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 We do not publish without the permission and acquiescence of the writer.

Proposed themes for 2023/2024’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

January 2024 – Blues, Jazz and Beat as fugitive literature

In this upcoming issue of Montréal Serai, we endeavour to convene a gathering of
reflections, resonances, voices and perspectives delving into blues, jazz and beat as
embodiments of “fugitive literature.” The term “fugitive” evokes hidden sanctuaries and
pathways of resistance – sovereignty operating discreetly beyond authoritarian lines.
This concept parallels Robert Farris Thompson’s portrayal of Afro-diasporic musical
traditions, characterized by a transgressive percussive performance style, multiple
meters, call and response interplays, and nuanced rhythmic and choreographic accents.
Similarly, Cornel West depicts bluespeople as bearers of a “prophetic fire,” resonant,
critiquing from the margins, bearing witness, operating with skilled vision, wisdom-
speaking and defying conventions whilst embracing the discordant yet enthralling
melodies of jazz.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung contemplates the vital social and aesthetic role of
atonality in jazz as a necessary fugitive and sovereign aesthetic elementality, while Fred
Moten sees blackness as inherently “fugitive,” embodying a desire for escape and
transgression from established norms. Numerous scholars, theorists, musicians and
writers echo these perspectives, from Cecil Taylor to Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and
beyond, illustrating how jazz, blues and beat defy conformity, crossing and recrossing
thresholds. Historical precedents such as the clandestine beats of 19 th -century secret
pow-wow culture and the sound experiments of maroon communities further underscore
the “fugitive” essence in beat and in the art of sound.

In contemplating the history of beat (all musics and sound forms), blues and jazz, we
might ask whether these genres can be products of “fugitive players” crafting fugitive
sound and nascent vocabularies and grammars constituting unique forms of literatures.
We invite submissions in the forms of poetry, theory, prose, fiction, art, music and
beyond that creatively explore this theme, embracing the nuances of the potentially
fugitive aspects of beat, jazz and blues.

Guest editor: James Oscar

April 2024 – Cultivating Common Ground

Due date: February 15, 2024

Cultivating Common Ground

In the deepest freeze of winter, a myriad of living things bide their time beneath the soil, waiting until the thaw returns to break through the earth that they share. For the upcoming issue of the newly redesigned Montréal Serai, we are calling you out of your burrows to submit your written or multimedia artworks that are ready to sprout and fortify our common ground.

We invite you to reflect on what ties us together—our interrelations, solidarities and common cause—not just among people, but also between humans and all living beings on earth. In an age of ecocide, what does it look like to honour these ties? Amidst genocide, war, poverty, forced displacement and scattering of peoples, ongoing discrimination and repression, and desecration of the earth, what solidarities can be cultivated between at-risk human populations and our fragile planet? Against a backdrop of deep social and political polarisation, who is forging common ground despite multiple barriers, and how?

Please submit your original, unpublished poetry, fiction, essays, visual artwork, interviews, videos, performances, and theatre by midnight, February 15, 2024.

Visual art, video, and audio submissions should include an explanatory textual component.

To submit work for consideration in this issue, please use our submissions form at

We also accept submissions by email: Please include your supporting files as attachments or cloud links.

July 2024 – Out of the ethers: art as a cultural force 

Due date: May 15, 2024

Three hundred art pieces reverberate off the walls of the Palestinian Museum in the Occupied West Bank, in “This is Not an Exhibition.” Some of their creators have not survived the war on Gaza—but the works are a living testament to the resilience of a culture and a people under relentless attack.

In a world desperate to halt the perpetrators of genocide and ecocide, art continues to be a sustaining cultural force, evoking and elucidating personal and collective histories and futures, recalling hidden fragments of buried heritage, expressing resilience…

In distilling our innermost imaginations, ancestral dreamings and pulsing sensibilities into images and words, rhythms and song, theatre and sculpture, beads and clay, fibres and feathers, how do these intimate, ethereal figments have the vital force to sustain us at our most vulnerable moments—and alter the surrounding cultures?

Is art conjured out of the ethers? Out of the sky? The land? What impels us to create?

Serai welcomes poetry, fiction, essays, visual artwork, interviews, videos, performances and theatre and more. Visual art, video and audio submissions should include an explanatory text.

Please submit your original, unpublished work—written, spoken, beaded, sculpted, dramatized, danced, painted, and recorded—by midnight, May 15, 2024, using our submissions form:

You can also send your submission by email at Supporting files should be included as attachments or cloud links.

If you have questions or concerns about the deadline, please contact us at

October 2024 – Culture-shifting as a way of life

Due date: August 15, 2024

January 2025 – Carrying the burden of peace

Due date: November 15, 2024

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. Montréal 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.

Prior publication of all or part of the submitted work must be explicitly stated in the submission. If a contributor is found to have violated Montréal Serai guidelines, the submission will be withdrawn from the issue.

Multimedia requirements

Visual art, Photo essay, reportage
A maximum of eight photographs will be allowed in the case of visual art submissions. Acceptable file formats include .jpg, .pdf, .png and .tif.

  • Minimum width: 1600px
  • Maximum width: 3200px
  • Max file size: 5mb

Audio & video
Videos should be in .mpg or mp4 format. Videos will be published to the Montréal Serai YouTube. Audio can be provided as .wav or .aif and will be hosted and streamed from on our local server.

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 always be guaranteed.

The online layout of a particular piece is viewer-dependent and relies (dynamically) on aspects such as the user’s device, 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 provide your author’s biography of no more than 25 words. By submitting via email or post, 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. They 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.


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.

Warranties, representations, indemnities

The Writer warrants and represents that:

  1. all of the Work shall be wholly original, except as to matters within the public domain
  2. 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.