General Submission Guidelines 2023
Thank you for your interest in The Hellebore Press. Submissions are OPEN until July 25th 2023. We aim to provide a transparent, communicative, and inclusive review process that centers writers, poets, and artists. Due to the volume of submissions we received this last round, expect a response within two weeks.
Notifying folks about the status of their work within a reasonable time frame is important to us so inquire through email if you do not hear from us within the reading period for the issue you submitted to.
Email: thehelleborepress [@]gmail [dot] com
Note: After July 2023, our reading period will be closed until 2024 so send us something stellar!
Behind the Scenes
Denise Nichole reads and reviews all submissions. After work is selected, contributors may be asked to undergo a brief revision process to ensure that work is ready for publication. The revision process incorporates reflective questions, feedback, and edits. We offer this service to support our contributors but recognize that this is not standard practice. Rest assured, that is why we do it. It is our hope to offer resources that support writers and poets throughout each stage of their career. Part of that includes developmental editing and mentorship.
Angel Camarena assists with the editing and formatting of each issue. They collaborate with Denise to prepare issues for publication by proofing and organizing individual pieces of writing.
There are no reading or submission fees.
Why? Literary and artistic resources should be afforded to all. Fees create more barriers for writers, poets, and artists who are already denied access to the industry. Our mission is to amplify the voices of exemplary creatives– not exploit our community.
Underrepresented communities are highly encouraged to submit. The Hellebore Press invites perspectives and narratives from: women, BIPOC, neurodiverse, disabled, non-binary, immigrant, international, and LGBTQIA+ identities.
*Important Note: For Issues 10-11 we will be mentoring and supporting teen & young adult writers, editors, and readers, in a new internship program that is designed to cultivate meaningful change and connection in our community. These teens and young adults will gain professional experience in the literary and publishing world as they collaborate with our team to produce digital issues, blogs, and features.
Submissions for upcoming digital issues are OPEN until April 15, 2023.
Micro poetry, prose poetry, narrative poetry, flash fiction (under 1500 words), and flash nonfiction (under 1500 words) is welcome.
While we offer quick response times, all of our issues are scheduled in advance. Depending on when writers and artists may submit, work may not be published until months later. If the goal is to be published sooner, submit towards the end of the reading period. Keep in mind, space is limited, which makes the process more selective. To have the best possible chance of publication, follow the guidelines and refer to the tips.
Upcoming Issue Themes
Review our themes and tips to see what we have planned. Not sure where to start? Email us with your questions. No DMs via Twitter or Instagram please.
Issue 9 Latine & Asian Kinship/ Black Families & Neighborhoods: Closed! Click here to read Tamarindo.
Issue 10 Mental Health, Disability, Chronic Illness, & Body Autonomy: Closed! Click here to read Bedhead.
Issue 11 Our Pasts, Our Futures: Open! Coming Summer 2023! Submit micro poetry, lyrical poetry, prose poetry, photography, digital illustrations, flash CNF or flash fiction that captures the span of history, fantasy, dystopia, or sci-fi through a diverse and inclusive lens. Defy genres. Uncover what was lost or forgotten. Reclaim your truth.
Issue 11 needs more writing about:
- End of the World Scenarios
- Climate change
- Myth & Legend with New Interpretations
*We are only considering work for Issue 11. Thank you for understanding.*
We seek work that disrupts the canon. While we appreciate traditional forms and styles (and have featured it before!) we tend to gravitate to work that reinvents language, takes bold and daring risks, and pushes the boundaries of genre. At the same time, we want to spotlight work that is accessible and clear. Style is important to us as is voice.
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate complex formatting and line spacing due to our new theme.
Our archive is teen/young adult friendly and inclusive, so please do not send us work that is violent, hateful, or gratuitous. No graphic depictions of any kind whatsoever.
Prompts for Issue 11: Our Pasts, Our Futures
- What did the history books leave out? What voices have been ignored? Whose stories should be at the forefront? Spotlight these legacies through inventive forms of writing and art. Celebrate our ancestors. Honor their truth. Center their experiences.
- Focus on a current event, topic, or issue to shed light on injustice, hardship, or inequity. Reclaim our stories and narratives. Set us on a new course for change before it’s too late. Topics of interest include race, gender, climate change, economic inequality, or global health.
- Do it for the culture! Explore your identity through the connection you have with popular/alternative media, family, community, etc. Challenge us. Excite us. Move us.
*These prompts are suggestions to help our community. You are welcome to interpret our theme in other ways.
Sample Writing for Issue 11
Here is some work that we admire that captures the theme, Our Pasts, Our Futures:
- There is No Word for the Fear of White Women by I.S. Jones via Shade Literary Arts
- For a Black Man, Everywhere is Summer by Blessing Omeiza Ojo via Split Lip Magazine
We also recommend browsing FIYAH Magazine.
Steps to Submit for Digital Issues
We recommend using our new Google Form! For ease, organization, and clarity consider trying out the form.
If you prefer to use our new email follow these steps:
- Title the email with the Issue #, Genre, & Your Name. (For example: Issue 11, Poetry, Deidre Michaels). Title general submission emails as General Submission, Genre, & Your Name (For example: General Submission, Creative Nonfiction, Deidre Michaels)
- Include all work in a single attachment (PDF or DOC). 1-3 poems or micros, 1 flash story or flash essay, or 3-6 pieces of artwork may be submitted for review.
- Save the file as your last name and title of your submission (For example: Michaels_Two Poems). Don’t forget to attach your file to the email. If you forget, just add a reply that includes your work. Don’t stress about it. It’s okay!
- Draft a brief cover letter that greets the staff: Denise Nichole is the Editor in Chief. Angel Camarena is the Assistant Editor. Rachel Andrews is the Reader. Have a little fun with this. We love it when folks make us laugh (and cry).
- Include a brief bio at the bottom of the document and email that discloses 2-3 notable publications, background information, interests, hobbies, and/or education.
- Include a statement of integrity and safety/inclusion.
Statement of Integrity
By sending my work to The Hellebore Press, I acknowledge that my submission is 100% my own and not plagiarized, copied, AI generated, or duplicated in any way.
Statement of Inclusion & Safety
By sending my work to The Hellebore Press, I acknowledge that I have not nor will I ever use my position in the community to harass, discriminate, abuse, target, harm, or endanger others.
Email: thehelleborepress [@]gmail [dot] com
The Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award *Closed*
The Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award offers a monetary book and supply scholarship to one honoree who demonstrates excellence in the poetic arts.
Please note: The Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award is currently closed.
The winning manuscript will be published by The Hellebore Press. Finalists are also eligible for publication and will receive compensation if their title is selected.
To submit your work to the scholarship:
- Send an unpublished manuscript of 10-25 hybrid, prose, visual, free verse, lyrical, collage, or narrative poems in the form of an attachment (DOC or PDF).
- Title the email with your name, manuscript title, and entry category (For example: Mia Torres, Unapologetic, Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award )
- Save the file of your doc as your last name and title of your manuscript. (For example: Torres_Unapologetic)
- Include a brief bio and contact information within the body of the email.
- Summary of the body of work which includes theme, motifs, symbol explanations and/or influences/inspiration for the poems.
We are currently closed for applications, but guidelines are available, here.
Don’t forget to check out the FAQ for more tips. There is some very helpful information there that applies to all of our submission periods.
Looking forward to receiving and reviewing your work!