Below in each category you'll find the details of the submission process--a process we've tried to make as easy as possible. If you're looking for information about Literary Orphans aesthetics, check out our About webpage. We do not accept pieces that have been published elsewhere in any category, unless that place is a personal blog or work-shopping website.

A heads up--as much as we'd like to, we cannot afford to pay writers or artists for their contributions until we grow further.

Hello my dear masoch... ahem, I mean--

Hello brave soul! Welcome to the killing fields known as the literary journal slush pile. You think you want to weed through it? Well, expect to see it all here. You'll see some truly amazing submissions in your tour of duty--and you'll be forced to make many a tough decision. 

You'll also see a fair amount of stories about talking pets (no disrespect to talking pets). 

Being a reader can teach you a whole lot--it shows you the behind the scenes agonizing that takes place, gives you that insider knowledge of this disgusting industry. It forces you to look critically at writing in a way no workshop can quite imitate--you're the final stop on the line, and it is no longer about improving the art but instead you are forced to thumbs-up and thumbs-down people's emotional labor like Caligula, ranking the sweat of fellow writers and deeming which piece most deserves publication. 

Basically what I'm saying, is that the slush pile is a direct reflection of the sick, late capitalist hellhole we live in. It's a zero sum game with limited space and time. You'll love it.

The good news is that at least you're not an Editor, who get no end of textual abuse and fun threats from angry writers. Which, by the by, we're recruiting for Editors soon too! Be sure to check out future issues/our social media for announcements about that.

The other piece of good news is that it can be truly inspiring. You'll be seeing writing from all over the world from all sorts of writers at all sorts of levels and as you agonize over decisions, if you're paying close attention, you will absorb some of the core concepts about what makes a piece sing, what makes it stand out. You will be bombarded with unique ideas and daring writers who take a chance on walking the high-wire and fall half-way through, but damn what a spectacle, what an attempt! When you're reading through submissions, you can't help but reflect on your own writing and ways to improve it. The slush pile can be your primeval pond where you evolve as a writer and come out as a frog or something. 

"But," in the words of LeVar Burton, "you don't have to take my word for it!" Give the application a shot and see if the killing fields are for you.

Literary Orphans has its roots as a short fiction and art magazine, and within that Derridean binary, fiction comes first. Yeah. If we're forced to pick sides we'd leave art on the Titanic, but we'd still love it, too; really, and we'd have horribly bad nightmares while we spent a blissful life raising fiction up to be an astronaut.

We accept all types of fiction. We have a need for micro fiction, flash, and short stories. As long as it's 2,000 words or under (1,500 is our sweet spot), send it over. Due to our high volume of submissions, please send us your absolute best piece. If you've got one or two "best" pieces, feel free to send them both, but try to limit multiple submissions to two or less in a 60-day time-span (totaling no more than 2,000 words between them).

If it's longer than 2,000 words, query first at Let us know how long and why you feel this longer piece would be a great fit.

Are you a teen writer? Meaning 19 or under?

  We think that's great, and we want to encourage you to submit. We wish that we were as cool as you are, checking out a great site like us at your age. If you are a little nervous about submitting to our general killing fields where our competition is super stiff--which you are always welcome to do--submit here! Once an issue, if the submission quality is up to par, we publish a single, featured teen writer. This is the place to submit.

  FICTION: No fiction longer than 3,000 words.
POETRY: Only send 3 poems at a time.

Just attach the document here, and submit!

 If you have any questions, e-mails us at:

Think narrative fiction is overrated? Fancy yourself a poet? Shoot us a submission. The crazier, the more unconventional, the better. Give us a rhythm. Sway us with your carefully crafted words.

  We accept three pieces for consideration at a time.

  Please attach it all as one single file below.

  We accept submissions of creative nonfiction that matches our aesthetic. Articles written with powerful prose about unique topics can find a place here. Reviews of books, movies, albums have a place here. We're especially interested in articles that examine geographical places within the western and non-western world. Same thing with interviews - if you have an interview, shoot it our way, and we'll take a look at it!

Stories will be featured in our bi-monthly Literary Orphans issue on the main website. Please keep to a word count of 5,000 or less. Also, please refrain from submitting academic papers; very few of us have scholarly goatees to stroke.

  Send any questions to:

Scott Waldyn

Literary Orphans