Hippocampus wants to publish and promote YOUR TRUTH.
What do we publish in our magazine?
During our regular submissions periods we accept previously unpublished work in the following categories:
- Personal Essays & Memoir Excerpts, max 4,000 words. Submit here.
- Flash Creative Nonfiction, max 800 words. Submit here.
(You can also view our main Hippocampus Magazine Submittable landing page here, which will highlight all current opportunities, including sub-free periods in December.)
Reviews, interviews, craft articles, and writing life articles by invitation.
What we publish elsewhere:
- Memoirs, Essay Collections, Craft Books: View our Books by Hippocampus manuscript submission guidelines.
- Anthologies: Open anthology calls are also listed at our Books by Hippocampus submissions page.
When can I submit to Hippocampus Magazine?
We have two regular submission periods per year:
- March 1 through May 31
- September 1 through November 30
- Additionally, our 2023 submission-fee free period is Dec. 1-14
Occasionally, we may open a call for special theme issues and other magazine-related projects.
What are we looking for in creative nonfiction submissions?
True tales from your life. Honesty that possesses both the situation AND the story. Intensely personal experiences that reflect universal truths about what it means to be human. Firsthand accounts from the FULL spectrum of humanity – folx from the LGBTQIA+ community, Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of Color, disabled writers, writers of all genders, backgrounds, experiences, lifestyles, and identities.
What isn’t right for us?
Fiction, poetry, academic works, editorials, social/political commentary, satire, criticism. Timely pieces responding to a current event. Pieces that require special formatting. Pieces that include footnotes. Pitches. Pieces that are prescriptive or come with a lesson. Pieces that undermine, judge, marginalize, or “other” the voices and experiences of different individuals or communities.
What will you get out of publishing with us?
Hippocampus runs on volunteer energy, submission fees, and generous support from our Friends. We also believe that writing should be valued, and the labor of writers should be compensated.
We offer a $40 honorarium to authors who publish Memoir Excerpts, Personal Essays, and Flash Nonfiction with us. Honoraria are paid via PayPal within about 90 days of publication.
Writers who contribute to our Book Reviews, Interviews, Craft Column, and Writing Life Column are considered volunteer contributors and are not currently compensated.
All pieces are shared via our social channels (Facebook & Twitter) after publication. All magazine contributors are also eligible for a discount to our annual creative nonfiction conference, HippoCamp.
What do we need from you?
- Formatting Requirements: Your submission should be double-spaced and in a 12-point readable font (ex: Times/Arial/Calibri)
- Please do not include identifying information in your submitted document (the manuscript) or within the filename; your name and contact information is automatically included with your submission so, again, you do not need it in the submitted manuscript.
- Why this matters: We have a concealed reading process, which means your work is judged on the work itself. Our reading panel members do not see your name, cover letter, or any other submission details: they only see the manuscript.
- Regular submissions come with a $3 submission fee. However, for those unable to cover the fee, we maintain a Submission Fund. To access the fund, contact us here.
- Please only send us one piece for submission at a time. If you want to send us something else, wait until you hear from us about the first piece you sent.
- Please be patient. We review pieces as we receive them, and we’re all volunteers, so it might take us a minute. Our typical turnaround time is 4 months.
- You can submit an excerpt, essay, or flash piece if you have an outstanding query with Books by Hippocampus.
- We’re happy to accept simultaneous submissions, but if your piece gets accepted by someone else, please withdraw it through Submittable as soon as possible!
- Take your time. We generally only publish each author once a year. We want to give everyone a chance to be heard.
Want to get in touch about an existing submission? It’s best to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; you may also use this contact form. We can’t guarantee that if you DM us on Twitter or send a Facebook message that we’ll see it and respond.
Publishing Info & Editorial Calendar
- We publish 6 regular issues per year: January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, and November/December.
- New issues typically go live the Monday of first full week of the month.
- Reviews, interviews, and articles typically come out the first week of each month.
Remember that publishing is inherently subjective, and therefore, inherently imperfect. Like every other literary publication out there, we do our best to assume best intentions and publish and promote the work we’re moved and inspired by. Just because your piece wasn’t a fit for us doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable and worthy of publication at any one of these amazing platforms for creative nonfiction. Keep writing, keep editing, keep submitting.
These guidelines were updated on Aug. 22, 2023. We can’t wait to read your work!