DEADLINE CLOSED: Call for Submissions & Pitches for Chinatown Stories, Volume 5: The Bridges Between Us

DEADLINE CLOSED: Call for Submissions & Pitches for Chinatown Stories, Volume 5: The Bridges Between Us



This publication is being conceptualized and compiled on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. We acknowledge that this land was never surrendered, relinquished, or handed over by these nations to Canada or British Columbia. It is sovereign and unsurrendered. We recognize that as uninvited guests on these unceded lands, allyship requires hard work across our society to dismantle colonial systems of oppression beyond simply paying lip service.

Submissions Open: June 23, 2023

Submissions Close: July 16, 2023 (11:59pm PST)

The Bridges Between Us

Bridges are markers of the gaps dividing us, yet enable us to connect anyway. They can be built, they can be burnt, and they are critical crossing points in our journeys. How do we encounter these bridges in our relationships with Chinatown, each other, and ourselves? What shape do the bridges between us take?

A bridge can expand our possibilities for connection. Intergenerational pathways linking the past, present, and future. Solidarity to bridge overlapping communities and perspectives. In a neighbourhood as complex as Chinatown, what bridges offer new pathways for connection, or deepen existing ones?

When a bridge burns, what insights might arise from the ashes? Burning a bridge can be a matter of setting boundaries, or ending relationships with harmful circumstances and systems. We may even choose to burn bridges with ourselves and our pasts, leaving behind that which no longer serves us.

Bridges may be a new path into the unknown, a way back home to the familiar, or somewhere to pause and reflect on our progress. As a liminal space, bridges can bring us closer to wherever we need to be next. Where do you hope these bridges will lead?

Through forms such as creative non-fiction, interviews, poetry, recipes, visual art, and others, we invite those connected to Chinatown and/or the Downtown Eastside to share stories that engage with these prompts—as well as submissions that interpret the theme in entirely new ways. Examples of stories published in the past are available on the Chinatown Today website and in the four Volumes of Chinatown Stories already published. 

Chinatown does not belong to any one community. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black, and other racialized storytellers. We welcome pitches for stories rooted in Chinatown as well as stories rooted in the Downtown Eastside, stories that challenge and expand the idea of “Chinatown” itself, and stories that can act as a bridge between Chinatown and our neighbours.


  • Contributors do not necessarily need to reside within Chinatown or the Downtown Eastside but should have some connection to either, or both, of these communities.
  • Submissions can include non-fiction or fiction, essays, prose, poetry, interviews, photography illustration, painting, digital art, or any combination thereof.

Submissions of Completed Work:

 Please ensure that your submission adheres to the following guidelines:

Guidelines for Non-Fiction, Fiction, Prose, Recipes, 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”

Guidelines for 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” 

Guidelines for Interviews (online and print):

Interviews may be submitted in text format as a written piece.

  • Written interviews should be no more than 1,000 words. 
  • If you are interested in submitting an interview, but do not have a subject in mind, please get in touch with the Editor at submissions[at]

Pitches for Potential Stories:

Chinatown Today is dedicated to helping share Chinatown’s stories – past, present, and future. Since 2017, our signature publication, Chinatown Stories, has served as a platform for sharing stories taking a variety of forms, from interviews and creative non-fiction to recipes, essays, poetry, prose, and photography. This year, for the fifth volume of Chinatown Stories, we’ve decided to expand our call beyond submissions of completed work, and are inviting applicants to pitch their ideas for stories to be included in the Volume. We hope this will allow us to work more closely with contributors to support the development of their piece and tailor the finished piece to this volume’s theme.

For contributors interested in pitching, our goal is to provide two opportunities to receive direct feedback from the editorial team, which will require having a draft of the piece ready to share at a midpoint check-in, and shortly before the final deadline.

We are especially interested in receiving pitches focused on the following topics:

  • The recent reconsideration of the 105 Keefer building development proposed for Chinatown.
  • Highlighting the relationships between Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside, Hogan’s Alley, Paueru Gai, and other communities who share space or a relationship to the neighbourhood.

Please ensure that the intended pitch and resulting piece adheres to the existing aforementioned guidelines for completed submissions.

Guidelines for Pitches in Any Medium:

  • No more than 300 words per pitch, including a brief description of the final piece, why it fits with this volume’s theme, and how you’d ideally plan to create it.
  • Please send one example from your portfolio of a past piece of yours that is of the same medium as your pitch. If you do not have an example, please let us know in the email.
  • Please use 12pt Times New Roman and double-space your pitch.
  • Please send in one Word file named “Your Name_Pitch_medium”, indicating which type of medium you intend your finished piece to be completed in (for example, if your name is Chinatown Today, and you are pitching a photography project, the file would be named “ChinatownToday_Pitch_Photography”) 

General Instructions:

In addition to your piece(s), including submissions and pitches, 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/or pitches with your bio to submissions[at] with all pieces attached. Please put “Your Name – Storytelling Submission” in the email subject.

All accepted contributions will be paid honorariums of at least $80.

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.

Any collection of personal or personally identifying information will be in accordance with Chinatown Today’s Confidentiality Policy and Privacy Policy.

If you have any questions, please email submissions[at]