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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. 


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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Flash Bootcamp 


FLASH BOOTCAMP
Weekend Bootcamps
Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa
June 4 - 6
June 18 - 20
July 9 - 11
July 23 - 25

$150 for one session; $275 for two sessions; $375 for three Sessions; $425 for all four sessions. 

*Get focused!* *Get motivated!* *Get writing!*
This generative mini-workshop is designed for busy writers who need to carve out some writing time to generate new work, and who crave deadlines and accountability to stay motivated. This class combines writing prompt "homework" you do on your own with group writing and discussion sessions. In just three days (Friday through Sunday), you will have six new micro-stories ready to revise!

Format: Combines asynchronous (writing prompts you do on your own time Friday and Saturday) with two, 2-hour Zoom sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
Focus: We will focus on work 500 words and under.

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


Graphic Psyche 

  
GRAPHIC PSYCHE
A Workshop in Visual Narrative Memoir
taught by
Emily Steinberg, June 5-26, 2021

Four Saturdays on Zoom
12-2 pm ET

June 5,12,19,26
$200
Class Limit: 12
Questions:
steinberg.emily@gmail.com

Visual Narrative, the marriage of words and images, both ancient and modern, is a potent mode of storytelling that can often be more gripping than either practice on their own. In this workshop, we will discuss the history of visual narrative and the myriad ways of composing with text and image. By the end of our time together, you will create your own short graphic narrative response to the bizarre, upside-down covid, quarantine, lockdown, political circus world of 2020.

In 1996, I worked my way out of a deep painter’s block/depression by writing obsessively about the events of my daily life. In 2005, I pulled the writings out and started drawing them. And I’ve been hooked ever since by the immediacy and vitality of this generous practice that beckons you to write, draw, be playful and explore absolutely anything in the world that captivates you. There are no limits here.  —Emily Steinberg, MFA

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


Playing with POV 

PLAYING WITH POINT OF VIEW
A Workshop for Fiction Writers
Taught by Cleaver Founding Editor Karen Rile
June 9, 16, 23, 30, and July 7, 6:30 – 8:30 pm ET
Class Limit: 12
$200
Questions: editor@cleavermagazine.com

“Point of view” is more than just the vantage point of the narrative voice telling your story. It’s the filter that colors and controls your readers’ experience of the characters and plot you create. The possibilities are infinite. In this generative, craft-focused workshop you’ll experiment and explore, creating new work each week to share and discuss in a supportive online group.

Each week we’ll read a few stories and/or novel excerpts illustrating different approaches to point of view. Story discussions take place in a private online discussion group; in our Wednesday workshop we'll be writing to prompts that you can work on during the week if you choose to. Come have fun with us!

This class is appropriate for prose writers of all levels, including prose-curious poets.

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

 

Voice Lessons 


VOICE LESSONS
Identifying and Creating Perspective in Poetry
Taught by Cleaver Senior Poetry Editor Claire Oleson
July 10 - August 14, 2021
Asynchronous with optional Zoom meetings 11 am ET July 17 and 24
$200
Questions: olesonc@kenyon.edu
Class Limit: 12


In this course, we will plunge into the murky waters of what is meant by “voice” in poetry. Each week, we will look at two to three poems by a single poet and investigate how they bring something of the same perspective, tone, specificity, and selfhood to different poetic projects. In light of this investigation, participants will be invited to work on their uses of voice in their own poetry. This class is designed to create a platform on which to find, develop, and hone the connective tissue between different works by the same writer. 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 style while maintaining flexibility across different pieces.

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


Afterburn 

  
AFTERBURN
A Workshop the Art of Flash Revision
Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa
3 weeks
August 8-29, 2021
$200
Class limit: 8
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/


weekend writing 


WEEKEND WRITING
for practice and inspiration
open to all levels and genres
Taught by Cleaver Editor Andrea Caswell
4 weeks, Sundays 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Session 6:  June 6, 13, 20, 27
$120
Class limit: 12
This class can be repeated monthly. (Re-registration required).
Questions: andreacaswell@cleavermagazine.com

WEEKEND WRITING is a weekly generative writing session for writers of all levels and genres. Every Sunday, enjoy this 90-minute writing retreat as we read and discuss short prose, experiment with optional prompts during focused in-class writing time, and nurture a personal writing practice rooted in curiosity and creativity. Whether you want to build structure into your writing week or simply play in your notebook, you’ll enrich your weekend with other writers in a motivational and supportive setting.

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


Reading Your Work Aloud 

  
PRESENTATION AND PERFORMANCE

THE ART of READING YOUR WORK ALOUD IN PUBLIC
For Writers in All Genres
Taught by Dinah Lenney

Sunday, June 27, 3-5 pm ET $100 [SOLD OUT}
Sunday, July 25, 3-5 pm ET $100
Limit 6 participants per clinic
You may attend both clinics, but must register for each one
Questions: dinahlenney@gmail.com


What’s the secret to a great public reading? Do you worry about losing your place, stumbling over the words, or boring your listeners? In these workshops we’ll discuss the differences between reading and acting, as well as various strategies for connecting with an audience to leave them wanting more. We’ll talk about your choice of material, how long you should read, and how you can fully prepare in order to feel confident your listeners will be engaged and entertained. 

Author Dinah Lenney, a longtime stage and screen actor, will coach you through an excerpt from your own work and help you bring the best to your next live reading. Come prepared with two pages of your text (double-spaced), any genre, in a font that pleases you! These workshops are suitable for writers of every genre and level of experience, from veterans to new writers preparing for their first public readings.

For more details and a syllabus 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/



Creative Nonfiction Clinic

With Sydney  Tammarine

Here is your opportunity for one-on-one editorial feedback on a work-in-progress.

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, nonfiction seeks a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world. It requires a well-told narrative, conflict, careful pacing, and a dynamic mind thinking on the page. Whether you have an essay near completion to submit to journals or programs, or have written a draft and don’t know what to do next, an experienced editor will offer the guidance and encouragement necessary to realize your best work.

Creative nonfiction writer and editor Sydney Tammarine will read your essay (up to 4000 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 is also available. You may add an optional video conference with Sydney to discuss your work further and ask questions about next steps for revision.

Submission Guidelines
- Creative Nonfiction Clinic is open to all nonfiction writers
- 4000 words maximum
- Please double-space your manuscript and use Times New Roman or a similar font
- 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

Note: this is a paid service. If you wish to submit your work for consideration for publication, please use the Creative Nonfiction category.

Cost

$100 for up to 2500 words

$150 for up to 4000 words

$50 add-on for a 30-minute Zoom consultation

$50 add-on for an expedited 2-week turnaround

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