GENERAL GUIDELINES 

We welcome creative work from neurodivergent writers & people with mental illnesses of all stripes. We want to see your best, no matter the topic or theme.

 

Your piece does not have to be about mental health to find a home in semicolon.

   

We welcome submissions from all over the world and from writers of all ages and backgrounds. 

 

Simultaneous submissions are expected and encouraged! Please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.

We accept one submission per genre per reading period. If submitting multiple genres, please send them in separate emails. Each genre has a specified limit per submission as well.

   

Please wait until the reading period to submit again if you were previously rejected. If your work is accepted, wait a full issue after your publication to submit to future issues.

There are three options for submitting your work to us: Free, Tip Jar, and Expedited. Tip Jar Submissions are $3. Expedited Submissions are $5 and guarantee a response in three weeks. All options can be viewed and purchased on our shop page. If you make a purchase (thank you!), please put your order number in the body of your submission email. These submissions do not receive special attention and are not favored in any way.

If you do not follow instructions, we will not consider your submission.

Fiction

Your Editor: Caleb Horowitz

You can submit up to 3 pieces at a time, 5,000 words maximum across all pieces. 

We accept hybrid works, flash, long-form—just not excerpts of longer works unless they stand alone.

Here are some stories that Caleb likes:

- "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

- "Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu

Poetry

Your Editor: Katherine O'Hara

You can submit up to 3-5 poems or one long-form poem.

We accept various styles and forms, including translations.

Here are some poems that Katherine likes:

- "Dear Terror, Dear Splendor" by Melissa Crowe

- "How Do You Raise a Black Child?" by Cortney Lamar Charleston

What We Do/Don't Accept

No racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. work. No hate speech at all. We will delete your submission. Only love here.

 

Please refrain from unnecessarily detailed depictions of violence and sexual acts. We do not consider pieces that toe the line of pornographic without clear purpose. While we will not limit experiences, we request that this guideline still be respected and maintained and that you make trigger warnings abundantly clear in your email. We want to protect our readers and ourselves.

 ​ 

We do not accept previously published work; however, we will consider work posted on a personal blog. In your submission, please specify the piece was posted on your blog and paste the link to the post.

 

We also do not accept full-length collections/novels, as we are not a press.

We Now Have Rolling Submissions!

For our fall issue, our reading period is from May 1 to August 31.

For our spring issue, our reading period is from December 1 to February 1.

We will do our best to respond within 30 days of the end of the reading period.

We read expedited submissions ($5) year-round, meaning you are guaranteed a response within three weeks.

How Do I Submit My Work?

Please make sure to read our general guidelines and the genre-specific guidelines before submitting your work. 

1. Send submissions to: 

submit@semicolonlit.org.

 

2. Please write in the subject line: "GENRE, Title of Work"

 

3. In the body, please include: a small cover letter, the word count (for prose), order number (if applicable), and a brief third-person bio.

4. Document should be in Times New Roman or Garamond, 12 pt., double-spaced, with page numbers. 

 

5. Send file as .docx or .doc. for prose; we will also accept Google Docs. 300 dpi JPG or PNG for photography and art.

6. We always send a confirmation email stating we received your submission. If you do not receive one within two weeks, please resend and ensure you are sending your submission to the correct email.

7. Please include necessary trigger warnings in your email (i.e., self-harm, eating disorders, references to suicide, etc.). We want to include the proper trigger warnings for our readers!

Nonfiction

Your Editors: Rosie Carter and Carey Cecelia Shook

You can submit up to 3 pieces at a time, 5,000 words maximum across all pieces. 

We accept hybrid works, flash, long-form—just not excerpts of longer works unless they stand alone.

Here are some essays that Rosie likes:

- "Hands on the Piano" by Kae Solomon

- "Bounded Rationality" by Arnav Sood

Here are some essays that Carey Cecelia likes:

- "The Shape of Emptiness" by Brenda Miller

- "The Wardrobe" by Aysegul Savas

Additional Information

We are currently unable to print physical copies of our journal or pay contributors, but we will support you and your work enthusiastically. 

 

semicolon retains worldwide first serial rights to accepted work with the option for the author to extend additional rights. If your work is published subsequently, we would appreciate an acknowledgment of original publication. 

 

​Editors are not required to give critiques or feedback on rejected submissions.

If you do not follow instructions, we will not consider your submission.

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All written and visual work is the 

intellectual property of the attributed

author/artist.