The safe word is "literary."
If you’re an LGBTQ writer or art-maker of any stripe at all, we want to publish you! We’re interested in truly solid work that deals with just about anything, even if the thing isn’t explicitly queer. You wrote it, so that’s queer enough for us. Please adhere to the following guidelines, as they make our lives easier:
- There are two kinds of submissions: those that relate to the next issue’s theme and those that do not. Please indicate which kind of submission you’ve got.
- We accept unsolicited submissions all year ’round! And we do so only online, because environment.
- Please submit only one fiction or non-fiction piece of 6,000 words or fewer. You can submit up to three poems at a time, but remember to attach them all to the same email. Epic poems of Homeric proportions will not be considered unless hand-delivered to our poetry editor in a toga. Then, maybe.
- Visual artists are asked to submit one representative photograph of their work, unless the work is one in a series. In that case, please submit no more than three. Attach everything to the same form, please!
- Your submission must be previously unpublished, and yes, online counts. Online better count. We’re online.
- You must own the rights to any piece that you wish to submit, and it must be your own work.
- We ask that you refrain from submitting new pieces before you’ve heard back from the editors about previous submissions. This is in the interest of fairness to you: as we will not be willing or able to devote an entire issue to your work, you’re advised to spread it out a little.
- When submitting your piece, please attach it to the email as a PDF. Since one of our editors discards all Word documents and we’re not saying which, the PDF thing is important.
- Works of visual art must be submitted as jpg, jpeg, tiff, or png files. If your work is accepted, we may ask for an uncompressed version.
- We made all our decisions for Issue #1 blind! And we'd love to keep doing that in future. Right now, however, due to technical difficulties, we're going to be deciding on Issue #2 not-blind. For now, please email ali [at] aeosworth.com with your submission. She'll make sure it gets to the correct editor.
- We retain first serial rights. After publication, all rights revert to you!
- We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your piece is published anywhere else in print or online.
- We love getting all kinds of work, but our hearts grow three sizes too large when you submit work that has to do with our upcoming theme. Our inaugural theme, the spectacular theme of our very first issue, was “The Call to Adventure”; the theme for Issue #2 is “Flavors of Quark.” The adventure is only just beginning. Wow us real good, heroes.
Our Next Theme Is "Flavors of Quark."
"A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter."
We beat you to the Wikipedia article.
More interested in establishing certitude than in exploring the confusion from which it arises ("particle zoo"?!), the Wikipedia article starts with what we know: a quark is a very small thing, so small as to be hardly a thing at all, that comes in six flavors and makes up just about all the stuff of the Universe. For a teeny-tiny fragment of matter and energy and vibrating string, then, it's a pretty big deal.
But the Wikipedia article is about certitude, and so, in order to extract story, should be read in fits and starts, backwards from the middle, and with close attention to the "Trivia" section. The quark begins with a concept. It's hotly debated among physicists, many of whom believe it to be all concept and no particle; but then there emerges a photo.
In its super-collided bends and corkscrew turns, the trained physical eye can discern, unmistakably, the "charm" quark. And in the end, there is the word: five letters, settled on by the physicist who could hear their sound without seeing their spelling, extracted from Finnegans Wake:
Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he has not got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
This quarter, we're interested in how the big things become the small things and how the small things become the big things. We want to take the force of the stars and look at grocery shopping. We want to take the entire city and zoom in on a single brick. We want to take a capital "I" Issue and pick apart its individual letters. We want to look at the way building blocks construct what we are. We're encouraging you our future contributors to take a macroscopic view, a sweeping scene, the grand and the glorious, and turn it into something microscopic---into the day-in-and-out stuff that all the same is the stuff of life. We will look through squinted eyes at the tiny pieces, and we will know them even so.
And of course, on levels both infinitesimal and infinite, we're interested in connection. In 2005, addressing Kenyon College's graduating class, David Foster Wallace spoke of the interconnectedness one sees at the level of the quark, saying of one who could see this: "It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars---compassion, love, the subsurface unity of all things."
Your quarks, dear queers, are starfire, bright and alive in the otherwise darkness of the unknowably vast universe. This quarter, we ask you to share them with us. Whether your flavor is up or down, strange or charming, or---saints preserve us---top or bottom, we ask you to meditate on its size and its shape, the infinitude of its infinitesimality, and what makes yours vibrate at the same frequency as someone else's. Take a big thing, break it into small things, and please let us know what flavor of quark your piece is in your query letter. To the strange and the charming, then, we wish you luck; may the force (that lit the stars) be with you.