Call for Submissions

Submissions are now open!

Polyphony Lit invites submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from high school students (or equivalent) worldwide. Students may submit for publication in our annual volume, and/or one of our three annual writing contests.

Submission Schedule:

Submissions for Volume 18 are open on the following schedule:

Reading Period 1:  July 1 -- September 30, 2021 (max. 450)

Reading Period 2:  November 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022 (max. 450)

Reading Period 3 :  March 1 - April 30, 2022 (max. 800)


Submissions for our Fall, Winter & Summer Contests are open on the following schedule:

Fall:  October 1 - 31, 2021

Winter:  February 1 - 28, 2022

Summer: June 1 - 30, 2022


Student Editors Read Every Submission

We have a staff of more than 350 high school students from around the world, almost all of whom have successfully completed our literary editing training program.

Editorial Philosophy

It is our privilege to read every submission we receive. We relish the opportunity to participate in this personal and essential journey of the human voice. We strive to build respectful, mutually beneficial writer-editor relationships. We honor literary achievement by bringing attention to excellence through awards and publishing much of the extraordinary work we receive.

Why Submit?

Anytime you submit, your work will be evaluated for publication in our magazine and, if published, it will be eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Young Writers Award.

Submission Calendar

Due to high submission volume, we manage our reading periods to match our editor capacity. We have six windows during the 2021/22 submission. To verify a reading period is still open, visit our submissions page on Submittable. 

Reading Periods: for Volume 18

Submissions during these times:

  • will receive in-depth editorial feedback from our editors
  • will be evaluated for publication in Volume 18
  • are eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards
  • Submissions are free.

Contests:
  • Submissions during these contest reading periods are read by editors but do not receive feedback unless they are selected as a finalist.
  • Submissions cost $5.00 each.
  • Winners are:
    awarded the Polyphony Lit Writing Award (no cash value)
    published in Volume 18
    offered full scholarship for Polyphony’s editor training course
    eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards.

Submission Guidelines

Writer Qualifications

  • High school students from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.
  • Works must be written in English.
  • Submit a maximum of three pieces across the three genres.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions and work that has been published elsewhere. When you submit previously published work, please note that the work was previously published, where and when it is being published, and if it is eligible for republication. If it is accepted for publication elsewhere after submitting to Polyphony Lit, you must notify us immediately. If we choose to accept a previously published submission for publication, we will acknowledge the site of the original publication.
  • Pieces that have been published elsewhere are not eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Young Writers.

Length

  • Poetry with up to 80 lines is eligible.
  • Fiction and creative non-fiction must be 1,800 words or fewer, double-spaced.
  • Submissions that exceed limits will not be accepted.

Formatting​

  • Do not put your name on the piece, as all work is blind juried.
  • Poetry should be formatted flush left unless another format, such as centering, is an integral part of the piece's meaning.
  • We accept submission in .doc, .docx or .rtf formats.
  • We prefer common conventions:
    Color: Black & white
    Font Size: 12 pt throughout, including titles
    Font Type: Times or Times New Roman
    Margins: 1-inch at the top and bottom, and 1.25 inch at the left and right. One space after periods. There should be no extra returns after paragraphs unless you have a meaningful reason for the extra space.

Submission Guidelines
Writer Qualifications

  • High school (or equivalent) students from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.
  • Works must be written in English.
  • Original works only
  • Submit a maximum of three pieces across the three genres. If you are submitting multiple pieces then please upload them as separate submissions. If you submit multiple pieces in a single document, then your work will be withdrawn and you will be asked to resubmit your pieces separately.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions and work that has been published elsewhere. When you submit previously published work, please note that the work was previously published, where and when it is being published, and if it is eligible for republication. If it is accepted for publication elsewhere after submitting to Polyphony Lit, you must notify us immediately... but if you are still interested in publication at Polyphony Lit, then please do not withdraw your submission. If we choose to accept a previously published submission for publication, we will acknowledge the site of the original publication.
  • Pieces that have been published elsewhere are not eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Young Writers.


Length

  • Poetry with up to 80 lines is eligible.
  • Fiction and creative non-fiction must be 1,800 words or fewer, double-spaced.
  • Submissions that exceed limits will not be accepted.


Formatting​

  • Do NOT put your name on the piece, as all work is blind juried.
  • Poetry should be formatted flush left unless another format, such as centering, is an integral part of the piece's meaning.
  • We accept submission in ONLY .doc, .docx or .rtf formats.
  • We prefer common conventions: Color: Black & white Font Size: 12 pt throughout, including titles Font Type: Times or Times New Roman Margins: 1-inch at the top and bottom, and 1.25 inch at the left and right. One space after periods. There should be no extra returns after paragraphs unless you have a meaningful reason for the extra space.

Using Submittable

  • Please submit your work via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions or hard copies via mail.
  • Upload only one piece per submission file; to submit more than one piece, create more than one submission file.
  • If you submit a revision of a piece that has already been returned to you, type the abbreviation (REV), in parentheses, following the title.​
  • There is no fee to submit.


Privacy Policy

Submission Guidelines Writer Qualifications

  • High school (or equivalent) students from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.
  • Works must be written in English.
  • Original works only
  • Submit a maximum of three pieces across the three genres. If you are submitting multiple pieces then please upload them as separate submissions. If you submit multiple pieces in a single document, then your work will be withdrawn and you will be asked to resubmit your pieces separately.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions and work that has been published elsewhere. When you submit previously published work, please note that the work was previously published, where and when it is being published, and if it is eligible for republication. If it is accepted for publication elsewhere after submitting to Polyphony Lit, you must notify us immediately... but if you are still interested in publication at Polyphony Lit, then please do not withdraw your submission. If we choose to accept a previously published submission for publication, we will acknowledge the site of the original publication.
  • Pieces that have been published elsewhere are not eligible for the Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Young Writers.

​ Length

  • Poetry with up to 80 lines is eligible.
  • Fiction and creative non-fiction must be 1,800 words or fewer, double-spaced.
  • Submissions that exceed limits will not be accepted.

​ Formatting​

  • Do NOT put your name on the piece, as all work is blind juried.
  • Poetry should be formatted flush left unless another format, such as centering, is an integral part of the piece's meaning.
  • We accept submission in ONLY .doc, .docx or .rtf formats.
  • We prefer common conventions: Color: Black & white Font Size: 12 pt throughout, including titles Font Type: Times or Times New Roman Margins: 1-inch at the top and bottom, and 1.25 inch at the left and right. One space after periods. There should be no extra returns after paragraphs unless you have a meaningful reason for the extra space.

Using Submittable

  • Please submit your work via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions or hard copies via mail.
  • Upload only one piece per submission file; to submit more than one piece, create more than one submission file.
  • If you submit a revision of a piece that has already been returned to you, type the abbreviation (REV), in parentheses, following the title.​
  • There is no fee to submit.

Privacy Policy

Call for Cover Art Submissions


Submissions are open from July 1, 2020–April 30, 2021.

Artist Qualifications

  • High school students from anywhere in the world are eligible to submit.
  • We welcome multiple submissions.

Artistic Piece Guidelines

  • Polyphony means “many voices,” which you can use as inspiration for your design. You are not limited to that theme, as we are looking for the creativity and imagination of your visual art to be a match for the wide-ranging literary works contained in our annual volume.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions but if the piece is accepted elsewhere, please notify us immediately. Only previously unpublished works are eligible.
  • All submissions must be original and may include drawings, paintings, collages, photographs, or mixed media.
  • File format should be high-definition JPG or PDF image, at least 8” tall, oriented vertically.  The cover image is 9.5" x 6.5".

Submitting Guidelines

  • Please upload submissions through Submittable. We do not accept email submissions or hard copies via mail.
  • Upload only one piece per submission file; to submit more than one piece, make more than one submission file.
  • There is no fee to submit.

Feedback

  • We will not be able to respond to each submission. If your piece is accepted for publication, we will notify you at the close of our submission cycle.

Copyright

By submitting my Work to Polyphony Lit, I, the AUTHOR of this Work, agree to the following: 1. If my work is accepted for publication in the Polyphony Lit, Print Edition or Web Edition or both, I, the AUTHOR of this Work, grant to POLYPHONY LIT, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, and its successors in interest, the: (a) exclusive first publication rights worldwide in the English language; (b) royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, nonexclusive rights to reprint the Work in any volume, anthology, or other format published by POLYPHONY LIT; (c) nonexclusive rights to publish, perform, reproduce, distribute, or display the Work on electronic databases, on-line networks, other electronic systems, or any other medium now existing or developed in the future for use in projects developed, authorized, or licensed by POLYPHONY LIT; (d) nonexclusive rights to license the Work to a third party; and (e) nonexclusive rights to reproduce the Work, or any part thereof, in promotions, or advertising or any other form not offered for sale.  2. Under United States copyright law, I, as AUTHOR, will retain the copyright in the Work, subject to the rights I have granted to POLYPHONY LIT.  3. In any subsequent reuse or republication of the Work not covered by this grant of rights, I, as AUTHOR, agree to include an Acknowledgment, structured substantially as follows: “(year of first publication by Polyphony Lit) (Author name), first published in Polyphony Lit (Volume #).” 4. Warranty: I am the sole author of this Work and own sole copyright to this submitted Work, subject to the rights granted to POLYPHONY LIT above. 5. Indemnity: POLYPHONY LIT shall not be liable to the AUTHOR or any other person or entity for any and all claims, causes of action, damages and judgments arising out of this license or otherwise. Polyphony Lit accepts simultaneous submissions but expects to be notified immediately if the submission is picked up for publication elsewhere. As it is our interest in providing a wide stage for out contributing authors, it is still possible we would accept the piece for publication even if it is picked up elsewhere. In this case, we would acknowledge the site of the original publication. As the Claudia Ann Seaman (CAS) Awards are reserved for original, unpublished work, pieces that have been published elsewhere are not eligible for the CAS Awards.

Privacy Policy

By submitting my Work to Polyphony Lit, I, the AUTHOR of this Work, agree to the terms and conditions outlined in our https://www.polyphonylit.org/privacy-policy

“How to Be a Literary Editor” Scholarship Application

Students who fill out this form will be offered a full scholarship for the “How to Be a Literary Editor” course, if they qualify for financial aid.

We are a nonprofit with aim to reach all students. In order to open our staff to students from low-income communities, we offer to waive the $75 enrollment fee for students who qualify for financial aid.

You may apply for the scholarship by filling out the form below or by emailing david@polyphonylit.org.

"How to Be a Literary Editor"

This course teaches high school and college students how to edit poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Our editorial method, developed over 15 years of teaching our own staff the craft of editing, offers a standard approach for tackling each submission and gives an overview of the specific editing vocabulary useful for giving meaningful feedback.

Students who complete the course will be prepared to join the staff of their school literary magazine, ace an internship at a real-world lit magazine, and/or join Polyphony Lit.  The course also includes a guide for literary magazine interns published by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses [clmp] which will introduce students to the administrative and business aspects of producing a literary magazine.

Features of this course:

Students who pass the mini-quizzes and complete the final assignment will receive a Certificate of Completion and an invitation to join the Polyphony Lit editorial staff.

For High School Literary Magazine Advisers: If your school is interested in using the workshop to train your high school editorial staff, please contact us for more information and a discount on volume purchases.

Scholarship Qualifications

  • High school student or equivalent.
  • Financial need: public school students who qualify for free/reduced lunch; private school students receiving financial aid; students whose family financial situation has been affected by the pandemic.
  • Has access to computer/device and Wifi to take the online workshop.
  • Plans to complete the online workshop, which takes 3-5 hours, by June 2022.
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