Call for Submissions for Chinatown Stories, Volume 4: Heat

Call for Submissions for Chinatown Stories, Volume 4: Heat

This publication is being conceptualized and compiled on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. We acknowledge that this land was never surrendered, relinquished, or handed over by these nations to Canada or British Columbia through a treaty or other means; it is sovereign and unsurrendered. It is time land is returned to them, or they be compensated for it. We also recognize that as uninvited guests on these unceded lands, allyship means working hard to dismantle colonial systems of oppression beyond paying lip service for the rest of our days.

Submissions Open: October 16, 2021
Submissions Close: November 15, 2021 (11:59pm PST)

Over the past year, “heat” has come to feel synonymous with “crisis.” Heat can signal danger. A burning question, a boiling point. It can be a galvanizing moment, an explosive difference, a moment that demands action. Heat as a synonym to friction, conflict, or pressure. What happens when our relationships are put to the fire? What questions do we need to confront?

Heat is also present outside of our interpersonal relationships; it is inseparable from our current climate crisis. A summer of deadly heat waves brought new challenges. How was its impact felt in Chinatown and its surrounding areas?

Heat may signal crisis, but it is also integral to innovation, life. Heat can be spice, passion, comfort, transformation, rebirth. Stories of new relationships, finding renewed purpose, fresh starts. What lights a fire in you? What do you hope to ignite and build anew?

Through fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and art, we invite pieces from those connected to Chinatown and/or the Downtown Eastside that engage with these prompts—as well submissions that interpret heat in entirely new ways.

Chinatown does not belong to any one community. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black, and other racialized storytellers. We welcome submissions rooted in the Downtown Eastside. We welcome stories that challenge and expand the idea of “Chinatown” itself.


  • Participants do not necessarily need to reside within Chinatown or the Downtown Eastside but should have some connection to either, or both, of these communities.
  • This connection may be economic, social, utility, geographic, cultural, historical, a community connection, etc.
  • Submissions may be fiction or non-fiction prose, poetry, interviews, photography, illustration, painting, digital art, video or audio files, recipes, or any combination thereof.

To Submit:

Please ensure that your submission adheres to the following guidelines:

Non-fiction, fiction, prose, or other written pieces (online and print)

  • No more than 1,000 words per piece
  • Please use 12pt Times New Roman and double-space your submission
  • Please send in one Word file named “Your Name_Title_Type of Writing”

Photography, illustration, painting, calligraphy, or other 2D files (online and print)

  • Maximum 5 images in .jpg or .png format
  • 300dpi preferred 
  • Please name each file “01_Your Name_Title_medium”
  • You may also include an optional artist statement of up to 300 words in a Word file named “Your Name_Artist Statement”

Video/audio recording (online, option for transcript for print)

  • No more than 10 minutes in total
  • Please send the links to the video/audio files in one Word file named “Your name_Video/Audio”, and specify each title to the corresponding link in the document.
  • You may also include an optional artist statement of up to 300 words in a Word file named “Your Name_Artist Statement”

Interviews (online and print)

  • Interviews may be submitted in video or audio format or as a written piece
  • Written interviews should be no more than 1,000 words 
  • If you are interested in writing an interview, but do not have a subject in mind, please get in touch with the Editor at

In addition to your piece(s), please include a brief bio of up to three sentences in the body of the email or in an attached Word Document.

Please send your submission and bio to with all pieces attached. Please put “Your Name – Storytelling Submission” in the email subject.

All accepted submissions will be paid honorariums of $80-$120, dependent on length.

Note for Contributors:

Chinatown Today purchases first North American Serial Rights for published works that revert back to the author/contributor upon publication. We ask that the pieces we publish are appearing in publication for the first time. We accept pieces that have appeared on personal blogs or portfolios. This includes social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. We ask that you include a statement of acknowledgment to Chinatown Today in any subsequent reprints.

If you have any questions, please email