Submissions & Submissions FAQ

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Welcome to the new SLM: A tailored, individualized approach to showcasing raw, unbridled talent that truly embodies the spirit of expansive thinking, broad vernaculars, and prolific, excellent writing.


Transport me. Make me believe.


Right now, my writing prompts focus on humanity, courage, vulnerability, “bad days,” who we REALLY are, self-worth, identity, sense of self, and, of course, facing adversity with bravery.

FOR NOW, I will only be accepting UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS in these genres: FLASH FICTION AND POETRY. If I love what I read, trust me, I will ask you for more. For all other submissions and publications, I WILL ask you to submit. I probably already have.


  1. IDENTITY: Tell me who are TODAY, in this moment, why you are that way, and get creative with it. Take this prompt and run with it. I want to read these submissions and feel like you just blew my freaking mind. 
  2. ADVERSITY: Show your character overcoming some serious adversity in 1,000 words or less. Never underestimate the power of beginning your story ‘en medias res.’ I can’t stress that enough. 

**PLEASE PLEASE put the name of the prompt you are submitting to in the SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR EMAIL OR I WILL DELETE IT. Because my back hurts and I’m tired. But also because your time is precious and so is mine.

**POETRY: You MAY submit your poetry to a theme, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as it’s not an epic poem. No epic poems, please. If it is not themed, simply type POETRY as your subject line.

Sick: (adj.) exceptionally awesome

What we want: Our tagline is “Bringing the real, keeping the weird” and we have begun focusing our acceptances on works that do just that. We want to feel Real Life in your stories, poetry, photography, et cetera, while simultaneously feeling the ground tilt under our feet. Take reality and twist it. 




-Vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake (i.e., think: an endless, nonsensical Urban Dictionary. No, no and no.)

-Deeply disturbing ideals and/or fantasies (If it responsibly requires a trigger warning, we will not publish it.)

What we ARE: A literary magazine that’s run by, at the moment, one genius savvy, omnipotent accessible, and real human being goddess who believes in the power and potential of the written word.

What we are NOT: Easy access. This is why Kelly has implemented a new rule – no simultaneous submissions. This is not because we want to retain any rights to your work. On the contrary, we want YOU to retain the rights to it. Kelly cannot and will not carefully read and reread a 24 page, single-spaced story, begin typing a glorious acceptance email, only to be interrupted by the author of said story emailing her that it has already been accepted elsewhere. It’s not fair to what we do and it’s a waste of Kelly’s valuable time that could have been spent on Writer B, who is passionate about only submitting to SLM, and has some stellar work ready to be read.

We’re passionate about changing the way the contemporary literature scene is perceived and available to new, emerging writers, as well as established writers. This does not mean that we are any one writer’s personal publishing house. We foster a welcoming community of supportive, caring writers who are honored to be here, who are appreciative to be published in our magazine, and who share in our vision. However, we do not care how impressive your list of publications is, and we do not care how many letters come after your name. We have a responsibility to our readers and writers to publish only what we feel fulfills Sick Lit Magazine’s vision.


How do I format my cover letter? 

We don’t have many expectations for your cover letter (or that you write one at all; this isn’t a job interview. Write what you want to me in the body of your email). All we ask is that you be real about who you are. We want to see your personality come through, not the mask the industry makes us all wear. We’re writers, too, and we know the difference. “Bringing the real” starts with your email. On the other hand, if your email is obviously cut-and-pasted to many other publications, or worse, you say nothing at all, we’re going to read your work with a scowl, and that’s not a good start.

What’s your word-count limit? We don’t have a limit, but we reserve the right to reject lengthy pieces on a case-by-case basis. We also reserve the right to break larger pieces into several publications spanning several days, in a serial publication style at our discretion.

How soon can I expect a response? Anywhere from a few hours to a week, but if a month passes with no word from us, please bring it to our attention. We address every submission, so if you don’t hear back, that is NOT an automatic rejection. Give us a nudge after 30 days; we won’t mind. We DO mind, however, if you nudge us incessantly every day after you’ve sent us your work. Please, please, for the LOVE OF GOD, don’t do that. Our time is also precious. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And any other anecdotal saying or epithet that you can think of may be inserted here, haha.

How do I send a second/third/fiftieth submission? ALWAYS send a new submission in a separate email. Do not hit “reply” and consider it a new submission. Start over from the beginning by composing a new email. We use Gmail, which keeps all threaded emails grouped together. Your new submission will get lost in our filing system. Mostly because Kelly HAS no filing system and prefers to work out of her own organized chaos.

We do not retain any rights to your work. Even though we may have edited it, you wrote it and it’s yours. You may re-post, re-publish and do whatever you would like with it. We DO NOT accept simultaneous submissions; but we do accept previously published material. I’m talking to you, all the people who ask if I publish re-prints. Yes, yes, yes. 

16 Replies to “Submissions & Submissions FAQ”

  1. Hey Kelly,

    I would be really interested to send you a short 2000 word fiction short story for your consideration. Just one question – I saw the ‘Themes’ you’re presenting here above in this section. Can we submit work that is not related to these particular themes? Or does it work according to the theme chosen at this particular period of submission?

    Thanks a lot, and keep up the good work.



  2. Hi. new to the site and had a few questions:
    -What is the difference between simultaneous submissions and previously published works?
    -Do you only take submissions on the themes at the top, or any work we have created?


    1. Simultaneous submissions means that you have submitted the same essay or short work to multiple publishing outlets (usually more than one magazine) at a time. All major publications and most mid-sized ones prohibit this, for the exact reasons stated here.

      Reprints means that this site would not be the first place for the work to appear (it’s been published elsewhere already).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello their,

    I want to submit some of my writings to you for consideration. I understand that you have different themes for each month (which is an awesome idea!) but I was wondering if you can still submit stories/poems that do no coincide with the monthly themes?



    1. Alex,
      You may submit your poetry without a theme. If you are interested, please contact me via Twitter. Right now, most submissions are sort of coming to me in a word-of-mouth fashion.


  4. I see you have a “contributor” section. I wrote “Smolder,” which you ran recently (my thanks for that) If you choose to list me as a contributor, you already have my photo and here’s a bit of information for you. “Dennis Friend and his wife, Konni, live in Omaha, Nebraska, with several cats, A former forklift driver, he decided he’d rather make a living as a writer and has done so since 1976.”


  5. I wrote an essay about 9-11 (which is my birthday). Is that something you’d be interested in, or do you publish fiction only? Also, if submitting something that is time-sensitive, how far in advance do you need it?


    Liked by 1 person

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