Herstory Literary Journal seeks fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews that elevate females from bygone days. At present, we plan to publish once per annum to allow writers time to perform discovery (our preferred word over research) and engage in the writing process.

Submissions are open all year round, on a rolling basis. There is no set theme; you are free to submit work showcasing any badass lass from any period of herstory. 

Our first publication date will be November 15, 2021. While our submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, only submissions sent prior to October 1, 2021 will be able to appear in our first issue. Submissions sent after that date will be considered for our next issue.

The main requirement is that the work focus on elevating females who lived in past eras. For now, the cut-off period is WWII; in other words, works that highlight persons or events before WWII are welcome. There may be a special issue someday for WWII and post-WWII, but for the foreseeable future, please adhere to this guideline.

At this time, token payments are offered (via PayPal), along with contributor copies, to authors of accepted works.

Types of Work Accepted

  • Flash fiction
    • Up to 1,000 words
    • Submission may include up to 3 flash fiction stories (in one file)
    • Accepted stories will earn $5 upon publication and 1 contributor copy
  • Short fiction
    • 1,000 - 6,000 words
    • Submission may include 1 story
    • Accepted stories will earn $10 upon publication and 1 contributor copy
  • Novel excerpts
    • 2,500 - 10,000 words
    • Submission may include 1 novel excerpt
    • Accepted excerpts will earn $15 upon publication and 2 contributor copies
  • Creative nonfiction essays
    • 1,500 - 3,000 words
    • Submission may include 1 creative nonfiction essay
    • Bibliography must be included
    • Accepted essays will earn $10 upon publication and 1 contributor copy
  • Book reviews
    • Book reviews of novels
      • 300 - 500 words
      • Submission may include up to 3 reviews
      • Accepted reviews will earn $5 upon publication
    • Book reviews of nonfiction
      • 400-700 words
      • Submission may include 1 review
      • Accepted reviews will earn $10 upon publication
  • Poetry
    • Up to 10 pages for the entire submission
      • Up to 5 poems
    • Accepted poems will earn $5 upon publication and 1 contributor copy

Additional Guidelines

In addition to the genre-specific guidelines above, please observe the following:
  • For works selected for publication, authors grant first serial and enhanced e-book rights to Herstory Literary Journal and editor-in-chief, Margaret McNellis. After publication, all rights revert to the author.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, so long as you contact Herstory Literary Journal if you need to withdraw your work.
  • Herstory Literary Journal accepts work that is previously unpublished. This includes blogs, websites, and social media (excerpting may be acceptable on a case-by-case basis).
  • Every attempt will be made to reply to each submission in a timely manner. If four months have passed since you've submitted your work, you can contact Herstory Literary Journal to check the status of your submission.
  • In addition to token payment and, in most cases, at least 1 contributor copy, all submissions will receive a personalized response. The length of this response cannot be guaranteed.
  • If your submission is accepted, here's what you can expect. All of these steps must be fulfilled in order for your work to be published and paid upon publication.
    • You will receive a request to provide a brief bio (50-75 words). You may include a link to your website and one social media account.
    • You will be asked for your PayPal email. Note: without a PayPal email, you cannot receive your token payment.
    • If applicable, you will be asked for your mailing address for your contributor copy.
    • You will be asked to sign a contract granting Herstory Literary Journal and editor-in-chief Margaret McNellis permission to publish your work.
    • The editor-in-chief may request minor edits. Anything beyond proofreading will be cleared with the author.
  • Work by emerging artists welcome.

How to Submit

  1. Create a Google Doc containing your submission. Give the document a title with this format:
    1. Your Last Name - Genre - Title of your work (or something like "poetry" if you're submitting more than one).
  2. Your submission should be in standard manuscript format. It should be free of spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors.
  3. Share that submission with herstory [dot] literary [at] gmail [dot] com with "viewer" permissions.
  4. You are encouraged to include a brief cover note with your submission; there will be an option for this in the share window. Please put your note there, not in your submission.
Note: Do not attach your submission in an email to us. It will not be read if you do, to protect our account and devices from potential malware.

Do you have questions? Feel free to email them to herstory [dot] literary [at] gmail [dot] com.

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