Open Minds Quarterly is a literary journal that features explorations of life in a mad world. More specifically, it welcomes writing and art from people with lived experience of what is variously called mental health challenges, mental illness, madness, neurodiversity etc.
OMQ is published by NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action , a member-driven, peer-support mental health organization built on the premise that people with mental health challenges are intelligent, creative, and valuable. Both NISA and OMQ operate out of Sudbury, Ontario, in what is currently called Canada, which is Robinson-Huron treaty territory on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishinawbek and the Wahnapitae First Nation.
The magazine was created the same year as NISA-in 1998-to act as the official publication of The Writers' Circle. It quickly outgrew its digs, and now receives submissions from all around the world, from Canada, to Australia, and everywhere in between. We have a full-colour cover, and all inside pages are black and white. There is also now a FREE/PWYC, full-colour PDF of the magazine available. You can access it, subscribe, or buy a single print issue in our online store .
OMQ features a broad range of writing-including but not limited to prose, poetry, research, and reviews-and visual art. Our intention is to facilitate explorations of life in a mad world. More specifically, our goals are to:
Create space for people with lived experience of mental health challenges to consider our similarities, as well as our differences;
Facilitate discussions of concepts such as madness, support, recovery, and wellness, in all the forms that may take;
Explore and grow the language used to describe people's experiences of what is variously called mental illness, madness, neurodiversity, mental health challenges etc.;
Acknowledge and address the impact of broader social factors on mental health;
Offer our lived experiences to those who have not experienced mental health challenges in an effort to increase understanding and reduce stigma;
And, testify to the significance, impact, and dignity of all our lives.
A note on diversity: We recognize the ongoing discrimination and oppression many of our contributors face-because of colonization, racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, classism, ageism, capitalism, etc.-and the ways these and other injustices impact people's (un)wellness. We welcome people belonging to diverse communities to submit to OMQ, and we work to prioritize voices that are currently underrepresented.
Submissions can be made on our Submit page.