IDK Magazine wonders what it means to be a writer in today's America. Since our inaugural issue in 2014, we've had a focus on publishing emerging and Millennial writers — but we know that the breadth of writers responding to contemporary issues expands far past any one generation.

Moving forward, IDK will accept submissions of poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, hybrid work, and art from writers of all ages and identities. Our goal is to create as inclusive a conversational space as possible, so we'd like to be clear: LGBTQIA+ writers, writers of color, women writers, writers of different abilities, refugee and undocumented writers, and writers old and young, your work is welcome here. When we all tell our stories, the truth can't be denied.

Some other notes:
  • Please only submit up to the maximum numbers of pieces for one genre. In other words, if you write both fiction and poetry, please submit in only one of these genres at a time. Also, please only submit once during each reading period.
  • Feel free to submit pieces even if you feel they defy genre (or our few categories below) in our "hybrid works" section.
  • IDK Magazine accepts simultaneous submissions, but we ask that you please include that information in your cover letter and notify us immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere. 
  • We do not accept previously published pieces. (This includes work posted on a personal blog.) Excerpts of longer works-to-be-published will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
  • IDK reserves first-publication rights for all accepted pieces, as well as the right to archive and use excerpts of published work on our website and in promotional materials. Once a piece is published with IDK, the author retains subsequent publication rights for reposts or reprints.
As writers who submit work ourselves, we know how it feels to wait for an editor’s response. The IDK staff pledges to do its best to respond to all submissions within three months’ time (or three weeks' time for Tip Jar submissions — these help us defray website and Submittable fees, cover printing costs for chapbooks, and will eventually allow us to pay our writers and artists). If you have not received a response by three months from your submission date, feel free to follow up with us via e-mail:
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Poetry has always existed beyond the page, maybe now more than ever. Fans of the written word also attend public readings, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos of poets past reading their work, and gather in public spaces for slam poetry ciphers. What is it about voices, loud and clear or soft and full of static, that we connect with so deeply?

IDK isn’t sure, but we’re hoping you might be able to help us out by responding as creatively as you wish to our first-ever themed call for submissions. These can be multimedia (audiovisual or otherwise), collaborative works, spoken word recordings, written responses to your favorite podcasts – the mic is your oyster.

Please do not exceed one single-spaced page of written work or 10 minutes of visual and audio recordings. (If you have longer written work, you can always consider submitting through our standard categories.)

*Pieces published under this category will be part of a long-term, growing project directed by you, the writers, as well as have their own special page on the IDK website.
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We know what it's like to want feedback on your work — whether positive or negative — and what it's like to wait all year to hear back from a journal about your submission. While we commit as much as we can to respond to general submissions within three months of our receiving them, tip jar submitters will get a response to their submission within three weeks of their submission date. We'll also include at least 300 words of feedback on your submission.

Please note this category is only open to submissions of poetry, creative nonfiction, or fiction. Follow the genre guidelines as mentioned in the above categories when submitting work.
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Please note in your submission name, cover letter, or somewhere in your document whether your prose submission is fiction or creative nonfiction. Depending on which genre you write in, follow the guidelines below:
  • Fiction: We’re looking for all aesthetics, styles, and subjects, as long as the story adheres to the magazine’s mission. Fiction writers may submit one short story (up to 4,000 words) or up to three flash pieces (750 words or less) per submission.
  • Creative nonfiction: We’re open to many forms of CNF, from personal essays to lyric essays to literary journalism, though we prefer that more journalistic pieces be written through a personal lens.  Feel free to break the rules and create new, surprising forms. We’ll consider full-length pieces (one per submission, up to 4,000 words) or flash (up to 3 per submission at 750 words or less.)
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We’re seeking submissions of all kinds of poetry—lyrical, prose, narrative, meditative, formal, free verse, and anything in between. Poets may submit up to 5 poems per submission.
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This one's for the multimedia folks, the dramaturgs, the videographers and animators and voice-over artists. This one's for the poem that wants to be a collage and the series of photographs that wants to be an essay. We won't ask you to stay within any particular constraints for this category, and we look forward to the challenge of finding the best ways to feature hybrid work on our website.
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IDK has worked closely with a different artist for each previous issue to shape the magazine's visual aesthetic. This year, we're changing gears. For Issue 4, IDK is opening our art acceptances to the public as well. We like fresh // fun // poignant // serious work in a multitude of different mediums  don't limit yourself based on what you think we want.

Submit up to 5 pieces. High quality scans are preferred, but not mandatory — seriously. Please note that, unlike with our decisions on written submissions, art acceptances will most likely be announced after written work is finalized to ensure aesthetic cohesion (but we'll try to let you know within 3 months of your submission if your work is still under consideration). We may ask for additional pieces at that time.