General Submission Guidelines

OUR AESTHETIC: Harpur Palate has no restrictions on subject matter or form. Quite simply, send us your highest quality short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.  In order to get an idea of what we are looking for, you can purchase a back issue or consult our genre editors’ aesthetic statements below.

HOW TO SUBMIT: We accept online submissions through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere. Contest entries should leave identifying information off the file.  We cannot accept submissions from current Binghamton University students, faculty, staff, or recent alumni.

READING PERIOD: Our fall reading period runs September 1-November 15, and our spring reading period runs February 1-April 15. We accept CNF and poetry contest submissions in the fall, and fiction contest submissions in the spring. Regular submissions in all genres are accepted throughout both reading periods. Our typical response time is 1-4 months.

CREATIVE NONFICTION: a single work of narrative nonfiction (1,001-5,500 words) or up to three flash CNF pieces (max. 1,000 words each) per author

Aesthetic statement from CNF Co-Editors Amy Parker and Jessica Femiani: “We’d love to have personal essays from diverse voices. In addition, We’d like to see some more experimental creative nonfiction, especially hybrid works. We want pieces by writers who have a unique perspective and a strong voice. We’re interested in narrative nonfiction.”

FICTION: a single story (1,001-5,500 words) or up to three flash fiction pieces (max. 1,000 words each) per author

Aesthetic statement from Fiction Co-Editors Jamey McDermott and Nic Kanaar: “We’re interested in a wide spectrum of fiction, anything from traditional literary fiction to experimental fiction. We value writers who take chances and demonstrate confidence. We also value inclusivity and hope to publish work informed by a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. Send us works that both define and redefine what fiction is.”

POETRY: up to five poems, totaling no more than fifteen pages

Aesthetic statement from Poetry Co-Editors Cole Depuy and Macaulay Glynn: “We are looking for poems with fresh perspectives that surprise us, poems that draw us in and make of us commiserators or co-conspirators. Our favorite poems have a strong lyric voice and a sense of urgency that drives the poem forward toward a conclusion that feels simultaneously inevitable and unexpected. That urgency can derive from the speaker’s audibly intense desire to communicate or a sense of play, tracking the speaker’s ideas as they move associatively and intuitively from one to the next. We love poems that dive deeply into the speaker’s psychological response to a situation, idea, or what Richard Hugo calls the “triggering subject.” We love poems that dramatize the brain’s work of making meaning. Some contemporary poets we love include: Kim Addonizio, Chen Chen, Ross Gay, Ada Limón, Sharon Olds, Kay Ryan, sam sax, Danez Smith, Patricia Smith, Tracy K. Smith.”