Scroll down for literary magazine submissions. 



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 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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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


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/


coffee cup 


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 1: January 10, 17, 24, 31 [closed]
Session 2: February 7, 14, 21, 28
Session 3: March 7, 14, 21, 28
$100
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/


 
TELLING TRUE STORIES
A Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Cleaver Editor Sydney Tammarine
5 weeks
May 10 to June 11, 2021
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/


UnShaping the Essay 

 
UNSHAPING THE ESSAY:
Experimental Forms in Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Cleaver Editor Sydney Tammarine

Session: 5 weeks

July 18 – August 14

Zoom meetings 11am – 12pm EST on Sundays 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, and 8/8

$200

Class limit: 12

Questions: sydney.tammarine@cleavermagazine.com

Memoirist Patricia Hampl said, “Memoir isn’t for reminiscence; it’s for exploration.” Just as nonfiction writers explore new terrains—both internal and external—in their writing, they also explore the landscape of language: What is the best way to tell your story? How can we write what we can't speak about directly? How can form help us to convey complex ideas and experiences? And how do we know when a form is working for us, rather than limiting us? (To answer that last question, I'll borrow a few words from Brandon Schrand: “I recall some advice that rightfully suggested that if you have finished reading something experimental and if by the end, you can’t imagine it written in any other way, then the piece was successful.”)

In this class, we will explore the boundaries—and boundlessness—of creative nonfiction, diving deeply into questions of memory and language while trying our hands at forms such as the lyric essay (where poetry and prose intersect), found forms (like Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola's “hermit crab essay”), and experimental structures (including the braided and fragmented essay).

We will have weekly readings, synchronous discussions (through Zoom: 11am – 12pm EST on Sundays 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, and 8/8), writing prompts, and asynchronous peer workshops (through Canvas). Students will also revise one essay for instructor feedback. 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/


A tower of precariously balanced brown hen's eggs 

 
EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY
A Workshop to Jumpstart Your Writing
taught by Cleaver Editor Tricia Park
May 9-30, 2021
$250
Class limit: 12
Questions: triciapark@cleavermagazine.com

EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY is anonline 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/


 

POETIC ANATOMIES:
Dissecting Form and Formlessness in Poetry
Taught by Cleaver Poetry Editor Claire Oleson
5 weeks
March 20 - April 24
$200
Class limit: 12
Questions: claireoleson@cleavermagazine.com

In this course, we will investigate how form is used in poetry to create meaning, house language, and allow the content of a poem to achieve a significance that echoes beyond the bounds of its literal words. Whether participants are wholly new to sonnets and couldn’t tell you whether a villanelle is part of a cake recipe or a manuscript, there will be room for growth, experimentation, and attentive feedback.

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 formal life of the poetry we read and write.

We will read a few selections of poetry weekly that demonstrate the application of different forms in poetry. By the end of the course, students will know how to recognize poetic forms “in the wild,” know the origins of the form’s creation, be able to write within the form, and know when and where it can be broken with significance. 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. 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.

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 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