Waxwing is published tri-annually in February, June, and October. Each issue features approximately fifteen poets, ten to twelve writers of fiction and nonfiction, and five to eight authors in translation, along with a music column, book reviews, and interviews. 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 try to present a diverse mix of singular voices in each issue so that we might hear them together in all their harmony and dissonance.
GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
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 us 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 twice per reading period (August 1 through April 30) 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, and often get back sooner. We will work to respond to your submission sooner than that, but if you have not heard from us after four 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.
Cover letters: 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.
Former contributors: We welcome the opportunity to reconnect with writers we have previously published, 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
Waxwing does not and will not ever charge fees for submissions to the magazine.
Our normal fiction submission period runs from September 1 through April 30. We will remain open each month until we hit our 300 submission cap. Please send one story, novella, or novel chapter at a time. We don't have a world limit at this time, but we do prefer works of less than twenty double-spaced pages. Please note that novel chapters or excerpts should read well as stand alone pieces. We also love flash fictions (<1,000 words)—send up to three flash fictions in one document. Double-space your manuscript and include page numbers.
Our normal nonfiction submission period runs from September 1 through April 30. We will remain open each month until we hit our 300 submission cap. Please send one essay, memoir, or nonfiction excerpt at a time. While we're open to longer work, we typically publish essays under 6,000 words. Please note that book chapters or excerpts should read well as stand alone pieces. We also love flash nonfictions (<1,000 words)—send up to three flash nonfictions in one document. Double-space your manuscript and include page numbers.
Waxwing is open to poetry submissions during the months of August, September, November, January, and March, but will close once we hit our monthly 300 submissions cap. 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.
Waxwing is open to translations of fiction, nonfiction and poetry year-round. We will remain open each month until we hit our 300 submission cap. 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.
BOOK REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
Book reviews and interviews are generally done by Waxwing contributing editors, but unsolicited reviews and interviews are sometimes accepted and published. All review and interview queries should be emailed to the editors at the email address below.
Waxwing’s music section is written and curated by our music editor. We do not accept unsolicited work for our music section at this time. All music queries should be emailed to the editors at the email address below.
All queries and correspondences should be directed to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being interested in publishing with Waxwing.
— The Editors
Before sending poetry or prose in translation to Waxwing, you should read the individual submission guidelines for each genre. Waxwing publishes literature in translation as artistic creations with their own integrity, and with the goal to connect artists that otherwise might not be connected. Translations are especially important to Waxwing for this reason, as well as for the potential they have to create a powerful dialectic between two minds. As such, Waxwing is seeking work in translation that shows a dexterity with language, as well as the courage to ask the harder questions about the world— and about the act of translation itself.
Waxwing is open to translations of fiction, nonfiction and poetry year-round. We will remain open each month until we hit our 300 submission cap. Submitters should follow the 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.
We welcome submissions of visual art for our covers. We publish three issues per year, so we will accept three works of visual art per year. We will consider art year round.
Please send 1-3 images at a time (and no more than twice per year). The files should be jpegs or any file that displays the image well enough. If the image is accepted for publication, we will ask for a high-res image.