Submission Guidelines

Inverted Syntax is published twice a year, once online and once in print. Starting in 2020, Inverted Syntax will move to a new schedule for print issue releases. To accommodate this new schedule, there will be a second issue printed in November 2020. Commencing in 2021, print issues will be released every November. Our Sublingua Prize for Poetry runs March through June every year.
Our general reading window is currently from February to July.

Although we strongly resist the categorization of genre, for the purpose of assigning work to appropriate readers, our submission forms will be categorized by genre. We seek to publish unorthodox approaches to form and aesthetics. We love work that is non genre, those that straddle multiple categories, however you may submit previously unpublished work to the following categories: fiction, flash fiction (NEW), nonfiction, and poetry. We also publish photographs, illustrations, and other visual art. 

To get a better sense of what we are looking for, check out our Online issues,  our Fissured Tongue series, pick up our print issue from Bookbar, Denver, or order your copy from our store or Amazon. You should probably follow our instagramfacebook, and twitter feeds to see what we are chatting about, leaning towards or excited about. Plus, you may just get a peek at work we have published in print. Most importantly, you should get familiar with our mission and our masthead. 

Just keep in mind that 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 if we publish you in print, we send you a copy and we work hard to promote your published work. We also throw a launch party and reading to celebrate published work and encourage you to attend and read. 
We also nominate for awards, such as the Pushcart Prize, the Best American series, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net Anthology, and Best Microfiction. 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.  

When should you expect to hear from us We have a very limited staff of rotating volunteers and rotating interns. During the 2020 submission window, we are aiming to responding within 6 months of submission. 

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.  

Inclusivity Statement All volunteers, readers, subscribers, submitters, and any participants, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability are valued and respected. We are committed to creating an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment where our community of supporters and contributors can feel safe and at home. Inverted Syntax encourages diverse and inclusive voices, especially those from under-represented and vulnerable communities to consider Inverted Syntax

Guidelines All work must be submitted through Submittable. We do not accept work via mail or email. The general submission fees ($4) covers our administration costs. Please note that we may close our submissions early at times due to volume or to prepare an upcoming issue. ​ Please wait for a response from us before sending us another submission. Readers can choose to not read work that doesn’t follow our guidelines.  
While we hesitate to impose restrictions on length, 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 submission. We prefer to read blind.
  • Please use page numbers
  • 12-point font 
  • Garamond (this is the font we publish in)
  • Prose should be double-spaced
  • Send prose in .doc/ .docx and pdf. format. We prefer you send us both docx and pdf format of the same works in the submission. 
  • The journal is 8.5 x 8.5. We attempt to preserve the original formatting by all means possible, but there are some limitations when working within a 7.5x7.5 after margins. Please keep this in mind when considering Inverted Syntax as a home for your piece.


Fiction Submit one short story or chapter excerpt at a time. Maximum 3500 words.  Keep in mind, longer pieces are typically considered for online publication. 

​NEW in 2020 Flash Fiction  Submit no more than three pieces of flash fiction in one document. Must be under 1000 words per each flash fiction. No exceptions.

Nonfiction Submit one piece of memoir, essay, hybrid, lyric, or flash at a time. Maximum 3500 words. We are not interested in scholarly articles. 

Poetry Please submit 6-8 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 or two pages. Each poem should begin on a new page.  

Visual Art Please submit 6-8 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 editor.invertedsyntax@gmail.com.  Subject line: Blog Article Pitch - Your Name. While our Blog submission is open, it is somewhat on a publication hiatus as we dedicate our resources towards preparing to publish literary works through our Fissured Tongue series.

Want to learn what we publish? Order your copy available from our store.

Inverted Syntax's Print Issue Two  features Kiki Petrosino, J Michael Martinez, Megan Kaminski, Martin McGovern, Raymond Luczak, Leonora Simonovis, Megan Spiegel, Salma Ahmad Caller, Joni Renee Whitworth, Jonathan Riccio, Jessica Reed, Violet, Mitchell, Emmy Newman, Richard Westly, Ted Snyder, Christy Sheffield Sanford, Bryan Price, Terri Witek, Wren Tuatha, Christina Haglis, Alysse Mccana, artwork by Hildy Maze, Claire Lawerenc, K Johnson Bowles, Carol Radsprecher, and Andrea Rexilius. We are also proud to features our Sublingua Prize for Poetry Winner, Runners-up, and Finalists in Issue Two. This includes Gabriella Vogt (winner), Jessica Fischoof, Adam Malinowski, Elizabeth Galoozis, Shaun Holloway, James Davis, Craig Chen, Susan Friberg, Emily Davis-Fletcher, and Angelo Maneage. Inverted Syntax is edited by Nawal Nader-French, Jesica Carson Davis, Allissa Hertz, Melanie Merle, and is supported in part through the Mile-High MFA at Regis University. Discover more published work at www.invertedsyntax.com

Past contributors include Rae Armantrout, Phillip Metres, George Kalamaras, Eric Baus, Khadijah Queen, Daisy Patton, Jill Khoury  

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

About the Judge
Khadijah Queen, PhD, is the author of five books, most recently I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017). Earlier poetry collections include Conduit (Akashic / Black Goat 2008), Black Peculiar (Noemi Press 2011) and Fearful Beloved (Argos Books 2015). Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015) won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women's Performance Writing. The prize included a full staged production of the play at Theaterlab NYC from December 10 - 20, 2015 by Fiona Templeton's The Relationship theater company. Individual poems and prose appear in Poetry, Fence, Tin House, American Poetry ReviewBuzzfeed, Gulf Coast, Poor Claudia, The Offing, jubilat, Memoir, Tupelo Quarterly, DIAGRAM, The Volta Book of Poets, LitHub, New Delta Review, The Force of What's Possible and widely elsewhere. Reviews of her work can be found in O MagazineThe New Yorker, Rain TaxiBOMB Magazine, SCOUT, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Review, Open Letters Monthly, The Volta, Kenyon Review, and other publications. Her 2019 op-ed on poetry and disability, co-edited with Jillian Weise,  appeared in The New York Times. She is an Assistant Professor of creative writing at University of Colorado, Boulder, and serves as core faculty for the Mile-High MFA in creative writing at Regis University. Her sixth book, ANODYNE, is forthcoming from Tin House in August 2020.

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 7 and June 30 2020. The winner will be announced in October.
  • Please send no more than five poems, not exceeding six pages.
  • Three FEE options: 

            -- $15 :The Sublingua Prize submission entry fee is $15. Includes submission fee ONLY. 

            -- $25: Submission Fee +  Nov 2020 issue included 

            -- $35: Submission Fee + TWO issues: Feb 2020 & Nov 2020 included 

  • Any writer whose work is published from the Sublingua Prize will receive a complimentary copy of Issue 3 | November 2020 
  • Issues are available to purchase from our Store or Amazon. Cost is $15
  • 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 because this is the font we publish in), in .doc, .docx, and pdf. 
  • Please use page numbers
  • The print journal is 8.5 x 8.5. We attempt to preserve the original formatting by all means possible, but there are some limitations when working within a 7.5x7.5 after margins. Please keep this in mind when formatting your work for us.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions. Notify us immediately if your work is picked up elsewhere. 
  • 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. Anyone affiliated with the judge is also not eligible. 
  • The Sublingua Prize is only open to those residing in USA because of the complexities related to international financial transactions. 
  • All Sublingua poetry contest submissions will be read by the editorial staff. Editors and judge will not have access to the identities of the submitters. 
  • The editors of Inverted Syntax will meet as a group to select  thirty semi-finalists to be sent to Khadijah Queen, who will select the ten finalists including the winning poem which will be awarded a $1000 prize.
  • Inclusivity Statement All volunteers, readers, subscribers, submitters, and any participants, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability are valued and respected. Inverted Syntax editors are committed to creating an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment where our community of contributors and supporters feel valued. 
  • Inverted Syntax encourages diverse and inclusive voices, especially those from under-represented and vulnerable communities, to consider submitting work to Inverted Syntax
Ends on $4.00
$4.00

Please submit 6-8 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. 

Please format your work per our general guidelines
 

Submit one piece of no more than 1000 words.  

Ends on $4.00
$4.00

Submit one piece of memoir, essay, hybrid, lyric, or flash at a time. Maximum 3500 words. We are not interested in scholarly articles.

Ends on $4.00
$4.00

Submit one short story or chapter excerpt at a time. 3500- 5000 words.
 

Please submit 6-8 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.
 

Inverted Syntax presents  The Art of the Postcard. It’s a postcard writing series that will feature scanned images of the front and back of postcards that our readers send to us (See our Issue 1). Letter writing, like postcard writing, is a lost art, one that’s been dwindling in the last several decades and has been replaced by the expediency and convenience of email, text, and social media messengers. At Inverted Syntax we’d like to change that. We are especially inspired by poet Charles Simic who once wrote 

​“If there was such a book [an anthology of the best of postcard writing], I’m sure it would contain hundreds of anonymous masterpieces of this minimalist art, since unlike letters, cards require a verbal concision that can rise to high level of eloquence: brief and heart-breaking glimpses into someone’s existence, in addition to countless amusing and well-told anecdotes.”  ​

You MUST write your first and last name at the top or bottom of the postcard (this way,  we will be able to match your postcard to the information you provide in this online submission form  and we will be able to match the card to your biographical details and background information you provide. 
After you complete your submission, do not forget to mail the postcard to the address below.

Inverted Syntax 
PO Box 2044, 
Longmont, Colorado 
80502 
USA

Inverted Syntax