Submissions

Big Bend Literary Magazine seeks poignant, breathtaking submissions written or created by those deeply affected by the nature, beauty, and culture of the Big Bend region. Big Bend has long inspired and harbored creators.

SUBMISSION WINDOW OPEN from September 16, 2022 to October 16, 2022. Submissions are currently open for Issue Five: Desert Dogs. The saying goes, “A dog is a man’s best friend.” This is taken very seriously in the Big Bend, where we learn dog's names before we learn people's names. Dogs are integral to our community, a common topic of conversation, shared among us freely, protected and protective, welcomed wherever we go. They swim alongside our boats, walk beside us on our treks, sit with us while we watch the sunset, and even sing with us as we play instruments with friends. For this issue, we hope to celebrate these gifts to humanity. Whether you have a story about the legendary Brown Dog/White Dog of the Terlingua Ghost Town, an amazing shot of the constellation Sirius, a poetic ode to your beloved companion, a tale about a dog’s adventure in the desert, or a painting of dogs howling at the Chihuahuan moon, we want to see it. SUBMIT HERE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐮𝐩𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐝 "Desert Dogs", 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, 𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥. 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞, 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬. 𝐖𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬𝐧'𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐰𝐚𝐲!

We submit nominations for Pushcart Prizes, Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, the O. Henry Prize, PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, Best American Series, Four Quartets Prize, and more.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All works are to be 12-pt. double-spaced, preferably in a doc. format.

  • Under 5500 words per piece

  • Unedited pieces that have not been crafted for publication will not be accepted.

  • DO NOT provide a bio. Cover letters are not necessary, either. We want to read your work blind.

  • DO NOT submit works that contain more than one type of submission (i.e. creative nonfiction with photography, poetry with art, etc.) Submit each work seperately.

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please indicate if the work has been published and/or let us know if it has been accepted for publication elsewhere.

  • Please indicate your full name within the file name.

  • Fiction, flash fiction, book excerpts, and prose: Submit no more than two pieces. Please wait to hear back from us before submitting new work.

  • Creative nonfiction, reviews, articles, and other nonfiction: Submit no more than two pieces. Please wait to hear back from us before submitting new work.

  • Poetry: Submit no more than five poems. Please wait to hear back from us before submitting new work.

  • Art: Submit no more than five pieces. Please wait to hear back from us before submitting new work.

  • Photography: Submit no more than five pieces. Please wait to hear back from us before submitting new work.

  • Music & Lyrics: Songs will be carefully coaxed into poetry for the print edition but showcased in all their audio glory oin the electronic publication. Translations for print from Spanish to English are accepted. Submit in 12-pt. single-spaced format.

  • Please refer to the submission guidelines for all submissions but music and lyrics. Specific guidelines may be found in the submission forms. Submissions that do not follow the guidelines will not be considered.

  • Big Bend Literary Magazine retains First North American Serial Rights and First Electronic Rights for all work that it accepts for publication. Upon publication, all rights immediately revert back to the author. We simply ask that any future publications of work that we publish recognize Big Bend Literary Magazine as the original publisher.

  • We may consider previously published works for those local to the Big Bend area ONLY. Please indicate if the work has been previously published, where, and any pertinent information regarding citation for this work. Please also provide a link to the work on the publisher's site. If this is not available, please provide a link to the publisher.

  • Please consider a donation for reading fees, website hosting, and other costs by using the donation button below. Your donation or lack thereof will have no bearing on whether or not your work is published. Unlike many other literary journals, we are not sponsored by a university, foundation, or corporation. In the spirit of Big Bend, we desire to remain a maverick publication, beholden to no other than whoever happens to be masthead at the time. Money may later sponsor awards and prizes for creative works. In order to nominate our contributors for awards, we must pay submission fees to those award contests. The sky is the limit, especially here in Big Bend.

What we are looking for:

  • Any genre of prose or poetry with overtones of the Big Bend region

  • Creative nonfiction - emotional, raw, thoughtful, deep, esthetic

  • Essays on the region or its culture and people

  • Fiction set in the Big Bend region or by a native/local person

  • Diverse voices

  • Photography that is beautiful, clear, artistic, and shows some difficulty or complexity in obtaining the shot

  • Book reviews of works by local authors or works pertaining directly to the Big Bend region

  • Art by local artists or art inspired by the Big Bend region

  • Works that are not a specific category (such as book excerpts) may also be considered

  • Local myths, legends, or stories passed on orally

  • Works that appreciate geology, landscape, nature, desert culture, open spaces, history, etc.

What we are not looking for:

  • Anything overtly political or ranting

  • Writing that does not make sense

  • Generic photographs of the area

  • Children's art or other youth works

  • Spam/multiple submissions outside of the guidelines above

  • Works that do not at all pertain to the Big Bend region or are not by a local/native of the area

  • Works that are not edited and ready for publication

  • Overly filtered or altered photographs

  • Work that could be considered pornographic, overly violent or graphic, or offensive to a specific group/race/gender/etc.

  • Editorials or letters of complaint unless satirical or creative in nature and purpose

Header photograph by Matt Baker