The Canadian Authors Association and Iguana Books are partnering to support aspiring and emerging writers! We are seeking submissions from Canadian writers for our upcoming fiction anthology Blood Is Thicker: An Anthology of Twisted Family Traditions.

The StoryBlood Is Thicker anthology cover

Submitted stories must be between 3,000 and 7,500 words and must not have been previously published. The story must have the following sentence as its first line:

“It was February 29 again, and I was wondering which member of my family would try to kill me this time.”

Writers are free to do with this line what they wish. We would love to see submissions that fall within all genres of fiction—mystery, romance, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, humour, tragedy—anything goes! We’re looking for unique, engaging short stories that pull the reader in and don’t let go. We will select up to ten stories to include in an anthology, Blood Is Thicker.

The jury will be led by Iguana Books and supported by the Canadian Authors Association.

We are all dedicated to helping writers hone their craft—any stories that aren’t accepted will still receive feedback from our team of professional editors.

Submission Guidelines

  • Dates: all submissions must be in by February 28, 2018 by 11:59 PM PST. Entries received after the window closes will be considered ineligible.
  • Fee: there is no fee to submit a story in response to this call; writers are simply asked to adhere to all of the requirements set out in this document.
  • Word count: stories must be between 3,000 and 7,500 words.
  • Original stories only: the story you submit cannot have been published electronically or in print previously, including self-published stories or those published on a blog or public forum. See here for guidelines on what counts as “published.”
  • Eligibility: we are seeking submissions from Canadian writers who have not previously had a full-length work published by a traditional publisher; authors who have had a full-length work published by a traditional publisher are ineligible to submit. Those with previous short fiction credits (under 40,000 words) or who have self-published novels are still welcome to submit.
  • No multiple submissions: please do not submit more than one story to the anthology.
  • No simultaneous submissions: Please do not submit the story to any other anthology or magazine while it is being considered for publication in Blood Is Thicker. We will respond to all submissions to the call; if your story is not selected, you are free to submit your story elsewhere.

Rights and Pay

Selected writers will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology and a payment of CAD $0.02 per word. For each selected story, we ask for exclusive first world English rights for three months after publication and for non-exclusive world English anthology rights in print and electronic formats. This means that the anthology has the right to publish the story first and in subsequent versions of the anthology, and contributors will retain rights to their stories and are free to submit their stories for reprint three months after the publication date. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be shared equally between the Canadian Authors Association and Iguana Books.

How to Submit

Email your story in something approximating standard manuscript format to In the body of the email, please provide the title of the story, the wordcount, and a brief statement declaring that you are a Canadian writer AND have not traditionally published a full-length work. Please do not include a personal biography or describe the story in the email; it is best to let your story speak for itself!

We will respond to all submissions. If you have not heard back from us within two months after the close of submissions, or if you have any questions or concerns about the submissions call, please email

About Us

This anthology is a joint project between Iguana Books and the Canadian Authors Association.

Iguana Books is a hybrid publishing house in Toronto founded by Gregory Ioannou, a veteran in the Canadian publishing industry and editor of over 2,000 books. Iguana focuses on publishing top-quality books that are unable to find a home at traditional publishing houses. Iguana Books has published over 100 books since its launch in 2011 from prominent writers and public figures including Olympian Victoria Nolan, Broadway actor Daniel Robert Sullivan, as well as popular fiction authors such as Katherine Govier, Mel Bradshaw, and Marnie Lamb.

The Canadian Authors Association is Canada’s first and longest-running national writers organization. Founded in 1921 by Stephen Leacock and other prominent authors of the day, it has evolved into a wide-reaching organization that is a unique blend of intimate local community and dynamic national network. CAA is a membership-based organization for writers at all stages of their writing careers—aspiring, emerging, and professional—in every genre. With ten branches and twigs across the country, CAA provides opportunities for professional development, promotes the fair and equitable treatment of writers, and works to increase awareness of Canada’s writing and publishing environment.