“I have to say what I want to hear”: Fall 2023 Writing Contest

The Capilano Review invites submissions to its Fall 2023 Writing Contest.

Guest-judged by author River Halen, “I have to say what I want to hear” invites poetry, fiction, and other short forms that, in one way or another, perform the type of generative, self-attentive maneuver suggested by the contest title—a line taken from Halen’s recent book, Dream Rooms.

A collection of poetry and essays set in the years that led up to the author coming out as trans, Dream Rooms is concerned with moments of rupture, beginning again, information concealed in plain sight, and how to recover or regenerate a venue for one’s own becoming. Writers are invited to interpret the contest prompt broadly: be it through speculative works, intimate or large-scale fantasies, dialogues with the self, creative histories, dirty talk, manifestos, hard truths, or tender works of solace. We are especially interested in reading works that, implicitly or explicitly, create a context for their own reception.

The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and publication in an upcoming print issue of The Capilano Review.

About the Judge

River Halen’s most recent book, Dream Rooms, was selected by Renee Gladman for Artforum Magazine as a top-ten pick of the year and shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize. They live in Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal.

Submission Guidelines 

  • Submission period: November 1–30, 2023
  • Work must be original and previously unpublished 
  • Submit up to 6 pages of poetry, prose, or other short experimental forms (PDF or Word formats only) 
  • All entries will be considered anonymously. Please do not include your name or other identifying fields on your manuscript pages 
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere so that we can remove your entry from the contest 

Submission Fees*

$25 for Canadian entries**

$35 for US/International entries 

*Submission fee includes a complimentary one-year subscription to The Capilano Review.

**Note: Submission fee is waived for Indigenous entrants. Please email contact@thecapilanoreview.com directly for alternate instructions to submit your work. 

Ready to submit? 

Upload your work via Submittable here.

The winner will be announced in February 2024.

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