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All work must be completely original, your own work, and previously unpublished in any format. 

Our short fiction editor should expect to read and evaluate 30-35 submissions per month. Given the dense nature of many of our short fiction submissions (1000-5000 words), we are considering splitting this position into two short fiction co-editors. Please proceed in the application for more information regarding this potential split. Please note that EVERYONE who works for Crack the Spine does so on an unpaid, volunteer basis. You will need to read, vote, and, when necessary, provide notes and commentary on the short story submissions we receive.  These comments and votes will be visible only to Editor-in-Chief Kerri Farrell Foley and your fellow editors. You can manage the submissions assigned to you at your own pace, providing that any deadlines (standard or special) specified by the Editor-in-Chief are respected and met. Please answer the application questions honestly and thouroughly. Most of these questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but are rather just "fit" questions, to determine if you're the right person for us.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at contact@crackthespine.com. We will respond to each applicant, but it may be several weeks before we make these final decisions. We appreciate your patience. 

Our flash fiction editor should expect to read and evaluate 30-35 submissions per month. We define flash fiction as prose of 1,000 words or less. Please note that EVERYONE who works for Crack the Spine does so on an unpaid, volunteer basis. You will need to read, vote, and, when necessary, provide notes and commentary on the flash fiction submissions we receive. These comments and votes will be visible only to Editor-in-Chief Kerri Farrell Foley and your fellow editors.  You can manage the submissions assigned to you at your own pace, providing that any deadlines (standard or special) specified by the Editor-in-Chief are respected and met. Please answer the application questions honestly and thouroughly. Most of these questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but are rather just "fit" questions, to determine if you're the right person for us.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at contact@crackthespine.com. We will respond to each applicant, but it may be several weeks before we make these final decisions. We appreciate your patience. 

We define micro fiction as 100 words or less. This is still a relatively new submission category for CTS, so the editor would currently only need to review approximately 10 very short submissions per month. However, given that we would like to see an increase in submissions to this category, any applicant with ideas or solutions that would facilitate that increase would be an excellent addition to the team. Please express any ideas regarding this expansion in the space provided in the application. Please note that EVERYONE who works for Crack the Spine does so on an unpaid, volunteer basis. You will need to read, vote, and, when necessary, provide notes and commentary on the micro fiction submissions we receive.  These comments and votes will be visible only to Editor-in-Chief Kerri Farrell Foley and your fellow editors. You can manage the submissions assigned to you at your own pace, providing that any deadlines (standard or special) specified by the Editor-in-Chief are respected and met. Please answer the application questions honestly and thouroughly. Most of these questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but are rather just "fit" questions, to determine if you're the right person for us.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at contact@crackthespine.com. We will respond to each applicant, but it may be several weeks before we make these final decisions. We appreciate your patience. 

Our creative non-fiction editor should expect to read and evaluate 10-15 submissions per month.  We prefer essays of 3,000 words or less. Please note that EVERYONE who works for Crack the Spine does so on an unpaid, volunteer basis. You will need to read, vote, and, when necessary, provide notes and commentary on the creative non-fiction submissions we receive. These comments and votes will be visible only to Editor-in-Chief Kerri Farrell Foley and your fellow editors. You can manage the submissions assigned to you at your own pace, providing that any deadlines (standard or special) specified by the Editor-in-Chief are respected and met. Please answer the application questions honestly and thouroughly. Most of these questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but are rather just "fit" questions, to determine if you're the right person for us.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at contact@crackthespine.com. We will respond to each applicant, but it may be several weeks before we make these final decisions. We appreciate your patience. 

Ends on September 27, 2018

Our poetry editor should expect to read and evaluate 35-40 submissions per month.  Given that poets are encouraged to send multiple works in a single submission, we are considering splitting this position into two poetry co-editors. Please proceed in the application for more information regarding this potential split. Please note that EVERYONE who works for Crack the Spine does so on an unpaid, volunteer basis. You will need to read, vote, and, when necessary, provide notes and commentary on the poetry submissions we receive.  These comments and votes will be visible only to Editor-in-Chief Kerri Farrell Foley and your fellow editors.  You can manage the submissions assigned to you at your own pace, providing that any deadlines (standard or special) specified by the Editor-in-Chief are respected and met. Please answer the application questions honestly and thouroughly. Most of these questions do not have a right or wrong answer, but are rather just "fit" questions, to determine if you're the right person for us.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at contact@crackthespine.com. We will respond to each applicant, but it may be several weeks before we make these final decisions. We appreciate your patience. 

We are currently accepting submissions for our first themed print anthology. Accepted work will be published in a book available on Amazon and other online booksellers. 

The theme for this print anthology is "Routine." Let's check in with good old Miriam-Webster for a moment, shall we? 

 1. a : a regular course of procedure

  • if resort to legal action becomes a campus routine

   b : habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure 

  • the routine of factory work

2: a reiterated speech or formula

  • the old "After you" routine

3: a worked-out part (as of an entertainment or sports contest) that may be often repeated

  • a dance routine; especially : a theatrical number

4: a sequence of computer instructions for performing a particular task 

Great. But we want you to think well beyond this basic definition. We want short stories, poetry, flash fiction, or creative essays that focus on the theme of routine in an unexpected way. Tell us how routines are made or broken or reinforced. To us "routine" does not mean "boring," but rather a concept that we all deal with daily. We are seeking work that embraces this reality, without surrendering to the clich├ęd notion that routines are, by their very essence, mundane. Play with time, play with perception, and by all means, play with your words and make your work hum with intensity. 

We are accepting submissions on the subject of this theme in the following categories. Please specify, in the subject line of your submission, which category your work falls under. 

  • Micro Fiction: 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.  
  • Flash Fiction:  "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.  
  • Short Fiction:  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.  
  • Poetry:  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.  
  • Creative Non-Fiction:  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 2,000 words or less.  Multiple works in a single submission are acceptable in this category. 

If you are submitting multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 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 do not currently offer payment to contributors. 


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.