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What We’re Looking For: Fall 2021

As a team of writers and creators, we know that submitting to journals can feel like a daunting and opaque process. As we continue to accept submissions for phoebe’s Fall 2021 issue, we thought it might be helpful to provide a bit more information on what it is that our editors and readers are looking for:


We want to see poems interacting with the materiality of language, the unit of the line as part and whole, and an awareness of the reader and the larger cultural and historical contexts. We like poems that build on an awareness of place, the vastness of the interior and exterior; poems with a focus on experience, image, and economy of language.

Christian Stanzione, Poetry Editor


We are excited by nonfiction that faces down risk, embraces complexity, and tests the bounds of form, craft and language. We look for personal, lyric, and/or journalistic essays (and everything in between!) that engage in vibrant exploration and inquiry. Above all, we want nonfiction that wrestles with ideas in order to reveal larger truths about the self and the world through unique lenses, representing diverse identities and voices with intellectual and emotional honesty. Submitted work should be stand-alone. On our pages, we aim for a mixture of brevity and breadth, and we warmly welcome submissions from both emerging and experienced writers.

Lena Crown and Emily Knudsen, Nonfiction Editor and Assistant Nonfiction Editor


The phoebe fiction team is looking for short stories, flash fiction, and micro fiction that pack an emotional or intellectual punch and deliver an honest, affecting, and human reading experience. We appreciate weirdness and therefore prefer writing that takes risks (such as in form, content, narration, etc.) over that which plays it safe but lacks urgency or soul. While we don’t have a strict word count, pieces upwards of 4,000 words or 13 standard manuscript pages must justify their length to merit inclusion. 

Kevin Binder and Bareerah Ghani, Fiction Editor and Assistant Fiction Editor

Visual Art

We look for the artwork that stops us and demands our attention. Quirky, earnest, endearing, playful, haunting, bleak, joyful, nostalgic: there is no template for the artwork phoebe hopes to find, only that there is something that won’t allow us to look away. We are particularly excited by art that is both evocative and provocative, that invites the viewer to pause and lingers long after the page is turned. Subject matter, style, media, and perspective in our art varies widely, and we are particularly interested in work that functions well in both digital and print formats. We do not consider the pieces in our issues to be illustrative; instead, we seek works that complement our literary selections while standing firmly on their own feet, viewing these as equal contributors to our readers’ experience with each issue of phoebe.

phoebe’s Art Committee

We receive hundreds of incredible, thought-provoking submissions at phoebe during each reading period, and we’re grateful for the trust you place in our hands when sending us your work. While we can’t publish everything we receive, we hope that our shared love of engaging and compelling literary and visual art will keep you reading, and submitting to, phoebe

We can’t wait to read your work!

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