submission guidelines

Recent: we're now open for submissions to the blog! Send us your ruminations, your book reviews, the lists you scribble down in your margins. We're also open to interview requests. Please email for the same.

Special Issue: GHOST - open until 25 October!!

Every 15th day of the seventh lunar month, it is believed that the gates of hell open and hungry ghosts are free to roam among humans to feast. During this time, people burn offerings to appease these spirits and avoid doing things that may invite the ire or attention of bad spirits. Popular entertainment forms to appease the spirits include getai, Chinese opera, and even puppet performances.

Meanwhile Halloween, typically celebrated on October 31st, stems from Samhain, an old holiday in which costumes were donned to ward off ghosts. On this day, there was a superstition that the spheres of the spirits and the still living eclipsed like celestial bodies. In current times, the holiday is considered to be for children who bring shopping bags to collect candy from every porch, shrouded in white sheets, which is to say it centers on becoming ghosts instead of fearing them.

This period of time between the Hungry Ghost Festival and Halloween, we urge you to think about the word ghost– however you’d like. Perhaps you will write an essay about the history of eerie sightings at your ancestral house, or a poem about that afternoon you spent with a little boy as a kid, only for him to disappear into wisps of smoke. Maybe you’d like to explore a fictional world where the living are fewer in number than the undead, however you'd like to interpret that. Tell us about your connotions, your experiences, your beliefs; and make us believe in turn.

Please adhere to the following guidelines while sending us work for this issue:-

  • Send up to three pieces of writing of no more than 3000 words each to

  • Format your subject line as so: “GHOST - [NUMBER OF PIECES] [GENRE]”. For instance, if you’re submitting three poems, you’ll write “GHOST - 3 POEMS.”

  • Please only use a word document or pdf to attach your work instead of Google Docs.

  • Cover letters are not required, though we ask that you make sure to include the name you’d like to be called by somewhere in your email.

  • We encourage simultaneous submissions, but we won’t be considering previously published work for this issue. Please let us know through a reply to your submission email if your work has been accepted elsewhere.

  • We ask that you include a content warning if your work contains references to or implies suicide, self-harm, sexual assault, or rape.

  • Under no circumstances will meaningless homophobia, transphobia, ableism, sexism, racism, or any of the other phobias/isms be tolerated. Please do not use these themes in your work if it doesn’t serve a point.

General Submissions (CLOSED)

Thank you for your interest in submitting to Indigo Literary Journal. We ask that you kindly adhere to the following guidelines. If not, we will unfortunately be forced to disregard your submission. Please also know that we are a nonprofit, net-loss magazine and currently cannot pay our contributors, though we hope to do so in the future. If your work is accepted, we ask for first serial rights and archival rights. Rights revert back to the artist upon publication. In addition, we ask that previous contributors wait at least one reading period before submitting again. If you're wondering what kind of work keeps us up at night, check out Six Questions For and our interview with Frontier Poetry. We are also on Duotrope.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but request that you inform us in your cover letter and immediately notify us via email if your work is accepted elsewhere. If a work we have published is accepted by another magazine as well, we ask that you credit us as your work's first home. While we'd appreciate being the first home for your words, we do consider previously published writing.

We would appreciate it if your submissions were in standard serif font (Times New Roman, Georgia, EB Garamond, etc), and attached as a pdf or word document. You may submit up to three pieces. The maximum word count for both poetry and prose is two thousand words. We will not consider your submission if your work exceeds the limit. In addition, if your work is formatted nontraditionally, we recommend that you submit using google docs so that we might preserve the enjambment, etc. if published.

Please note that if your work uses slurs unless stated that you are reclaiming them, promotes prejudice of any kind, encourages either suicide, self-harm, drug usage, or contains excessive and unnecessary depictions of gore, it will be disregarded. We also ask that you include a content warning if your work contains references to or implications of suicide, self-harm, sexual assault, or rape. Our masthead is also composed largely of minors. Do not send us works that are sexually explicit. We will disregard your work if this is not strictly followed.

Please send your submissions to Cover letters are not required, but we do request your name, pen name (if any), and a brief bio written in the third-person. Please format your subject line according to the following format. [GENRE] your name – “title of work,” "title of work,” & “title of work.” By genre, we mean either poetry or prose. If you are submitting multiple genres, please specify so in the brackets, separating with commas or ampersands as needed.

We usually respond within a week or two, although acceptances take longer than that. Please do not query until three months have passed since your submission date. Looking forward to reading your words!

Note: if you notice any instances of plagiarism, etc. by our contributors of which we were unaware, we would greatly appreciate if you informed us of them via email and thank you for taking the time to help us uphold the integrity of our journal.