Proposed themes for this year’s upcoming issues

To all writers, poets, artists, musicians, essayists and critical thinkers who plan to contribute or send pitches to Montréal Serai in the coming year:

Vol. 35 No. 1 – Early April, 2022

Theme: Out of the ashes
Submission due date: February 15, 2022

Theme description


“O brave new world, that has such people in it!”

Shiva dances, turning the universe to ashes. From ashes, the phoenix rises. The concept of a new world emerging from a twilight period is a recurrent idea that’s made many returns in the forms of earnestness, irony, skepticism, or some hybrid of the three.

Seeing as we’re faced with a myriad of the heaviest global challenges—COVID, war, injustice of all forms, poverty and inequality, racism and hate, corporate crime, environmental collapse and so much more—is it hopelessly naïve or beautifully hopeful to envision Next Emergent Paradigms as possible, as realizable still? What about space for individual transformation?

To borrow the shopworn phrase of the last several years: “in these troubled times,” who is making real change towards new futures? What, where, and how? Whether personal, societal, or in between: what do you want to say about renewal and rebirth?

Montréal Serai is calling on writers, artists, poets and activists for our “Out of the Ashes” issue.  We invite you to submit your unpublished work to by midnight, February 15, 2022. See our for details.

Is there reason for optimism after “all this”? Is a better world possible, socially, politically, ethically, spiritually? And what does it look like to you?

Vol. 35 No. 2 – Early July, 2022

Theme:  Popular Culture and Vigilantism

Submission due date: May 15th, 2022

Theme description

Popular Culture and Vigilantism

From the first appearance of Robin Hood in medieval ballads to the newest Batman movie or the Punisher now, the concept of vigilantism has always been prevalent in popular culture. In some it has inspired a sense of justice. But what happens when the notion of taking the law into your own hands inspires something different? What happens when a warped sense of morality and fragility seizes your life values?

That’s what happened when 17-year-old assault-rifle-wielding Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters. It’s also what happened when Alexandre Bissonnette walked into a Québec mosque and killed six Muslims in prayer.

US Fox-News-driven hysterical vigilantism led one to plot an ethnonationalist Islamophobic attack, and the other to hunt down those defending Black people’s rights. In both cases, their stances were rooted in white supremacy.

Coulton Boushie was a 22-year-old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation, fatally shot on a rural Saskatchewan farm by its owner, Gerald Stanley. Stanley stood trial for second-degree murder and for a lesser charge of manslaughter, but was ultimately acquitted by an all-white jury in February 2018.

While these examples may be recent, other similar examples can be found throughout history. Spectacular weaponry, sweating muscular bodies, voluptuous heroines combine together in video games and drive the hormones for vigilantism.

When people’s own sense of morality becomes warped, they see themselves as heroes even when committing heinous acts. How are tragedies such as these connected to popular culture?

Montréal Serai is calling on writers, artists, poets and activists to speak your truth for our “Popular Culture and Vigilantism” issue. We invite you to submit your unpublished work to by midnight, May 15, 2022. See our submissions guidelines for details.

Vol. 35 No. 3 – Early October, 2022

Theme:  Nationhood

Submission due date: August 15th, 2022

Theme description

The concept of nationhood can take different shapes in different contexts. What does
nationhood mean today for the First Nations and other Indigenous peoples, who strive to
navigate forward in a world hell-bent on leaving them behind? What does nationhood mean for
Haiti and other former colonies, which are still paying the price of past and present imperialism?
How does this face off against Western concepts since Napoleonic times (or before), of nations
being defined by their borders, their languages, their sense of security, food chains, access to
ports, railways, mountains, etc., which then have to be defended or secured, leading to wars,
invasions or other actions?
In many so-called first-world nations, the interests of the “nation” and those of its people
continue to diverge as inequalities reach new heights. When the promises, ideas and rhetoric
behind a flag are no longer reflected in a population’s lived realities, what does nationhood
mean then?

Montréal Serai is calling on writers, artists, poets and activists to speak your truth for our
“Nationhood” issue.

Vol. 35 No. 4 – Early January  2023

Theme:  Personhood

Submission due date: November 15th, 2022

Theme description

The concept of personhood covers a lot of ground, and struggles over recognition of personhood are as heated today as they have been historically, as vast swaths of the population and the planet were subjected to the dictates of colonialist expansion and exploitation.

Indigenous worldviews of the land and waters, the sky, sun, moon and stars, the trees, plants and rocks, the birds, fish, insects and animals (humans included) – and all that lies beneath the earth and the waters – as part of “Our Relations” and “personhood” are going toe-to-toe with corporate “moral persons” in a protracted fight to protect the environment and prevent ecocide. In 2021, the Magpie River in Québec’s Côte Nord became the first in Canada to be granted legal personhood status, as a collaborative initiative of the Innu Council of Ekuanitshit and the regional county municipality of Minganie.

At the other end of the political spectrum, anti-abortion groups in Canada and the US are mobilizing to win legal personhood for fetuses. From reproductive rights to guardianship of the land and waters, personhood is a highly-charged topic.

Montréal Serai is calling on writers, artists, poets and activists to share your vision, insights and stories for our “Personhood” issue.


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.

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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.