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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Brush Talks now seeking submissions for winter/spring 2021 issue

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We are now seeking submissions for our winter/spring 2021 issue. (No fee.)

Brush Talks publishes two issues per year, in winter/spring and summer/fall. All issues are free, available to download on our website, We accept unsolicited submissions on a rolling basis.

Because we realize that you probably don’t have the luxury of waiting around for months at a time while magazines and journals consider your work one by one, we DO accept simultaneous submissions. (We’ve been there.) We simply ask that you inform us as soon as you decide your piece is no longer available for our consideration. There is no reading fee, but, unfortunately, neither are we able to pay contributors at this time.

If we publish your work, you agree to grant Brush Talks first serial rights. All rights will revert to you, the author, upon publication. (While submissions of writing should not have been previously published elsewhere, we will consider photos that have been; just inform us of this at the time of submission so we can credit the original publication if we choose to use them).

Thank you in advance for any submissions you send. We consider it a privilege to be able to read your work, and we will try to be in touch with each author on a timely basis.

Submission Process: Only electronic submissions are accepted, via the following e-mail address:

submissions [at] brushtalks [dot] com

All work submitted should be sent as attachments to your e-mail. Written work can be in DOC, DOCX, ODF, RTF, or PDF format. In your e-mail, please briefly describe your piece and tell us which category you would like it to be considered for (see below). If your piece doesn’t fit a particular category, make one up and convince us why it’s important to be included.


General Essays – Up to 5,000 words. Be creative. We’re open to most anything.

Travel Essays – Up to 5,000 words. Should be focused on a theme of sorts. In other words, we’re not looking for pieces that merely read as: “First I did this, and then I did that. We went here and then there.” (Although chronology may be part of the structure, it should not be the main focus.) Instead, give us a sense of place and its significance – in general or just to you.

Profiles – Up to 8,000 words. Profile a person or a place, from today or the past.

Memoir – Up to 8,000 words. Tell us your story related to China. Should relate events of at least a decade ago (or else we’d categorize it under “General Essays”).

Narrative Nonfiction – Up to 10,000 words. Tell us a story about an event in China. We realize that this may overlap a bit with “Profiles” but the major aspect of a piece in this category is that it centers around a defined event. The focus is the event (though strong characters and locations can play a role), written about in a compelling, even suspenseful, manner.

Photographs – If you have photographs to submit with your writing for one of the above categories, please state this in your e-mail and include a contact sheet of thumbnails, but do not send the full files until asked to do so. If you have a collection of photographs on a theme or topic that you would like to submit, please query with a brief explanation of your project and a contact sheet (again, we ask that you not send large image files until asked to do so).

Poems – Submit up to five poems at a time, none longer than about 500 words. Please limit submissions to two per year (one active submission per issue). Also please note: We are a journal of China, so all submissions, including poetry, must have some connection to China. (We have been getting a lot of poetry, in particular, on various other topics, and we regret that we cannot reply to such submissions.)

As we would like to support long-form nonfiction, all word counts are approximate. Some pieces simply need more “breathing room” so why quibble over arbitrary numbers? If you have work that does not fall within the stated limits, please query. If it’s what we’re looking for, we will publish it (perhaps in serial form, as one option).

Authors should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) to resolve questions of style and usage. Remaining questions about the above can be sent to the following e-mail address:

editor [at] brushtalks [dot] com

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