Submission Guidelines

Although The McOwlerson Journal is a humor and satire publication, its literary section does not specifically require humor and satire submissions. While humor and satire are accepted and appreciated, serious literary fiction (science fiction, too) is also appreciated, and in many cases preferred. Other genres (such as horror, mystery & suspense, westerns, erotica, high fantasy, etc.) are not disqualified outright from consideration, but will have a lesser chance of being accepted for publication.

Authors may submit up to 3 pieces of fiction, creative nonfiction, or any combination of 3 total pieces, during any one submission period. A submission period ends a full month before the intended issue runs.  The McOwlerson Journal is a quarterly publication; therefore, the submission periods end as follows:

The Spring Issue:                             last eligible submission to be received by 11:59 pm, March 1.
The Summer Issue:                         last eligible submission to be received by 11:59 pm, June 1.
The Fall Issue:                                   last eligible submission to be received by 11:59 pm, September 1.
The Winter Issue:                            last eligible submission to be received by 11:59 pm, December 1.

Send submissions to editor@mcowlerson.com (Subject Line: “Fiction Submission” if it is fiction; “NonFiction Submission” if nonfiction). Also please indicate genre, and whether the work is fiction or nonfiction, at the top of each submission. Pieces must be attached as Word documents (either .doc or .docx files); submissions pasted in the body of an email will not be considered. Also, if submitting multiple items, please use a separate word document for each.  Please double space entries. This does not mean hitting enter after every line. Use Word’s double space function.

Pieces submitted simultaneously with other Literary Magazines will be considered; however, you must make it clear that it is a simultaneous submission and withdraw your submission immediately upon acceptance elsewhere. Note: “Simultaneous” denotes work(s) submitted simultaneously with other publicationsNOT that you are submitting more than one piece.

There is no absolute word limit for submitting to The McOwlerson Journal. A story that needs 20,000 words to tell will not work as a 10,000 word story, just like a 5,000 word story will not be interesting if stretched to 20,000 words; however, keep in mind that stories should be told in as few words possible (this ensures that you’re using the right words) and shorter stories naturally have a higher chance of being accepted than longer ones.

You will generally hear back from us with a publication decision within 3-4 weeks.  If it’s been over a month, check your spam box; then, if no response from us is found, notify us of your displeasure with your most scathing email. Otherwise, refrain from asking us about your submission’s status. Excessive electronic poking is grounds for rejection, regardless of the work’s genius. We are reading as fast as we can.

Authors may not be published in two consecutive issues.

As of now, McOwlerson offers NO payment for work accepted for publication. Sorry, we are working on that.

Do not submit stories that have already been published elsewhere. We will know and your work will be rejected.

If you’re looking to get your creative genius published, here are a few things that will help when submitting to McOwlerson:

  • We get a lot of submissions every month; our eyes verily bleed from all of the reading. Naturally, we read a lot of submissions that successively look and sound almost identical. Imagine your chances if you send us something we don’t see all the time / haven’t seen before. Unless you’re confident you have something new to say, that means no stories about drugs or bad relationships.
  • Avoid gratuitous sex or violence, erotica, and fan fiction.
  • Be sure your work is the best you can make it before submitting. This means polish. We rarely tolerate grammatical and spelling mistakes.

For accepted works, we will ask authors to provide a short 3rd person bio along with a headshot (although they are not required). We claim First North American Serial rights, and the right to archive your work, but rights revert back to the authors after the issue runs.  If your work is reprinted, please cite The McOwlerson Journal as the initial publisher.  You may always withdraw a work unless it’s been published in print form (PDF included).  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

If you like us (and you should; we like you) help us out by using Duotrope.  It’s a lit market search engine and personal submission tracker.  You do have to sign up (it’s quick and free), but it’s worth it for us (and for you, too). Using Duotrope is like slipping us a fiver, only minus a real fiver (i.e., no cost to you).

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