typewriter with flying cleaver 


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. 


QUARTERLY MAGAZINE SUBMISSIONS 

Cleaver Magazine accepts submissions year-round. View our general guidelines immediately 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 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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dark road 

  
EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY
A Workshop to Jumpstart Your Writing
taught by Cleaver Editor Tricia Park

5 weeks
June 27 to July 25
5 Zoom Classes, Saturdays 2-4 pm Eastern Time
$150 early bird / $200 regular
Class limit: 12
Questions: triciapark@cleavermagazine.com

EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY is a five-week online generative writing course for writers of all levels and genres. In these days of uncertainty and rapid change, it’s difficult to know what to hang onto. And social distancing leaves us struggling to maintain our mental wellness during this undetermined period of isolation.

But what if we can use this time to develop a skill; start a new project; follow a passion?

What if this sudden surplus of time is an opportunity for experimentation?

What if we embrace our vulnerability and take a deep dive into the unknown?

What might we discover about ourselves?

For many of us, the challenge is not getting to the writing desk but knowing what to do with ourselves once we’re there.

What does it mean to develop a writing practice? How do we create momentum from where we are right now? What if destabilizing ourselves as writers could move us forward in our work, if experimentation and play catapulted us into our best writing?

As a classically trained violinist, I spent years looking for the “correct” way, endlessly seeking the most efficient path, setting myself upright if I began to wobble. The truth of the matter is that all of us—writers, artists, musicians—enter into the creative process from a place of instability. Our objective should not be to straighten up and fly right, but to embrace that physics and allow our work into it.

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


A dandelion on fire 


AFTERBURN
A Workshop the Art of Flash Revision
Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa

3 weeks
August 3 to August 22
Click here to register
$125 early bird / $150 regular
Class limit: 12
Questions: kkulpa@cleavermagazine.com

Flash fiction may be born in a lightning flash of inspiration, but crafting works of perfect brevity requires time and patience: sometimes cutting, sometimes adding, and sometimes starting all over again. In very short stories, every word must work, and revision is as much a part of writing flash as it is of writing longer prose. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll practice the art of revision. Flash fiction writer and editor Kathryn Kulpa will share first drafts, revisions, and published versions of her own work and that of other flash and short fiction writers. Students will learn different revision strategies and how to apply them to their own work. We will create new flash together and work on taking it through several revisions, and students will also have the chance to bring existing stories to the workshop to revise with a goal of publication.

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


Text over image of a leaf 


THE PROPULSIVE PICTURE
Image as an Engine in Poetry
Taught by Cleaver Poetry Editor Claire Oleson

5 weeks
July 11-August 15
Click here to register
$125 early bird / $150 regular
Class limit: 12
Questions: claireoleson@cleavermagazine.com

In this course, we will explore how images can serve and the engine in a poem: driving the language as a plot might in a story or novel. We will work primarily on generating new work, encouraging participants to push their boundaries and hone their voice to create memorable and authentic pieces. The workshop model will facilitate constructive responses from both peers and the instructor. Particular attention will be placed on the visual life of the poetry we read and write.

We will read a few selections of poetry weekly that demonstrate the potential of images as communicative engines. The readings will be brief but rich, with the intent of inviting multiple re-readings, close readings, note-taking and flexibility for everyone’s lives and work. Supplemental reading will be available for those hungry for more plums from the proverbial icebox. Prompts will be provided inspired by the week’s reading, but will be designed more as springboards for beginning rather than hard-and-fast regulations. Participant work will be submitted weekly for peer and instructor review. One piece will be chosen by the student for revision for the final class. Optional Zoom conferences will be held to discuss the reading for those interested. We welcome both new and experienced writers looking for motivation, structure, and constructive criticism.

A final optional Zoom meeting will be held as a reading of our work.

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


A figure on a dark stage 

THE ART OF THE SCENE 
A Workshop in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Lisa Borders

5 weeks
August 2 – September 4
introductory Zoom meeting at 2 pm ET on Sun Aug 2
$200 early bird / $225 regular
Class limit: 12
Questions: lisaborders@cleavermagazine.com

The writer Sandra Scofield describes a “pulse”—that spark that makes the story come alive— as a vital element to all scenes. This pulse is especially crucial for opening scenes, as many agents and editors report that if they are not hooked on a manuscript within the first five pages, they will not read on.

But what is a “pulse,” and how can a writer ensure that each scene—not just the opening— has one? How can we write in such a way that our characters come to life, that a scene breathes emotion and urgency, while moving the plot forward and keeping tension taut?

In this class we’ll look at opening scenes, pivotal scenes and transitional scenes in published novels and memoirs, analyzing them for a “pulse”—that spark that makes the story come alive—and for the ways in which they hook the reader, introduce the characters, and (for opening scenes) signal the book’s scope. We’ll define the elements of a scene and discuss techniques for writing scenes that breathe emotion and urgency while moving the plot forward and keeping tension taut.

We’ll also workshop an opening scene from your novel or memoir in progress of no more than 1800 words in length, applying a checklist to help you determine whether your book’s opening passes the “pulse” test—and if not, strategies for creating a first scene the reader can’t put down. You will then revise these scenes, or submit a new opening scene for instructor feedback.

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


lightbulb on dark background

  
TELLING TRUE STORIES
A Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Cleaver Editor Sydney Tammarine
5 weeks
October 19–November 20
$125 early bird / $150 regular
Class limit: 12
Questions: sydney.tammarine@cleavermagazine.com

Writer Dinty W. Moore says that creative nonfiction equals curiosity plus truth. CNF comes in a variety of forms: from expansive memoir to intimate personal essay to the lightbulb “eureka!” of flash. But in any form, the CNF writer is a guiding voice in the dark: a storyteller seeking truth, thinking alongside the reader toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world.
In this class, we’ll practice the essay in its most dynamic form: a verb that means “to test; to practice; to taste; to try to do, accomplish, or make (anything difficult).” Each week, we will read and discuss one or more example essays and generate new work from prompts. Students will share their work for peer and instructor feedback, then will choose one essay to revise for the final class.
This workshop has weekly readings and writing assignments to inspire you—and deadlines to motivate you—but the work can be done at your own pace and on your own time. There are no required meetings, although we’ll hold optional Zoom write-ins and discussions for those who are interested. We welcome both new and experienced writers looking for motivation, structure, and enthusiastic feedback on their work.
For more details and a syllabus 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. 

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 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.

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. 

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 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