Scroll down for literary magazine submissions. 


Cleaver Workshops 


WORKSHOPS

Scroll down past our submissions guidelines to view our current workshop offerings. Cleaver Magazine offers affordable online generative workshops in flash, fiction, creative nonfiction, visual narrative, poetry, and narrative collage. Our workshops are taught by Cleaver editors, university creative writing professors, and professional writers and editors. All classes are held online. Most classes are capped at 12 participants. For more information check out the workshop page on our main site. 


Submissions 


QUARTERLY MAGAZINE SUBMISSIONS 

Cleaver Magazine accepts submissions year-round. View our general guidelines below. We are an all-volunteer organization staffed by artists and writers who work together as promoters and stewards of literary and visual arts. 

We receive more than 3000 submissions a year with an acceptance rate of slightly 7.25%. Submissions are read by our editorial team in chronological order as we make our way through the queue. The wait time for an answer will vary from a few days to several months, but be assured that we read every submission. We try to pass on editorial comments to submitters whenever possible.

From 2013 through 2019 we offered free submissions to all writers. As of January 1, 2020, to help defray the steeply rising costs of the Submittable platform (which now costs us over $1000 per year) and our web hosting platform, we are instituting a $5 submission fee. (Submittable takes a portion of each submission fee, so we receive only $3.76 from every $5.) We will briefly lift this submission fee through the year and announce these free submissions periods both here and on our social media. If the $5 fee presents a hardship, please do not hesitate to email us at editor@cleavermagazine.com.

A voluntary $25.00 fee will guarantee an expedited answer within two weeks. Paying a expedited-submission fee does not increase your chances of acceptance, but it does go a long way to help us sustain our quarterly magazine filled with thwackingly fine cutting-edge fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork. 

If you have a submission still in the queue and have not heard back from us, assume it has been held over for consideration for another issue. For inquiries, thwack us an email: editor@cleavermagazine.com.

A few general notes:

  • For art submissions, contact editor Raymond Rorke (laserjay@gmail.com
  • For visual narrative submissions, contact editor Emily Steinberg (steinberg.emily@gmail.com)
  • Please don’t email submissions of poetry, fiction, flash, or creative nonfiction unless you have been specifically requested to do so by an editor. Unsolicited emailed submissions are deleted unread. Submissions mailed to our US Post Office box are recycled, unopened.
  • We have a separate category for solicited submissions. Please use this category only when requested by an editor.
  • Poets, if you need to withdraw single poems from a batch submission, please follow these instructions:
  1. Log into your Submittable account and go to your Submissions tab.
  2. Click on the Activity tab.
  3. In the text box tell us which poem(s) you are withdrawing.
     

GENERAL LITERARY MAGAZINE SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES

Cleaver accepts simultaneous submissions, with immediate notification if work is accepted elsewhere. Previously published work is generally not accepted but we will occasionally consider work shared on personal blogs/websites or work previously published in a limited print-only edition.

  • Include your name and full contact information with each submission.
  • We'd like to get to know you, so include brief bio.
  • Prose submissions should be single-spaced. We'll still read double-spaced mss, but it's harder for us to read double-spaced mss. through the Submittable interface, so please be nice to our eyes!
  • Please include word count at the top of the document.
  • Please wait to hear back from us before submitting a new unsolicited manuscript.
  • We operate on a butter knife budget and are unable to pay authors for work at this time. In return for your literary labors, we offer respectful and thwackingly stylish curation.
     

Our response time is generally 2-4 months for fiction, flash, and essays and 2-12 months for poetry. Occasionally we will respond much faster. We have an all-volunteer staff and many submissions, so please be patient.

All rights revert to the author upon publication. If you republish your work in a print or other journal, please credit Cleaver for the first publication.

If you submit to Cleaver you will automatically be added to our list for a free email subscription. If you do not wish to receive a subscription, let us know in your author's note.

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Writing the Body 



WRITING THE BODY
Taught by Marnie Goodfriend
For beginner to advanced nonfiction writers
5 weeks
September 21—October 19
Zoom meetings 7 pm—8:30 pm ET on Wednesday 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12 and 10/19
$300 Class limit: 12
Questions: marniegoodfriend@gmail.com


We all live in and through our bodies. Connection to the self and how we perceive, and are perceived, by the world around us is intrinsically tied to the vessel we reside in. Bodies can be political battlegrounds, sacred spaces, pleasure palaces, and crime scenes. As creative nonfiction or hybrid writers, how can we deepen our writing and understanding of ourselves by looking at the layered relationship we have with our bodies?

Open to new and seasoned writers, this five-week workshop will focus on points of pressure and alleviation to generate new material from different life experiences: eating, politics, health, intimacy, and positivity. We will read works by writers such as Roxane Gay, Chanel Miller, Melissa Febos, Natalie Lima and Seth Fischer to spark ideas about we can approach our own stories about the body and how we can reclaim ownship over them.

Each class will include exercises, writing prompts, and discussions of assigned readings. Participants will have weekly writing assignments and will receive feedback on their generative writing in a safe and encouraging environment.
For More information and a detailed syllabus see the Workshop Page.


Ekphrastic Poetry 


 
EKPHRASTIC POETRY: The Art of Words on Art
taught by Cleaver Poetry Editor Claire Oleson
October 25 — November 19, 2022
Asynchronous with optional Zoom meetings 11 am ET on Saturdays 10/22, 10/29, and 11/19
$250
Class Limit: 14
Questions: olesonc@kenyon.edu


In this course, we will read and write ekphrastic work: that is, poetry that responds to, echoes, amplifies, and or converses with works of visual art. This class aims to both expose participants to a wide variety of ekphrastic writings as well as cultivate their own ability to see beyond the literal and bring the personal in conversation with the descriptive. Far more than merely describing a painting or detailing a sculpture, this workshop asks its students to learn how to place their own voice on the paint, on the marble, and come away with far more than a museum plaque is asked to offer.
Each week, we will look at two to three poems that focus on a shared medium of artwork and investigate how they bring something illuminative and transformative to the pieces they draw from. This class is designed to create a platform on which to find, develop, and hone the ability to apply language to art. Navigating the gap between the two, and gaining the sight to selectively amplify and diminish the desired elements, will allow the poet's voice to not only present a painting, but more vitally, present their own gaze on a specific piece’s role in a specific onlooker’s life.
For five weeks, participants will be encouraged to find themselves within their language and explore the ways in which they may take on an identifiable sense of voice, self, and vision on the works of art they choose to investigate. Fundamentally, this is a workshop about seeing one’s own eyes and inviting readers into that sight.

For more details see: https://www.cleavermagazine.com/workshops/


shorting the circuits 



SHORTING THE CIRCUITS: A Short Story Workshop
taught by Cleaver Poetry Editor Claire Oleson
October 1—November 5, 2022
Asynchronous with optional Zoom meetings 11 am ET on Saturdays 10/8, 10/5, and 11/5
$250
Class Limit: 12
Questions: olesonc@kenyon.edu


In this five-week generative short fiction workshop, writers from beginner to advanced will be invited to read and write work that pushes the bounds of the short story. Each week, participants will read an assigned story and have time and space to discuss its successes, failures, and fascinations. They will then be tasked with writing the beginning of their own story that borrows some stylistic element from the week’s reading. In small groups, writers will be invited to respond to one another’s work with constructive feedback. The instructor will respond to each writer’s work each week.

At its core, this is a workshop designed to support a writer’s voice while exposing them to the range of styles and goals the short story can take on. The readings we engage with will all contain a literary leaning, but will do so from completely different positions and perspectives. In the final week of class, participants will choose one of their stories to complete with class feedback in mind while prioritizing their own vision for the work.

The first two optional zoom sessions will serve as a place to absorb more work and engage in timed writing exercises engineered to break down our gut-reflexes in writing. The final zoom session will be a class reading and a space to share one another’s work. There will also be time held for participants to ask questions about the landscape and trials of contemporary publishing.

For more details see: https://www.cleavermagazine.com/workshops/


Blue typewriter 

SHORT STORY CLINIC
with Andrea Caswell

One-on-one personal feedback for your story. 

Fiction writer and editor Andrea Caswell will read your short story (up to 5000 words) and offer constructive written feedback regarding what’s working, what needs attention, and how to improve in key craft areas. Feedback will be returned within 21 days; expedited turnaround also available. You may add an optional video conference with Andrea to discuss your work further and ask questions about the next steps for revision.

Submission Guidelines
-Story Clinic is open to all fiction writers
-5000 words maximum
-You may include specific questions for feedback in the cover letter section when you submit
-Category may close if editors’ capacity is reached; it will reopen the following month

Cost
-One short story 1K – 3000 words: $100
-One short story 3K – 5000 words: $150
-Optional 30-minute video or phone conference: add $50
-Expedited two-week turnaround: add $50
 
For more details see: https://www.cleavermagazine.com/workshops/

Please upload documents in any genre only if your work was personally requested by one of the Cleaver editors. In the cover letter field, let us know which editor solicited your work and include a brief bio statement.

$5.00
$5.00

Submit up to 5 poems in a single document. If you need to withdraw one or more poems in the batch, don't email our editor. 

Instructions for single-poem withdraws:

1. Log into your Submittable account and go to your Submissions tab.

2. Click on the Activity tab. 

3. In the text box tell us which poem(s) you are withdrawing.


$5.00
$5.00


Submit one story up to 4000 words. Manuscripts should be single-spaced. Literary fiction only. 

$5.00

Submit micro-fiction (up to 700 words). Manuscripts should be single-spaced. 

  Submit micro nonfiction or short essays (up to 700 words). Manuscripts should be single-spaced. 


Submit creative nonfiction) up to 3000 words. Manuscripts should be single-spaced

(Craft essays submissions should be emailed directly to editor Lisa Romeo. More information here.)

You may pay a voluntary submission fee to expedite our reading of your manuscript. Payment does not increase your chances for acceptance, but it does go a long way to help us sustain our quarterly magazine filled with thwackingly fine cutting-edge fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork.

$25 receive an expedited reading with a guaranteed response (accept or decline) within two weeks.


Submit stories up to 4000 words. Manuscripts should be single-spaced




You may pay a voluntary submission fee to expedite our reading of your manuscript. Payment does not increase your chances for acceptance, but it does go a long way to help us sustain our quarterly magazine filled with thwackingly fine cutting-edge fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork.

$25 submissions will receive an expedited reading with a guaranteed response (accept or decline) within two weeks (generally faster and often in less than one week.) 


Submit micro-fiction or short essays (up to 900 words). Manuscripts should be single-spaced. 


You may pay a voluntary submission fee to expedite our reading of your manuscript. Payment does not increase your chances for acceptance, but it does go a long way to help us sustain our quarterly magazine filled with thwackingly fine cutting-edge fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork.

$25 submissions will receive an expedited reading with a guaranteed response (accept or decline) within two weeks (generally faster and often in less than one week.) 

Submit creative nonfiction) up to 3000 words. Manuscripts should be single-spaced.

You may pay a voluntary submission fee to expedite our reading of your manuscript. Payment does not increase your chances for acceptance, but it does go a long way to help us sustain our quarterly magazine filled with thwackingly fine cutting-edge fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork.

Paid expedited  submissions will receive an expedited reading with a guaranteed response (accept or decline) within two weeks (generally faster and often in less than one week.) 

Submit up to 5 poems in a single document. If you need to withdraw one or more poems in the batch:

1. Log into your Submittable account and go to your Submissions tab.

2. Click on the Activity tab. 

3. In the text box tell us which poem(s) you are withdrawing.

$10.00 submissions will receive a response within two weeks. 

Do you love to read contemporary fiction? Poetry? Essays? Are you a literary tastemaker? Cleaver needs readers and editors whose sensibilities click with our own to help us thwack! through our growing submissions pile and to copyedit and proofread the pieces we accept. 


Editorial interns read and vote on submissions, help us proofread the issue before it goes live, and write at least one book review. Time commitment: 6-10 hours/week (or more if you would like.) We can work with your college or university to provide academic credit for a semester-long internship at Cleaver. 


We consider editorial internship applications on a rolling basis. Fall internships run September–December, spring internships February–May, and summer internships May–August. If you have not yet received a response to your application, it is under consideration for the upcoming term.


If you are past the "intern" stage and would like to be considered for our editorial staff, use the editorial internship application, but let us know in your cover letter that you are applying to be part of our regular staff.


Here's how to apply:

  • Upload your resume and a creative writing sample in the main genre you'd like to work with. Let us know other relevant skills including your familiarity with web platforms, and other tools. (Don't worry, technical savvy is not a prerequisite, but if you have it, we're thrilled to know.)
  • Write a cover letter telling us about yourself and why you'd like to be on the Cleaver team. Be sure to explain which genres you're comfortable evaluating and editing.


Cleaver Magazine