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Submissions are currently closed. Volume 8: How are you? is set to publish Summer 2021. Check back for the latest!
The Rational Creature accepts prose, poetry, and visual submissions for our biannual print issues. We prefer previously unpublished work, however we will consider reprints if you have permission from the original publisher. You are also welcome to submit to more than one genre but please adhere to each genre's guidelines. Simultaneous submissions are fine, too, but do let us know if your piece is accepted elsewhere.
Each issue of The Rational Creature is now themed. Scroll up to see our latest call. To get a feel for what we like to publish, take a look at previous issues as well as our Instagram and Twitter feeds. Generally speaking, we like work that makes us see things in a new light, that challenges stereotypes, and that says things no one else dares to say. Introduce us to a voice that is never heard. Paint us portraits depicting simultaneous hope and hurt. Bend genres. Break rules. Be yourself. Gender need not be the main focus of your work, but it should play an important role in the shaping of the overall story. If you have questions, please contact us.
The Rational Creature does not tolerate plagiarism, nor do we accept work glorifying racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, ableism, audism, or that in any other way marginalizes individuals. While all creators are welcome to submit, we are committed to prioritizing submissions from womxn, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming individuals, as well as creators of color, who identify as LGBTQ, and creators with disabilities. International submissions in English are encouraged. We are also open to work that is sexually explicit or that explores themes of assault, self-harm, suicide, and trauma, but we ask that your cover letter include a content warning.
Send all submissions directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have the subject line read, Submission: [Issue #, Name, Genre]. We accept the following types of submissions:
Prose — 2,500 words or less
Poetry — up to 5 poems
Visual Work — 1 to 10 pieces with an artist's statement of 250-500 words
All written work should be copy and pasted in the body of the email. All images should be attached in JPEG or PNG format. Please also include a brief (~100-word) cover letter with your submission, introducing yourself and your work.
We will try to respond to all submissions in 3-4 weeks. If you have not heard from us in this time, do query for an update.
RIGHTS, REPRINTS, PAYMENTS...
Should your work be accepted, you will be paired with one of our editors who will inform you of any major suggested edits prior to publication, as well as request a third-person bio and an author photo (this can be illustrated, should you wish to remain anonymous). You will also be provided proof pages before the issue prints. Spelling errors, punctuation, and typos will be edited according to Chicago Manual of Style at the editorial team's discretion. Our social media team will also reach out to you regarding permission to promote your work on our Twitter and Instagram pages.
The Rational Creature will be granted First North American Serial Rights to publish your work(s)—exclusive rights for thirty days following publication—after which time rights revert back to you. We also will be granted reprint rights for print issues. Additionally, we ask that should you choose to reprint your work in another publication that you will credit The Rational Creature as the original publisher. If for any reason you request that your work be pulled from reprints of the publication, The Rational Creature requires at least a month's notice to account for such. The Rational Creature also reserves the right to pull a contributor’s work from the edition with written notice to the contributor, if ever necessary (in rare circumstances of a contributor exhibiting unprofessional, threatening, or illegal behavior after their work has been accepted).
At this time, we are unable to offer payment (all proceeds go directly back into maintaining our website and designer fees). However, all contributors will be provided with a digital copy of the publication as well as a code to purchase copies of the physical issue featuring their work at a heavily discounted rate. Their work will also be promoted across our social media channels.