Scoundrel Time

Submission Guidelines

At Scoundrel Time, we welcome submissions from writers and visual artists at all stages of their careers.

We are now accepting fiction and poetry submissions. We are reading pitches for essays, dispatches, humor, and visual art. Please see below for details.

Please read the statements below from our editors for more information. Fiction submissions should be a maximum of 3,000 words. Submissions are accepted only via Submittable. (Link below.)

We are currently seeking Essays, Dispatches, Humor (including graphic—cartoons/comics), and Visual Art (e.g., photographs, video, painting, sculpture). For these categories, please query us at general@scoundreltime.com. If we would like to see the complete work, we will be in touch. As a general guide, most of the essays we accept are well under 2,000 words.

A Dispatch is a type of brief personal essay that comes from a particular place, whether a geographical location or an emotional one. For examples, see what we’ve published on the site. Dispatches should be 1,200 words or less.

There is no charge for submissions, but please, send only one piece at a time.

Please send only original, unpublished manuscripts. If a work has appeared on a personal website or blog, for our purposes, it has been published.

At this time, we are unable to pay contributors; this causes us great anguish. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and accept tax-deductible donations, and we hope someday to be able to pay. As writers and artists ourselves, we feel strongly about that.

Fiction Guidelines

In a time when language is, more than ever, used to stereotype, to conceal, to dehumanize, fiction should be a way to shout back, a light in the darkness. We are looking for fiction that is honest and surprising, that  can engage with the contemporary political situation in direct and indirect ways. We look for work that humanizes, that surprises, that uses humor, that is both traditional and plays with form. Length is up to 3000 words. Flash fiction and short shorts welcome, novel excerpts fine if self-contained.

Poetry Guidelines

Poetry and Resistance

Poetry helps resist the tendency to package the world into too-easy, self-flattering certainties. It can challenge us to re-think what we thought we knew. It can shout back—the times being what they are—and declaim, and stamp its angry feet, and present, in general, an “oppositional” aesthetic. But it might also simply strive for something honest and surprising, something that engages with the contemporary political and cultural situation in ways we hadn’t anticipated—without necessarily arriving at an answer or solution. Maybe a carefully observed moment of beauty, of humor, of attention, can be framed as its own act of resistance.

We are looking for poetry that is surprising—that can open up what it means to develop a new poetry of engagement. Ideally, we want our readers to hop up and down and say, “I didn’t know you could do that, in a poem.” We like a certain sense of humor, which implies a certain enabling perspective upon one’s lived experience. Above all, we are looking for an honest and accurate embrace of complexity and nuance—that, too, can be its own act of resistance.

We like forms, hybridized forms, but also all that’s free-wheeling about poetry. We like history—especially diachronic renderings of history that align the past and present. Anything that’s subversive, in the way that poetry can be, is what we’re all about. Mostly we want to be taken somewhere. Please do.

Send between 3 and 6 poems, each single-spaced, 12 point type, in a single MS Word document.