Mistake House Submission Guidelines
Mistake House Magazine welcomes fiction and poetry by writers currently enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs from around the world, including work by previously unpublished writers.
Last year Mistake House Magazine rolled out a new tag line: a space between ordinary and odd. We couldn’t have imagined a more peculiar space than 2020, a year in which the “ordinary” became the “odd” space of global lockdowns and sheltering in place, economic disruption and increasing economic disparity, global cultural divisiveness and political polarization, a deepening climate crisis, and the urgent need for inclusivity and equity. While 2020 kept slamming people with hardship and troubling news, the problems it presented already existed; and as the world emerges from 2020 into the unknowable future, writers will join others in understanding and addressing these problems. This has been a year that asks writers and readers, as Audre Lorde said, to “learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired.”
Mistake House seeks literary fiction and poetry that provides a sense of insight, compassionate justice, a space of rest, and a sense of coming home. We welcome variety in subject, form, and perspective, including all modes of literary writing from domestic realism to speculative fiction to experimental poetry and beyond. Simply, we offer an open invitation to send us work with heart and work that tells us something fresh about the world we think we know.
Submitting writers should want their work to contribute to a larger dialogue in the world. Mistake House Magazine seeks to participate in the literary community’s urgent efforts to draw on moral courage to write about pressing issues in the world today. We believe that writing honestly about current human issues is a way to be involved and make a positive impact rather than doing nothing.
Works in Translation
While we publish all works in English, we welcome the opportunity to publish global submissions and will accept work in any language. However, since we do not have an editorial staff to handle translation into English, we ask that submissions in languages other than English be accompanied by an English translation. If accepted, Mistake House will publish both versions, the original and the author’s English translation, side by side.
A New Call for Photography
This year, we are for the first time also considering submissions of original photography by students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs. Your submitted photographs should speak to our editorial mission and to the “space between ordinary and odd” in which we currently find ourselves. Mistake House Magazine is interested in presenting the connection between the visual images and the literary ones we receive.
Please provide a cover letter—no longer than one page—including: a brief bio; the name of the college or university you attend and your degree program or major; your contact info: and a brief statement about why your submitted work is a good fit for Mistake House.
This year we are waving our submission fee because we acknowledge the economic impact of the global pandemic on students.
Mistake House acquires first North American publication rights. All rights revert to the author after publication, though we request acknowledgement of first appearance in this journal.
We accept the following as Word documents or PDFs only:
Fiction: one story, preferred maximum 5,000 words
Poetry: up to three poems, preferred maximum 40 lines per poem
We accept the following as 300 dpi jpegs or tifs:
Photography: black and white or color, up to three photographs
An editor’s prize of $100 for fiction and an editor’s prize of $100 for poetry will be awarded this year. Prizes will be announced upon publication on May 1, 2021.
We look forward to reading and seeing your work.
Since its inaugural 2015 issue, Mistake House Magazine has been committed to publishing inventive, compassionate, and insightful creative writing and art, juxtaposing the works of burgeoning student writers next to those of established professionals. Your contribution will help fund this year’s editors’ prizes in Fiction and Poetry, awarded to the most accomplished writing and photography we receive. Your donation will also support the Soap Bubble Set section, which features work from professional poets, photographers, and visual artists alongside insightful interviews.