submission guidelines

You’ve read these a hundred times before, we’re sure, but they bear repeating: yes, of course we are looking for powerful voices that address the liminal space between the concrete and the abstract, the sacred and the profane, in a unique and engaging way. Who isn’t? We do want to say that we’re flexible about form and theme (usually — see below), so a sestina about losing your sense of smell is just as likely to get in as a free verse floral arrangement that uses ecstatic language to address old Aztec gods. What we don’t want are works that we find it difficult to get ourselves into; breakup poems and pieces about moments of comprehension without something distinctive aren’t likely to catch our attention.

The grit: we reserve one-time print rights (if we print the particular issues), and one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights to your work (if we feel awesome enough to collect them at some point). You will be notified in the case of either of these events. We don’t mind if you subsequently re-publish elsewhere, but we ask that you wait a short grace period (say, 90 days) after we publish it, and acknowledge that it appeared here, in some form, first. We also don’t mind simultaneous submissions or previously published work, as long as you give us notice if the work is accepted elsewhere/let us know where to give previously published credit. These terms are part of the submission agreement unless otherwise negotiated by the artist and editors. (And anyone looking to borrow a piece for use outside the magazine: you need the artist’s permission, as per the Creative Commons license, not ours.)

Each issue of CSHS will go live every six and a half weeks or so, alternating between themed and unthemed issues. The next issues are:
#3 – unthemed, submissions period: now through 10 June (will go live around 21 June)
#4 – to be announced, submissions period: 10 May through 20 July (will go live around 1 August)
#5 – unthemed, submissions period: 1 July through 10 September (will go live around 21 September)

All submissions should be included in an email (not as an attachment) to cshsquarterly[at]gmail[dot]com along with the name you want your work to appear under, the issue they are intended for, a short biographical statement (not a laundry list of credits, please!), and what you think “CSHS” should stand for. Get as kooky as you want.

Please submit 3 to 5 poems. Please do not submit 2. Please do not submit 6. To re-iterate the point made above, it’s more important that your poem get us interested than try to do something new and crazy with the genre. We are generally less fond of confessional poetry, rant poetry, and poetry completely divorced from reality, but it could happen. Poems sestina length or shorter are preferred. However, if you have a 75-line poem you think will really knock our socks off, notify us; if we like your shorter stuff (or a fragment of the piece that you send), we’ll ask to see the full thing and work something out. 

While we’re primarily poetry-centered here, short prose will be considered as well. We will consider one piece from 750 to 2000 words, which can be poetic prose, prose poetry, or creative nonfiction (a particularly good biographical sketch or rumination), in that order of preference. Again, we want to see work that involves the reader and has attention to its own architecture: take us on a journey that we’ll remember, no matter how short it is. We may eventually move in the direction of taking longer work serially, while other nonfiction elements we’d consider after a while (columns, interviews) are more the purview of the blog.

We welcome submissions of visual art, between 2 and 4 pieces, be they photography, paintings, or something particularly charming done with a computer. (NB: cover-worthy artwork will immediately catch our attention, particularly if it has something to do with the issue’s theme.) If your email client does not support in-line images, please notify us, and only attach images in a standard web-friendly picture format (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, etc.) This should go without saying, but no images that are illegal to distribute or particularly graphic will be permitted, and you will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Please allow us at least two weeks to respond before inquiring after your submission, or longer if the deadline is more than a month out. You can send work in multiple genres, but we ask that you submit only once for each genre, in a given issue. (So you can send us 4 poems, 1 story, and 3 photos, but not 15 poems or 3 stories.) Your work, in all genres, in a particular issue will be displayed on its own page, with all due credit noted.

Good work getting through this monstrosity! Now send us something!

3 thoughts on “submission guidelines

  1. Hi–what a great tone to your site. I like it. :) <<see? Anyway. I notice the word "if" factoring in about print rights–and as Duotrope lists you as both print and digital, I seek clarification. I am all about dog-ears…

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