We will publish flash fiction of up to 1000 words, short stories of 1500-4000 words, and poetry of up to 30 lines. Each issue will contain a mixture of the best short stories, flash fiction and/or poetry submitted to us in the past three months. The exact content of each issue is flexible – we don’t believe in featuring fiction or poetry which we don’t feel 100% happy with, and as such will not be assigning an exact quota for each medium. We will simply publish the best of what we are given. We may solicit artwork for the covers and interiors of future issues, the guidelines for which will be listed separately.
We like carefully crafted, thoughtful prose. The unexpected, the bizarre, the interesting. New worlds, new characters, new perspectives. We like surreal, realist, sparse, descriptive, vivid, and challenging styles. We are open to all genres, as long as the prose is good – we admit to a slight bias toward good speculative and historical fiction. We like stories which make us laugh, stories which stir us, and stories which make us wish we’d written them. We like simplicity and complexity in equal balance. Authors we enjoy include Toni Morrison, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Angela Carter, Kurt Vonnegut, Jeffrey Eugenides, David Foster Wallace, Annie Proulx, and David Mitchell. Poets we like include Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Sexton, Seamus Heaney, E. E. Cummings and Pablo Neruda. We like the warm feeling in the pit of the stomach after finishing a story and knowing that the time taken to read it was well spent. We’re fond of coincedence. Experimentation is good, with credible reasoning behind it, and we enjoy a non-linear narrative when it’s done well. We like authentic dialogue a lot and may, on occasion, be persuaded to publish a piece made up entirely of it. We like fiction which acknowledges the existence of non-white and glbt people; fiction with non-white and/or glbt people at its center is a plus.
We don’t like to be bored. We don’t like passages of irrelevant description which interrupt the flow of a text rather than add to it. We don’t like cliché, hackneyed twists and turns, kitchen sink dramas, overblown suicide attempts, goose-fleshed thighs or simpering heroines. Paragraphs of self-description in the first person, especially those featuring a reflective surface of some kind, will get a red line drawn through the middle of them. We’re not generally interested in the gradual falling apart of relationships, but you may change our minds with the right story. We don’t like space operas, intergalactic warfare, elvish warriors, wizened old wizards or generic UFOs and extraterrestrial invaders. We may be grabbed by particularly original or comic slants on these. We don’t like bodice rippers, yea forsooth young knaves, or pastiche, ever. No erotica, stories that are just porn without plot; sex is perfectly fine so long as it serves a purpose and is not just there for titillation. Heaving bosoms will make us cry. We don’t like basic historical inaccuracy, and will check your dates if we suspect that you haven’t. Show, don’t tell. Rhyming poetry must be handled with care. It should go without saying that we won’t tolerate racism, homophobia, misogyny, or stereotypes (on the part of the author. Perspective is a different issue, and one which we will have to judge for ourselves in each separate instance). No fanfiction, or anything that obviously infringes on somebody else’s intellectual property. It won’t even be considered.
How to submit
We’re not rigid about proper manuscript format, but do ask that you limit yourself to 12 pt. in either courier or times new roman font, as this makes the job of editing a little easier on our eyes. Left align all fiction and poetry, except where you have good stylistic reasons for doing otherwise. To make it easier to keep track of you in the pile of submissions we’ll be printing off each week, please include a header on each page including your surname, the title of your submission, and the page number. Please also make sure that your manuscript has been edited, or at least given a read-through by someone else. We understand if a few mistakes slip through, it’s happened to all of us. But a thorough edit before sending it on to us makes our job far easier. If submitting more than one poem (we will review up to three poem and one short story per author at a time), please include all poems in the same document, on separate pages, with clearly visible titles. (If you don’t want to follow these guidelines, then don’t, and we will do our best to treat your work as well as anyone else’s; but you will only be putting yourself at a disadvantage if your work is difficult to read, unlabeled or easily lost.)
Please format submissions in .rtf, .doc or .pages format and email them as an attachment firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a short bio. You are welcome to include a cover letter if you have something you want to say, but in most cases this is not necessary. Please be sure to type ‘Submission’ and your surname in the subject line (to ensure that your email lands in the right box, and that we can find you again if we need to). Do not submit via the contact form, as your work will lose all formatting and be sent to the wrong box. Please do not paste your submission into the body of the email.
Regarding bios, please don’t feel that in order to be considered you need to present us with a laundry list of past publications and achievements. If you have any and want to share them, that’s fantastic and you’re welcome to do so, but we’d just as soon you told us the names of your four cats. We are interested in what you have for us at the moment, not what you had for others in the past.
At present, being a two-woman project without funding, and operating on a non-profit basis, we can’t offer payment for author or artist contributions. Because of this, we will not ask any author or artist for any exclusive rights to their work, only for the right to publish it, non-exclusively, in our journal. We ask for non-exclusive archival rights, but an author may remove their work by request at any time.
We accept simultaneous submissions and reprints. However, please don’t submit works to us which are pending responses from markets which do not allow simultaneous submissions, as this will only cause trouble. If submitting a reprint, please be sure to tell us where it was first published and in what issue (or the month and year), so that we can cite it properly, and please double check that you are at liberty to offer it to us.