SUBMISSIONS

Cleaver's free submissions portal is open. Chop! Chop! 

We will close briefly from August 1-31 while we are in production for Issue 11. 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.

We receive about 2000 submissions a year with an acceptance rate of slightly under 8%. 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. 

During the period of closed submissions you may choose to pay a voluntary "tip-jar"-style fee of $5.00 for the convenience of submitting immediately. Your submission will take its place in the reading queue, and will be read after our free submissions period reopens. A voluntary $10.00 "tip-jar" fee will guarantee an expedited answer within two weeks during our closed period. A voluntary $25.00 "tip-jar" donation will guarantee a two-week expedited answer and personal response, including a critique from one or more of our editors. 

Paying a fee 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.

But you do not need to pay a fee to submit to Cleaver. We accept free submissions 8 months a year. 

A few general notes:

  • If you submitted a manuscript and have not heard back from us, assume your work is still unread in the queue or is undergoing editorial consideration.
  • For queries about craft essays, contact jgmcclure@cleavermagazine.com. Don’t submit craft essays through this portal.
  • If you are interested in writing reviews of small and independent press books, send a query to editor@cleavermagazine.com.
  • If you are an artist or graphic novelist looking to be featured, contact editor@cleavermagazine.com.
  • Please don't send us emailed 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.

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.

Translations are welcome with permission of original author, or for works in the common domain. Hybrid or cross-genre writing is also welcome– when in doubt, submit it under "fiction" with a note to the editor or query using our contact form. Prose with less than 600 words should be submitted under "Flash."

  • 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 your chances of acceptance are higher if you follow this simple request.
  • 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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