submissions

GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The submission period for the 2020 FALL issue is open August 15-November 15. Any submissions sent outside the posted submission periods will not be considered.

The editors invite submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual arts that fit within the mission of the journal. We consider previously unpublished material only.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but we request that you withdraw the submission in Submittable if your piece is accepted elsewhere. To withdraw particular work(s) within a larger manuscript submission, email our editor with the title(s) you would like to remove from consideration.

All prose manuscripts should be double-spaced. All prose manuscripts and poetry manuscripts should use a 12-point Times New Roman. Please include your name and email address in the header of each manuscript page, and please include page numbers in the footer of each manuscript page. All submissions should be in a single manuscript file in .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .rtf format.

Please include a short cover letter that includes your name, email address, and concise bio in the appropriate Submittable text box.

We try to respond to submissions within 3 months. If you have not heard back regarding your submission after 5 months, please query our editor. 

We acquire First North American serial rights. We do not offer payment at this time for accepted work.

POETRY

Please submit no more than 6 poems during a submission period (with a maximum of 10 pages total per submission). Save all poems in one document before submitting. SUBMIT. 

FICTION

Please submit a single manuscript (which may include any number of stories) of up to 7000 words. We consider novel excerpts. SUBMIT. 

NONFICTION

Please submit no more than two nonfiction pieces in a single manuscript submission (with a maximum manuscript word count of 4000 words). We are open to a variety of forms of nonfiction, though we enjoy essays that are both argumentative and personal. We do not publish scholarly articles or journalistic pieces, though we may consider essays with unique approaches. SUBMIT. 

VISUAL ART

We feature visual art in portfolio form and as discrete images, at times in tandem with prose and poetry submissions at the discretion of the editors. In such cases, we will contact the artist in advance to discuss our intentions. All visual media are welcomed. SUBMIT. 

In general, we will ask for you to submit a portfolio of no more than ten images with details of medium, size, and title. We will ask for you to include an art resume with an exhibition record and any written information that you feel explains your work.

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Frederick Buechner Prize

All current students of YDS, Berkeley, and the Institute of Sacred Music are invited to submit essays and compete for the Frederick Buechner Prize for creative nonfiction. The winner, to be selected by a panel of professors, will receive a $1,000 prize and have their essay published in Letters.

The deadline for submissions for the Spring 2021 prize is March 15, 2021.

The prize is named in honor of the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, who, among his numerous honors, gave the Beecher Lectures at YDS in the 1976-77 academic year. The Buechner Prize was established thanks to a gift to YDS from the Frederick Buechner Institute.

Essays should be between 1,500 and 5,000 words and contain a religious theme or element. Essays should be unpublished at the time of submission. (An essay that has been accepted for publication at a later date is eligible.) Each student is allowed to submit a single essay. Entries must be turned in to Jacqueline Campoli in the Institute of Sacred Music office-hard copies preferred. Students may contact Jacqueline for more information.

The winner will be announced at Commencement if that winner is graduating, or at the fall awards ceremony next year if she or he is a continuing student.

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