We are looking for submissions for writing that grabs our attention, and unpacks the world in a way that is new. The writing should also be aware, directly or indirectly, of the plurality of truth and the limitations of perception. We also love literature that engages experimentally with verbal, typographic, and mixed media arts, writing that takes advantage of all registers of language and all possibilities of the page or stage.
Simplified: we want work that has layers!
With this in mind, it is important to us that writers from all kinds of backgrounds are represented in our online and print journal.
While simultaneous submissions are encouraged, we will not be accepting work that has already been published (i.e. anything that has already appeared in print or online. This does not include self-published material or work that has been accepted by the author's university's undergrad publication). We have a rolling open call for submissions. Also, submitting is free. We want nothing to stop you from getting your work out into the world. However, we're working with a small editorial staff and cannot manage multiple submissions at once. Please wait until you have received a response from us before submitting again.
We're sure you're an amazing person, but please do not send us a cover letter. We are only interested in the writing. When sending us material, be sure that it is in (.doc) format.
Our open reading period is from May 17 - August 17. Within this timeframe, we will select 2 pieces, one poem and one prose piece, to upload on our online archive each month. We will also be considering work for our first print issue, due to release Winter 2019-20.
We believe in compensating our contributors, so we offer $50 per poetry contribution, $75 per prose contribution, and $100 for video or mixed-media content. Prose includes, but is not limited to, fiction, creative non-fiction, literary criticism, literary analysis, reviews, and cultural critique. Video and mixed-media content includes, but is not limited to, spoken word/performance poetry, oral or oratory stories, and book reviews.
Send all submissions to
Thank you in advance!
We accept all forms and subjects. Send 3-5 poems.
Send up to 2 pieces (fiction or non-fiction), each being no more than 5,000 words.
Submitting writing is great, but submitting coins to help us pay our staff, our published writers, print issues and to fund both Paperback Poetry Festival and Paperback Writer's Conference is even better! Paperback Literary Journal is a non-profit that believes in making excellent art and literature accessible, especially to less fortunate communities. Help us continue to do this by sending donations to our CashApp -- $pbljournal. Thank you for your support!