (cover artist, Room issue 36.1 Mythologies of Loss) & Ilene Sova (artist & founder of Toronto's Feminist Art Conference)

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication on the cover of issue 39.2 of Room
SECOND PRIZE: $50 + publication in issue 39.2 of Room
HONOURABLE MENTION:publication on Room's website

All winners will be published with an artist statement and profiled on Room magazine’s blog. Winners will have the option to submit additional artwork for the issue, which, if selected for publication, will be compensated for at our usual rates. See additional Entry Guidelines.



Amy Friend

Amy Friend grew up on the outskirts of Windsor, Ontario, Canada where the Detroit River meets Lake St.Clair. She studied at OCADU (Toronto) before embarking on intermittent travels through Europe, Africa, Cuba, and the United States. Upon her return she continued her studies and received a BFA Honours degree and BEd degree from York University, Toronto and an MFA from the University of Windsor. Currently she teaches Fine Arts at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Friend has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Galerie Riviere/Faiveley (Paris, France), Cordon/Potts Gallery (San Francisco), Houston Center for Photography, Photoville (Brooklyn, New York), 555 Gallery (Boston), Onassis Cultural Center (Greece) and is participating GuatePhoto, Guatamela in the fall of 2015. In 2013 and 2014 Friend was selected as one of the top 50 photographs in the juried Critical Mass International Photography Competition and has a monograph of the Dare alla Luce series set for release in November of 2015. Her work has been featured in select publications such as: Contemporary Portraits, (Index Books, Barcelona), Creative Block, (Chronicle Books), EyeMazing (Thames and Hudson), Supernatural (&Magazine, Israel), Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photography Competition (Canada), Virginia Quarterly (USA), Dishun Magazine (Thailand), and The Walrus (Canada). Read an interview with Amy.

Ilene Sova is a conceptual portrait painter who creates paintings that reference anti-oppression feminist themes. She holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Windsor and her work has been exhibited in extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Most notably, her work has been shown at the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art in Toronto and at Guadi’s Casa Batlo for the prestigious Barcelona Showcase. After that show, Sova was invited back to Barcelona by Mutuo Centro D’Arte for a solo exhibition of paintings of Spain’s foremost women activists. Sova’s work has also been featured in a variety of television, web and print media including Al Gore’s television program The Current, Canada AM, The Toronto Star, CBC Radio, and the Toronto Standard. Sova’s work was featured in the Journal of Psychology and Counseling, the Nigerian Arts Journal Tabula, the Italian feminist journal WOMANOCLOCK. Further, she was chosen to speak at Toronto’s first TEDx Women in December 2013. Most recently, Sova was invited by two members of the Parliament of Canada to bring her work to Ottawa for a national Women’s Forum on Feminism and the state of women's rights. Sova is also the Toronto Regional Coordinator for the Feminist Art Project out of Rutgers University and the founder and coordinator of FAC—a large yearly international Feminist Art Conference that takes place in Toronto at OCAD University. In her professional community practice Ilene teaches in the department of Continuing Studies at OCADU and  is the Artistic Director of Walnut Studios. Ilene is also a founding member of the 3MW Collective which creates art exhibitions and experiences to combat racism and create discussions around mixed race identity politics. Read an interview with Ilene.

Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Our 2015 CNF contest is open from October 15, 2015—March 8, 2016.

Judge: Kate Braid

FIRST PRIZE: $500 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: $50 publication on Room's website


Kate Braid has muddled about in the intersection between loving trees and being responsible for cutting down forests full (as a carpenter and a writer) for years. She has written, co-written and/or edited four books of non-fiction, including most recently her memoir, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World. Her personal essays have been widely published and anthologised, most recently, “Saying Hello to Fear” in Room, about writing the memoir. She has also written five books of prize-winning poetry as well as co-editing with Sandy Shreve the anthology, In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry. After teaching creative writing for twelve years, Kate now gives readings, lectures and workshops across Canada. See

Fiction & Poetry Contests

Our Fiction and Poetry Contests closed on August 1, 2015. The winners were announced.

Our 2016 Fiction and Poetry Contests will open April 15, 2016. The judges are Marilyn Dumont (poetry) and Doretta Lau (fiction).

FIRST PRIZE: $1,000 + publication in Room
SECOND PRIZE: $250 + publication in Room
HONOURABLE MENTION: $50 publication on Room's website

General Guidelines

  • Room's contests are open to women, including trans*, two-spirited, and genderqueer people.
  • Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted or accepted elsewhere for publication or previously to Room, and not entered simultaneously in any other contest.
  • Each entry cost $35 CAD to enter, and $7 CAD for each additional entry. For international entrants: $49 USD, and $7 USD. All submissions include a one-year subscription to Room. Additional entries do not include an additional free subscription. (Current subscribers will be given an extension on their subscription.)
  • We only use Submittable, a secure online submissions management tool, to manage our submissions. For more information about using Submittable, please check our Submissions page.
  • Judging will be blind. Please ensure that your name or any personal details are not included in your submission document; this includes the file name. (You will have a chance to include your contact information on the Submittable form).
  • Cover letters are not necessary, but if you want to send us one, include your cover letter on the Submittable form.
  • Previously commissioned Room writers and contest judges are barred from participating in subsequent contests at Room.

Cover Art Contest Rules

  • One cover art contest entry includes up to three images and corresponding artist statement(s). Please copy-and-paste the artist statement(s) in the section marked "Artist Statement" on the entry form in Submittable.
  • Artist statements should be between 100-200 words.
  • Judging will be blind. Please ensure that your name and bio are not included in your submission document or on your artist statement. You will have a chance to send us your bio once your work has been selected for publication.
  • Please upload your artwork in JPG or PDF form. Maximum file size 1 MB. Winners will be contacted for high resolution work.
  • There are no official guidelines for artwork dimensions, but please note that we will have to crop any artwork so that it fits the cover space (approximately 6 inches x 7 inches with a bleed). You can check out past covers of Room here.
  • Each entry must be original, and must not have appeared on the cover of another publication (works that have been published on your own website or on the interior pages of a book or magazine, and or have been featured in a public exhibition are eligible), and not entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition.

Writing Contest Rules

  • For fiction and creative non-fiction, one submission includes one short story or essay of up to 3,500 words.
  • We would prefer if you double spaced your prose.
  • One poetry submission includes up to three poems or 150 lines of poetry.
  • When submitting multiple poems, please begin your second and third poems on a new page, in the same document.


Past Winners

Current Issue

  • Room 38.4, Fieldwork


    Room 38.4 Edited by Taryn Hubbard

    Places acquire resonances of words and acts.
    —M. NourbeSe Philip, “Drowning Not Waving”