If we could candy words, we’d eat them to bellyaches every afternoon. We carry journals and collect chapbooks like Smaug ripping through a gold-sequin disco. If we’re lucky enough to leave something behind that enriches the dialogue of writerly types around the world, so much the better. Send us your stuff—we’ll only hoard it for a little while. Issues 1-7 of SW are print, but we're moving online for issue 8!
Sugared Water reads April 1 – May 1 and October 1 – November 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 in to work with a bit of folklore, fable, fairytale, or magic.
Our cover letter is optional, but we do need the following information:
- your name as you wish it to appear
- contact information
- brief bio (50 words or fewer). We have a word-count box in our submission form to prevent lengthy bios. Please use it.
- 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- previously unpublished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
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.
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
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 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
- classic Westerns (we’ll take a look at a twist, though!)
- war poems or stories (unless written by a mil/vet)
- a narrator creepering the object of his 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
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.
Simultaneous submissions are allowed & encouraged. Please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere and needs to be withdrawn. The best way to withdraw a single piece from a packet is the ‘add note’ feature. Open your submission, click the activity tab, and type in your note telling us which piece(s) need to be withdrawn. 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 (%20 - 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.
We read via Submtitable, an online submissions manager.