Thanks so much for your interest in Flycatcher. Below you will find guidelines, arranged under various headings, for submitting writing and visual art to our journal.
Please read all the information on this page carefully. Please also note that this information is subject to change, so we recommend that you check this page each time you submit new work, particularly if it's been over six months since your last submission. While we’re nice people and are not likely to do so, we reserve the right to delete unread any submission that does not at least try to take these guidelines into consideration.
That said, all of us at Flycatcher are writers ourselves, so we have tried to set these guidelines up in the most beneficial way possible, for you as much as for us. Flycatcher depends on a greater literary and artistic community to keep going and, as such, we respect and value the work you send us. We thank you again for your interest in our journal, and we look forward to being in touch!
Flycatcher welcomes unsolicited submissions of most any writing form or artistic medium. We welcome and encourage traditional writing forms (poems, creative essays, short fictions) as well as work that is harder to classify. We welcome excerpts from long works that can stand alone. We also accept queries for book reviews and reviews of other forms of media. You will find specific guidelines for all these things throughout this page.
All work should be literary in nature and relate, in some way, to our philosophy (which can be read under the "About Flycatcher" tab). With that said, we are very open to and interested in your interpretations of our philosophy and we hope to find some unexpected, surprising, and creative connections (even distant connections) among your submissions, but we cannot seriously consider submissions that are completely unrelated to our publishing focus. The best way to get a sense of what we’re interested in publishing is to read the work from our current issue and archives.
Please send only your best work. While we make no money and are unable to pay contributors, we do our best to support our contributors, and we regularly nominate for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and other awards as we are able. Work from our inaugural issue won and placed in Best of the Net 2012. For more information, please see our awards page.
We are currently closed to unsolicited visual art submissions, and plan to reopen to them by the end of January 2014.
Flycatcher began as an annual journal, publishing the first issue in January 2012 and the second in January 2013. Flycatcher now publishes two issues a year, Summer/Fall and Winter/Spring. Flycatcher 3, Summer/Fall 2013, is the first issue in our new biannual schedule. Flycatcher 4 will be out in Winter/Spring 2014.
Though we aim to publish somewhere around the seasonal changes (September and March), these time frames are defined broadly to allow us a little breathing room and ensure that a given issue is the best it can be before we release it. Summer/Fall issues could be out anywhere between late June and early December, and Winter/Spring Issues could be out anywhere between late December and early June.
We accept submissions year-round and on a rolling basis. We have no firm deadlines for a given issue, and we reserve the right to offer publication for or decline submissions no matter what date the submissions are sent. That said, if you would like your work to be considered for Summer/Fall, we recommend that you send it by August 1; if you’d like it to be considered for Winter/Spring, we recommend you send it by February 1.
Our response times will vary depending on a number of factors: the length of your work, the time of year you submitted it, etc. Generally, you can expect a response from us within two months, and often less. Our earnest goal, though we don't always meet it, is one month or less.
Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm the receipt of unsolicited submissions. That being the case, feel free to follow up if you haven’t heard from us in ten weeks. Please be kind when following up, though, and please send a new e-mail—not a forwarded one or a reply to the initial e-mail—with your name and “submission follow-up” in the subject line.
Please do not write to check the status of your submission, or to confirm that we’ve received it, unless you’ve been waiting ten weeks. Generally, if we realize that we haven’t gotten you a response in two months and we need more time, we’ll write you and let you know the status of your submission.
WHAT TO SEND
Please send only one submission per e-mail. One submission is defined as:
• 3 – 7 poems (no more than 7 pages total)
• 1 prose piece (up to 3,000 words)
• Up to 3 short-form prose pieces (totaling no more than 3,000 words together)
• 1 visual arts piece (please see “VISUAL ARTS” heading for more information), though please note that we are currently closed to visual art submissions
A special note on poetry: Please send no fewer than three poems. We prefer you send 5 – 7.
A special note on word/page limits: If the work you’d like to send exceeds the given word or page limits, please query before submitting. See information under the “WHEN TO QUERY” heading for details. In lieu of a query, you may send the work along, but please note in your cover letter that it exceeds the word/page limits, and please understand that in such cases we reserve the right to not read the entire submission.
WHERE & HOW TO SEND IT
Please e-mail all unsolicited submissions to:
submissions [at] flycatcherjournal [dot] org
On the subject line, please include the following:
[Your name as you would like it to appear on a byline], Flycatcher [genre] submission
For example: Emily Dickinson, Flycatcher poetry submission
Please copy poems directly to the e-mail; only attach them in a single Word document if one or more poems in the group require special formatting that you cannot replicate through e-mail. Formatting won't generally make or break a poem for us. If we accept a poem, we'll probably ask that you send it to us in a Word document to ensure we have the correct formatting. Our reasoning for all this is that we get significantly more submissions in poetry than in any other genre, and so being able to read poetry submissions without opening files helps our process along.
The opposite is true for prose: Please attach prose submissions in a Word document (.doc or .docx). If sending multiple short-form prose pieces, please send them in the same document. If you are unable to attach prose submissions in Word, please copy them to the e-mail rather than attaching them in another form.
It is crucial, due to concerns about computer viruses, etc., that any e-mail you send with an attachment be abundantly clear that it’s from an actual person wishing to share work with Flycatcher. For that reason, we highly recommend you pay special attention to the information under the “COVER LETTERS” heading.
HOW TO FORMAT IT
Please use double-space for prose, single-space for poems, and use a standard font.
Please include your name and your e-mail address on the first page of your submission (if submitting work in attached documents), as well as in the body of your e-mail.
If all other guidelines are followed, formatting of a given document is not all that important beyond what we have mentioned here.
HOW OFTEN TO SEND IT
Please send no more than three unsolicited submissions every six months (between each issue).
Please wait for a response before submitting again in the same genre, even if that means you wouldn’t be able to submit multiple times between issues. If you would like to submit two or three pieces in different genres at the same time (a group of poems and a short story, for example, or a group of poems, an essay, and a visual art piece, or whatever combination you choose), that is fine, but please do so in different e-mails.
Experience has taught us that cover letters are important. They are so important, in fact, that we reserve the right to delete unread any submission that is not accompanied by a cover letter. This is for practical reasons (cover letters prove that a given submission is not spam or otherwise malicious) and personal ones (they give us a good sense of who the author or artist is, while acknowledging the human being at the receiving end of the e-mail).
Cover letters should comprise the body of your e-mail. Cover letters sent as attachments will not be opened.
Here are some basic suggestions on cover letters:
• Include a greeting. At the very least, it would be nice to see some mention of Flycatcher in the greeting (such as “Dear Flycatcher” or “Dear Flycatcher Editors,” etc.) so that we’ll know your work is in the right place and, even if it is a simultaneous submission, that you aren’t just sending it anywhere. If you’d like to address an editor or editors by name, that would be great, but please, no “Mr.” or “Mrs.” We’re on a first-name basis from the start. We reserve the right to, and probably will, delete unread any letter that begins “Dear Sirs” or that has no greeting at all. We’ll probably look suspiciously on any letter that begins “Dear Editor.”
• Include a body. Please keep it short, but at the very least include the title(s) of the work you’re sending. Please also include the technical details about the work you’re sending (i.e., the number of poems, the word count of prose, etc.).
• Include a brief bio. This should appear with your cover letter (in the body of your e-mail), either in the letter itself or as a postscript. We ask for this simply because it’s nice to see that those sending work are engaged in literary and artistic communities on some level, though previous publications don’t determine the pieces we do and do not publish, and if you’ve never been published at all, that’s perfectly fine. If you do have previous publications, please list only about five or so. Please don’t send your bio as a separate document. Bios don't need to be formal or final. If we accept a piece you send, we'll write for a final bio about a month or so before publication.
• Please include your name and e-mail address somewhere in the body of the e-mail and on the first page of your submission, if that submission is attached separately.
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED MATERIAL
We no longer consider unsolicited submissions of previously published material. Any reprints we do will be by invitation.
We accept and encourage simultaneous submissions, though please write and let us know if the work you’ve sent us has been accepted elsewhere.
Though we encourage simultaneous submissions, please note that a given submission with multiple journals copied to it will be deleted unread. This happens surprisingly often.
RIGHTS, PAYMENT, & OTHER TECHNICALITIES
Flycatcher acquires first rights for publication. Upon publication, all rights revert back to the author. Should we make a print issue or anthology at a later date and wish to include your work that we’ve published online, we will always contact you regarding this to offer details and to get your permission. We reserve the right to keep work that we’ve published available as archives on our website.
We do not keep a record of or files for submissions that we do not publish, and are unable to return submissions.
Flycatcher is not responsible for lost e-mails or other technical difficulties, whether on our end or yours. If you haven’t heard back on a submission within ten weeks, please follow up going by the guidelines previously mentioned.
We recommend that those submitting work put the following e-mail addresses on their contact lists so that our e-mails will not go to spam folders. Most of our responses to unsolicited submissions will come from the first address listed, though they could possibly come from the other two:
submissions [at] flycatcherjournal [dot] org
chris [at] flycatcherjournal [dot] org
kathleen [at] flycatcherjournal [dot] org
As a small team of volunteers, Flycatcher cannot offer payment for published work. With that said, we will be committed to the writers and artists we feature, in terms of providing a platform, an ongoing outlet, and various resources on writing and art. Rest assured that we will do our very best to promote and support you and your work. We could not do this without the kindness of contributors, and so you have our deepest gratitude.
Again, as a thanks to contributors, we currently make nominations for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best New Poets. Work we have published has gone on to appear in Best of the Net.
VISUAL ART SUBMISSIONS
We are currently closed to unsolicited visual art submissions. Please check back by the end of January 2014.
BOOK / MEDIA REVIEWS
We gladly accept queries from those who would like to write a book/media review for Flycatcher or who would like their book/media reviewed. Queries should be short but informative. Please include them in the body of your e-mail, following, where applicable, the guidelines under the “COVER LETTERS” heading. Please include a link (ideally to the book’s/media’s listing at the publisher’s website) of a description of the book/media you would like to review or be reviewed, if a link is available.
As with general submissions, we do not accept previously published reviews.
Please direct all review queries to Kathleen, our senior editor, at:
kathleen [at] flycatcherjournal [dot] org
WHEN TO QUERY
Please query for work you’d like to send that exceeds our word/page limits and for reviews according to the guidelines previously listed.
If you are querying about work you’d like to send that exceeds our word/page limits, please, where applicable, follow the guidelines under “COVER LETTERS” and also include a very brief overview of what you’d like to send. This should just be a sentence or two generalizing about the subject and any other pertinent information on the piece in question, not a plot summary or anything of that sort. Please also include the word count for prose and the page count for poetry.
Please also feel free to write with any questions unanswered by these guidelines or anywhere else on the site. For general questions, please put “Flycatcher question” or “Flycatcher query” or something similar in the subject line. All queries can go to our submissions e-mail address, or directly to Chris or Kathleen.
A FINAL NOTE
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. If you've made it this far, we promise that we are personable editors, laid back yet deeply committed to this journal and its contributors and readers. We truly value the sense of community that surrounds Flycatcher. Please know that the above guidelines are not meant to be legalistic or impersonal. They are simply the best guidelines we know to give that will hopefully keep things flowing and that, if generally followed, will enable us to never have to close to submissions for the duration of the journal. Again, we truly thank you for reading and considering them.
If you are not already doing so, we welcome you to follow us at Facebook and Twitter for updates and announcements, many of which pertain to submissions information.
We look forward to reading your work, and thanks again for your interest in Flycatcher!