Proposed themes for this year’s upcoming issues


Vol. 31 No. 4 – Early January, 2019

Theme: The Literature Issue: Decolonizing Voices
Submission due date: November 15, 2018

Theme description

This will be our annual year-end literary issue. As always, we have tried to plug in a thematic statement to enable our contributors to focus in on areas that have always been our concern. This particular theme makes us feel at home, as it highlights what we have been doing all of our 32 years of existence: deconstructing, encouraging parallel voices to be heard, and bringing up narratives that have either been shelved by the mainstream or have simply never been experienced by the majoritarian community. If you look at your bedside table and happen to have a stack of books that you’ve read or plan to read (that pile gets bigger!), you will notice some bestsellers, some recommended by the book clubs you are a member of, some books suggested by friends, and a small smattering of incredibly obscure books that somehow landed up there.

There is a reason for that. We live in a community where diversity, complex historical antecedents, the idea of storytelling, the exchange of ideas, and even scientific, mathematical and linguistic or anthropological nuances developed over centuries were simply set aside, ignored, pooh-poohed and essentially butchered by the hammer of the colonial process.

The idea of colonization and the occupation and deliberate destruction of the cultures of the non-Western world were simply to enable the colonization process. The fact that colonization happened in Asia, Africa and the Americas does not seem to be featured prominently in the literary works of Canadian writers or those who have a progressive interest in the rest of the world. The imperial process does not allow for that. Unless there is a sudden surge in identarian sell-ability, publishers tend to hanker over exile angst, exoticizing the “East” and then promoting utter distraction rather than the voices of the poor, of Indigenous cultures, and of the disinherited from colonized nations. We are therefore looking for poetry, essays and film reviews portraying decolonizing voices. Please see the submission details below.


Vol. 32 No. 1 – Early April, 2019

Theme: Faith, culture and identity: setting a new stage
Submission due date: February 15, 2019

Theme description

Racism and the dynamics of identity have to be understood through the lens of the economics of power.
Multiculturalism, interculturalism (and its latest variants), and the identity clashes of the dominant and
minority cultures are resulting in a kind of “identity overload.” The voices at the margins have been
doggedly asserting themselves and are far more audible, but still have far too little power. At this
particular juncture, Montréal Serai wants to shake things up at the centre and bring majoritarian
mainstream cultural activity to our stage.

When equal status was given to French and English as Canada’s two official languages, writing in English
was considered to be the exclusive preserve of the majority English population in Canada and writing in
French was the domain of Francophones, but this is far from true today. It’s not surprising now that
many award-winning authors who write in the two official languages bear names of different origins. We
also see a resurgence of interest in different Indigenous languages, a trend which Montréal Serai
wholeheartedly endorses.

Religion, cultural identity, ethnic origins (we are all ethnic, aren’t we?) and mother tongue are facts that
any just society, particularly a secular society, must recognize as dear to many people’s hearts. For most
Canadians, secularism does not imply repression of other people’s dress codes or religious or language
identity, but rather respect for them, provided those customs don’t violate the UN Charter of Human
Rights (which, coincidentally, was drafted by a Canadian).

We invite our readers/writers to give us their take on this mélange of very real, very troublesome, very
human, very hot topics. We are soliciting essays, short fiction, poetry and other art works from all
communities that recognize that now is not the time to be divided by identity (while fully respecting the
rights and dignity of all minority cultures and identities). It’s time to forge a new platform – a new stage
– where the community as a whole, including the majority population, mounts the stage in collective
recognition of the need to speak truth to power.



Montréal Serai is always soliciting new ideas and materials from outside its geographical purview, on arts/culture/politics. Articles should be well written and not exceed 3,000 words.

We accept reviews of all kinds, covering arts, politics, culture, music, literature and film. We also accept political cartoons. We’re open to new information and regard every submission with the utmost respect.

Montréal Serai respects access copyright understanding on intellectual property rights. We do not publish without the permission and acquiescence of the writer.

See Submission Guidelines below.

Submit to:

Comments in general:

Snail mail:
Montréal Serai
P.O. Box #72,
Succursale NDG
Montréal, Québec
Canada H4A 3P4


Submission Guidelines:

Montréal Serai welcomes your own original, unpublished submissions of art, cartoons, prose, poetry or fiction. Written submissions may not exceed 3,000 words. Audio and audio-visual components are welcome.  Submissions published on your personal blog may be considered if you identify them as such and provide appropriate links.  Serai reserves the right to reject any submission that does not meet its standards or mandate, and will not entertain violent or sexually explicit material or material that does not respect human dignity or that offends minorities on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or personal beliefs.

A maximum of eight photographs will be allowed in the case of visual art in jpeg, pdf and tiff files. Videos should be in mpeg format and compressed. Submissions should be made in the body of the email or in an attachment thereto. Snail-mail submissions are also accepted and must include an email address for acknowledgement and urgent communication. Photographs and texts will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. If the contributor is found to have violated Montréal Serai guidelines, the submission will be withdrawn from the issue.

Please note that once a submission is accepted, all efforts will be made to respect the spirit of formatting, spacing, etc. used in the original submission. However, these aspects cannot be guaranteed. The online layout of a particular piece is viewer-dependent and relies (dynamically) on aspects such as screen size, resolution, and other factors. If a specific layout is absolutely necessary, we recommend that the author provide a high-resolution image of the text with the appropriate layout.

Montréal Serai is a digital magazine with universal, free access. Readers may request a free subscription for advance notifications. Although the editorial team volunteers its time, we make it our priority to pay contributors with the remainder of funds from grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (after operating expenses are taken care of). Ex gratia honoraria are provided at the discretion of the editorial board for accepted and published work.

Although we welcome experiments in language and deliberate lapses, contributions will be subject to rigorous standards of editing.

Submission deadlines are stated above. Publication begins at the beginning of April, July, October, and January. Additional articles might be posted in booster issues depending on submissions received.

Kindly send an author’s biography of no more than 25 words. By submitting via email or snail mail, the author is deemed to have accepted Montréal Serai’s terms and conditions. Snail-mail submissions must be signed by the author, otherwise they will not be entertained.  Prior publication of all or part of the submitted work must be explicitly stated in the submission.


By submitting to Montréal Serai, the contributor acknowledges and accepts the following policies.

Copyright ownership:

Copyright on original pieces published at Montréal Serai remains with the contributor, with two provisos:

  1.  If reprinted elsewhere, a note crediting original publication at Montréal Serai should be included.
  2.  Montréal Serai reserves the right to republish the article in the future.  Every attempt will be made to advise the contributor at that time.

Interview guidelines:

  1. Right to refuse interviews:  A person may refuse to participate in a discussion or interview. Montréal Serai does not require that any reason be given.
  2. Interview use: Prior to an interview, the Montréal Serai interviewer must inform the interviewee about the use of the interview. The interviewee will not necessarily be contacted about further uses of the material. However, where possible, the interviewee will be given the chance to review the article prior to publication.
  3. Notification of the start of the interview: The Montréal Serai interviewer must clearly indicate to the interviewee the start of the interview. Material collected from that interviewee before the start of the interview may not be used without prior consent of the interviewee.
  4. Payment to interviewees: Montréal Serai does not pay interviewees.
  5. Disagreement about publication: Once material has been recorded (digitally, by hand, or by other means) by Montréal Serai, final decisions on publication of the material remain at the discretion of Montréal Serai’s editorial board. It is understood that the interviewee has assented to publication of the material by participating in the interview at the time of recording.

Content permanence: 

Our website serves as an archive of the work done by Montréal Serai. Any submission will thus be archived for posterity.


Montréal Serai may sometimes provide a link to websites that do not share its editorial view but provide useful insights. Montréal Serai is not responsible for the content on these sites.

Content sharing with other online publications: 

Montréal Serai content may be linked to other organizations or reprinted with the consent of Montréal Serai’s editorial board, providing that full credit and linking to Montréal Serai is included. Rights to the reprinted pieces remain with the author.


Montréal Serai clearly credits other publications when material is reprinted from another source.

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The Writer warrants and represents that:
(i)  all of the Work shall be wholly original, except as to matters within the public domain
(ii) none of the Work shall infringe upon or violate the rights of privacy or publicity of, or constitute defamation against, or violate any common law or any other rights of, any person, firm or corporation.