☛ Seeking unpublished, amazing writing and art — we'd love to see more photos, paintings, drawings, diagrams, graphic narratives, &c. Artists/photographers may email thumbs or portfolio links if the Images category is closed.
☛ We are actively seeking more work from under-represented people.
☛ Our taste is best gauged by reading an issue or at least our archive. This is a journal of safety and danger. (In every sense.) We want what we have not seen before. “I don’t have a lot of time. I can give a poem a couple of lines, a short story a paragraph, and a novel a few pages, then if I can stop reading without a sense of loss, I do, and I go on to something else.” —Flannery O’Connor
☛ One submission at a time (except contests). Up to four free subs per 12 months.
☛ Be respectful of other writers and don't withdraw/resubmit to correct typos, cover letters, etc. We can receive only a limited number of free submissions each month.
☛ By submitting you agree to join our (infrequent) mailing list.
☛ Storm Cellar requires first serial rights and nonexclusive, ongoing electronic rights, per our guidelines. Serial rights revert to author upon publication. Authors receive the print edition, the ebook, and a discount on further print copies; plus, we love you forever.
Force Majeure: a great and unexpected power. We're looking for the best small things, any form, any content, any fine and wonderful creation.
Top prize for a single flash $300
Two second prizes $100 each
Two ways to enter:
- Upload 1 flash (you'll receive an ebook of the prize issue) - $5
- Upload 1–3 flashes in a single file (receive a print copy of the prize issue) - $12
Multiple entries are great. Simultaneous submissions are just fine; if a flash is accepted elsewhere, please notify us via a note on the submission within Submittable. Winning flash must not be (scheduled to be) published in print, ebook, or website before August 2019.
All entries considered for publication in Storm Cellar. Contest entries in any number do not violate our one-at-a-time general submissions policy.
What is a flash?
- Shorter than 1000 words
- Not more than 5 pages
- May contain fiction, nonfiction, marks, or images, in any combination
- May bend genre, form, brains
We encourage submissions by women, people of color, indigenous, disabled, lgbtq+, and poor authors, as well as members of other under-represented groups. Authors who cannot pay the entry fee, because of financial hardship or unavailability of online payment (PP/card) in their country, should email the editors with the brief statement that they have need so that we can arrange an entry (that they have need, not how); they should send that email from the email address used for their Submittable account and attach their entry as a .docx or .pdf file. Incarcerated authors may mail submissions, postmarked by the deadline, to the address listed on our website, no entry fee required (include someone's email address if you desire ebook delivery).
Contest will be decided by the editors. Close friends, family, current students, and employers of the editors may not enter. While not a member of the CLMP, we strive to achieve a similar level of transparency and virtue.
All proceeds will go to prizes and production costs for the magazine. No fees may be refunded. "Extra" flashes within entries will not be read. We may disqualify entrants on the basis of harassing behavior. Entrants will be notified of their contest outcome by email, on or before June 30, 2019.
Handy link to examples of flash we've printed. Surprise us!
Response time 7 days or less.
Don't want to wait? Send anything, all in one file.* Use the cover letter space to note mixed-, no-, or other-genre submissions.
Artists may email thumbnails or a link to a portfolio site/dropbox/wetransfer/etc. — firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, drop the images in a PDF and upload them here.
* We are unlikely to publish more than 20 layout-pages of anything.
You're awesome. The cabbage you're sending will keep us in pencils and rubber for another year.
Also, if you want, upload up to 20pp. of anything and we'll consider it for publication.
Friendship gifts can be credited in print or anonymous; gifts at the Uplifting, Sustaining, and Sponsor levels can be credited in print for one year, or anonymous. Donations to Storm Cellar are not tax-deductible charitable giving, but they do aid in covering our production, distribution, and server costs, allowing us to bring this magazine into the world.
Yes, we can send the issue as a gift!
Submit anything (or nothing).* We'll send you the issue of your choice, print and/or ebook. Choose the appropriate add-on to receive the print edition; check "no ebook" for print-only delivery. ( Current issue info | archive. )
- Ebook arrives by email attachment (up to 10MB) from email@example.com.
- Artists choosing this option may email us a flickr/portfolio/WeTransfer/Google Docs/etc. link, instead of creating a single file for their submission.
* We're unlikely to print more than 20 pp. (6000 wd./600 ll.) of anything, but if you're convinced a longer (group of) work(s) is perfect for us, go ahead.
Yes, we send gift subscriptions!
The print and ebook editions of Storm Cellar delivered anywhere. Print subscribers outside the USA, MEX, and CAN should choose the Overseas fee. Ebook-only subscriptions are delivered via email.
- Print subscription free add-on: the ebook sent to your inbox.
- We publish about 2–3 issues per year; subscriptions are by-the-issue.
- Shipping is included.
Just want to read a back issue after you submit? Click this.
- Up to 20 pages, any medium, subject, style.
- Print edition interior is grayscale on uncoated paper, no larger than 5"x7".
- Ebook edition is color, and larger where appropriate.
Though we want to see things different from what we've published so far, our main criterion is whether we dig what you're laying down. We tend to prefer striking compositions and contrasty texture. We like, but by no means require, series and projects.
We suggest you use the title of the image (if any) as the filename. We can handle most common file formats, but see below about file types.
Friendly advice about file size: Whatever size/format you upload, we suggest having originals available at 300dpi/1800px wide minimum (we prefer at least 600dpi/3000px wide for covers), in a lossless format like .tiff, uncompressed .png, or .ai. If your originals are smaller or .jpeg, that's fine: don't blow them up unless your Photoshop fu is strong.
• 1 item, up to 5,000 words. We lean toward the swift/compact.
Lyric(-al) and narrative(-ish) essay, form-blending & genre-bending, personal-ized history and memoir-that-connects-to-larger-issues: we're talking creative nonfiction. No academic studies, no lit crit. We may print your review/"review" of pretty much anything (including a Sweet Corn Festival or new talking-robot-toilet model), if it's funny, bizarre, and/or actually an essay. The internet's filled with short nonfiction, so surprise us.
Things we've not seen enough: formal invention, adventures, minority perspectives, things from the Midwest, things outside the US, truly weird crime, environmental disaster/success, signs & portents.
Things we've seen too much: cancer, addiction, break-ups, grampaw's war diary, mi-ma's cookies.
Interpret these suggestions as loosely as you see fit.
• 1 fiction up to 5,000 words. More-compact stories tend to do better; there is a different category for flash/micro.
We like it hot, we like it cold, we like it hard and fast, we like it slow and gentle, we like it traditional,* we like it experimental.
We like it anonymous, don't care about a title page. We like it 12pt Times New Roman, double spaced.
* Traditional: 1. not experimental; 2. ignorance, thanatos, octopodes, standing stones, sex rites, MRIs, cavaliers, Cadillacs, rude boys, buried toys, gold fever, war fever, bone fever, baby fever, submarines, pipe dreams, cigarettes & rock music, sign vs. signifier, prairie fire, smugglers, insurance, kissing cousins, "here there be monsters," border crossing, Amazons, apocalyptics, analytics, riding tigers, tiny islands, hackers, holograms, embezzlement, grafitti, hot zones, outer space….
Flash — what is this? Send us it.
- Up to 5 poems, 400 lines/15 pages total.
- All poems in one document, each beginning a new page.
We're open to anything. We like surprises.