My Favorite Publishing Guidelines
(And Yours Too If You Know What's Good For You)

The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush's breast.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went —
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.

But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn't been.

- Robert Frost

Here would be what I would call a normal set of submission guidelines. It will serve as a control.
12 Gauge Submissions Guidelines

Fiction: 5,000 words maximum.
Poetry: No more than 5 poems per submission.
Essays, Reviews, Etc.: 1,000 words maximum.
Art work (photographs, line art, pen-and-ink sketches, paintings, comics, computer-generated art): Maximum of 5 pieces.

We encourage everyone to submit via our online submission process below, since this is the only way that an unsolicited submission gets logged in our database, and our editors can work collaboratively online.

When you use our submission engine, please include your contact info on the attached submission itself, whether it be a MS Word document or a text file. Name, postal address, phone #, email address.

Please Note: Our submission Engine is Temporarily Down. Please Submit Directly to Sorry for the Inconvenience.
There, now that wasn't so bad. Seems like a reasonable group, other than their magazine is named after a shot gun. Come on. Little bacon never hurt no one.

Here would be a normal set of guidelines if your magazine is called 'Other Magazine.' It will serve as a control for any magazine calling itself 'Other Magazine.'
Other magazine call for submissions!

The magazine for people who defy categories needs you! Our first issue is coming out in January (see for details), and we're looking for content for issue number two (due out May 2003).

We need essays, investigative journalism, satire, fiction, microfiction (500 words or less), poetry, cartoons, art, and photography. We prefer pieces which reject traditional categories, in both style and content.

Query first for non-fiction.

What we like: writing that questions categories in a creative, intelligent way. Pieces that encourage people to investigate the real story behind received wisdom. Subtle exploration of odd contradictions. Startling discoveries. Well-researched reportage.

What we don't like: personal essays or memoirs, unless they're used to make a larger point. Vagueness. Preaching to the choir. Use of the word "discourse." Rote ideas.

Deadlines: pitch non-fiction pieces by January 25. Finished pieces, and all other content, due Feburary 20.

See submissions guidelines at
That wasn't so bad either. In fact, I'd be happy to be in these people's lovely journal, or even just sit down beside them under a shady tree somewhere, shady.

Next, we have a very sensibly named journal, The God Particle. At first, I was intimidated by the name, but later, I gathered up the courage to read their submissions guidelines.



The God Particle publishes fine literature. In order to help you put your fine literature before the eyes of TGP's readers, we offer some guidelines.

Wish List for Issue 3

 In addition to what we’re already publishing and receiving as submissions:

1. A progressive political essay or two. Not an editorial or a commentary on ultra-current events, but a more general topic, something that would stay fresh for at least the three-month life of the issue, and afterward.

2. A personal essay about film. Again, not merely a film review, but something that addresses cinema as an art form rather than as popular entertainment.

3. Faux documents.

4. An intelligent science fiction short story, under 2,000 words.

5. More poems that don’t rhyme.



1. Send your submission within the body of an E-mail. TGP's editor uses a Macintosh and has very little skill or desire to convert files.

2. TGP has no word count limitations, and you shouldn't either. However, consider the eyes and patience of Internet readers.

3. If you confuse the name of the journal with a thematic restriction, you will only limit yourself and your submissions. We will publish pieces related to science, physics, metaphysics and religion, but we will publish others that have little or nothing to do with those areas.

4. As with any other publication you submit to, read what we have published. We are always open to fine literature of any genre, and especially work that transcends genre.

5. We have four reading periods each year: MARCH, JUNE, SEPTEMBER and DECEMBER. Unsolicited work sent during other months will be ignored. Exceptions will be made for writers whose work has been solicited and for filmmakers.

6. Simultaneous submissions are welcomed. Please let us know, though, and notify us immediately when your work is accepted elsewhere.

7. Multiple submissions are not encouraged, except in the cases of poems, photographs and very short pieces.

8. Previously published pieces will be welcomed if the work has appeared only in print. We ask that reprints not appear elsewhere on the Internet until 6 months after publication in The God Particle.

9. Send your best to Include the category and title in your subject line (e.g., FICTION - 'My Brilliant Story'). Submit work no more than once per reading period.

10. We do not pay. This is a labor of love.


1. As stated above, we impose no length restrictions.

2. Experimental, innovative and unconventional stories will be welcomed with
open arms, as will excellent examples of more traditional storytelling.

3. Excellent speculative fiction will also be met with open arms, especially
if it crosses or transcends genres.

4. We have a fondness for faux documents of any sort.

5. Send only one story per reading period, unless you send short-shorts, flashes and microfictions.


1. We love good poems, but good poems are very rare indeed.

2. Traditional poetic forms have their place, and we have a place for some.  In most instances, however, we believe a good poem dictates its own form.

3. If your poem rhymes, perhaps someone else will publish it.

4. Send no more than five poems per reading period; and if you send more than one, send them all together.

5. If E-mail text limitations will ruin your poem's format, query for permission to send an attachment.


1. Essays of any length are welcomed. The flash essay can be particularly effective.

2. Academic essays of any sort belong elsewhere.

3. Though we tend to favor personal essays, excellent prose is a crucial element of a good essay.

4. Send no more than one essay per reading period.

5. We do back flips when people send essays (not reviews!) on classic, independent, or foreign film.


1. Before submitting, send a query letter that describes your submission. We are, truly, open to anything — well, not pornography or excessive violence, but most anything else.

2. The editor's taste in music is very particular, and he has a special fondness for the traditional folk instruments of Europe.

3. Streaming video is something we have not yet hosted, so we hope you'll know at least as much about it as we do.

4. Photo collections should have some cohesion.


We're interested. Send a query letter, describe your work. If we won't take it, maybe we can recommend another publication that might.


Please, send no attachments. The editor does pretty well with most of the attachments he has formed in his lifetime, but he doesn't want any more. So, again, text only, please.

During the last few years, while you've been finishing the The God Particle guidelines, I've had the good fortune to be able to travel abroad and see some of the world's exciting places. Petra. I've made new friends, lost friends, and then gained newer, even better ones, which more than makes up for the ones I had lost. I've read The Bible, The Koran, The Torah and a few other lesser known works by a distant relative of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Next, we have the inimitable Absinthe-Literary Review.


S U B M I S S I O N   G U I D E L I N E S

Preferences: transgressive works dealing with madness, sex, death, disease, and the like; the clash of archaic with modern day; archetype, symbolism, Surrealism, philosophy, physics, existential and postmodern flavoring; experimental or flagrantly textured language; alternative poetry; intense crafting of language from the writer’s writer. For more direction, see our Recommended Reading List. 

Anathemas: mainstream storytelling; rhyming couplets; Oprah fiction; poetry or fiction without capital letters or punctuation (done to death and usually a sign of a lazy or arrogant beginner); hot trends; all genre fiction including horror, sci-fi, crime, western, vampire, romance, erotica, porn etc.; high school fiction or poetry; victim lit; ethnic lit where hip ethnicity supercedes universality; excess flipness or irony; first, second, and third drafts (“I just wrote this yesterday and thought I’d send it to you”); pieces that exceed our stated word count by thousands of words; writers whose work is above editing; writers who do not read readily available submission guidelines before submitting.  

Please note
: We do not recommend that beginning or hobbyist writers view this site as a good market for their work; however, semi-pros and talented up-and-comers are encouraged to submit. Absinthe writers have been published by the highest tier of the literary industry (The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Zoetrope, Paris Review, Mississippi Review, Triquarterly, Iowa Review, Exquisite Corpse, Ploughshares, Web Del Sol) and have won major literary awards (Pushcarts, NEA grants, Aga Khan, etc.) so be aware that your work will be judged against some of the best, most innovative writers working today. We are neither resistant to new movements in literature (quite the opposite) nor are we elitist, but we do believe this nearly universal truth: if you haven’t run the industry maze at least once or twice, you probably have no idea what “publishable” means.  

General Submission Information: Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please inform us AT ONCE if the piece is accepted elsewhere! Previously published pieces (reprints) are acceptable if you inform us of the fact when you submit. You, the author, retain all rights except first electronic. Please send only polished final drafts; otherwise you are wasting your time and ours. All submitters should be aware that we do not post works, we publish them. Pieces should be submitted with the implicit and explicit understanding that minor editing may take place. Any writer rabidly averse to the editorial process would probably be better off submitting elsewhere. (That said, we almost always go with the writer’s view if he or she feels strongly about a particular editorial change.) 

Fiction: Short stories and novel excerpts should be under 4,000 words, but we are somewhat flexible. Limit each prose submission to one piece per reading period. Subject line of email submission must read “Fiction Submission.” Please send a two to three line bio with your submission.
We publish essays on literary topics only: writers, literature, philosophy, literary history, the literary approach, etc. Essays should generally be under 5,000 words. Send essays with a subject line reading “Essay Submission.”     

Poetry: Please submit 3-7 poems, and send a two to three line bio with your submission. Subject line of email submission must read “Poetry Submission”

Art: We do not accept art submissions—no exceptions. All art for ALR is done by in-house staff. Do not send any photo/art with your submission under any circumstances.  

Book Reviews: ALR accepts review copies throughout the year and publishes a few reviews in each issue. Publishers, publicists, editors, and authors should send Absinthe — appropriate books (see our material preferences for guidance) for review to our snail mail address. Please direct to Book Reviews Editor. Review copy deadline for each issue is two months prior to advertised publishing date (see below), but we make exceptions occasionally. For financial and eyestrain reasons, we do not accept or review books in electronic format—no exceptions. 

File Format: Subject line of e-mail submission must read “Fiction Submission”, “Essay Submission” or “Poetry Submission” as appropriate. Use of any other subject line may result in accidental deletion. We prefer Word or RTF attachments (PC platform) but will accept almost any compatible document form we can recognize /open, including text of e-mail messages, but excluding PDFs. Mac users would be generally well advised to submit in the body of an email. No ZIP, SIT, JPG, GIF, PDF, or EXE files please; they will be deleted unopened. See below for snail mail submission details.

Submission Deadlines/Reading Periods: We accept manuscripts year round, but read and select only during the month preceding each issue—January, April, July, and October. Deadlines are:


We Notify By/
Published On:


January 1

February 1st


April 1

May 1st


July 1

August 1st


October 1

November 1st 


We respond to every submission so keep us updated on your present e-mail address! A fair number of rejections and an occasional acceptance come back as undeliverable. Feel free to contact us with questions.  

Eros/Thanatos subs will only be accepted in the appropriate period (July 1st-Oct. 1st). Any regular subs received during the E/T period will not be read until the following January. For Eros and Thanatos guidelines, CLICK HERE

Payment: Starting with the Winter 2003 issue, ALR will be issuing payment for all accepted work. International writers should note exception below.* Payment schedule: 

Fiction/Essay: $2-10 for each accepted story/essay

Poetry: $1-10 for accepted poetry

Absinthe Editors’ Prize: $25 for the best story or poetry published in Absinthe in each calendar year. The winner will be announced and featured in the winter issue starting in 2004. There is no need to submit for the Editors’ Prize; only stories/poems published in Absinthe are eligible for consideration.

Eros and Thanatos Prize: $25 for best story or poetry published in our annual Eros and Thanatos issue. Again, there is no need to submit for the E&T Prize; only stories/poems published in the E&T issue are eligible for consideration. 

As we are a non-profit online magazine and dependent upon the persistent vagaries of existence, we reserve the right to alter these payment guidelines at any time with or without notice; however, we are committed to paying every Absinthe writer. Payment will be sent out 1-2 months after publication. For online submissions, please include a mailing address for payment.*  

* Exception: International Writers: Writers from outside the USA who wish to receive payment must snail mail submissions and SASEs with appropriate return postage. International writers may send electronic submissions; however, such submissions will only be considered for publication, not payment, since the price of a registered letter will often supercede the amount of payment. We are sorry for this but simply don’t have the overhead at this time to support significant overseas mailing costs. This policy is likely to change in the not too distant future. (—Exception: International writers picked as the winner of the Eros and Thanatos Prize or the Absinthe Editors’ Prize will be paid, whether electronically or materially submitted.)

Where to Submit (Electronic): We prefer e-mail submissions. Submit by clicking on the appropriate link below and attaching your submission to the e-mail form. Please include “Fiction Submission”, “Essay Submission” or “Poetry Submission” in your subject line or your submission may be deleted. If you have problems with the addresses below, you may also submit to or submit via snail mail.  

Submit fiction to

Submit essays to

Submit poetry to

Where to Submit (Snail Mail): You may also submit via snail mail, though we would prefer you include an email address and have an electronic version available for transmission if possible. Please do not send your only copy since all mail submissions will be recycled. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope and/or e-mail address for reply. We will not be held responsible for submissions mailed without strict attention to these guidelines. We will also not be held responsible for submissions with inadequate postage. Mail hard-copy submissions to:

The Absinthe Literary Review
P.O. Box 328
Spring Green, WI 53588

Please be aware: Though we will be putting out a print issue within the next two years, we are at this time exclusively an online market. 

If Your Work Is Accepted: You will receive an e-mail informing you that your piece has been accepted. By submitting your work, you grant authority for ALR to publish your piece on the WWW for three to four months and then to archive it online. 


If your work is accepted, you should just kill yourself right now, because nothing you will ever do in life could possibly be even half as good as one single page of the Absinthe-Literary Review, which is an online literary journal. And then kill me too, because I could not live another day knowing that you, and not I, were published in———————————in—————————Absinthe-Literary Review [falls down in heap].

The best mix of funny and down-to-earth guidelines has to go to Flak Magazine. And I'll stand by this statement until death or they reject my work.

Submissions should be in plain text format, if possible. Microsoft Word is just a pain in our ass. We're eventually boiling stuff down to HTML, and we move content around in emails, so text is best. If you're HTML-savvy and can embed links with the A HREF= tag, more power to you. That's helpful.

Broken Boulder is open to new writers, except you.
Broken Boulder is open to new writers, but most of neotrope's contributors are fairly experienced writers. We're interested in publishing work that goes beyond anything that's been done before, and this kind of work usually comes from people who know a lot about what has been done before. We often get submissions from writers who think they're doing experimental work, but really haven't read enough fiction to know what experimental work is. To be as honest as possible: if you're a brand new writer, your chances of getting into neotrope are quite slim. But if you've seen our samples and you think your work is right for us, please send it out, because if we like it we're going to take it no matter whose name is on it.
Here are my official submission guidelines:

Official Submissions Guidelines
Submit something. It doesn't matter if it's good or not, I'll still probably do something with it. You won't get any money. But a lot of people will see it. But they may be dumb and fourteen. But hey, they may grow up and go to college. And one of them may even amount to something. And he'll have read your work. So come on.

Please make submissions via this page.
  • =.

Literature         Real Writers         Experience Rejection Now (Why Wait)         Home