What: Our only criteria is quality, so whether you specialize in hybrid genres, minimalist experimental short stories, or strict Petrarchan sonnets, if it’s done well, we want to see it. We believe that literature is best when it’s varied and captures the full range of styles and experiences, and gravitate to the idea of being dynamic, eclectic, and refreshing with our selections.
Poetry: up to five poems, no more than seven pages total, per submission.
Fiction: a maximum of 5000 words. This can be one long piece, or several short pieces. Please double-space your work, in 10 – 12 point font.
Aphorisms: How much literature can fit in a standard text message? You get 160 glorious characters of space to use as profoundly as you can for the body of your submission. If you’re skeptical of the parameters, consider that Ezra Pound’s “In a Station at the Metro” could fit within these guidelines twice. You may enter a maximum of 10 aphorisms per submission.
Artwork: If you are interested in sharing your artwork with us, please note that the only art we feature is what we display on our cover each issue, or on the covers of the handful of chapbooks we publish. You may submit through Submittable, and we’ll browse the work submitted periodically, when needed – but we don’t typically decline artwork. This sounds kind of weird, to just leave artwork under consideration indefinitely, but it’s hard to predict in advance what kind of visuals will best match the work we publish. Artists are, of course, welcome to withdraw their work should they change their minds.
When: We are open for submissions to our annual issue from February 15 – June 15 annually.
How: Submission manager: https://papernautilus.submittable.com/submit
Please include a brief (~50-75 word), 3rd-person bio in the cover letter field of the Submittable form (rather than the submission itself). We are more than happy to consider simultaneous submissions – just please be prompt about updating us on any works that have been snatched up elsewhere in the notes feature in Submittable, which is the best way to alert us.
Caveats: Of course, there are some restrictions. We cannot accept any previously published works; we obtain First Edition Serial rights, so all rights will revert back to the author upon publication in Paper Nautilus. We currently do not accept the following: creative non-fiction, translations, drama (plays), book reviews, or interviews.
We are sometimes slow to respond to the work you submit. We’re sorry to keep you waiting, but know that we’re so grateful for your patience.
We have historically read submissions “blind,” or without the author’s name included on the work itself, and at this time, continue to do so. However, there have been a number of arguments that make an excellent case against this practice, and so we are discussing our current process and therefore may be revisiting this approach in the future. We will update here with any changes.