“Writing in the Aftermath:” 2023 Spring Writing Contest

In the aftermath how do we both stay invigorated by language [by gesture, by sound], by echoes of our own understandings of life and death in texts [gestures and sounds], while also letting said invigoration die a little bit without leaving us empty? 

—Danielle LaFrance, “Notes on Aftermath”

The Capilano Review invites submissions to our spring 2023 writing contest on the theme of “Writing in the Aftermath” guest-judged by Talonbooks author Danielle LaFrance. The contest takes its inspiration from LaFrance’s essay “Notes on Aftermath” (ASAP/Journal, 2021), which complicates the idea of a clean break between the “before” and “after” of an event—instead steeping in a murk of contradiction and ambivalence so as not to be completely overcome by one’s conclusions and interventions, would-be catharsis, but rather undone in perpetuity by the very suggestion of being done. This contest invites submissions that reflect upon aftermath as a form of (anti-)return, repetition, relapse, rhythm, collapse; as choregraphies of (anti-)reconciliation and (anti-)event; as capitalist and colonial ruins and reproductions; as acts of perseverance, preservation, cunning, constant rebuilding and destruction; and as a complex set of emotions: uncertainty, irritation, grief, resentment, and joyful indignation. 

Let’s not end with “it’s a structural problem” or “relationships are messy” as if they are solely determined, produced, by a master discourse. Often we, and the communities we’re entangled in, have a deeper attachment to structures than we, and the communities we’re entangled in, might realize or want to admit. 

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

About the Judge 

I churn out research and philosophy through the forms of poetry, off-centre essays, and facilitated dialogues. Following the would-be poetics mapped in JUST LIKE I LIKE IT (Talonbooks, 2019), I can fully admit to fully arriving at the Nietzschean position where illusions are just that, illusions, realities of our own co-construction and destruction, meaning You + I might have more to work with than against.

I author the poetry-research books Friendly + Fire (Talonbooks, 2016), species branding (Capilano University Editions, 2010), and #postdildo (Talonbooks, 2022), a component of a larger project that thinks and writes through the limitlessness and limitations of sexuality, communication, and desire.

Other poetry and critical writing have appeared in such magazines and journals as ASAP/Journal, The Capilano Review, LESTE, Tripwire, and Organism for Poetic Research. I collaborated on a co-reading and journal making endeavour About a Bicycle (with Anahita Jamali Rad) and currently on an intertextual sound project Yes, Sydo (with Josh Rose).

I have spent most of my time living and working and renting on the occupied lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ peoples.

Submission Guidelines 

  • Submission period: April 15 – May 15, 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 
  • Submission fee* includes a one-year print subscription to The Capilano Review 
  • 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 

Entry includes a discounted* one-year subscription to The Capilano Review (*regular subscription price: $35+ shipping).

*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 at the end of June 2023.

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