“Submit to Us,” by Rob McClure Smith

Jan 15th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

We are a nationally distributed literary arts magazine rooted in the upper Midwest, appearing in print and eBook editions. We are a journal of safety and danger, of love and hate, of meaning and meaninglessness. We crave your prose, poems, prose-poems, chimeras, flash fiction, rash fiction, crash fiction and narratives randomly jotted on brochures in Greyhound buses and on whirligigs.

Our submission periods are January 1-January 3 and April 30-May 1. Submissions can be made from 10 a.m. GMT on the opening day until noon GMT on the closing day. Moving from a paper system to an electronic one, our level of submissions increased exponentially. After discussion, we have decided to trial a service fee of $6, which is almost equivalent to printing and postage.

Mailed submissions are not accepted and considered throughout the year.

We are committed to producing a journal that embraces the diversity of humanity. Feel free to share your gender/race/ethnicity/socioeconomic background to assist us in this task. To that end, please also provide under separate cover a saliva sample of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyped for testing as well as recent copies of two recent tax returns.

We actively seek under-represented voices — especially people of color with an upper Midwest connection writing beyond patriarchy. We’d also like to hear from more authors who are indigenous, gender-nonconforming, living off-grid, disabled, lgbqqia+, neuroatypical, border-straddling, poor, homeless, of trans experience, practitioners of furry lifestyle, algorithms, and any suitable combinations of the former.

We are not interested in gratuitous sex or work that seems to be misogynistic, racist, or homophobic. We abhor toxic masculinity and violence. However, a story in which toxic males are present and subsequently suffer the fatal consequences thereof will be considered.

We are not interested in stories that are not cognizant of language sensitivities when referencing American Indians and truly authentic to their experiences. Writing about the spiritual or religious beliefs or cultural practices of first peoples when you have only researched this from afar, writing in their POV and so forth, are big no-no’s. Many stories told by American Indians are considered sacred and never to be shared outside the tribe. If you are non-indigenous and have worked hard to be authentic (not by reading books written by ‘white people’ etc.) and have then vetted your story with a number of important people within the tribe you are writing about, such as chiefs and medicine men and so on, feel free to send it.

We do not want stories for children. Ever. Stories written for children tend to be offensively parent-centric and begetter-normative.

As part of our commitment to a healthy literary community, we are strong believers in helping to make your work better, but ask you to remember that editing is a highly subjective process. We do not want to receive any more angry, defiant, defensive, demeaning, rude letters. We have been recently inundated. Furthermore, if you don’t like our submission guidelines or appreciate our hard work to be inclusive to all peoples and intersectional allies, send your story somewhere else, like Zoetrope or Ploughshares.

About Our Feedback and Critique Options

Feedback is available for an additional $10 fee per submission. Feedback comprises the editor’s subjective opinion on what may or may not be working in a submission. The feedback may be two lines or two paragraphs, but it will always be actionable. In fiction we also offer full-critique options inclusive of an editorial letter that details your submission’s strengths and weaknesses and potential editorial next steps. If your story is:

1 –1,499 words, the price for a full critique is $75.

1,500 – 4,999 words, the price for a full critique is $100.

The super-critique membership level is available for $300, which includes a one-year subscription to the magazine and our fetching AWP tote bag. Astonishingly, 92% of our super-critiqued manuscripts are, upon subsequent revision, published by the magazine, which we believe speaks to the thoroughness and effectiveness of the feedback.

Here’s what recent submitters who chose the critique had to say:

“Your comments inspired me to roll my sleeves back up and get to work. I didn’t realize this until now, but I’ve been worrying about the very thing you pointed out, viz: my ‘complete lack of talent as a writer.’”

“Thank you for this incredibly helpful review. You helped me not only see how to eliminate my ‘noble savage’ trope but also to pare down the content from novella-length to flash.”

Prose submissions must be double-spaced, paginated, and in standard manuscript format with one-inch right margins and 1.5-inch left margins. Font must be 11-point Baskerville Old Face.

Your manuscript and filename must not have any identifying information on it nor a cover letter attached within the file. Number all pages but the first in the lower right corner in italicized boldface.

The editors have no patience for submissions inadequately poofread.

Please use only one space after a period or we simply cannot review your work.

We do our best to respond to each submission within 300 days. If it has been longer than 400 days, please send an inquiry to us under separate cover (do not attempt to use our new submission manager under any circumstances for this purpose).

Please allow at least a decade after publication before submitting to us again.


Rob McClure Smith has published in many literary magazines, always after studiously perusing their submission guidelines, including three times before in Defenestration. . .

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