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Take a break, write, recharge, and get ready to submit for the Winter Edition. Dates to be announced.

We publish emerging and established writers. We are based in Eastern Iowa’s Creative Corridor, and writers from all over the world are encouraged to submit work. There is a place for your creative work, and we hope that we might be one of those places. Our editors are compassionate, creative souls who invite all writers and artists to share their work here.

Bonuses of submitting your work to Backchannels: we let you know when we have received your work; we keep in touch throughout our reading process; our editors work with you as needed to prepare for publication; we give personalized feedback to all who submit work. Finally, we value all work that you share with us. We know it takes magic to create and even more magic to share your work with the world.

There are a few guidelines, so please check those out below. We want to carefully consider all work, and to do so, we need you to follow these guidelines. Please note that we can accept only one submission in one genre per writer/artist. If you work in multiple genres, send us something now, and something in the next submission period.

Poetry submissions may be up to 5 poems not longer than ten pages total. Poetry should be single spaced within stanzas and double spaced between. Wildly creative spacing or formatting demands may cause problems with online publication. All kinds of poetry are welcome; we care about form, theme, and function. We want to laugh, cry, chortle, and say, “What the…?” when we read your poems.

Prose (fiction, nonfiction, personal essay, memoir, and creative nonfiction) should be doubled-spaced and not more than 15 pages. Mutli-genre or innovative pieces should be double-spaced and not more than 15 pages.

We are always interested in strong story lines, characterization, and dialogue. Here’s the deal: we like sex as much as the next person, but we are not publishing erotica or pornography. Also a note about sexual violence: if it is a part of your work, it needs to be contextually and socially important; if you’re not sure what that means, you can always email for additional clarification.

All told, we like a bit of everything: surrealism, realism, post-modern, Victorian, post-post-modern…whatever label you’d like to use. Intrigue us. Inspire us. Confound us.

Please use Times New Roman, Font Size 12 for all submissions. Creative (read: weird) fonts don’t always come across. Make your point and create your style using words - not fonts.

Visual art submissions should be submitted with clear photo quality; we invite visual artists to submit 5 images per submission. We LOVE original work in any medium.

All submissions must be made by the artists themselves; we cannot accept submissions of others’ work. All written submissions should be original English language work; we do not accept translations.

We accept original work that has not been previously published. We do accept simultaneous submissions (work sent to more than one publication and awaiting review) but notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere. If you have published your work on your personal blog, please note that in your submission; we occasionally accept work that has been self-published on a blog.

Writers, you retain the rights to your work; by submitting your material to us you are giving us first publishing rights and non-exclusive electronic permissions for online archival purposes. If you publish your work elsewhere later, we ask that you credit first publication to Backchannels.

HEY! If you have questions about submitting - ASK US. Shoot us an email and ask! We are always nice - hey, we live in Iowa, it’s a requirement here. WE WANT to publish your work.

Submit all work as a MS Word attachment via email to

Please include a short bio (about 350 characters) in the body of your email, as well as any other pertinent information. Attach your submission as a Word document. Do not forget the bio - please feel free to promote yourself. Also, please indicate how you would like your work to be labeled (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essay, non-fiction, multi-genre…the possibilities are probably not endless, but there are a lot of them.)

Use the contact form for inquiries only. Do not submit work via the contact form.

All submissions will be acknowledged within a month of receipt. Our acceptance response time is usually 8-12 weeks.

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