A new issue will be coming out in October 2018. Our Winter 2019 submissions are now open!

Update: All seats on our teen board are currently filled. But please fill out the application if you'd like to be added to our waiting list. 


As of July 2018, we have now opened teen board member seats to people outside of the Rochester area, and have streamlined the book production process so it is simpler, less time-consuming, and more fun.

If you are interested in being a teen board member of Canvas, here is everything you need to know:

  • You must be no older than a high school senior, and no younger than a high school freshman.
  • You will need parental permission to join Canvas. When you apply, you will include your parent/guardian email. They will then just need to send us back a one-sentence permission email. 
  • Teen Board Members can choose to participate as Readers or Editors. (see details below)
  • Readers and Editors will be reading and rating hundreds of pieces by your peers every season. Readers will usually have about two months to read/rate about 500 submissions. Those who do not meet their deadlines may be asked to leave the board.
  • There are 18 seats available for board members. Seats are first come, first served. Applicants need parental approval and then approval by Lindsay Herko to join the board.
  • You must have access to the internet. You will be given a login to Submittable and taught how to read and rate submissions.
  • Board members will have their names and bios on the board members page at the website, and their names listed on the masthead in the print issue.
  • Those who fulfill 4 seasons on the board will receive a certificate and can ask for a college reference letter.
  • Most importantly, board members will be in a position to influence the lives of other teen writers in positive ways, to learn some basics of the publishing industry, and connect with like-minded peers from around the world.



We have been honored to receive applicant interest from around the world and are eager for all of your perspectives to curate a truly epic teen literary magazine.  

When you apply, let us know your position preference: Reader or Editor

Readers will be responsible for reading and rating submissions online through Submittable. They don't have to be available for the quarterly editing session. 

Editors will be responsible for reading and rating submissions as well as editing those pieces chosen for publication. They will have to be available by skype for the quarterly editing session. This event will happen once a season on a Saturday and last about 3-4 hours.

Lindsay Herko will be in touch with Editors to schedule the quarterly date and time. Plan to be available between one Saturday every quarter from 12-4 pm, Eastern Standard Time. If your time zone prevents you from participating as an Editor, we still hope you’ll consider participating as a Reader, which won’t require being available for the group edit. 


Lindsay Herko is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s creative writing MFA, where she also served as managing editor of Notre Dame Review. Her writing and visual art have appeared in Caketrain, BOAAT, Sundog Lit, Salt Hill, Luna Luna Magazine, and The Rain, Party, and Disaster Society. Lindsay has taught youth writing courses in Writers & Books’ SummerWrite program and currently teaches college-level writing courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) including experimental writing, world-building, and introduction to creative writing.

Nina Alvarez has an MA in English from of the University of Albany. She owns and operates Dream Your Book, an author services company, and is founding publisher of Cosmographia Books. She also runs the popular poetry website Her poems, hybrid pieces, nonfiction, reviews, and short stories have been published in Tupelo Quarterly, Split Lip, Prick of the Spindle, Danse Macabre, Grasslimb, and others publications. Her play “The Life of Leo Wool” went to full production in 2013 at RAPA in Rochester, NY. Nina is an award-winning poet, playwright, and teacher, and won the 2014 Writers & Books Big Pencil Award for her work with the original teen board of Canvas Teen Literary Magazine.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We love being so popular, but our 18 teen editors can only do so much. Therefore we need to cap submissions for each issue at 500. Once we reach 500, we will close down this form. All submitters after that will have to wait until the Spring 2019 form is up.

Do not submit your cover art through this form. Our cover art submissions are curently closed. When they open again, we'll let you know.


We are seeking writers ages 13-18 to submit:

Fiction – Please limit submissions to 5,000 words.

Novel Excerpts - Novel and memoir excerpts are acceptable if self-contained (work as a complete narrative).

Poetry – You may submit more than one poem, but please do not exceed 5 pages worth of poetry.

Plays - Please follow standard play format. Limit to 10 pages.

Nonfiction – Essays, memoir, creative nonfiction. Please limit submissions to 5,000 words.  

New Media – Video, images, etc are fine for website but must be accompanied by written version to be considered for print.

Cross-genre - Experimental work (prose poems, art and writing, fiction and nonfiction hybrids) are highly encouraged, but please keep to the word limit for fiction.

We DO NOT accept:

Book reports

Fanfiction — Except for literary works with historical significance such as Shakespeare, classical mythology, etc.

School assignments* — Poetry and short stories are accepted as long as significant creative effort was put into them.

*read the guidelines below to find out more details about exceptions.


Please read all of the following before submitting. Thank you.


Upon acceptance, Canvas acquires first North American serial publication rights, after which the copyright reverts to the author.

Simultaneous Submissions
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as you notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

We do not currently accept work that has been previously published. However, we will make an exception for work that was published in a school literary journal or a personal website. If you need further clarification, please contact


These guidelines are put in place to give you the best chance of getting your work accepted into our journal. Please follow them.

  • Submit each of your pieces separately. Do not bundle your submissions into one upload. Complete one form for each piece. We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is necessary to our editing process. If you bundle submissions your pieces will not be considered.
  • Please don't send us any schoolwork. We may accept creative writing assignments if they are written smartly and with passion. If you just wrote something for a grade or because you had to, please do not submit it.
  • Be smart with your humor. We love funny work, really, there's nothing better than a good laugh, but if you are going to submit a humorous or satirical piece, make sure that it actually delivers. Random and funny are not the same thing.
  • Cover pages are unnecessary. The information you include in your bio is enough for us. Addressing pieces to our head editor or adding comments to your piece like, "I hope you like my poem!" is sweet, but unnecessary. Each of our 18 readers will read your piece and decide whether or not it should be considered for publication based solely on the content of the work.
  • We are a serious creative journal. All of our teen board members put a lot of work into running this journal, and we take it very seriously. That being said, only send us something you think is creative, original, and of good quality. Please don't send us something you purposely wrote poorly to be "funny" (see bullet #2). 
Canvas Literary Journal