We read year-round and do not consider previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are accepted and encouraged, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
We aim to respond within one to two months from the date of submission. If you have not received a response after this time, feel free to query us through the “notes” section in Submittable.
Rights revert to author upon publication. Please credit MAYDAY with first publication if the work is republished elsewhere.
See below for departmental guidelines. When you’re ready to submit, please head over to our online submission manager.
NOTE: Fiction submissions are temporarily closed while we read a recent influx of compelling stories. We plan to reopen Fiction submissions in November.
MAYDAY publishes original and engaging literary short fiction. We love innovative, strong writing that trusts the reader and is true to its author regardless of genre. We are committed to featuring a diverse range of content and authors, including LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and international voices.
There’s no minimum size, but we’re most interested in fiction under 5,000 words. Please only send us one full-length submission at a time. You may send up to three flash fiction/short-short submissions, about 800-1,200 words.
MAYDAY is interested in poetry that employs language and imagery in unexpected ways. We appreciate work that plays with form but is not ruled by it, and are attracted to purposeful experimentation. We value poems that evince vulnerability and emotional weight, balance humor with emotional resonance, and demonstrate intention. Poems that consider the range, limitation, and influence of place. We enjoy weirdness, discomfort, punchiness, brevity or a winding, tethered path. All this being said, we often don’t know we like something until we see it, so send us your best work. We look forward to reading it.
Please submit 1 – 3 poems, up to 10 pages in total, in a single Word file or PDF.
We seek personal, critical, and hybrid essays that move, engage, and transport us and our readers. We are sure to respond to many things, but a strong authorial voice, a clear thought or experiential arc grounded in a sense of place, and some connection with a writer’s risk in approaching their story are often most resonant.
While we are open to work of all lengths, we prefer submissions of 5,000 words or less. Please type and double-space your submission. We prefer .doc and .docx files, but .rtf, and Open Office files are okay too. Please do not upload .pdf files. Please only send one submission at a time.
We are looking for pieces that deserve a broader audience, that excite and inspire, that honor cultural heritage and move in the liminal space between borders sketched on maps with shaky hands; pieces that encourage a reader to question and engage with the world around them. Poetry and prose from any language translated to English will be considered. Please include a brief translator’s note if you would like to provide context, artist bio, or other information important to the submitted piece.
The translator must have secured rights for the translations submitted, or the work must be in the public domain.
Please include both the original and the translated text in Word files. If the source text contains characters difficult for Word to present correctly, a PDF scan is fine.
The new MAYDAY Culture vertical invites and cultivates authenticity, curiosity, and compassion with well-rounded criticism and courageous storytelling. With an emphasis on diverse or marginalized perspectives, especially Black writers and LGBTQ+ writers, Culture explores race, politics, gender, sexuality, and ability across literature, cinema, television, music, art, video games, and theatre, with an emphasis on contemporary and historical contextualization. We appreciate arts criticism that amplifies unique perspectives and complicates our understandings—whether through personal or braided essays or media reviews—and we regard this type of writing as an art form in its own right.
We’re seeking well-rounded, literary pieces that challenge us and our readers. There’s no minimum length, but we prefer submissions of fewer than 6,000 words. Please send only one Culture submission at a time.
Find editors’ bios and contact information on Submittable. We welcome pitches by email.
We’re interested in contemporary art in both traditional and nontraditional contexts, with an emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility. Our goal is to highlight working artists, new and progressive spaces, as well as publishers of artist books and other attainable media. To acknowledge work overlooked with time, while remaining informed and critical of the greater Art community, and its collaborative role in building a society.
To submit, please provide a cover letter giving us a brief introduction to you and your proposed work, as well as the following:
Artwork – Up to five Images (JPEG, under 5 MB each) of the work, process, or documentation. In addition, please include a word file describing the work, its intention, and/or relation to you.
Art Writing – A word document of a completed version of the work. This does not have to be the final version, but must express a full vision of the concept. You may also include up to five images (JPEG, under 5 MB each) related to the written content.
BOOK REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
We publish reviews (750-1,250 words) of recent books, films, art exhibits, and other media. We also accept review essays (1,500-5,000 words) that place a work within a tradition or use it to form another self-contained argument. We’re also interested in interviews with contemporary artists, writers, critics, and other notable cultural figures.
Please submit your reviews and interviews through the relevant department’s Submittable form.