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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID LIT seeks poetry & flash fiction

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Rolling basis

Thank you for your interest in submitting to COVID LIT and for using your writing powers for good. Please read the following guidelines CAREFULLY. Any submissions not adhering to these directions will go unread.

General Info

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit only one piece at a time (see Poetry and Flash Prose guidelines for sending multiple poems) and wait until we’ve made a decision on your work before submitting new work.

We accept simultaneous submissions, though you must state this in your cover letter. If your piece is accepted elsewhere, congratulations! Don’t forget about us, though, and withdraw your submission via email using the subject “Withdraw - [submission title] - [genre] - [date of submission]”. If you want to withdraw one piece in a bundle, you may do so.

We only accept unpublished work unless said work is solicited by COVID LIT. If your work has appeared in any form on any medium—including social media—it is considered published and will not be considered.

COVID LIT holds first serial rights for the work we publish. Once the piece has been published, rights revert back to the author(s) to do with the piece as they please, though we ask that, if republished in another journal, anthology, or collection, you give us a shout-out. This project only works if writers get the word out.

Accepted work will be published on our website and will be eligible for publication in future print anthologies. If you prefer that your work not be considered for future print publication, please inform us.

As a philanthropic endeavor, we are unable to pay writers. Depending on how well this project go, we hope to one day “pay” writers in the form of donations to a nonprofit of their choosing. Also, we’re going to support and promote the heck out of you throughout your writing career.
What We’re Looking For

Send us anything about anything. We’re not picky.

While submissions need not be about COVID-19 or the current state of the world, we are currently interested in work that reflects the attitudes manifesting from contemporary worldwide circumstances. This doesn’t mean we’re looking for loads of pandemic stories (though we’re not opposed to them). Rather, we’re interested in pieces tackling the collective and individual emotions we’re feeling right now in contexts both in and outside of said circumstances. How are writers capturing and/or interpreting social distancing and self-quarantining (i.e. isolation and loneliness), illness, familial relationships, virtual connectivity, healthcare, partisan politics, leadership (or lack thereof), Instagram push-up challenges, long-distance relationships, supermarket shortages, selfishness vs. selflessness, cleanliness and germaphobia, online education, etc.? What do YOU think about when you think about COVID-19? Okay…write about that* and send it our way!

But again, we’re open to anything; our goal is simply to stay emotionally relevant.

Our aesthetic is broad, so send your realistic or your magical, your traditional or your experimental. What matters most, of course, is quality. We want to be haunted by your work. We want work that feels urgent, work that feels necessary. We want to gain perspective on some facet of the human condition. And finally, we want to reflect the diversity of the global population.

Please proofread your work. The way to our heart is paved in beautiful sentences and concrete language.

*Let’s try to avoid post-apocalyptic zombie fiction…unless you feel your take on the sub-genre adds something new, exciting, and important.

Genre Guidelines


We are interest in fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid prose of any length, though—considering the medium—the shorter the better. If you have a very lengthy piece (over 10k words), we would love to serialize work, so send it!

Flash Prose

We consider “flash” to mean prose of less than 750 words. Send up to three pieces of flash prose in one submission.


Send up to five poems. Make sure these files are single-spaced.
feature: new normal

What is your “new normal?” What do your days look like? So many people are dealing with so many different issues, whether it’s an extrovert coping with an uncomfortable amount of alone time, to those who have lost their jobs and have an unexpected fight to fight, to those grieving the loss of someone due to COVID-19. We want to share your stories in hopes of building a stronger, more empathetic community. Let’s keep these under 1500 words if possible. If your work is accepted, you may be asked for an interview., though there’s no obligation to say “yes.”

Other Genres

We are looking for visual art to accompany some of the written pieces as well as make our site as handsome as ever. If you have art/photography that deserves a good home, send it! Also, we open to graphic narratives; please send these as PDFs.
How to Submit

Save your written files as docx (except for visual art and graphic narratives). Do not send a link to your work—even to your Google Drive. Other file types and links will not be considered.

Make sure your file has your name, contact information, title(s) of piece(s), and a word count. Also, remember to number your pages.

Send your file as an attachment to Your subject line should be formatted as follows: “Submission: [Writer’s Name] - [genre: fiction/nonfiction/hybrid/flash prose/poetry/NewNormal/etc.] - [Title of Submission]”

YOU MUST ALSO ATTACH the confirmation page (either a screenshot, photo, or PDF) from your charitable donation to your chosen nonprofit.* For right now, the nonprofit MUST be a local, state, federal, or international organization helping anyone impacted by COVID-19. For a list of some organizations to consider, see our ORGANIZATIONS WE DIG. Your donation must be for at least $3, though feel free to donate as much as you can. NOTE: a higher donation will not increase your chances of getting published. Submissions received without this confirmation page will not be considered for publication. This is literally the entire point of this magazine.

The body of your email should include your cover letter. Please make sure that the cover letter contains the following:

Brief biographical statement.

The reason you donated to your chosen charity/nonprofit.

Contact info, including phone number and preferred email. Feel free to provide an address as well. If we are able to publish a print anthology, we’ll mail you one!

Acknowledgment of a simultaneous submission.

*We ask that our selected charities/nonprofits are neither places of worship nor political groups. Many non-secular and politically-motivated groups do wonderful things in their communities; however, we understand that not all tithes and political donations go toward the specific causes for which COVID LIT currently aims. We apologize if this criteria seems prejudice, as that is not our intention. We want to ensure that our efforts are helping the many victims of COVID-19, and this criteria helps us in this endeavor.

If your church or politician is doing a specific fundraiser/event geared toward these specific concerns, please send us an email at and tell us about the fundraiser/event, preferably sending us a link to the page.*

We look forward to reading your work. Good luck, and thanks for using your art to help those who need it most!

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