Thank you for your interest in sending work to MacQueen’s Quinterly.
Our publisher takes to heart the advice from Poet’s Market:
“Submission Guidelines are pure gold for the specific information they
provide.” Thus, this page offers a vault-full of details that we hope you
will find helpful.
This information is updated periodically.
Issue 3 (aka MacQ-3) Reading Period:
Last two weeks of April 2020
(Opens 16 April; closes 30 April)
NOTE: General submissions may close early depending on number
of submissions received and how soon we fill available slots.
MacQ-3 Launch Date: 1 June 2020
Please scroll down for detailed guidelines...
Item 9 below lists the genres and forms we generally publish,
and Item 13 (Restrictions) describes what we’re not
See also our Ongoing Call for Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales.
Calendar for submissions in 2020:
|MacQ-2 reading period:
|MacQ-2 launch date:
|MacQ-3 reading period:
|MacQ-3 launch date:
|MacQ-4 reading period:
|MacQ-4 launch date:
|MacQ-5 reading period:
|MacQ-5 launch date:
|MacQ-6 reading period:
|MacQ-6 launch date:
||1 January 2021
- Electronic Submissions via Submittable Only: MacQ has no
staff to process paper submissions, and, to our publisher’s eternal
chagrin, several emailed submissions have gotten lost in her back-logged inbox!
(The link to our Submittable site appears at the bottom of this page.)
- Please submit original, unpublished writing. If works appear
anywhere else for folks to read and view, whether in print or electronic
form—including on author websites, public sites such as Fictionaut and
Facebook, and in blogs—then we consider them already published.
- We do solicit reprints of previously published works, but by
invitations emailed to individual authors.
- Payment: While we cannot offer cash payment for rights to
publish works accepted via general submissions, we do award cash prizes and
publication to winners of our themed competitions.
In addition, one of the works accepted for publication in each issue of MacQ
will receive an Editors’ Choice award of $100
(one hundred U.S. dollars).
- Two categories of general submissions are available via our
Up to three pieces for $3 (USD): Up to three
works may be uploaded within a single file, per submission. The
submission may contain a combination of the genres that we publish
(including hybrids like haiga, taiga, and photo-poems, etc.).
Under this category, only one submission of up to three works will be
considered from each person.
Up to seven pieces for $5 (USD): A total of seven
works may be uploaded within a single file. The submission may contain
any combination of the genres that we publish (including hybrids like
haiga, taiga, and photo-poems, etc.).
Under this category, only one submission, containing up to seven works,
will be considered from each person.
- Response time will vary, from a few hours or days, to three or
four weeks, on up to a max of 90 days (the latter, associated with our contests).
- Simultaneous submissions will be considered—but not
during our contests.
These days, we assume that the majority of general submissions are simultaneous.
Even so, we ask: Please be professional and send us a message right away via Submittable when work(s) from your
submission get accepted by another venue!
And please do NOT withdraw your entire submission of multiple pieces when only one
or two have been accepted elsewhere. If you do so, then any other pieces in your
original submission are no longer available for consideration. (In other words,
if you want the other pieces to be “active” again, then you would need
to resubmit them.)
Imagine how disappointing it can be for us to invest time and care in evaluating
and choosing one or more of your works, only to discover when you reply to our
acceptance letter that they were placed elsewhere already. Please rest assured
that our goal is to respond with decisions as soon as possible.
- Visual Arts:
We consider general submissions of black and white as well as color
artwork. And we’re interested in a range of forms, such as
(but not limited to) paintings, photographs, drawings, digital art,
Images may be low to medium resolution (generally, 72 to 200 ppi).
The “content column” at our website can accommodate
images up to 440 pixels wide.
While we will gladly consider artworks of all shapes, orientations,
and aspect ratios, please keep our specifications in mind.
Feel free to send up to five artworks, preferably as individual
jpeg attachments to your email, to Clare MacQueen:
MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com. Note: Written
works will not be considered via this address, but only through
Please include in your email the title, date
of creation, and media used for each artwork; along with a brief bio
and links to any galleries you have, such as your own website,
Artfinder, Facebook, Flickr, Saatchi, etc.
- The Kind of Writing We Need: Polished, evocative, literary
works that balance “music and meaning” (to borrow from poet
Richard Hugo) within a thousand words max, including the title (or up
to 2,000 words for critical reviews, craft essays, and interviews, including
title and author footnotes), and using forms such as these:
TIP: As we consider submissions to our journal, awards such
as the Pushcart, Best Microfiction, Best of the Net, and The Best Small
Fictions loom over the decisions we make. We look for works that knock our
socks off, that is, prize-worthy material. Regardless of the genre, we cherish
a unique voice, fresh language, and the sly use of literary devices such as
metaphor and irony. We hope to be side-swiped, poked in the ribs, and
otherwise smitten by an arresting idea, a compelling narrative, an exquisite
lyric, or a moving account, all of which thread the perfect line between the
personal and the universal.
⚡ Prose poems
(up to 500 words each)
⚡ Flash fiction
(501–1,000 words each)
⚡ CNF, essays, memoirs,
⚡ Reviews, craft essays,
and interviews (2,000 words max, including title and footnotes)
⚡ Fables, allegories, and
parables, whether light or dark, written for adults
⚡ Literary hybrids such as
haibun, haibun stories, haiga, taiga, tanka prose, and tanka tales;
for specific guidelines and tips, please see
Ongoing Call for Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales
⚡ Ekphrastic works, in every
genre we publish: fiction, nonfiction, lineated and prose poetry,
hybrids such as haibun and tanka forms, and visual arts
⚡ Poetry, both free verse
and formal, that travels the middle way between transparency and
obscurity; i.e., accessible but with a measure of mystery
- Word counts do not include author’s bio and other
identifying information, but are limited to text and title of each piece, and
any footnotes from the author.
Notes from the publisher (and/or contributing editors) may appear
with their own word counts, which do not affect the word-count of the
piece itself. Numbers for any notes added by our editorial team will
appear below the stats for each work (at the upper-right corner of the
white content column of the web-page).
Titles Do Matter! We occasionally receive
submissions with a word count of “about a thousand,”
only to discover that the author did not factor in, say, an eight-word
title. Please be aware that we may decline such works, simply because
we’re too busy to correspond with folks about which words
For all genres except reviews, craft essays, and interviews (which
may run up to 2,000 words), works must be no longer than a thousand
words max—and the word count must include the
title as well, because (1) the title is part of the work,
and (2) we may want to nominate the work for competitions that have
strict rules about word counts.
By the way, one-word titles are fine with us.
- Subject Matter May Be Eclectic:
⚡ The mundane and
⚡ The ordinary and
fiction, as well as the surreal in moderate measure.
⚡ Think outside the
catacomb now and then—surprise us with a little sunshine,
and even some humor. ☺
Our first issue of MacQ contains dozens of examples.
- ⚡ Twelve issues of our “big
sister” journal KYSO Flash are also freely available online,
no subscription necessary. And perusing the last two issues especially,
KF-12, will give you a good idea of the range
of forms, styles, and themes we’re looking to publish here
in MacQ as well.
- ⚡ See also
A Few of Clare’s Favorites, which lists
contemporary works that our publisher enjoys re-reading.
⚡ No limericks,
unless integral to a larger work.
⚡ No gratuitous violence:
remember, less is more.
⚡ No “hate lit”
(such as racial & gender-based rants).
⚡ No children’s
stories; our target readers are adults.
⚡ No hard-core fantasy, horror,
romance, or sci-fi, though we happily consider fabulism in moderation.
⚡ We rarely publish
individual haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, or cherita. We prefer those that
appear within longer forms such as haibun and tanka prose, or within
haiga (the combination of poetry and visual art). Linked poems and
sequences of the aforementioned forms of micro-poetry will be
⚡ No pornography, although
we’re happy to publish erotica and works that contain explicit
sexual themes and language. (Examples: Alexis Rhone Fancher’s
Morning Wood in Issue 2 of KYSO Flash
(aka KF-2), and
I Prefer Pussy in KF-6; see also
This Close by Dorianne Laux, and
First Sex by Sharon Olds, published elsewhere.)
- ⚡ No evangelism, religious
proselytizing, or spiritual intolerance, although spiritual themes are
encouraged, and literary works from a range of spiritual traditions are
- ⚡ With the exception
of critical reviews, craft essays, and interviews, no works
that contain copyrighted material created by third parties—unless
also accompanied by a copy of the permission agreement between author
and copyright holder. Copyrighted material refers to quotations, lines
from poems, song lyrics, photographs of paintings and other artworks,
To reiterate, third-party quotations, with full
and proper attribution, are acceptable and even expected in critical
reviews and craft essays. Please have mercy on our busy publisher
(she’s a production army of only one, with limited time for
research), and include your sources, with links if at all possible.
- ⚡ No gratuitous use of
obscenities and vulgarities: Every word counts in short forms. Often,
there’s little room for profanity. Of course, an occasional
“fuck” can be quite useful and appropriate, in more ways
than one. And “shit” has become all-purpose. But when such
words are overused, they can weaken the work.
For a skillful example of balanced and appropriate usage
of profanity, please see Tara Laskowski’s micro-fiction,
Ladies Night, which won first prize in the
KYSO Flash Triple-F Writing Challenge.
- Manuscript Formatting:
- ⚡ NOTE:
Author’s name, contact info, and bio should NOT appear on
submitted works, but should be entered in the appropriate boxes
provided by Submittable. We prefer to read “blind” and
cannot do so if we recognize the name or reputation of the author.
(This item does not apply to Solicited Manuscripts, of course.)
- ⚡ An 11- or 12-point,
sans-serif font such as Verdana is easiest to read online. Please,
no serif and script fonts. Fancy fonts fatigue the eyes and the brain,
as confirmed by usability studies. However, if a specific font is
integral to the layout of your work, then please send us details
in a brief cover letter.
- ⚡ For the most part, cover
letters are not needed. If you do include one, please do NOT
explain your work upfront or, worse, spoil any surprises in it by giving
things away in a cover letter. Upfront explanations can create
bias in the reader, which may or may not work toward the writer’s
favor. We strongly prefer that the work be allowed to speak for itself.
- ⚡ Manuscripts should include
at least one-inch margins.
- ⚡ After the title of each
piece in your document, please include in brackets the genre or general
category (flash fiction, memoir, CNF, prose poem, haibun, etc.). If
experimental or mixed, then kindly specify which genres or sub-genres
form the hybrid.
- ⚡ Manuscript pages should be
- ⚡ Double space prose works,
except for prose poems, which may be single spaced. Haibun and tanka
forms may be single spaced as well.
- ⚡ Submit all forms of lineated
poetry with line breaks and other formatting as you would prefer the
piece(s) to appear onscreen.
- Our shameless ambition? For our online visitors’ viewing
and reading pleasure, we aim to offer at least a hundred memorable works each
year. To that end, we will gladly consider scads of submissions as we search
for the editors’ Holy Grail, those gems that will make us weep
and holler and laugh, or even speak in tongues, all in admiration
of their creators.
We look forward to seeing your best writing and artworks. Thank you!