Submission Guidelines

by Subprimal Editors ● Updated: Jan 05, 2017

Subprimal Poetry Art looks for poetry and flash fiction that is crafted, urgent, lyrical, compelling, mythical, concerned with spiritual revelation, uses rhythmic sensual, vivid imagery and deals with fundamental truths. We're looking for work that enables the reader / listener to experience something that they might not otherwise in their regular life and causes them to think. We like pieces that use language in new ways. We have a special fondness for prose poems. Voices outside of the status quo keep us awake at night.

Our reading periods and publication schedule:

Open for Submissions Days Publication
January 1 - March 2 60 March
May 1 - June 30 60 July
September 1 - October 31 60 November

Here be changes! Please read these guidelines before submitting. If you don't, we'll probably notice.
For more information, see the blog post About Reading The Guidelines.

Category Specific Info

Poetry / Flash: Please submit up to three prose / prose poetry pieces, around 350-750 words a piece, or 3-5 poems. Or a combination. (Sometimes we'll accept a flash piece longer than 750 words; it's less likely, but not impossible; use your judgement.) Put everything in a single document. Start each piece on a separate page. Max pages 5 (not including an optional cover letter). Put your name and email address in the document.

Art: Please submit three or four images in JPEG or PNG format. Bizarre / curious / fantastic / eccentric / surreal art work. Maybe photography, painting, digital wizardry, or a combination. You can include a Word or PDF document with a cover letter, artist statement, and any descriptions or insights into your art work you'd like to share (optional).

Essay: Looking for essays about the creative process. Could be about writing, or about another creative process such as painting. Could be about producing the work, about getting it out into the world, or how it interacts with the world. Informative, well-written, fun. Max around 2000 words.

These numbers (word count, etc.) aren't a cage. Please see The Amazing Flexibility of Submission.

General Info

Language: All written work must be in English or Spanish. Si está presentando obras que están escritos en español, deben tener una traducción al inglés también.

Geographical restrictions: None. We welcome voices from all over the world.

Simultaneous submissions: No problem, but please let us know right away if something is accepted somewhere else. You can use the submission system to withdraw part or all or your submission.

Multiple submissions: In any submission period, you may submit once per category; for instance: one submission of poetry / flash / combo, one art submission, and one essay submission. If you withdraw an entire submission, you may submit again in that category.

Note: For diversity, our policy is that we don’t publish the same person in two consecutive issues. If you submit a piece that we want to publish, and your work appears in the last issue, we may ask to hold it for the next issue.

Previously published work: Our preference is for new work that has not been published and we will give preference to new work. However, we recognize that a piece sometimes needs another audience. If you submit work that has been previously published, you must: (a) ensure that publication rights have reverted to you, the author, and (b) indicate the publication where it was first published and the approximate date. If you have a URL to the work, please include that as well.

Rights: Subprimal Poetry Art asks for one-time non-exclusive world rights and one-time non-exclusive reprint rights (in the event of a future print anthology). All other rights remain with the author as the sole owner of the work; after publication, the author is free to publish the work in any collection, anthology, etc. If you reprint your work and it first appeared here at Subprimal Poetry Art, please acknowledge us as the first place of publication.

Revisions: Occasionally, we will ask an author to agree to some changes in the text as a condition of acceptance. Normally, these are small revisions. In these cases, we will email you with the proposed changes to see if you are agreeable. If so, we can go ahead and accept the piece. If not, we understand and respect your decision.

The unlikely: There's always exceptions, but generally speaking, the following are unlikely to be accepted: poems about lost love, unrequited love, or your basic garden variety angst; poems about witches, warlocks, or overdone goobles and goblins; poems about writing, poems about the writer; poems about the muse or lack of it. Yes, it could happen if done very well and differently, but you’ll have a better chance if you send us something else.

Response time: It varies. Minimum 1 day. Maximum 67 days Sometimes, we know right away that a submission is not a good fit. Sometimes, we need more time to read through the submissions or re-read a set of submissions. All final decisons are made within one week after the closing date of submissions. You may use our Duotrope page to report on the submission process if you're a subscriber there.

Submission fees: We don't have any, but this is likely to change in the future. We currently have medium-term funding to pay our contributors, while we explore funding options.

Payment: We pay $20 for each published work that has not been previously published. For reprints, we pay $10. Payment is made upon publication. You must be able to receive payment via PayPal.

Submission Procedures

  • Submissions are handled exclusively though the online submission system.
  • A cover letter is great, but not mandatory.
  • Bios are good too, but not mandatory. We'll ask for one later, if needed.

If your work is accepted, we'd like to get a photo of you, a third person bio, and (for poetry / flash pieces) an audio (or audio / video) recording of you reading your piece. As you (hopefully) already know from perusing Subprimal Poetry Art, we create custom musical compositions to complement an author's recording. For more information, see Audio Recording.

Submission System

Subprimal Poetry Art is on Duotrope
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