There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Waxwing will open for flash fiction on April 15. Please send up to three flash stories under 1000 words the. We will open for poetry submissions on May 1. Please note that we currently cap our submissions at 300 per month so we will only be open for 150 submissions of long fiction, 150 submissions of flash, and 300 submissions of poetry. Please check back soon for the submission schedule for the rest of the year.

Waxwing is published tri-annually in February, July, and October. Each issue features poetry, fiction and nonfictions, and works in translation. We strive to promote the tremendous cultural diversity of contemporary American literature, alongside international voices both in English and in translation. Our mission is to include writers from all cultural identities, in terms of race, ethnicity, indigenous tribe, gender, class, sexuality, age, education, ability, language, religion, and region. 


We currently only accept work through our submissions portal on Submittable. We will not read unsolicited materials via email or postal mail. Because of Submittable’s costs and policies, we currently cap our submissions at 300 per month across all genres, at which point we close until our queue resets the following month. If there are no open calls for submissions during an open reading period, it's safe to assume that we hit the cap and will reopen the first day of the next month. See below for individual submission periods for each genre.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged—but please let us know that your work is being submitted simultaneously, and let us know right away if your work is picked up elsewhere by withdrawing it.

If you have to withdraw your work for any reason, please do so on Submittable. If you are making a partial withdrawal (in the case of flash or poetry, for example), please leave a short message on your submission using “Waxwing Withdrawal” as your subject line so we can find your note easily, and we will happily keep the rest of your submission under consideration for publication. 

If you are not withdrawing and just need to correct a small mistake in your submission (typos, minor changes), you can request that we open your submission on Submittable. This is preferable to withdrawing and resubmitting because resubmitting counts against our monthly submissions cap, but please know that we generally won’t decline work solely because of typos or grammar weirdness.

Please send one submission per genre at a time, and wait until we have had a chance to respond to your submission before submitting again. Please do not mix genres in the same submission. Multiple submissions to the same genre will not be read. 

Please do not submit more than once per year to any one genre unless the editors have specifically asked to see more of your work. This will help us manage our submissions cap and create more room for more people to submit.

We try to respond to submissions within four months. We will work to respond to your submission sooner than that, but if you have not heard from us after six months, feel free to query the editors at the email address below. You can also check your email spam filters to make sure our response wasn’t filtered, and check the status of your submission on your Submittable account (use the "All Submissions" tab) to verify that your submission is still active.

While they are optional, we prefer that you include a cover letter with your submission that tells us what you are submitting (titles and genre are helpful) and a short third person author bio. We like cover letters because we would like to know who you are, if we don’t already. But the information in your cover letter will have no bearing on whether or not your work is accepted for publication — that decision is driven solely by the writing you submit.

Upon acceptance, Waxwing requests first serial rights. All rights revert back to the author upon publication, although we will preserve your work online in our archives for the lifespan of the magazine. If the work is later republished, we request you note its initial publication in Waxwing. We also request the right to republish your work in future print anthologies and/or as promotional broadsides with author permission. Unfortunately, Waxwing is not a paying market at this time.

We welcome the opportunity to reconnect with former contributor but ask that contributors wait one year from the date of publication to submit more work.

Some things we will not consider:

  • Unsolicited previously published material—this includes but is not limited to materials included in books, periodicals, websites, social media, or other publicly accessible online venues
  • Unsolicited revisions of work we have previously declined
  • Book-length works


For flash fiction submissions, under 1000 words, please send up to to three stories in one document. For long-form fiction, please send one story at a time, from 1000 to 10,000 words. Double-space your manuscript and include page numbers.


For flash nonfiction submissions, under 1000 words, please send up to three micro-essays in one document. For long-form nonfiction, please send one essay at a time, from 1000 to 10,000 words. Double-space your manuscript and include page numbers.


Please send one to five poems and place them all in one document. Use spacing and formats appropriate for your poems—that is, submit them the way you wish them to look.


Submitters should follow the above guidelines that correspond to the genre they are translating. If your submission contains multiple pieces, please put all of them in one document for submission. Translation submissions should include the translated work in its source language, along with any permissions necessary to publish the work in both languages. Waxwing will ask translators for a “Translator’s Note” that contextualizes the work upon publication — please see previous issues for examples of what these notes look like.


Each issue of Waxwing includes one piece of visual art as its cover image. We are open to unsolicited art submissions year round until we hit our monthly 300 submission cap. Artists should send one to three images at one time (and no more than twice per year). Files should be JPGs or similar file type. Screen resolution at a size that displays the image well enough is fine — if an image is accepted for publication, we will ask for a higher resolution file. Please note that because we publish three pieces of art every year, it could take over a year for us to respond to your submission.


All queries and correspondences should be directed to the editors at editors@waxwingmag.org. 

Thank you for being interested in publishing with Waxwing.

— The Editors