phoebe prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers, whose style, form, voice, and subject matter demonstrate a vigorous appeal to the senses, intellect, and emotions of our readers. We choose our writers because we believe their work succeeds at its goals, whether its goals are to uphold or challenge literary tradition.
We insist on openness, which means we welcome both experimental and conventional prose and poetry, and we insist on being entertained, which means the work must capture and hold our attention, whether it be the potent language of a poem or the narrative mechanics of a short story. Above all, we seek to publish quality writing. Please review website publications, especially our latest online issue, for an idea of the caliber of writing we publish.
We produce a print issue in fall/winter and an online issue in spring/summer. We’re generally open for submissions from late summer to early fall for the print issue and from mid-winter to early spring for the online issue. The online issue is comprised of the winners (and possibly several honorable mentions) of our annual contests in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.
phoebe: publishing original work since 1971.
Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction
- We only accept submissions via our online submission portal, Submittable, linked below.
- We do not consider previously published work.
- We do not have a strict word limit for prose; however, work over 4,000 words will need to be extraordinary.
- Regarding flash prose, we are happy to accept up to three pieces of less than 1,000 words each. Please paste these together in a single document and submit them via the standard fiction or nonfiction portal.
- Poetry submissions should contain 3-5 pieces.
- We welcome multiple submissions, but each should follow the guidelines above.
- We allow and encourage simultaneous submissions.
- We allow and encourage simultaneous submissions. If your submission is no longer available for publication, please use our online submission portal to withdraw it as soon as possible. If you need to withdraw a single poem or piece of flash prose, please add a note to your submission and email us at email@example.com.
- We strive to respond to submissions within 30 days. If you have not heard from us in 60 days, feel free to inquire about the status of your submission.
- If you’ve submitted to phoebe in the past, or if you’ve been published in our journal before, you are welcome to submit your work again.
- Contributors to the print editions receive two copies of the journal upon publication, along with our gratitude and respect.
As poets, we are interested in poems which are aware of themselves and their material(s). Broadly, we want to see poems interacting with the materiality and meaning of language on a page, the unit of the line as part and whole, and an awareness of the reader and the larger cultural and historical contexts of themselves. Specifically, we like to read poems with an awareness of place, ecology, the vastness of the interior and exterior (think: Poetics of Space); poems with a focus on experience, image, and economy of language (think: Williams).
—Janice Majewski and Andrew Art, Poetry Editor & Assistant Editor
We are excited by nonfiction that faces down risk, embraces complexity, and tests the bounds of form, craft and language in an intentional way. We look for essays, from lyric to journalistic, that engage in vibrant exploration and inquiry; we look for memoir and narrative writing that explores the complications and subtleties of those expansive modes. Submitted work should be stand-alone, and should range between registers—humorous and heartbreaking, serious and absurd, surprising, delightful. Above all, however, we want nonfiction that wrestles with ideas in order to reveal larger truths about life and the world through unique lenses, representing diverse identities and voices with intellectual and emotional honesty. On our pages, we aim for a mixture of brevity and breadth, and we warmly welcome submissions from both emerging and experienced writers.
—Andrew Cartwright and Kyle François, Nonfiction Editor and Assistant Editor
We look for fiction that engages the head and the heart—stories that pack an emotional or intellectual punch. We are open to all ways you choose to reach this punch, from style to structure to word count, so long as you leave us feeling we have experienced something honest and affecting and human. We appreciate weirdness. We'd prefer writing that takes risks and is a bit rough around the edges over writing that is highly polished but lacks urgency or soul. We look forward to reading your work.
Please upload an image (or several) for the phoebe staff to consider for our 48.1 print issue cover image and featured visual art.
See here for previous issue cover images.
For contributors: You will be mailed two copies to the address that you provide. If you'd like any additional copies, please order from this portal.
Note: Because we are a graduate-run literary journal, during our winter (mid-December through January) and summer breaks (May through August), we will not be mailing out journals. When we return from break, we will send them to you. During school semesters (fall and spring), we'll be able to mail out your order within two weeks.
We use good ol' USPS Media Mail and will only be able to fulfill domestic orders.
For questions, or to inquire about back issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org