Submissions

We accept fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, and book reviews year-round. Graphic fiction/non-fiction also welcome, but it must fit on a postcard.  We publish only one (1!) piece in print form each month– we publish 1-4 pieces in our online issue.

We accept work on a rolling basis–you can expect to hear from us within a month to six weeks, if we’re on schedule, which we are about 50% of the time. We do pay for pieces published on postcards (more details on this below).

  • ALL PROSE: <150 words. We’re not going to count them, but…we mean it.
  • ALL POETRY: <10 lines (if it’s more, be open to “creative reformatting”), but still <150 words.  Remember, it has to fit on a postcard!
  • BOOK REVIEWS: These will be published online, or on the back of a postcard when possible. Still <150 words. Must be of a recently published book (within the last year). The book must be published by an independent or small press. You are welcome to query before submitting if you would like our feedback on the book you are reviewing. If you would like your book reviewed by us, please send a query letter to info@hootreview.com.

You may submit as many works as you like, but two per submission. All work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are, of course, allowed–but please let us know if your work is placed elsewhere.

We will read all types of work. However, we especially like work that is audacious, surprising and zesty. Furthermore, we want this postcard to be shareable. As you’re submitting, remember the Refrigerator Rule. Ask yourself: “Would someone want this hanging on their fridge?” Work that’s about the depressingness of gloomy alcohol clinking on the bottom of a shadowy glass in the gloaming after a father’s death wouldn’t work as well hanging from a fridge or tucked playfully in someone’s lunchbag.

That said, if you’ve got some melancholy work that is surprising and zesty and GOOD then we would be very excited to check it out.

See our “ISSUES” page to read samples of the work we have published in the past.

We will also read your work, and give you detailed feedback, BEFORE you submit. (We must be crazy.) Bring your piece to our super friendly online workshop, held every other Wednesday.

Depending on how generous we’re feeling, we also often give feedback with our rejections, especially if it is requested.

Note: We do not solicit work — and we read all of our submissions blindly (we don’t look at cover letters until we decide to accept/reject). Every submission we receive is given the same consideration, and is read by at least two, but up to four people, and often out loud (while we consume delicious items, like raspberry tart and/or dumplings.)

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Costs & Payment:

To use our online submission manager, it costs $2 to submit up to two pieces of work. We also accept submissions by regular mail, for no fee. All pieces are considered for both our print (postcard) and our online issues, unless you specify otherwise.

You may submit as many pieces as you like, but you will need to pay the $2 submission fee for every two submissions (your two pieces must be in the same document, or Submittable will charge you twice!)- or, if you submit by mail, you must mail every two pieces separately, with their own return envelope (you must include a SASE for a response.)

As for payment– it is sort of like we hold a mini-contest every month (but it’s not exactly a contest, as our submissions are rolling). The author we publish on a postcard receives 30% of all the submission money (after Submittable takes its 52% cut) for that month, from the 20th of the month two months prior publication, to the 20th of the month one month prior (guaranteed minimum of $10!), along with five copies of that month’s issue. For example, if we publish you in October, you get 30% of the money we received between August 20th and September 20th.

Authors published in our online issue do not receive monetary compensation at this time, but will receive five copies of the corresponding month’s postcard.

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Other Stuff

  • You have to be okay with having your work ‘creatively’ formatted—so that it will both look cool and fit on a postcard.  Which means—we might paint the words on some wood and photograph them, or photo-edit the words onto an interesting-yet-appropriate thing, like a medicine bottle label, or a paper napkin, etc.  If you are submitting a poem, this sometimes means we have to change line breaks…though we try not to do this, and we always do it tastefully (at least, we think so.) Do not submit your work if you are not okay with this.
  • We are often asked about what informs our decision regarding publishing a piece on a postcard versus publishing it in our online issue. Choosing pieces for postcards vs. online is not a matter of “which ones we like best.” We love all of the pieces we publish. Factors include- what pieces we have for other months (we try to balance poems and prose, as well as keep style and content varied from postcard to postcard), appropriateness for sharing (see the Refrigerator Rule above), and illustration potential (both imagery and length of the piece factor here, as longer pieces are much harder to work with.)

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Ready to Submit?

Click here to go to our online submission manager.

or mail to

HOOT – Amanda Vacharat/Dorian Geisler
1413 Academy Lane
Elkins Park, PA 19027

 

We also always welcome friendly postcards.

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If you are interested in having your art/photography used in our issues, or if you would like to design a postcard for us, please contact Amanda at info@hootreview.com. Artists for our online issues will receive a bio and a link to their website. Artists for our postcard will be required to send sketches/mock-ups and be open to editing their work under direction–they will receive 150 copies of the postcard, as well as a bio and link online.

Comments
42 Responses to “Submissions”
  1. Melodymarie says:

    okay, I think your system is fair and honest (compared to a LOT I have read, that involve “submission fees”) the only thing is…how do I get your 2 bucks to you if I don’t have a paypal?

    • Editors says:

      Hi! If you don’t have paypal, you can just pay by credit card–

      First click into our submission manager: http://hootreview.submishmash.com/submit
      Click submit.

      Then, sign up for a Submishmash account. (Submishmash is the submission manager, after you sign up once, you’ll be able to submit to any lit mags that use Submishmash–of which there are many– without signing up again).

      Then you should have two options — to pay by credit card or by paypal.

      Let us know if you’re still not getting the credit card option! Looking forward to reading your work!

  2. Rog says:

    Sounds intriguing.
    What is your typical payout to the selected authors and how long have you been in business with this specific model?

    • Editors says:

      We’ve been around since August– which means, we have so far only published two authors, so our “typical payout” isn’t really very typical right now! The payout looks like it’s going to average around $25 (we’ve gotten around 100 submissions a month –200 poems/stories– and we get $0.91 for each one). In a month or two we’re hoping to switch to a different submission manager, so we’ll be able to pay the author 30% of the whole $2. We’ll also hopefully be getting more submissions; we have some major outreach moves planned for the next few months!

  3. Michelle says:

    What a great idea! Forgive me if I’ve overlooked it, but what sort of publishing rights do you retain, if any? I understand that the work should be previously unpublished, but after the postcards are finished and available, can we re-publish that particular piece with another publication?

    • admin says:

      Hi Michelle– Great question. Of course, all publishing rights remain with you– your work is yours. After we publish the work, you can publish it anywhere else that accepts previously published work. We don’t retain any rights to the writing at all.

      We do own the image we create– but because it’d have your writing on it, we can’t and won’t do anything with it besides print the issue (without your permission). We HAVE asked our authors about reprinting the postcards as posters, for display at writing conferences and the like, but that’s separate from the original contract, and again we don’t retain any rights to your work.

  4. David says:

    Any author who pays for the privilege of submitting his work deserves to lose the money.

    • admin says:

      Hi David–

      We understand your concern. However, we also feel that every published author deserves to get paid…and because we are just two people running this gig, paying for everything from our own pockets, right now we’re struggling to make those two match up.

      We are in the process of applying for some support funds, which will hopefully allow us to reduce the $2 or even eliminate it all together. However, We do feel the fee is reasonable (it’s pretty much what you would pay in postage, if you were to send manuscripts to us the traditional way, with a SASE). And we always accept free submissions for the online edition–through email at “onlinesubmissions@hootreview.com”.

      And, because we really do appreciate every author’s support, we try very hard to give them their money’s worth with our time–the time we spend reading each submission, often writing personal suggestions or feedback in our response letters. We also offer free workshops or Wednesdays, where authors can bring their work for feedback before they submit.

      Thanks again for looking at us, and best of luck writing.

  5. Jayne says:

    Hi, this is a great idea. Do you have any plans to mail the postcards outside the US? I’m in the UK and would be interested in them.
    May I also add that $2 is not excessive and is far less than many high profile competitions charge for entry fees. I understand this isn’t a comp exactly, but in many ways it works the same. I once won second place in a comp which netted me £250, first prize was £500. The entry fee was £5. Yes the organisers probably made a nice, tidy profit, but with the turn around I made on a 500 word piece, I didn’t care. We all have to eat, and authors who are willing to help fund prizes and payments are not stupid. I came to this site via Duotrope, which itself relies on donations from its members.
    Good luck with this venture.

    • admin says:

      Hi Jayne,

      We do mail postcards outside of the US! I updated links on our subscriptions/shop page to have international options (http://hootreview.com/subscribe). All the prices are a little higher to incorporate the added shipping costs, but hopefully reasonably so ($8 extra for a subscription, $1 extra for a single postcard, etc).

      And thank you so much for your comment– it was very encouraging. It’s disheartening when writers think we’re trying to scam them. We’re writers too, and we’re on your side!

  6. Dee says:

    What a creative idea! I have found that when words are limited, my vocabulary becomes more vivid and refined. Thank you for creating an opportunity for writers to take a “quick break” from projects and enjoy another form of writing.

  7. Heather Dent says:

    What is meant exactly by cover letter? Is it an introduction to our piece or is it more like a job cover letter.

    • admin says:

      Hi Heather-
      The cover letter is…well, kind of between an intro to your piece and a job cover letter. It’s a chance for you to introduce yourself, say why you’re submitting to us. We don’t want you to explain the pieces you’re sending, and we don’t care how published you’ve been before– but we do love getting details about you. You can also request feedback (which we try to give when asked, but sometimes don’t have time).

      Basically, the cover letter is optional…you’re also welcome to leave it blank. It’s not going to change our decision either way.

  8. Skye J. Lyon says:

    I would love to submit some of my poetry…first off, I think it is such a creative idea to promote poetry on a postcard! A great snapshot to help get us struggling writers on our feet! :)

    Quick question: if we wanted copies of our poetry in a postcard, how can we recieve them if our submission is chosen?

    • admin says:

      Hi Skye,
      Thank you! If your submission is chosen, you get as part of your “payment” 5 copies of the postcard with your writing on it. If you need more copies, you can always purchase them from the shop (http://hootreview.com/subscribe/).
      Hope this helps–we’ll look forward to maybe reading some of your work soon!
      Amanda

  9. Lindsay says:

    Would it be acceptable to enclose cash in a mailed in submission?

    • admin says:

      Hi Lindsay–
      Yes, it’s acceptable to enclose cash if you mail us a submission; people do that fairly frequently. Keep in mind, though, that there is no cost to mailing in your submissions, so there is no need to enclose payment of any kind!

      Of course we always appreciate any donations (we’re in the process of applying for nonprofit status, so hopefully soon it’ll be tax deductible), and 30% of it goes to the author.

  10. Ernie westmark says:

    Hi, what a great idea, I can’t wait to send you some of my writing

  11. A. M. Sproule says:

    Thank you for the *TONE* of your responses! It is nice not to be talked down to by prospective editors, pubishers or agents just because I’m a relative newby!

  12. Sierra Grice says:

    Submitted my poem a few days ago and I’m loving your inventive literary postcard idea! I will definitely be looking out every month for what you guys come up with :)

  13. Marisa says:

    Are submitters allowed to include art with their submissions if they wish? If so, is it guaranteed that the art will be included with the story if published, or is that to be determined by the editor?

    I’m looking forward to submitting a couple of stories soon. Great site!

    • admin says:

      You are definitely allowed to include art with your submissions. It is not guaranteed that the art will be published with the story (unless you say in your cover letter that we can’t publish one without the other…). That said, we do love to publish art/words by the same person.

  14. Paul Bussard says:

    I love this idea. Kudos to HOOT.

  15. Anne says:

    Just curious if you could tell me,is there a long backup of poems you choose from? I just want to know what would be the turnaround time on responses to submissions and/or publication. That is to say is it really just like a contest every month even if you submitted two months ago or do you have a cutoff point?

    • admin says:

      Hi Anne,

      We aim to respond to everyone within six weeks. That said, sometimes we don’t make it because, yes, we do “hold onto” submissions– because even our online issues are so small, it’s important that the pieces within an issue are balanced, so sometimes we try to accept all the pieces for an issue at once so we can be sure we don’t end up with say, three experimental dinosaur poems…or something.

      If you submitted two months ago, you are either in that holding pile OR we are just running a little bit behind…which is also very possible. No matter what, you can be assured that you will eventually get a response from us. It’s not like a contest in that we don’t have a cutoff for entries for each issue.

      Hope that’s all clear!

  16. Almiria says:

    Do you accept international submissions?

  17. Almiria says:

    More questions…
    1) What’s yout typical cut-off date for each issue (e.g. are you still considering submissions for the December issue?)
    2) What sort of response time can one expect?
    3) Do you respond to unsuccessful entries or only successful ones?
    Many thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi Almiria!

      1) We don’t have official cut-off dates. The submissions are rolling. Yes, we are still considering for the December issue, but likely pieces we accept now we will place in an issue sometime Jan – March. (We do not necessarily put the accepted piece in the next issue).
      2) Response times can vary from two weeks – six months.
      3) We respond to every entry.

  18. Pamela says:

    This is a fascinating idea.
    I would like to follow up on a question that was asked in an earlier comment.
    Marisa asked about including art with a submission.
    In your response you said that if we chose we could do that. We could specify that one not be used without the other.
    My follow up questions are
    1) In what format should the artwork be submitted? (I assume it should only be included with online submissions.)
    2) Will doing this effect the likelihood of a submission of being selected or the time-frame in which it is evaluated?
    3) Should I adjust the amount of the submission fee if my work contains both art and writing?
    Many thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi Pamela!

      1) You can include art through online or mail submissions. Online, I think jpegs will work with the submission manager.
      2) If you specify that one cannot be used without the other– yes, this might affect the likelihood of a submission being selected, simply because we’d have to like both! Especially if we are considering the piece for the postcard issue, the artwork (and the way text fits into it) would be extremely important. If we’re considering the piece for our online issue, the quality of the art may not be as crucial.
      It shouldn’t affect the time-frame, though.
      3) You don’t need to adjust the submission fee.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  19. Natalie says:

    Hello,
    I love this concept and am eagerly working towards submissions, Could you just clear up what is meant by “previously published”? As it differs greatly from publisher to publisher.
    Specifically if self publication via a blog or website,classes as publication for HOOT or not.

    Thanks and stay awesome

    Natalie.

    • admin says:

      Hi Natalie,
      Sure– previously published does not include your personal blog or website, unless you get a lot of readers. What is a lot of readers? We’ll trust you to be the judge of that. Somewhere aroundish 500 hits a month? The piece should, however, be taken off the blog before submitting.

      And basically– if someone besides yourself has shared the work– on their blog/website, on a poster, in a journal, in an anthology– that’ll count as published.

      Hope this helps.

  20. Connie B. Horr says:

    Hello HOOT,

    Is submitting under a pseudonym okay?

    Connie

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