Epigraph chapbook SUBMISSIONS
I’m pleased to announce that Epigraph is now taking submissions for our new digital chapbook series. This is something I’ve personally wanted to do for several years now, & I feel that Epigraph has finally matured to the point that we can & should expand our scope.
I originally started this journal because I wanted to share great writing with the world, & I’m proud of everything we’ve done & everyone we’ve published. However, a journal is just a sampler—a collection of fragments from dozens of different writers’ larger visions. A longer, unified collection is where a poet really shines.
The specifics of this project might change a little once we get started, especially once we start to work with individual writers, but here is the current plan for our chapbooks:
Epigraph chapbooks will be free-to-read online artifacts. After spending some time debating the merits of standalone PDF files versus HTML pages hosted on the site, we decided that the best path was, simply, to do both.
A chapbook hosted on the website itself has the benefit of being immediate & accessible. An uncertain reader can decide to take a peak without committing to downloading a file. It is also easy to read & easy to share with others. Since Epigraph’s site is able to host images (including animated gifs), link to external sources, & embedded YouTube & Vimeo videos, writers wanting to work in nontraditional styles & add non-textual elements to their work can make use of the multimedia capabilities of the website-as-medium.
BUT I have always loved the PDF file. The PDF is imperfect, yes, but it is about as permanent as a digital document can be. I personally have a large folder of PDFs—chapbooks, full length books, lit mags, archival copies of old journals, self-releases from indie writers, etc—& I treasure these as a valuable part of my personal poetry collection.
Epigraph has always released its issues as PDF files. I like the idea that an Epigraph issue can be part of your collection & that it can be easily emailed to a friend. I also like that a PDF will live on as long as someone has a copy. Once it’s out into the world, it exits. There are many journals that were very important to me several years ago, like Red Lightbulbs & Scud, that simply don’t exist anymore. They’ve disappeared into the ether. If, for some reason, Epigraph ever ceases to exist, I don’t want all of this to just disappear. We may be a small & fairly underground journal, but once you’re a part of the Epigraph family, we want your work to always have a home here.
Thus, we have decided to release each chapbook in both formats.
I’m also excited by the potential & possibility of self-translation & interpretation. The static nature of the PDF versus the dynamic nature of the web page will also create interesting opportunities for any writer utilizing multimedia elements &, in some cases, could yield vastly different versions of the chapbook. I hope that this potential divergence excites the more experimental poets out there.
WHAT WE WANT FROM YOU
At Epigraph, we love experimental writing. We love work that pushes the boundaries of the conventional idea of poetry. We especially love work that could only exist NOW, in the present. Feel free to get weird with it. Read some of our most recent issues to get a feel for the sorts of things we usually publish in our journal.
Our definition of chapbook is very flexible. There are no minimum or maximum page limits. Chapbook means whatever you want it to mean. Surprise us.
Here are some guidelines & suggestions:
1. Submit your chapbook manuscript as a PDF, doc, or docx file. If we accept your chap, we’ll need a word-compatible file eventually, but PDFs are preferable for reading & assessing your work.
2. In your manuscript, provide a title page that includes your name & email address. At the end of the document, include a bio. Also, include a list of any journals that have published individual pieces from your chapbook, if applicable. You can include any additional information, like an acknowledgments page, if you have it ready, but it’s not important to include that sort of thing in your initial submission.
3. Any/all of the individual poems in your chapbook can be previously published in various journals, but the chapbook, as a whole, should be unpublished.
4. If you do choose to include any multimedia elements, it’s your choice how you would like to represent them in your submitted manuscript. Feel free to describe any videos/gifs as if you were writing a movie script, include still images, and/or--if they are available online--you can provide links within the manuscript. Do whatever you feel is best to represent your vision.
5. Please include a cover letter in the appropriate field on Submittable, but feel free to make it very informal. I hate writing stuffy cover letters, & you probably do too. Tell us a little about yourself & a little about your manuscript. Include whatever you want to share with us. This is just a little way to introduce us to you as a person & a writer, so be as casual as you want.
6. We’re planning on responding to submissions within ~4 months. If 4 months passes & you haven’t heard from us, please shoot us an email.
THE FINE PRINT
Unfortunately, this won't be a monetary endeavor, at least for the foreseeable future. Epigraph is, economically speaking, not a good investment on my part. It loses a (thankfully) small amount of money every year. I started this site because I love poetry & because I wanted to share it with the world, not because I thought it would ever be profitable.
Because of this monetary situation, we aren’t going to be able to pay, at least right now. It is my hope that at some point in the future we can change this, possibly release work physically, etc., but right now Epigraph is free & digital. We fully accept that this might be a deal breaker for some writers, & that’s perfectly okay! However, if you’re down with our mission & our site & our vibe, send us your work. I promise I’ll do my best to provide a platform for our published writers & to treat your work with the respect that it deserves. Epigraph's goal has always been to share great poetry with the world as best we can.
Click here to submit your manuscript
I look forward to reading your work,
Founder & General Editor
Submissions for our journal are always open. We publish three issues a year. Our current schedule is January, May, and September. Send us up to 6 poems in a single document. We strongly prefer .doc and .docx files, but you can send other file types (various image files, .pdf, .txt, etc) if you have to, but please try to make it something that can be opened easily on any computer.
Send your work to epigraphmagazine [at] gmail [dot] com. You can send a short informal cover letter if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. We don’t like writing cover letters either! But Please include a BRIEF two or three sentence bio written in the third person. We encourage you to link to your personal site, blog, twitter, etc.
Please submit only once per reading period. We don't accept previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please send a follow up email to let us know which poem(s) have been accepted elsewhere.
If we publish your work, you give us first publication rights and archival rights. Once published, all rights revert back to you. If your poem(s) end up in a book, chapbook, or elsewhere, we'd appreciate it if you'd mention Epigraph as the original place of publication!
As a final note: Epigraph is against bigotry in all forms. We strive to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone, so please don’t submit any content that is racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. We don’t want to read it. If you have a problem with this, don’t submit!