Hi there!

Thank you for your interest in Hippocampus Magazine (& Books). We previously had abbreviated guidelines listed here and directed folks to full guidelines at our website, but now that many people are finding us directly through Submittable, we're sharing our full guidelines here to make it easier, to save a click. Please read carefully; it's pretty comprehensive, but we wanted to be thorough so that all questions are answered before you have to ask them

[Book query guidelines listed within that category, below.]

Thank you and best of luck!


These guidelines were updated on July 26, 2017. Please read them carefully before submitting.

What We Accept

Hippocampus Magazine enthusiastically accepts unsolicited, previously unpublished submissions in the following categories:
  • memoir excerpt – a self-contained portion (chapter or selection) of a larger, book-length work – 4,000 words max
  • personal essay – a short narrative reflecting on a particular life experience or observation – 4,000 words max
  • flash creative nonfiction – 800 words max
  • For our small press submission guidelines, visit our Books page - NOTE: We're closed to book queries until Oct. 1, 2017
  • Our articles section (review, interviews, etc.) is by assignment only

    Please read our current and past issues to familiarize yourself with our publication. We can tell you this: we like quirky, we like edgy, we like witty, we like gritty, we like smart, we like diverse voices. We like pieces that take us to new places, we like to be moved, and, most of all, we like pieces that stick with us. We’re interested in hybrid forms and unique structures (that work in an in online format.)
  • We do not accept fiction, poetry, academic papers, political commentary, or criticism. Because of our reading time, we may also not be the best place for timely pieces or responses to current events.

     

    Guidelines: Word Count, Formatting and Submission Information

    Please note: submissions not following our guidelines, below, will be automatically declined without explanation. Our blind reading process is important to us, and names on manuscripts/in filenames is the most overlooked rule. Please take care in your submissions to us and all literary journals. 

    Submissions should be:

    • no more than 4,000 words in the memoir and essay category
    • no more than 800 words for flash creative nonfiction pieces
    • double-spaced
    • page-numbered
    • in a standard web/print font, such as Times New Roman or Arial in 10-12 pt. font. (No courier, or comic sans, please.)
    • free of your name or other identifying/contact information in the manuscript, header, and filename; you do not need to attach a cover page with your manuscript as that information is request in the submission form itself
      • (Clarification: The submitter’s name is often important to the story. We completely understand! This is bound to happen since, after all, we publish creative nonfiction where you, the writer, are likely central to the story. Please use your judgement regarding your name appearing within the story, but PLEASE DO NOT include your name or contact information in the file name, header/footer or title page.)

    Other Information (Multiple/Simultaneous Submissions/Repeat Contributors):

    • Do not send us multiple submissions.
      • Hippocampus will only accept one submission at a time from an author; we will automatically decline any additional submissions. The exception is during contest or theme issue calls.
      • You may also have a book query and an essay under consideration with us simultaneously.
      • If you are interested in submitting more than one piece to us, please wait until you receive a decision on one before submitting another.
      • Effectively Aug. 1, 2017, Hippocampus will only publish work by a specific contributor once per calendar year; if you’ve been accepted by us, please wait until the following calendar year to submit again (this allows for us to have the most variety of voices possible.) The exception is contest and special theme issues, which are open to all.
    • We accept simultaneous submissions, under the condition that you will withdraw your work from us if it is acceptable elsewhere.
      • Use Submittable’s “withdraw” feature, not email; this is so the status is changed and alerts is. Again, please do not withdraw via email; we do not manage submissions by email.
      • Why is withdrawing important? If not removed from the queue, your submission will continue through our editorial process, meaning our volunteer reading panel reads and comments on your work; if your work is no longer available, we’re sure you’ll agree this is not a good use of anyone’s time.
    • If we accept your story, you will receive notification via Submittable’s email system, so be sure you are set up to receive those notifications and periodically check your spam or promotion (or other filtered stories.) Also, if you change your email address, be sure you update your Submittable account so you don’t miss a notification. Your story will also change to “accepted” status in Submittable.
    • If we accept your story, you must respond to us with your intentions within 30 days; we’ll send one reminder email. If you do not hear back from you, we’ll assume you no longer wish to publish this particular piece with us.

    How to Submit Your Work

    Hippocampus Magazine has partnered with Submittable to provide an efficient way for both writer and publisher to track and organize submissions. If you frequently submit to literary magazines you may already be familiar with this superb submission tool.

    Regular submissions require a $3 fee ($1.91 goes to Hippocampus after Submittable’s fee.) Learn more in this blog post.

    Cover Letter:
    A cover letter is not required. If you submit one, you must use the cover letter field, not as a page within your uploaded document; then, please know your letter is kept separate from your creative work; by system design, is not visible to the reader panel. Your work will stand alone in our blind reading process–the way it should be.

    Submission Turnaround Time

    • We will respond to everyone who submits, but please be patient. Typical turnaround time is 3 to 4 months.
    • We accept–and expect–simultaneous submissions so, if another publication picks up your work in the meantime, please let us know via Submittable, as noted above (not through email).
    • Hippocampus Magazine publishes new material monthly and likes to plan ahead. We accept submissions on a rolling basis. If we accept your submission, we will let you know in which issue it will appear. Sometimes there is more lead time than others.

    Terms of Publication

    • By accepting publication, the author grants Hippocampus Magazine one-time electronic rights and one-time anthology rights. The author retains copyright and may publish the submission elsewhere after it appears in Hippocampus.(We would appreciate a “first published in” credit.)
    • By accepting publication, the author gives Hippocampus Magazine the right to publish the work on hippocampusmagazine.com, to archive it indefinitely as part of the issue in which it appeared, and to be included in future anthologized print or electronic editions of our publication. (Note: In some cases, we’ll re-feature archived work on the homepage; this does not constitute a new publication.)
    • Authors whose work is selected for publication will receive a contract outlining these terms in more detail.

    Compensation

    Hippocampus Magazine is an independent, self-funded, volunteer effort. As of January 2017, we offer a $40 honorarium to authors whose work is accepted in the memoir, essay, and flash categories. If your story is selected for publication, your payment will be issued via PayPal or Venmo within 60 days of the date of publication.

    One contributor from each issue can win bragging rights AND a prize if his or her piece is deemed “Most Memorable.”

    Also we have an annual contest, The Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction which offers a grand prize of $1,000.

    About Passing on Submissions

    Just because we pass on a particular submission does not mean it does not have merit — we publish 8-10 pieces in each issue and this often means turning away strong work. Do not take editorial decisions personally. Just sitting down and getting your thoughts on paper is a task for which you should feel great pride–not everyone can do it. Every piece of writing has value. We feel it is important to spread the message of being persistent and diligent in your search for publication. Never let rejection discourage you from sharing your story. Just because it is not right for us does not mean it will not find a more fitting or timely home. Write on.

     

OTHER NOTES - Communication

Adding this on 8/16/2017 due to personal boundaries being crossed more often:
Please only correspond with us through email or Submittable; we do not use the Hippocampus Magazine Twitter or Facebook accounts, especially Facebook Messenger, for professional and official communication. Our editors also do not use their personal Twitter and Facebook accounts, and especially Facebook messenger, for official Hippocampus communication. We DO use these channels for general audience engagement, but not to talk submissions, whether for the magazine, books division, or our annual conference. Thank you for helping us streamline our communication.  





Hello, creative nonfiction friend! Below, you will find our abbreviated essay submission guidelines; Please read full guidelines on our website first if you have not done so already. Otherwise, please fill out the brief form, including checking off if your piece is an essay, memoir excerpt, or flash. 

Essay submissions should be:

  • No more than 4,000 words
  • Double-spaced, with pages numbered
  • Free of your name in header/footer, title page and file name. (We do realize that in creative nonfiction, your name might be necessary within the content. Please use your judgement.)
Submissions not following the above guidelines may result in automatic decline, without explanation of reason.

Abbreviated Guidelines:

These guidelines were updated on Jan. 7, 2017. Please read them carefully before submitting.

Hippocampus Magazine enthusiastically accepts unsolicited submissions in the following categories:

  • memoir excerpt – a self-contained portion (chapter or selection) of a larger, book-length work - 4,000 words max
  • personal essay – a short narrative reflecting on a particular life experience or observation - 4,000 words max
  • flash creative nonfiction - 800 words max
  • (For our small press submission guidelines, visit our Books page.)

Please read our current and past issues to familiarize yourself with our publication. We can tell you this: we like quirky, we like edgy, we like witty, we like smart, we like diverse voices and pieces that take us to new places, we like to be moved, and, most of all, we like pieces that stick with us.

Guidelines: Word Count, Formatting and Submission Information

Please note: submissions not following our guidelines, below, will be automatically declined. Our blind reading process is important to us, and names on manuscripts/in filenames is the most overlooked rule. Please take care in your submissions to us and all literary journals. 

Submissions should be:

  • no more than 4,000 words in the memoir and essay category
  • no more than 800 words for flash creative nonfiction pieces
  • in Times New Roman or Arial (or similar), 12 pt. font. (No courier, please.)
  • double-spaced
  • page-numbered
  • free of your name or other identifying/contact information in the manuscript, header, and filename.
    • (Clarification: From time to time we get questions when a submitter's name is important to the story. We completely understand! This is bound to happen since, after all, we publish creative nonfiction where you, the writer, are likely central to the story. Please use your judgement regarding your name appearing within the story, but PLEASE DO NOT include your name or contact information in the file name, header/footer or title page.)

Other Information:

  • Do not send us multiple submissions.
    • Hippocampus will only accept one submission to our magazine at a time from an author; we will automatically decline any additional submissions. The exception is during contest or theme issue calls.
    • If you are interested in submitting more than one piece to us, please wait until you receive a decision on one before submitting another.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions.
    • Use Submittable’s “withdraw” feature to make us aware if another magazine accepts your publication.
  • Effective August 15, 2016, Hippocampus Magazine will only accept unpublished work.
  • If we accept your story, you will receive notification via Submittable's email system, so be sure you are set up to receive those notifications and periodically check your spam or promotion (or other filtered stories.)
  • If we accept your story, you must respond to us with your intentions within 30 days; we'll send one reminder email.
COMPENSATION
If your story is selected for publication, you will receive a $45 honorarium; this will be issued via PayPal or Venmo within 60 days of the date of publication.

Hippocampus Magazine is giving away more than $1,200 in cash and prizes this November. DEADLINE: August 31, 2017.

--Memoir excerpts and personal essays accepted -- there is no theme.
--Word count 4,000 words max.
--Submission MUST be free of your name in headers/footers, title page and file name.
--Enter between April 1 and August 31, 2017
--$12 entry fee (supports prizes; $10.63 goes to Hippocampus after Submittable fee)

DETAILS
--The Hippocampus reader panel will select five to six finalists from all submitted essays and memoir excerpts.

--A panel of guest judges (to be announced) will select the winners from these five finalists.

--Winning stories will be published in the November 2017 issue of Hippocampus Magazine.

--During the month of November, the Most Memorable contest will double as The Remember in November Reader’s Choice prize—the readers of Hippocampus will also have a chance to make their case for which of the five finalists should win!

PRIZES:

  • $1,000 grand prize (1) + free registration to HippoCamp 2017
  • $150 runner-up (1)
  • $25 honorable mention (3-4)
  • $25 reader’s choice winner (doubles as the most memorable designation of the month)


CONTEST RULES AND INFORMATION:
Full contest details are available on our website.


$3.00

Greasy Spoons: Essays on Bottomless Coffee, Homefries, Pie, and Other Things We Love About Roadside Diners (working title) is looking for submissions.

Whether you’re restaurant owner, former server, or a truck driver or avid road-tripper who has been fueled by daily specials and bottomless coffee, we want to hear your story. What memories do you have about your local diner, an eatery you stumbled upon during your travels, or friends and family members who put their blood, sweat, and tears (not literally) into operating a cherished greasy spoon? Whether your tale is from the booth or from behind the counter or along a desolate highway or smack dab in center city, we want to hear from you!

We’re not just looking for a rundown of you what you remember, though: we’re looking for stories with a narrative arc, deeper meaning, and universal truths: essays that move us, humor us, and leave us wanting seconds. Submissions should be set in a diner or revolve heavily around greasy spoon culture. And, given the topic, we’re looking to fill our menu with rich and flavorful stories that drip with detail like au jus on a daily blue plate special. We must be transported into that diner with you; you’re requesting a table for yourself—and a swarm of hungry readers.

Finally, diners are indeed a staple of Americana, but our call for submissions has no geographic boundaries. No matter where you hometown is, we bet there’s a place for unforgettable homestyle cooking and camaraderie.

Please note: We truly are only interested in local diners; please no stories revolving around chains* or restaurants that require reservations, would balk at flip-flops, or use cloth napkins. We’re looking to highlight those special places that keep their ketchup on the table, have that one booth where the vinyl is a little too torn, where the eggs are served all day, and where everything is made better with butter.

More details:

  • Word count limit: 5,000 words

  • Deadline: Jan. 16, 2018 (Note that we will not begin reviewing submissions until close to the deadline, so our typical turnaround time will be extended for this project.)

  • Compensation: $40 + 2 contributor copies upon publication; special pricing on additional bulk purchases.

  • Submissions not selected for the print anthology may also be considered for either an online extra or for publication in Hippocampus Magazine, both of which will have different terms.

  • As a thank-you for their interest in this project, everyone who submits, regardless of outcome, will receive a special discount on the anthology when its ready.

  • Reminder: this call is for essays or memoir excerpts, not for short works of fiction.


*We’ll make an exception on the chain thing in some cases, as many brands often have humble origin stories; so if by chance your piece reflects upon a then-start-up, we may consider it.


This category is to give select submitters the chance to resubmit a piece we declined in its current iteration, but one that we read with interest and on which we provided suggestions for reworking. This is a separate category as to not charge a submission fee for the same piece the second time around.

Submitters: Please include your original title (in case you changed that) and date of your first submission in your cover letter; this will help us keep track of its progress.

Note: Submitting a revision does not guarantee acceptance; it is vetted just the same.