Scoundrel Time

Submission Guidelines

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

We are accepting fiction and poetry* submissions:

  • Fiction submissions should be a maximum of 3,000 words.
  • Poetry submissions should include a maximum of 6 poems.
  • Fiction and poetry submissions are accepted only via Submittable. (Also see link at bottom of page.)
  • Please see the statements from our editors, below, for more details.

We are reading pitches for essays, humor, graphic fiction and nonfiction, and visual art:

  • Please do not send the complete work before querying us in our general mailbox: general at scoundreltime dot com
  • As a general guide, most of the essays we accept are under 3,000 words. (We occasionally publish longer works.) We do not publish op-eds or academic papers.
  • Graphic memoir, cartoons, and comics are welcome.
  • Visual art may include most forms, e.g., photographs, video, painting, sculpture.
  • If we would like to see the complete work, we will be in touch.

General information:

  • There is no fee for submissions.
  • We permit simultaneous submissions for fiction and poetry; we only ask that you let us know right away if you accept an offer of publication elsewhere.
  • Our response time is generally within 4 months for fiction and poetry, faster for queries/pitches for creative nonfiction and art.
  • Please send only original, unpublished manuscripts.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 unfortunately unable to pay contributors. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) funded by tax-deductible donations and run entirely by volunteers. Most of us are writers and artists ourselves, so we understand and wish we could afford to pay.

More Info on Fiction

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.

More Info on Poetry

Poetry and Resistance

Poetry helps resist the tendency to package the world into too-easy, self-flattering, falsifying 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 opens 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.” Humor is welcome, since it can be a great way to get to serious matter. 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 are open as to style, form and aesthetic. We like history. It shows us who we are. 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.

We are grateful for your work.