Gnarled Oak publishes high-quality poetry, short prose, artwork, and videos. When an issue is running, Gnarled Oak publishes one piece per weekday. Issues generally run 4-6 weeks, so that’s 20-30 pieces per issue. At the end of each issue, we compile a free downloadable PDF version of the issue. Each issue will have a cover featuring an image from the issue (either visual art or a video still) and a title taken from one of the written works in the issue. Videos, obviously, cannot be included in the PDF version, but the text will be if it is supplied by the author.
We are interested in publishing work that leaps from the screen and keeps us up at night thinking. The kind of work that makes us want to rush out and share it with the people we love most. We like work that asks more questions than it answers. We want to read work that will inspire others to create. We have no preferences regarding style, form, or content; although, we do not publish pornography or hate speech.
Do you have anything like that? Please let us see.
We accept submissions year-round on a rolling basis. Currently, we’re accepting submissions for Issue 15, a micropoetry issue (similar to our first issue). For this issue, we would like to see micropoetry, microfiction, videopoems based on micropoetry, and artwork that works with this micro theme. We’re defining micro along the lines of the Twitter model, and ask that all submitted writing be tweetable. That doesn’t mean you need to be on Twitter, it just means we’re setting a 140ish-character limit for each submitted piece. More details below, but please also adhere to the general submission guideline.
Regarding micropoetry… anything goes. You can submit haiku, senryu, tanka, gogyohka, small stones, lunes, haibun (for which we will accept work that goes a bit over the 140-character limit), or anything else that works. We’re not strict formalists here; just make sure the words work.
Regarding mircofiction… keep it short. Stories should be tweetable.
Regarding artwork… we like haiga and haiga-like things, but we’re also open to images and artwork that fit with the overall small/micro theme of the issue.
Regarding videos… videos for this issue should be under 3 minutes, and videopoems should be based on micropoetry
Deadline for submitting to Issue 15 will be January 5, 2018, and we will plan to start the issue the week of January 15.
After Issue 15, Gnarled Oak will go on indefinite hiatus so this will likely be it, at least for a while.
General Submission Guidelines:
Gnarled Oak accepts electronic submissions only. Send submissions via email to: submissions [at] gnarledoak [dot] org with the subject line: “Gnarled Oak Submission / Last Name” and please include a cover note and brief third-person bio. Your bio may include links to a personal website and any books you may have available, but bios should only be a few sentences long. Please no exhaustive lists of publications; a few highlights are fine, and please keep it between 50-75 words. We do reserve the right to edit bios.
We don’t like to impose rules on what is and isn’t acceptable, but as a general guideline, we tend to favor shorter works, which for our purposes means poems of less than 20 lines, prose less than 1000 words, and videos less than 7 minutes long. Regarding form and style, we’re open to almost anything. Check out our previous issues to get a sense of what we like.
What to Send
Poetry: 1-5 poems pasted in the body of an email
Prose (fiction or literary nonfiction): 1-2 pieces (max: 1000 words) pasted in the body of an email
Visual art: 1-4 .jpg attachments
Video: send a link to your video hosted on Vimeo or YouTube. Run time should be less than 7 minutes. Please, no book trailers.
Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please do let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere. Gnarled Oak accepts only original unpublished work; however, work published on personal blogs and websites, Twitter, Facebook, or any of the many social networks and poetry community sites is fine. We like that.
Gnarled Oak accepts submissions year round, but we do not read or make many final decisions until the call for submissions for a given issue has been posted. So, depending on when you submit, it may be a six to ten weeks if you submit at the beginning of an issue. If you submit after the Call for Submissions has been posted at the end of an issue, however, we will try to respond within three weeks.
Some Fine Print
By submitting to and having work accepted and published by Gnarled Oak, you understand and agree to the following: (1) the work being submitted is your own and you have all necessary rights and permissions to submit the work; (2) all authors retain copyright of their work, but Gnarled Oak acquires First Serial Rights; (3) all rights automatically revert back to the author upon publication, meaning you can reprint your work wherever and whenever you like; (4) we kindly ask that you acknowledge Gnarled Oak in any subsequent publications of work first published here; (5) work published here will be archived on the site, and we will create a downloadable .pdf version of each issue; and (6) Gnarled Oak does not pay contributors.
We do publish announcements of contributors’ books so if you’ve had work published here, and you have a book coming out or something equally significant, we want to promote that. Please contact us.