SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Sugared Water reads Sept 1 – Nov 1 via Submittable.

Give us your decayed, sugar-crusted, little black hearts. Write to us about sun-warmed planks and hollow bones. Don’t be afraid to bury the grotesque right next to the beautiful. It’s the change we’re looking for, the surprise hidden just under the surface. We lean into work with a bit of folklore, fable, fairytale, or magic.

Our cover letter is optional, but we do need the following information:

  • name as you’d like it to appear in your byline & contact email

  • brief bio (50 words or fewer)

     

PLEASE SEND

  • your original works, previously unpublished

  • standard manuscript format

  • Garamond or Times New Roman typeface preferred—no Courier

  • submission in one of the following formats: .rtf, .doc, or .docx

  • all works in one file; each piece on its own page

  • for artworks or visual erasures, we prefer .jpgs

 

POETRY

We’d be delighted to sample 3 to 5 of your poems.

We enjoy image-heavy work, narrative or lyric, experimental or grounded, and prose poems too. We look forward to leaping with you, discovering as you lead us along the page.

We prefer to see poems that could be published together; we often select multiple pieces.

Please submit all poems in one .rtf, .doc, or .docx. Poems should be spaced as you’d like them to appear. (NOTE: Due do our production layout, shaped poems aren't something we tend to accept.)

If you are sending us erasures with whited-or-blacked-out text, please send them in JPG format via the ART category.

THINGS WE DON’T USUALLY ACCEPT

  • double spaced poems (rare is the poem that can stand up to a stanza break after every line)

  • poems with lines scattered all over the page 

  • poems shaped like a guitar (or other centered object d’art)

  • rhyming poems (end-line rhyme distracts us)

  • love poems using the word love

  • poetry full of angels

  • war poems written by folks who are not military/vets

  • sports poems

 

FICTION

Give us your briar patches and shady ladies, your heroes and literary tales. (If you dare to send us a story with a unicorn, she better be a chain smoker.)

  • up to 2,000 words

  • our happy place is right around 1,500 words or fewer

  • actively seeking micro & flash fiction

Our fiction gnomes get upset when things show up without paragraphs or proper manuscript format.

We love to see work with a strong hook in the firsts two lines.

Flagrant lack or proofreading or a failure to observe legible fonts will likely lead to instant rejection. Comic Sans is a travesty. Violators will make us cry buckets of unattractive, snotty tears. We really dislike Courier typeface, so please stick with Garamond or Times New Roman.

THINGS WE’D RATHER NOT SEE

  • 2nd person narratives — you may think you are the exception; please don’t

  • classic Westerns (we’ll take a look at a twist, though!)

  • war poems or stories (unless written by active military or a vet)

  • a narrator creepering the object of their affection from afar

  • time travel, unless it’s something like One-Minute Time Machine

  • misogynist narrators complaining about all the women who’ve ruined his life; misogynist anything

  • hate speech

 

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Yes, we love the lyric essay. We adore character sketches, journal entries, letters, and flash nonfiction. We’ll try experimental prose forms and things that blend and bend the lines of reality whilst remaining true at the heart. We’ll check out your braided essays and hermit crabs, your lists and your word maps. Stun us with the beauty of your words. We lean heavily toward personal essay.

  • up to 2,000 words

  • preference for works 500 – 1,500 words

 

ART, COMICS, SEQUENTIAL ART, & ILLUSTRATED NARRATIVES

  • 1-5 artworks at a time

  • please send 72ppi .jpgs (we will request printable, high resolution files should we accept your work)

  • Artist statements (in cover letter) are appreciated

  • We prefer related works rather than a packet of separate items, as we do tend to accept multiples.

  • We respond quickly to art, so you can submit a new packet once you receive a response.

 

All media considered, though we have a bit of a soft spot for the figurative, narrative, or documentary style. Don’t be afraid to write on photographs and scribble over paintings. 

If you send in illos, please try to send things that can stand alone OR as a cluster

Layers are wonderful, and we’d love to see the things you’ve been hiding in your sketchbooks.

 

MISC

Simultaneous submissions are allowed & encouraged. Please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere and needs to be withdrawn. The best way to do this is to use Submittable’s messages feature. Using the ‘withdraw’ button takes your entire packet out of consideration.

Please wait for our response to your first packet before sending additional submissions in any given genre. (You may, for example, submit 5 poems and 2,000 words of fiction if you like, but not two packets of poems at the same time.)

Please do not withdraw submissions multiple times to make small edits to work. Multiple edits on the same piece inspire us to reject things, because they clearly weren’t ready for us in the first place. If you need to make an edit, please request an edit via Submittable.

 

PAYMENT & RIGHTS

We request First Serial Rights. Your rights revert back to you, the author/artist, upon publication on our website. Work will remain archived on the site. If you publish your piece again, please credit Sugared Water as the first appearance. 

We request the right to publish your work online, with the option to include it in a small run of print issues later. If we include your work in the mini print issue (we will ask first), you will receive one (1) handbound contributor copy of the issue in which your work appears. You will also receive a contributor discount (30% - 40%) on additional copies, should you wish to purchase any.

If we elect to do broadsides of select work,  you'll receive several contributor copies, up to 10% of the limited edition print run. 

Sugared Water's first 7 issues are handbound using traditional printmaking & bookbinding methods, and we're moving online for issue 8, but would like to keep the broadside & print options open.

No monetary compensation is available at this time.