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Submission Guidelines

Special note: Submissions are temporarily closed. We hope to open them again shortly.

All material submitted to Inkburns before March 7, 2005, is still under consideration. If you need to withdraw a previously-submitted piece, please

Our standard guidelines are given below for reference.


Inkburns loves to receive new material. We were ranked on the Writer’s Digest list of the 25 Best Places to Get Published Online, based on our favorable policies toward contributors.

What to send

Submit one manuscript at a time—that is, please wait until we respond to the first submission before sending the second. If there’s any chance of confusion, please indicate whether you are sending fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

    Fiction: Short stories, short-shorts, novellas, and novel excerpts that stand on their own are welcome. We strongly prefer character-driven writing. Gothic and erotica stories aren’t for us. For novellas, please query with a synopsis and the first 15 pages before sending the full manuscript. State whether you would like us to consider the excerpt as a stand-alone piece or if you would like to send the rest of the work with our approval.

  • Nonfiction: We are most drawn to personal essays, first-person accounts, interesting stories told from unique perspectives. We look for work that has a strong narrative, showing individuals involved in circumstances that expose larger themes and issues. At the moment, we especially like to read nonfiction that is compelling without being primarily humorous or politically-focused. Interviews in Q&A format are also good.
  • Poetry: We publish a few groups of poems each year, typically short collections by a single poet. Submit up to 10 poems at a time.

    Photography/illustrations: We need individual cover images as well as collected or related images to present as a gallery. Illustrated features and stories told through images are also welcomed.

Contributions from unpublished writers are welcomed: Nearly every issue of Inkburns has included work by at least one previously-unpublished contributor.

Where to send it

  • Via email: . Include the word “submission” in the subject line of the email. If the manuscript is over 1000 words, send it as a Word or rtf attachment. Otherwise, include the manuscript in the body of the email.
  • Via post: Inkburns, PO Box 2518, Butler, PA 16003, USA (Include an SASE.) Note that we strongly prefer email submissions.

Either way: Please include your name and email address, and a phone number where we can reach you. We will contact you via email but won’t use your email address for any other purpose. Important: Tell us how you first learned of Inkburns.

What you’ll get

In addition to the international acclaim that follows publication in Inkburns and the ceaseless appreciation of the Inkburns staff, each contributor receives a highly stylish and extremely collectible, limited edition Inkburns t-shirt or mug bearing the image you see to the right, or a $10 flat fee, at the contributor’s choice.

Your rights, our rights

If we publish your piece, we require First North American Serial Rights, a one-time, non-exclusive use of Electronic Rights. We also request the non-exclusive right to reprint the piece once in print (in case we produce printed anthologies in the future). All other rights remain yours. Here’s a sample of our publication contract.

If you wish later to reprint the piece elsewhere, we request that you cite Inkburns as the first place of publication. (Please wait two months from publication in Inkburns before reprinting the piece.) We archive all published works online unless you explicitly request otherwise in writing.

When you’ll hear back

We will respond as quickly as possible. After eight weeks, if you have not heard from us, send a followup email. Once we accept a feature, we publish it within two months.

Simultaneous submissions & previously published work

Simultaneous submissions are OK, if you let us know the piece is being considered elsewhere and alert us as soon as possible if it is published elsewhere before we have the chance to publish it.

We occasionally reprint previously published work. We give precedence to unpublished manuscripts.


Contact us.