Submissions for our 12th issue (UNCERTAINTY) are now open. We will be accepting work for evaluation through September 10th, 2022. Thank you for your interest.

With rare exceptions, we will be accepting electronic submissions only via our submissions manager at Submittable. If for some reason you are unable or unwilling to submit that way and still want to send us your work, please contact us and we’ll try to arrange an email or postal submission.

  • Please include a simple cover letter that includes a postal mailing address (and phone number for shipping purposes only), so that we know where to send your contributor’s copy should your work be accepted. Tell us a little about yourself, and mention what connection (if any) you have to the Cambridge or Boston area. We have a special interest in Cambridge/Boston writers, but all writers are welcome and encouraged to submit.
  • Your cover letter should also include a short bio—no more than 125 words, and please don’t list more than three journals and three books as previous work. Choose the publications that tell people the most about you. The bio should be third-person and list your name exactly as you’d like it to appear in print.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but let us know in your cover letter, and inform us at once if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • We do not accept work previously published in print or on the Internet. (That includes personal blogs, but does NOT include work you’ve posted to password-protected sites for sharing with a group of friends or fellow writers. Improving your work-in-progress by soliciting feedback from a select group of readers is always a good thing, but if your work is publicly available to anyone with a browser, we consider it “published.”)
  • Payment at this time is one copy of the issue of Constellations in which your work appears.
  • Because we need to be able to form a legal contract with any contributor to allow us first North American serial rights, all submitters must be 18 or older. (Copyright remains with the artist.)
  • Response time: as soon as we can. Please do not submit again until you've heard from us about your last submission, and limit submissions to two in any single reading period.
  • Theme: in addition to general unthemed content, Volume 12 will include a selection of material related to UNCERTAINTY. Jorge Luis Borges famously said that “the solution of a mystery is always less impressive than the mystery itself.” Let’s celebrate—and bemoan—those questions that have no definitive answers. Have you ever been unsure enough about a major decision to leave it to the flip of a coin? How can you know that someone is telling you the truth about their motives or intentions? Can you ever fully trust something as provably imperfect as human memory? Heisenberg posited that on a quantum scale, the more sure one is of a particle’s location, the less one can be certain of its velocity; send us your poetry and fiction that rides the continuum between where is and how fast. Wildly varying interpretations are welcome.
  • In general, we won’t publish material that’s derogatory, nasty, or poorly-written.
Please limit each submission to a single genre. Genre-specific guidelines:

POETRY

  • Please submit up to six pages of separate poems or one sequence.
  • We read poetry of any form and content, but please familiarize yourself with our aesthetic first, either by reading an issue of the journal or at least by looking at the sample work on our web site. Submitting poetry that is clearly not our style simply wastes your time and ours.
  • If your poems rely on specific formatting on the page, sending a PDF is the surest way to preserve that formatting for us to see and appreciate. Note that Constellations is printed in 12-point Times New Roman on pages that are 6 inches wide (4.5 inches usable width), so long poem lines may be wrapped and preservation of special formatting may not be possible.
FICTION
  • Please submit a single story.
  • We consider short fiction on any subject; however, while we don't expressly forbid any particular genre of fiction, we are not a genre publication, so mystery, horror, sci-fi, etc. will usually not fit our aesthetic unless it offers something special and unusual. Please familiarize yourself with our aesthetic first, either by reading an issue of the journal or at least by looking at the sample work on our web site. Submitting fiction that is clearly not our style simply wastes your time and ours.
  • While we don't specify a length limit, generally speaking, the longer the piece is, the better it will have to be to justify its inclusion. Most stories we publish are shorter than 2,000 words, though on rare occasions we’ve gone with ones over 5,000 words in the past.
ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Please submit up to three pieces in black and white, preferably line art most suitable for duplication in black and white print in a 5”x8” portrait-oriented space. (Landscape-oriented art may have to be cropped to preserve detail.) Black and white photography that will reproduce well at that size is also welcome. At this time we are not considering color photography or art for the cover, but that may change in future. Please include a title for each piece.
  • Submitting lower-resolution files is fine, provided that you can send us 300 dpi images at 5”x8” (or originals to scan) should we accept your work.

Other questions? Please
contact us. Thanks for letting us read your work.

Submit your work