On February 14 and 15, 2022, we’ll open for our annual Valentines Day reading period, when we invite submissions of work we love and would like to see more of. We’ll be reading for the following: debut fiction; metrical poetry; essays that engage with scientific research and/or natural history—and for the first time ever, we will be open during this special window to submissions of comics and graphic narratives, which can be submitted as fiction or nonfiction.
On February 14 we will be open to no-fee submissions from BIPOC writers; on February 15 we will be open to all. As usual, current subscribers may send work via Submittable with no fee; if you’re not a current subscriber, you can subscribe here or renew here—use the coupon code valentine for 20 percent off. We’ll be reading for upcoming unthemed issues as well as our fall/winter 2022 Ocean Issue. We consider all work sent to the magazine for all upcoming issues, themed and unthemed. Please review our complete guidelines before submitting.
Debut fiction: By debut, we mean that the writer has not published in the genre before. We define a published story as one that is available to the public in a magazine with which you were not affiliated. The exception is undergraduate university publications, which we would not count as a debut.
Metrical poetry: Work in any meter is welcome—dactyls, anapests, iambs, amphibrachs; Sapphics, work in accentual meter. We are not ridiculous; we love substitutions! But the work must clearly inhabit a meter.
Nonfiction engaged with science and/or natural history: We’d like to see personal essays that engage deeply with scientific research or with natural history.
Comics and graphic narratives: Can be black and white, b/w with a spot color, or full color. Specs—please read!: Comics should be submitted as a single pdf; if your work is accepted, we’ll need hi-res tif files—600 dpi at 6 inches wide for line art, otherwise 300 dpi, CMYK (if sending color). We prefer that artwork stays within our layout’s live area of about 5 x 7.5, so be sure that your work will be legible at around five inches wide. Portrait-oriented comics work best; we do not run work sideways. We may suggest edits to your text; so if you are hand lettering and would prefer to avoid making adjustments on the page, you may submit a mockup of your comic and its text in lieu of a copy with finished lettering. We look forward to seeing your comics!
These are the only kinds of work we will consider this reading period. Other submissions will not be read. If you’d like to send us nonmetrical poetry, non–debut fiction, or nonfiction that does not engage with natural history or the sciences, please wait for our fall 2022 reading period, to be announced here.
Contributors receive an honorarium upon publication, two copies of the issue in which their work appears, and a one-year subscription beginning with the subsequent issue.
We’d love to read your work! <3