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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During our regular submissions periods  we accept previously unpublished work in the following categories: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. (December sub-fee-free here)
  • Flash Creative Nonfiction, max 800 words. Submit here. (December sub-fee-free here)

(You can also view our main Hippocampus Magazine Submittable landing page here, which will highlight all current opportunities)

Reviews, interviews, craft articles, and writing life articles by invitation.

What we publish elsewhere:

When can I submit to Hippocampus Magazine?

Starting in 2021, we have two regular submission periods per year:

  • March 1 through May 31
  • September 1 through November 30
    • Additionally, our submission-fee free period is December 1-23.

Occasionally, we may open a call for special theme issues and other magazine-related projects.

Read about our submission period updates in this blog post.

What are we looking for in 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 60 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?

Your submission should be double-spaced and in a 12-point readable font (Times/Arial/Calibri? Yes! Wingdings/Comic Sans/Lucida? Just don’t.) Please save all identifying info like your name or contact information for the Submittable form – do NOT put it in the document. We read blind.

Other requests:

  • 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 3 to 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 (except if they submit to the contest or theme issue). We want to give everyone a chance to be heard.

Want to get in touch about an existing submission? It’s best to send us a message directly through Submittable; 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 (which sometimes doubles as our theme issue). 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.

Last Words

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.


Still have questions? Contact us.

These guidelines were updated on April 5, 2021. We can’t wait to read your work!