Submission Guidelines

Inverted Syntax publishes online once in mid October and in print late January. We publish previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, although we resist the categorization of genre. We also publish photographs, illustrations, and other visual art. To get a better sense of what we are looking for, check out our mission, our masthead, on our website. We hesitate to offer concrete definitions, because we don’t like limits. We might not know we love something until we see it. Send us what you think is missing—it could be what we’ve been searching for. We don’t pay contributors, but we do promote your work. We also nominate for the Pushcart Prize, the Best American series, and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net Anthology. Nominees will be notified and listed on our site.   

Simultaneous Submissions We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere.  

Rights If your work is published in Inverted Syntax, you are granting us First Serial Rights. All rights revert back to the author upon publication. If you republish your work elsewhere, you agree to credit us as the first publisher. You also agree that your work may remain on our website permanently.  

Guidelines All work must be submitted through Submittable. We do not accept work via mail or email. The $3.00 submission fee covers our administration costs. Please note that we may close our submissions at times due to volume or to prepare an upcoming issue. ​ Please wait for a response from us before sending us another submission. Work that doesn’t follow our guidelines won’t be read.  

While we hesitate to impose restrictions on length with regards to our online journal, we do have limitations to consider when it comes to our print issue.

If your work is accepted we may make editorial suggestions. You will have a chance to review it before it is published.​ 

  • Do not list any identifying information on the manuscript. We prefer to read blind.
  • Please use page numbers
  • 12-point font 
  • Prose should be double-spaced
  • Send prose in .doc, .docx, pdf. or .rtf format. If you are sending mixed genre we prefer pdf format. 

Fiction Submit one short story, flash piece, or chapter excerpt at a time. Maximum 8,000 words.  

Nonfiction Submit one piece of memoir, essay, hybrid, lyric, or flash at a time. Maximum 8,000 words. We are not interested in scholarly articles.  

Poetry Please submit 3-5 poems in a single document. Poems may be single-spaced. There aren't length restrictions for poems published in our online journal, however for our print journal, we prefer poems no longer than 50 lines. Each poem should begin on a new page.  

Visual Art Please submit 3-5 pieces. We are open to any medium. For photography and digital illustrations, please send a web-readable format (we prefer .jpeg). For paintings, drawings, and sculptures, send photos of each piece as you would want them to appear.  

Blog Articles ​We welcome posts on matters of craft, as well as interviews and pieces on writers, art, drama, and music. If you have an idea that doesn’t fit in these categories, send us a pitch at  Subject line: Blog Article Pitch - Your Name

The Inverted Syntax Sublingua Prize for Poetry awards a cash prize of $1,000 and publication in our print issue for a group of exceptionally crafted, previously unpublished pieces by a writer who has not yet published a full-length manuscript nor a chapbook exceeding 44 pages. The awe-inspiring poet Dorothea Lasky will judge. All submission entries are also considered for publication

About the Judge
Dorothea Lasky was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a BA at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published five collections of poetry with Wave Books,  Milk, AWE (2007), Black Life (2010), and Thunderbird (2012). She’s also the author of ROME (Liveright/W.W. Norton), as well as several chapbooks, including Snakes (Tungsten Press, 2017), the polemical Poetry Is Not a Project (Ugly Ducking Presse, 2010). She is the co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). Her poems have appeared in a number of prominent publications, including POETRY, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Boston Review. “Known for her colloquial, even slangy style and dramatic readings, Lasky acknowledges that “there is a kind of arrogance, a kind of supreme power, that when infused with a little real humility and expertise, makes a poem. Because the poem is always about the speaker.”” Lasky was awarded a Bagley Wright Fellowship in 2013, and she is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she directs the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, acts as a co-Faculty Advisor for Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T), and organizes the summer writing program. Lasky lives in New York City.

The Sublingua Prize for Poetry Guidelines:

  • Though it’s called the Inverted Syntax Sublingua Prize for Poetry, we accept work that celebrates hybridity, resisting genre-specificity. Whatever poetry means to you, send it our way.
  • We will accept submissions between March 1 and May 31, 2019. The winner will be announced in October.
  • Please send no more than five poems, not exceeding six pages.
  • The $20 submission entry fee includes a subscription to Inverted Syntax’s Winter 2020 issue, which will feature the winning poems.
  • We read submissions blind. Submissions with identifying information will not be considered. 
  • We accept submissions only though Submittable.
  • Upload up to 5 pieces (not to exceed 6 pages) into a single file. Be sure to  use page numbers and 12-point font (preferably Garamond or Times New Roman), in .doc, .docx, pdf. or .rtf format.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions.
  • We accept multiple submissions, but each submission must be accompanied by its own fee.
  • Anyone affiliated with Regis University or Inverted Syntax is not eligible to submit to the contest.
  • The Sublingua Prize is only open to those residing in USA because of the complexities related to international financial transactions (should the winning writer reside outside the USA).
  • The initial reading/selection will be done by all journal readers and editors including interns. Our editorial staff is comprised of MFA graduates, MFA candidates as well as undergraduate interns in varying fields. ​

Inverted Syntax is accepting submissions for blog posts. We’re interested in blog posts between 500-1000 words that are intelligent, offbeat meditations-- where art, literature, and pop-culture intersect. Have an idea for a blog post? Send it.

To get an idea of what we are looking for, check out our blog

Please do not send your completed blog post until you review our post guidelines. Our guidelines are available once the following items are received:

Send us a brief description of the post idea, as well as a blurb summarizing the piece (it'll  be used to promote your work when we share it on our social media platforms). Also, send a few images to accompany the blog post (your own, or a free image we have permission to use from the internet), and finally, a few catchy and relevant titles.

Once these items are received, you'll automatically be sent our blog post guidelines. 


If you are thinking of submitting a hybrid piece, a piece of fiction, a memoir, or poetry to this particular blog submission category, you are in the wrong submission category, and your work will be automatically rejected. 

Interested in serving on Inverted Syntax's reading committee for art, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction? Send us a cover letter and your resume via Submittable. We favor readers who have experience, and demonstrate an understanding of our mission. 
We may not be able to invite you to our reading committee at the present time, but if you’re a good fit, we will keep you on file.
In 2019, we will be putting together a contest reading committee. Look for more via our social media sites. 

Inverted Syntax