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 must be received via our Submittable online portal. Review the category guidelines carefully. We currently have several publication opportunities. Please review the following categories to determine where your work fits in with Crack the Spine. We currently do not offer payment to contributors.  If you are sending 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 All work must be completely original, your own work, and previously unpublished in any format. 

CRACK THE SPINE DIGITAL LITERARY MAGAZINE
This is where it all began with Crack the Spine. We publish a new digital literary magazine every two weeks filled with brilliant short stories, poetry, essays, flash fiction, microfiction, and art. We accept submissions on a rolling basis throughout the year. If you are published in one of our digital issues, you are automatically eligible to be accepted for one of our "Best Of" Anthologies, which we publish twice each year. These print anthologies compile the best submissions from our ongoing digital issues into a stunning print edition.

THE YEAR ANTHOLOGY
A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: "The Year" Anthology. Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes.  We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th.  The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020. Short stories, poetry, flash fiction, micro fiction, and creative non-fiction are accepted. Learn more about our Year in Review anthology.

THEMED ANTHOLOGY
We publish one "themed" anthology per year. This category is currently closed to submissions. Check back soon for our 2019 theme announcement and opening for submissions.

A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: “The Year” Anthology.

Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes. 

While much of the passionate outcry concerning creative writing centers around political issues these days, we don’t want this anthology to be strictly political in nature. We simply want submissions that center around a current event affecting your life. Sure, we’re interested in stories, poems, and essays centering around the political shifts, but we also invite you to think about this “snapshot” concept differently. Are you experiencing a personal life event that you can creatively portray as a microcosm of a larger cultural event? Tell us about it. Are you snowed in? Tell us about it. Are you inspired by a current work of art or literature? Tell us about it!

We prefer essays of 3,000 words or less. Multiple works in a single submission are acceptable in this category.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

 We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th.  The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020.

A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: “The Year” Anthology.

Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes. 

While much of the passionate outcry concerning creative writing centers around political issues these days, we don’t want this anthology to be strictly political in nature. We simply want submissions that center around a current event affecting your life. Sure, we’re interested in stories, poems, and essays centering around the political shifts, but we also invite you to think about this “snapshot” concept differently. Are you experiencing a personal life event that you can creatively portray as a microcosm of a larger cultural event? Tell us about it. Are you snowed in? Tell us about it. Are you inspired by a current work of art or literature? Tell us about it!

We define flash fiction as prose of 1,000 words or less. Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th.  The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020.

A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: “The Year” Anthology.

Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes. 

While much of the passionate outcry concerning creative writing centers around political issues these days, we don’t want this anthology to be strictly political in nature. We simply want submissions that center around a current event affecting your life. Sure, we’re interested in stories, poems, and essays centering around the political shifts, but we also invite you to think about this “snapshot” concept differently. Are you experiencing a personal life event that you can creatively portray as a microcosm of a larger cultural event? Tell us about it. Are you snowed in? Tell us about it. Are you inspired by a current work of art or literature? Tell us about it!

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th.  The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020.

A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: “The Year” Anthology.

Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes. 

While much of the passionate outcry concerning creative writing centers around political issues these days, we don’t want this anthology to be strictly political in nature. We simply want submissions that center around a current event affecting your life. Sure, we’re interested in stories, poems, and essays centering around the political shifts, but we also invite you to think about this “snapshot” concept differently. Are you experiencing a personal life event that you can creatively portray as a microcosm of a larger cultural event? Tell us about it. Are you snowed in? Tell us about it. Are you inspired by a current work of art or literature? Tell us about it!

We're not looking for any specific poetic 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.  (At least 300 dpi. Printed pages will be 5.5 by 8.5 inches, so please keep this aspect ration in mind if you want a specific or artistic layout of your poem.) Sending multiple works in a single submission is encouraged in this category.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th. The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020.

A good literary anthology should provide not only entertainment, but also a snapshot of the culture from which the anthology originates. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce a new project at Crack the Spine: “The Year” Anthology.

Our mission with this year-in-review style anthology is to capture a snapshot of our culture in an ever-changing landscape. With so much rapid alteration, rabid division, and creative diversity enveloping us daily, we often find ourselves pausing merely to wonder “how did we get here?” This anthology seeks to fill in that gap by providing a record of our world, as it changes. 

While much of the passionate outcry concerning creative writing centers around political issues these days, we don’t want this anthology to be strictly political in nature. We simply want submissions that center around a current event affecting your life. Sure, we’re interested in stories, poems, and essays centering around the political shifts, but we also invite you to think about this “snapshot” concept differently. Are you experiencing a personal life event that you can creatively portray as a microcosm of a larger cultural event? Tell us about it. Are you snowed in? Tell us about it. Are you inspired by a current work of art or literature? Tell us about it!

We are seeking short stories of 1,000 words or more. Consider around 5,000 words as a general word-max guideline.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

We are accepting submissions throughout the year for this anthology. We will be open for submissions from the 1st of each month, through the 15th.  The completed anthology will be published and available in early 2020.

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

"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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

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.  If you are sending multiple pieces, please send them as a single submission. 

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.

Crack the Spine