We're looking for solid writing.  Chip-your-teeth-on-it writing.  Punched-in-the-throat writing.  Don't-care-if-it's-funny-or-sad-or-sarcastic-so-long-as-it-makes-us-react writing.  We publish what we like.  It's as simple as that.  For more information about our aesthetic and history, check out editor Kerri Farrell Foley's interview with "Six Questions."


All submissions should be R-rated or less.  Profanity is acceptable (we've heard all the grown-up words  already), but we will not consider excessive violence, extreme erotica, or anything involving animal cruelty.  Call us evil censors if you must, be we're just not looking to be a purveyor of sadist smut or bunny mutilation manifestos.


Please review the individual category guidelines carefully.


If you are submitting multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. Bonus points if you send them as a single attachment too!


Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.  


All work must be completely original, your own work, and previously unpublished in any format. 

We work hard at Crack the Spine. We’re talking wee hours, bags under our eyes, the occasional sleep deprived psychotic break hard. And we’ve been humbled and honored over the years to see the supportive nature of the creative community. We absolutely love what we do and we want to keep doing it… pretty much forever. We now are offering the opportunity to become a member of Crack the Spine. You’ll receive our anthologies for free with membership, plus some exclusive goodies and our eternal gratitude. So check out the details below and consider signing up for yourself or gifting a membership for the lit-head in your life. Help us keep delivering the madness over method.

We get $60. Here’s what you get…

  • You’ll receive the 4 print anthologies, including our bi-annual “best of” anthologies, one themed print issue, and an annual “year in review.” We’ll ship these little beauties hot off the press and straight to your door as part of your membership.That’s a year’s supply of glorious-paper-in-your-hand books. Well over 100 pages each, these print anthologies feature the best of Crack the Spine submissions. Short fiction, poetry, creative essays… all the good stuff. 
  • Some exclusive goodies. Think NPR swag, without the 800-number.
  • A little something special for your birthday. Or, at the very least, a card. Because that’s what friends do.
  • The Warm-Fuzzies. Walk around with your head held high, because you’re supporting fiercely independent art. You’re helping with production costs, hosting fees, expansion plans… you’re pretty much our hero.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? So sign up already!

If you still have questions, contact us.

We define micro fiction as prose or verse of 100 words or less. Keep it sharp and make it sing. Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category. 

"Brevity is the soul of wit." Some guy named Shakespeare said that. We define flash fiction as prose of 1,000 words or less. Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category. 

We're not looking for any specific form or meter. We're not concerned with limiting word count, either. Just make sure it 'sings.' If you are submitting word art poetry, please submit as a high resolution image file. Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category. 

We are seeking short stories of 1,000 words or more. But please don't send us a novel. We've already got novels coming out our ears over here. Consider around 5,000 words as a general word-max guideline. 

Don't we all have an interesting story to tell? Okay, maybe not. But what we're really looking for is common stories told in interesting ways. Make us look at a hum-drum day in a different way. Open our eyes and make us see things from your unique perspective. We prefer essays of 3,000 words or less. Multiple works in a single submission are acceptable in this category.

We need cover art! Send us your photos, your sketches, your paintings, your word art. As compulsive writers and readers, we don't get out into the bright light of day with our cameras and paint brushes as often as we would like. So we need your contributions to make our digital issues beautiful. Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category. 

Crack the Spine