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Hippocampus Magazine enthusiastically accepts unsolicited, previously unpublished submissions in the following categories: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. You may follow up if you don't hear from us by then, but we only respond to email inquiries or Submittable notes, not social media private messages.
    • 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 and allowing our team some personal boundaries in an era where so much is blurred.  





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 August 15, 2016. 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 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.

$3.00

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 and Press LLC is looking for its first few book-length works for its small press division.

We're looking for work in the following categories (and, in parentheses, is what to submit for consideration):
  • Memoirs (query + first three chapters)
  • Essay collections (query + three essays)
  • Literary journalism - (query + first three chapters OR proposal, as we'll entertain strongly developed ideas that may not yet be completed projects)
  • Creativity books (proposal)
  • Craft books (proposal)

We'll respond to all queries/proposals within six months. Thank you for your interest.

Please note the selection process is competitive; during our early years, we'll have the capacity to publish two to three titles per year.

(Information cross-posted on our call for submissions page on the conference website.)

HippoCamp’s programming is mostly for-attendees, by attendees! With the exception of keynotes and our few panels, our conference is built from the proposals YOU submit!

We’re enthusiastically inviting attendees who also are interested in being part of our speaker line-up to submit a session proposal for HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in one of our three traditional tracks, our new addition of a special topics track, or our flash sessions:

  • Breakout Sessions: We're looking for dynamic speakers and engaging, informative, practical 60-minute sessions that will give our attendees actionable takeaways. Breakout session presenters will receive a special discounted attendee rate (about 60% off conference registration).
  • Lightning-Round (Flash!) presentation: HippoCamp will hold a general session featuring five to six 7-minute presentations (PechaKucha Style) by select attendees. Flash session presenters will receive a special discounted attendee rate (about 50% off conference registration).


Deadline is Dec. 1, 2017; we'll announce the line-up in late December/early January before tickets go on sale in late January.


OUR DISTINCTIONS - Please read

  • We’re not an academic conference, and we’re not a retreat or workshop.
  • We’re formatted in the style of a professional development conference – we’re more similar to Confab (a content marketing conference) than AWP. We’re more inspired by Austin (a la SXSW) than academia.
  • Our vocabulary is a bit different than other conferences: rather than faculty and classes and students, we have presenters and sessions and attendees.

Now that we have three conference’s worth of feedback, we’ve begun to really hone our “conference aesthetic.”

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

Based on our highest-rated sessions and speakers from past events, here’s what we’re looking for in speakers and sessions:

SPEAKERS

We want smart, dynamic, passionate, friendly speakers to fill our roster! Here are some details:

  • Speakers of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome - we love giving people a chance to make their professional conference debut!
  • Your passion for and knowledge of your topic is often more important to us than your years of experience or publication credits or professional affiliations.
  • We look for well-prepared speakers who can deliver an informative, inspiring presentation with energy, confidence and poise. We're not looking for people who "just wing-it."
  • We love speakers who aren’t afraid to step out from behind the podium and engage with the audience. Even better when that engagement continues throughout the conference.
  • We look for sincere speakers who care about the audience and are here to share knowledge and help writers – not just to add a bullet point on a resume or CV (but that IS a perk, too!)
  • We’re also looking for speakers from outside the literary world! Some of our highest-rated or most-Tweetable speakers in 2016 and 2017 were from other industries who were able to tie their expertise to the writing world.
  • And on the administrative side -- we look for professional, cordial speakers who are committed to their involvement in this conference – this means communicating with us before the conference and helping us plan by providing your technical needs, reading/replying to speaker correspondence and providing requested information in a timely manner. We cannot emphasize this enough; when a speaker is unprepared, it reflects on the conference as well.
  • Also on the administrative/logistical side - we are looking for speakers who can adhere to a time limit, who can think quick on their feet if they hit a snag (either a tech snafu or getting sidetracked by a question and needing to get back on track). We are also looking for speakers completely comfortable with any technology they choose to use. For instance, if you are not familiar with PowerPoint or Prezi, please do not opt to "try it out" for the first time during a professional presentation. We LOVE multimedia presentations, but only use this option to enhance your presentation and IF you are experienced in the platform you choose. 

SESSIONS

We love TEDTalks. We prefer giving one rock star a chance to light up a room at a breakout session over offering only panels (although we have those, too!).

  • We love fresh ideas! Topics we haven’t seen before at conferences.
  • We love variety! While memoir is a big part of the CNF genre, our offerings should include more types of writing and other publication goals.
  • We love practical sessions: presentations that leave attendees with a list of notes and to-dos.
  • But not every session has to be a writing lesson per se – we also look for inspirational, this-is-my-story-type or this-is-how-I-did-it presentations. Sessions of the latter nature should still have key takeaways.
  • We love sessions that share lots of examples/case studies – seeing the theory in action makes a presentation more memorable.

What we’re not looking for in a session proposal:

  • We’re not typically looking for breakout sessions with lots of writing activities or group work; it’s not manageable given the allotted time and large group. Small prompts and some interaction are OK and, in fact, encouraged and well-received. But our breakout sessions are not intended to be a workshopping scenario.
  • We’re not looking for ultra-specific topics, such as exploring the works of one particular writer.
  • We’re not looking for sessions led by more than two people.
  • We’re not looking for paper presentations. (However, use that paper and research to build an awesome presentation!)
  • Although this is clearly stated as a call for breakout sessions, we want to reiterate that we are not looking for panel or workshop proposals.

OTHER DETAILS

Why present at a professional development conference for writers?

  • It’s fun
  • A speaking credential to list on your resume, or if you are in academia, your CV
  • Be part of the Hippocampus Magazine mission
  • Gain recognition from your peers
  • Earn visibility in your field; continue to build your platform and authority on a topic
  • Receive a nice registration discount
  • Get other cool swag

HippoCamp speaker expectations:

  • Presenters must be registered attendees of the conference and must officially register at least 30 days before conference (before program goes to print).
  • Submitting a proposal does not mean you are committing to attend or to present at HippoCamp; if we accept your session idea, we’ll confirm that you are definitely able to attend, and you can make your final decision then. You have time to figure it all out!
  • Presenters must agree to read and respond in a timely manner to speaker communication emails/requests for information to help with day-of logistics/meet deadlines for technology requests, etc.
  • Presenters must agree to a group or individual phone call about a month before the conference for a brief speaker orientation, which includes covering the expectations outlined here.
  • Presenters must agree to have their session recorded/photographed for future use and for marketing and archival purposes.
  • Presenters are encouraged to share slides and/or presentation materials (if applicable) for use for post-conference promotion.
  • Presenters are responsible for their own handouts (if applicable).
  • Presenters must respect time limits (no doing so adversely affects their peer presenters); this means you'll take your presentation preparation seriously and practice and arrive on time.
  • There is a maximum of two presenters for break-out sessions and one presenter for flash sessions.

Good luck!


$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.


Ends on March 15, 2018
Hippocampus Magazine is looking for submissions of up to 4,000 words for its annual theme issue; this year, it’s Keepsakes.

In a day where we look at photos online, scan in concert or play “tickets” at the door, send texts to thank someone, post happy birthday wishes to Facebook, and other intangible memories or shows of affection and appreciation, we’re starting to mourn personal keepsakes and mementos.

Share your piece of creative nonfiction (up to 4,000 words) about an item that means something to you. Maybe it lives in your attic, a shoebox, or a storage locker. Or maybe it’s displayed on a shelf or around your neck…. Maybe you no longer have it, and long to have it back. Whatever it is, wherever it is, we want to know about it, the story behind it, the meaning it brings.

Or maybe the idea of “keepsakes” has another interpretation for you – and we’d like to see those stories too, as long as the connection to the theme is clear.

We invite you to send your best creative nonfiction piece – and your best interpretation of the theme—to us for consideration for our July 2018 issue.

Please see full guidelines at our website before submitting.

Deadline: March 15, 2018.