Submission Guidelines

Bywords.ca considers previously unpublished poetry in English from emerging and established poets. Note that you always own copyright to your poems. We do not consider translations unless the author's  or the author's estate's permission is provided. Please note that we count poems published in print and online, whether published by others or self-published in print or on social media to be previously published and therefore cannot consider such poems for Bywords.ca.


Poets must be current or former Ottawa residents, students and workers. Poems published on Bywords receive an honorarium. Writers using pen names, please provide your real name so that you will be able to cash the cheque.


The deadline for submission is the 15th of each month for consideration for the subsequent issue. Poems longer than 250 words and 45 lines will be rejected.


Please submit a maximum of 5 poems per month in ONE (1) file. If you submit more than 5, we will consider the first 5 for the upcoming issue, and the additional poems for subsequent issues of Bywords.ca. Please inform us if you decide to publish any of the poems elsewhere, or revoke your poems yourself via your account.


We accept poetry via e-mail in Word (docx, doc), RTF, ODT or HTML format. We do not offer editing suggestions or any feedback on submissions.

We do not consider visual poems or visual elements such as photographs or illustrations in poems.


Please do the following

1. use a standard font such as Palatino Linotype. 


2. name the file with your first and last name [FIRST_LAST.doc] & put the word "SUBMISSION" in the subject line of the e-mail.


3. e-mail submissions@bywords.ca.


4. include your name, telephone number, e-mail, home address and a brief biography in the third person with your submission. 


5. identify yourself as a current or former Ottawa resident, student or worker if your current residence is not in Ottawa.


You may include a link to your website in your biography. We reserve the right to edit your biography.


E-mail submissions will receive acknowledgements of receipt within 48 hours after we receive them. If you do not hear from us, please feel free to send an e-mail.


Poems published on Bywords.ca remain in the archive for one year. Once your poem is published, you can publish it elsewhere. Please credit Bywords.ca (month, year) at the original publication. 


Bywords.ca’s mission is to publish the poetry of current and former Ottawa residents, students and workers and to promote Ottawa’s literary, spoken word, storytelling and nonfiction activities. We encourage all those with an Ottawa connection to submit unpublished poetry. We particularly welcome the work of writers of colour, 2SLGBTQIA writers, disabled writers, Indigenous writers, women and gender non-conforming writers. We acknowledge and are outraged that your voices have been ignored and often are still silenced by the Canadian literary establishment and wish to do our part to end the suppression and oppression of those who have been marginalized in Canada. If you have ideas on how we can improve this statement or do more to show our commitment to the representation of diverse writers, please e-mail  amanda@byword.ca.



Info for Event Organizers

Bywords.ca's calendar of literary events is for readings, book signings and launches, festivals, writers' circles, storytelling, spoken word showcases and slams and other activities relating to the written or spoken word that take place in the National Capital Region. In order for a literary event to be considered for the calendar it must have some kind of association with a book or chapbook. Workshops and conferences will not be posted on the calendar but in the Bywords.ca news.