Scoundrel Time

Letter from the Editor

Today there are forces trying their hardest to divide us. In the face of that, art in its many forms can give voice to our concerns, hopes, fears, and joys. Art can provide solace, spur engagement, and increase understanding. It can help us feel less alone. We have a common language, the language of story. In a way, it all comes down to stories: whether they’re told through words or visually or otherwise, stories remind us of our humanity. And anything that can remind us of that essential quality we all share is crucial. It may seem strange to think we could forget our humanity, but we know from history that it’s possible.

We can’t let it happen. We need to support each other in order to make it through whatever is coming. Thomas Paine described the need for community in the context of building a house:

Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed…

My hope is that Scoundrel Time will be a more-than-“tolerable” dwelling, that you will come here and find works that help you to feel understood and to understand others, works that reflect your experience or illuminate the experiences of others, works that help you get through the night.

What You’ll Find in the Journal

We seek work that responds to threats to people, cultures, and landscapes. We publish new work on an ongoing basis. That work includes poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, humor, and visual art. Despots and demagogues are a global threat, and our goal is to present a global set of voices. We are interested in publishing more humor; tyrants hate it when people laugh at them. Climate change caused by humans is a global threat, and we seek work that engages with that threat on all levels.

I encourage you to read the editors’ thoughtful introductions to the poetry and fiction you’ll find in the journal.

We’re now beginning our 8th year of publication, and we’re lucky and ever grateful to have the most dedicated team of editors and staff—all volunteers—and talented contributors who have donated their work for this effort. Everyone works hard and tirelessly to make this happen. Please visit our staff page and our contributor page to learn more about these wonderful people.

Scoundrel Time takes its name from a Lillian Hellman memoir of the HUAC years. A cautionary note.

If we all stand up, we can support each other.


Paula W.

Note: We are now open to fiction and poetry submissions via Submittable. Please see our guidelines for details. To query us about humor, essays, and art, please send a note to our general mailbox.

Scoundrel Time is a 501(c)(3) organization. We accept and encourage your tax-deductible donations.

We are grateful for the support of The Millstone Evans Group in 2024.