Ends on December 31, 2017

$3.00 USD

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.
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.
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