We hope authors will take advantage of our refusal to define what we publish, and send us un-name-able bits and pieces. A fiction that has no shape but feels complete and leaves a hole in your stomach; a nonfiction layered in obvious lies; a recipe that works like a poem. But if you’re looking for a home for a sonnet or a realist short story, or any piece that happens to wear a traditional outfit, we want to see it. If the writing is fresh, artful, and engaging, if we’re moved (to cry, to clench a fist, to laugh), we want it.
We publish three short pieces of original written work on the first of the month (September through May), each presented with two companions to the publication. The companion pieces are items chosen by the editors (possibilities include visual art, photo, video, or quotation) or solicited (a piece of art created by a colleague in reaction to the publication, or the answer to an author question posed by the editors). Once an agreement to publish is in place, authors should feel free to suggest or offer companion pieces, although final selection remains at the discretion of the editors. Please review our current issue to get a sense of what we like to publish and how companion pieces support the work.
Submission Notes—Please Carefully Review
- Our word limit is 1,602 (not including title). Please note the word count underneath your title.
- We consider only one piece at a time, whether 162 words or 1,602.
- We read blind and will not consider any submission that includes identifying information anywhere in the piece, including in the name of your file or any headers or footers.*
- Please do not indicate the genre of your piece anywhere in your submission.
- We take submissions at Submittable and are open year-round.
- We do NOT accept previously published work.
- We welcome simultaneous submissions and ask only that you withdraw your piece immediately, through Submittable, if it is accepted elsewhere.
*Your cover letter, of course, will include your name and contact information, but editors will read your cover letter only after we have read and made a decision about the work.
If you haven’t heard from us in three months, please query us at email@example.com.
Authors retain all rights and copyright to their work. We request first-time worldwide online publication rights and nonexclusive reprint/anthology rights should we choose to produce a print issue or anthology. We also request the right to digitally archive your published piece at our site indefinitely, and the right to use excerpts of your published piece in our promotional materials. If the work is republished, we ask that Waterwheel Review is noted as the first place of publication. Note that we do not provide contracts; by submitting to us you are agreeing to the above terms.