Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

Prick of the Spindle is a literary journal that is open to forms in both traditional and experimental modes, with a special bent toward fresh and innovative voices using language in unique ways. We read for issues year-round. If you are interested in being considered for publication in Prick of the Spindle, please take care to read the guidelines for submitting your previously unpublished work.

Prick of the Spindle is a biannual print publication. Submissions are accepted year-round. We send a courtesy e-mail notifying authors that we have received their submission; if you do not hear from us with a decision within three months of submitting, please feel free to send a query.

Submit to Prick of the Spindle – Print Edition

Submit to special themed issue – Sea Stories

You may submit up to five pieces per category. For poetry, please include all poems in a single attachment; the cover letter should include a numbered list of all pieces being submitted and a brief, third person bio. For fiction, nonfiction, reviews, interviews, drama, and screenplays, please submit each piece separately and include a brief, third person bio in the cover letter. Submissions should be formatted to read title first, writer name, then text body. Please do not use text smaller or larger than 12-point or any unnecessary formatting, such as excessive bolding and italics, unless it is inherent to the spirit of the work. Fiction submissions should be double-spaced with only one space after periods and other punctuation.

We are open to publishing fiction and nonfiction varying in length from flash to novelettes (which are 7,500 to 17,500 words). We are always seeking reviews of academic literature, fiction, and poetry, as well as works of literary criticism and essays.

We allow simultaneous submissions only on the condition that you notify us immediately if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. We work very hard to maintain high standards of excellence, and expect the same level of professionalism from all who submit. Upon acceptance, Prick of the Spindle acquires first serial publication rights, after which the copyright reverts to the author.

We do not publish children’s or young adult fiction, and we tend away from genre fiction, unless it is especially well-written with a particularly contemporary flavor. To give yourself the best chances of acceptance, read the journal to get a feel for what we like before submitting.

Please direct general questions and inquiries for reviews and interviews to pseditor (at) prickofthespindle (dot) com. We generally do not review self-published works.

To submit visual art, email a link to your online portfolio to pseditor (at) prickofthespindle (dot) com, or email low-res sample images. Submitted art is automatically considered for publication in the online galleries. Art published in the print edition is taken from the online galleries, and reprinted with the artist’s permission; compensation is provided for artwork published in the print edition. Art for the print edition should be submitted in 600 dpi. Alternatively, you may submit portfolios by post to the mailing address below.

To submit short film, please e-mail the link where the film can be found to pseditor (at) prickofthespindle (dot) com. In general, we are seeking films with an experimental or indie quality that emphasizes narrative or visual elements. We are open to different varieties; if you are unsure whether your work is a fit, send it on anyway. We’d be happy to have a look.

Electronic submissions are encouraged; however, postal correspondence (please include self-addressed, stamped envelope or e-mail address for reply on submissions) may be directed to:

Prick of the Spindle
P.O. Box 10863
Birmingham, AL 35202

Submission fees are as follows:
Art: Free
Short Film: Free
Reviews: Free
Interviews: Free
Humor: Free
Poetry: $2, up to 5 poems
Fiction: $5, one story
Nonfiction & Essays: $5, one piece
Drama: $5 one dramatic work

Checks or money orders should be made payable to Prick of the Spindle. If you are mailing your submission, please be sure to include payment.

Prick of the Spindle, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Submission fees and donations are applied to the operating expenses of the journal.

Manuscript Critique Service

Prick of the Spindle offers a critique service for works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.


Nonfiction & Technical/Academic/Research-Based Essays
0-2300 words – $35
2301-4300 words – $55
4301-7300 words – $80
*Book-length critiques available; inquire for rates: pseditor [at] prickofthespindle [dot] com

0-2500 words – $45
2501-4500 words – $65
4501-10,000 words – $95
*Book-length critiques available; inquire for rates: pseditor [at] prickofthespindle [dot] com

1-3 pages – $35
4-6 pages – $45
7-10 pages – $55
*Book-length critiques available; inquire for rates: pseditor [at] prickofthespindle [dot] com


Poetry critiques carry a turnaround time of 72 hours. Fiction and nonfiction critiques will be returned in two weeks. An expedited option is available; please inquire with pseditor [at] prickofthespindle [dot] com for rates, and mention word count and desired turnaround time.

The Work

Drawing on more than a decade of publishing and manuscript editing, Prick of the Spindle editors first perform line edits on a manuscript, reading for typos and grammatical errors. We then go back and read for things like structural development, effectiveness of characterization, and other higher-level considerations. We offer individualized feedback detailing strengths and weaknesses, and what is needed to make the story, poem, or essay more effective and ready to submit for publication. You can expect extensive feedback on your work.

Book-length manuscript critiques are available upon request. Email pseditor [at] prickofthespindle [dot] com and include word count, genre, and desired turnaround time.

Submit here.


  1. First time reader and enjoying the quality of the work here!!

    I”m a published writer online and in print. Not clear from reading–what do you pay per piece published?
    Or do we pay you per piece submitted?
    Thanks for clarifying and keep up the good choices…

    Melanie Chartoff
    Los Angeles

    1. Hi Melanie,

      To see our pay rates, please visit the Submittable page (see submit links). Submission fees are listed on the Submission Guidelines page.

      Thanks for reading!

      Prick of the Spindle Staff

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