We are moving our office and warehouse, and making some major changes, so please pardon our dust during site reconstruction. Some information may be out of date, incomplete, or not yet working. If you have submitted work to us and are awaiting a response, we are extremely far behind on our reading, so we thank you for your patience and understanding. If you need help, email us at alt.current [at] gmail.com.


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Submission Guidelines for Alternating Current Press

Submission Guidelines for Alternating Current Press
Go directly to:
[Full book-length manuscripts (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, hybrid)]   [Footnote & individual history-themed pieces (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, hybrid)]   [Fiction (individual stories)   [Poetry (individual poems)]

[All special themed anthology projects & open calls]   [Remapping Wonderland: Classic Fairytales Retold by People of Color (fiction)]   [On Being LGBTQ+ in Rural Areas (nonfiction)]   [On Being LGBTQ+ in the Deep South (nonfiction)]   [Maintain the North: An Epic Mountie Adventure Anthology (fiction)]   [The Tertiary Lodgers: An Anthology of Stories from the First-Person Viewpoints of Secondary and Tertiary Classic Characters (fiction)]   [Hear & Now: An Anthology on Deafness (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, hybrid)]   [We’ve Always Done It!: Poems about Wartime Women (poetry)]   [Mother Goose Is Sometimes a Father and Sometimes Both: Fairytales, Fables, Nursery Rhymes, and Children’s Stories for Raising Good Little Boys in the Era of Toxic Masculinity (fiction, poetry, hybrid)]






This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.

Full Book-Length Manuscript Submissions

Manuscripts are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
All manuscripts submitted are automatically entered into the Electric Book Award. There is no separate entry process.
Manuscripts can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, or hybrid. Choose the category of best fit.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
All genres, styles, lengths, and themes considered, but work should be full book-length. (We don’t print chapbooks.)
Work may be author-submitted or agent-submitted. We read all submissions equally, in order.
Simultaneous submissions accepted and encouraged.
ACP and The Coil staff may submit work, but they are ineligible for prizes while on our staff (inc. volunteers).
Collections that contain previously published pieces are considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
We do not issue refunds for incorrect submissions, double submissions, or withdrawals. Please take your time submitting.
Straight or scholarly nonfiction should have reference pages.
There is a $4.99 fee for each manuscript submitted during non-free reading periods.
Each paid submission comes with a digital copy of our latest published book for the respective category. (Fiction/plays is currently A Room in Dodge City by David Leo Rice; nonfiction is currently Eats of Eden by Tabitha Blankenbiller; poetry is currently We Meant to Bring It Home Alive by Armin Tolentino.)
Manuscripts can be submitted for free during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Periods in August and October.
Please submit only one manuscript submission at a time, and wait to hear back before submitting another.
We close our submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month. We also close submissions when we are running behind on our reading, so if the portal is unavailable, please check back the following month.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
We are slow, careful, interested readers; responses can take many months. Please refrain from asking for updates.
All selected fiction and nonfiction manuscripts currently receive a $300 advance against royalties; all selected poetry manuscripts currently receive a $100 advance against royalties. All selected manuscripts receive 10 complimentary print copies, complimentary digital copies, 50/50 royalties, an at-cost discount (without obligation) for print editions, and a standard contract. The Electric Book Award winner currently receives an additional $200 honorarium and 5 additional complimentary print copies.


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This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.

Footnote and Individual History-Themed Submissions

Footnote: A Literary Journal of History is our annual journal dedicated to historical and contemporary views on any topic of nonscholarly and personal history. We are excited by pieces that give an author’s intimate or emotional take on historical places, people, events, ideas, or whatever history means to each author. We give a home to archaic historical rhymes, essays and opinions of the long-since dead, and contemporary voices commenting on historical ideas, people, or events that have touched the authors.
This category is only for INDIVIDUAL pieces (not book-length manuscripts) of poetry, prose, or hybrid work with themes of history (whatever that means to you). Pieces must noticeably fit a historical theme.
Submissions can be poetry, fiction, hybrid, creative nonfiction, or straight nonfiction.
Submit up to 5 pieces in a single document.
Submissions are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
All individual historical pieces submitted to this category are automatically entered into the Charter Oak Award. There is no separate entry process.
It is highly recommended that you read our past Charter Oak finalists and winners.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered. We will also consider reliable translations for this category.
All genres, styles, lengths (within reason), and subjects within the theme considered. A soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Straight nonfiction must cite at least two sources. Sources must be acknowledged somewhere in the submitted file and will be printed with the final printed work.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
ACP and The Coil staff may submit work, but they are ineligible for prizes while on our staff (inc. volunteers).
Previously published pieces are considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
We do not issue refunds for incorrect submissions, double submissions, or withdrawals. Please take your time submitting.
There is a $2.99 fee for each submission (up to 5 pieces in one submission) submitted during non-free reading periods.
Each paid submission comes with a digital copy of our latest issue of Footnote (currently #2).
Historical pieces can be submitted for free during Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Periods in August and October.
Please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
Please submit only one historical submission (up to 5 pieces in one submission) at a time, and wait to hear back before submitting another.
We close our submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month. We also close submissions when we are running behind on our reading, so if the portal is unavailable, please check back the following month.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
We are slow, careful, interested readers; responses can take many months. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We will accept approximately 40-60 pieces for each issue, depending on length. All pieces selected receive publication in the next issue of Footnote. We are currently reading for issue #5. For issue #5 (not retroactive to earlier issues with different pay scales), there is a $200 payment budget for the issue, and all authors published in it receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed issue in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). For the 2019 Charter Oak Award (not retroactive to earlier awards with different pay scales), the winner receives a $100 honorarium, a listing on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, a printed certificate, and our virtual gold medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. Second- and third-place winners receive listings on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, printed certificates, and our virtual silver medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. The top 20 Charter Oak Award finalists receive publication on The Coil, as well. We do not give out complimentary print editions, except to the first-, second-, and third-place winners of the Charter Oak Award whose work is therein contained.


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This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.

Fiction and Hybrid Stories Submissions

Standalone fiction pieces only. Experimental, flash, short novelettes, long stories, short plays, and hybrid prose considered. (Hybrid that most closely resembles poetry should be submitted to the poetry category. Nonfiction pieces (essays, articles, columns, reviews, memoir, journalism, interviews, booklists, literary trends) should be submitted to The Coil categories.)
This category is only for INDIVIDUAL pieces (not book-length manuscripts) of fiction.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Submit up to 4 pieces in a single document.
Submissions are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
All individual fiction pieces submitted to this category are automatically entered into the Luminaire Award for Best Prose. There is no separate entry process.
It is highly recommended that you read our past Luminaire Prose Award finalists and winners.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
All genres, styles, lengths, and themes considered. A soft upper limit of 3,000 words is suggested.
ACP and The Coil staff may submit work, but they are ineligible for prizes while on our staff (inc. volunteers).
Previously published pieces are considered if they have not been published elsewhere online within the past year. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
We do not issue refunds for incorrect submissions, double submissions, or withdrawals. Please take your time submitting.
There is a $2.99 fee for each submission (up to 4 pieces in one submission) submitted during non-free reading periods.
Each paid submission comes with a digital copy of our latest fiction collection (currently Second Acts in American Lives by Ryan Ridge and Mel Bosworth).
Fiction can be submitted for free during Short Story Month (May) and during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Periods in August and October.
Please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
Please submit only one fiction submission (up to 4 pieces in one submission) at a time, and wait to hear back before submitting another.
We close our submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month. We also close submissions when we are running behind on our reading, so if the portal is unavailable, please check back the following month.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
We are slow, careful, interested readers; responses can take many months. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We accept approximately 52 pieces per year and aim to publish one per week. All pieces selected receive publication on The Coil. There is a $200 payment budget for each month on The Coil, and all authors published in a single month receive an even division of that amount (token payment), after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time). The top 5 Luminaire Award winners and finalists are indicated online, as well. For the 2019 Luminaire Prose Award (not retroactive to earlier awards with different pay scales), the winner receives a $100 honorarium, a listing on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, a printed certificate, and our virtual gold medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. Second- and third-place winners receive listings on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, printed certificates, and our virtual silver medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. The top 5 winners and finalists are also published in a triennial print and ebook anthology and receive complimentary digital copies and at-cost discounts (without obligation) on print editions. We do not give out complimentary print editions.


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This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.

Poems and Hybrid Poetry Submissions

Standalone poetry only. Individual poems, small groups of linked poems, experimental, prose poems, and hybrid poetry considered. (Hybrid that most closely resembles fiction or prose should be submitted to the fiction category).
This category is only for INDIVIDUAL pieces (not book-length manuscripts) of poetry.
Our journal is hosted on the Medium platform, which is not the best place for poetry that is anything other than left-aligned. We are not the best home for single poems with fancy layouts.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Submit up to 6 poems in a single document.
Submissions are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
All individual poems submitted to this category are automatically entered into the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry. There is no separate entry process.
It is highly recommended that you read our past Luminaire Poetry Award finalists and winners.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
All genres, styles, lengths, and themes considered. A soft upper limit of 3,000 words is suggested.
ACP and The Coil staff may submit work, but they are ineligible for prizes while on our staff (inc. volunteers).
Previously published pieces are considered if they have not been published elsewhere online within the past year. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
We do not issue refunds for incorrect submissions, double submissions, or withdrawals. Please take your time submitting.
There is a $2.99 fee for each submission (up to 6 poems in one submission) submitted during non-free reading periods.
Each paid submission comes with a digital copy of our latest poetry collection (currently We Meant to Bring It Home Alive by Armin Tolentino).
Poetry can be submitted for free during Poetry Month (April) and during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Periods in August and October.
Please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
Please submit only one poetry submission (up to 6 poems in one submission) at a time, and wait to hear back before submitting another.
We close our submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month. We also close submissions when we are running behind on our reading, so if the portal is unavailable, please check back the following month.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
We are slow, careful, interested readers; responses can take many months. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We accept approximately 52 poems per year and aim to publish one per week. All pieces selected receive publication on The Coil. There is a $200 payment budget for each month on The Coil, and all authors published in a single month receive an even division of that amount (token payment), after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time). The top 5 Luminaire Award winners and finalists are indicated online, as well. For the 2019 Luminaire Poetry Award (not retroactive to earlier awards with different pay scales), the winner receives a $100 honorarium, a listing on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, a printed certificate, and our virtual gold medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. Second- and third-place winners receive listings on Alternating Current Press’ website, publication on The Coil, printed certificates, and our virtual silver medallion imprint for use on the author’s websites and published books. The top 5 winners and finalists are also published in a triennial print and ebook anthology and receive complimentary digital copies and at-cost discounts (without obligation) on print editions. We do not give out complimentary print editions.


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Special Projects, Anthologies, and Open Call Submissions


Remapping Wonderland: Classic Fairytales Retold by People of Color
Final Deadline: December 31, 2019
We believe it is important for readers to see themselves reflected on the page. After truly realizing how few characters in classic fairytales are People of Color, we wanted to make an anthology of fairytales where readers of color could see themselves on the pages.

Remapping Wonderland: Classic Fairytales Retold by People of Color Submissions

We are seeking retellings and rewritings of classic fairytales that FEATURE People of Color or different ethnic or cultural backgrounds (non-white) as the characters and that are WRITTEN by People of Color or different ethnic or cultural backgrounds (non-white).
The original source material should be recognizable but not copied; we will reward creativity and uniqueness in the retelling and rewriting. We are looking for heart, the human condition, truth, diversity, overarching metaphors and allegories, deeper meanings and morals.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
We are not seeking work aimed at children.
We are looking for retellings of classic fairytales that are in the public domain; obscure characters and stories are fine and encouraged, but we are not seeking original fairytales that have not previously existed in a different form.
We are not accepting poetry for this collection. Fiction only.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
We have already accepted pieces from the following fairytale sources, so we are no longer reading work from: 1,001 Nights, Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Goose Girl, Hansel and Gretel, King Midas and the Golden Touch, The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Ugly Duckling. Please choose a different story!
We will accept approximately 20 pieces for this collection, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to Room to Read.


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On Being LGBTQ+ in Rural Areas and LGBTQ+ in the Deep South (Series)
This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.
Being gay in San Francisco is hard enough; being gay on a farm in Indiana might be even harder. We are seeking creative nonfiction and personal essays on the experience of being LGBTQ+ in rural areas and on the experience of being LGBTQ+ in the Deep South.

Being LGBTQ+ in Rural Areas and in the Deep South Submissions

These are two separate anthologies that will be part of a series; while you may submit to both anthologies (within one submission, please), each piece can only be selected for one anthology. That selection is up to the editor’s discretion.
We want work with heart and work with passion. We want funny pieces, happy pieces, and pieces that tear us apart. We want true experiences that help us step inside your world and out of ours. Through the stories of our lives, we can teach others compassion, tolerance, and humanity. That’s what we’re seeking.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
We are not accepting poetry or fiction for this collection. Nonfiction only.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
“Rural” is left open to interpretation. If you don’t know if your story fits in the Deep South, then it doesn’t fit in the Deep South.
There is currently no deadline for either anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make deadlines. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
This series is edited by Amanda Jean. Do not approach the series editor if your work is still under consideration for the anthologies. Direct questions to our regular help center at alt.current [at] gmail.com.
We will accept approximately 20 essays for each collection, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for each anthology, and all authors published in each collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed respective anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to the Human Rights Campaign and Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS.


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Maintain the North: An Epic Mountie Adventure Anthology
Whether you are a firm believer that a Mountie always gets his man, can’t resist Canadian politeness, or simply grew up with adventure books, Renfrew of the Royal Mounted, Nelson Eddy, or Due South, we want your fiction, slashfic, fanfic, histfic, pulp, and adventure stories for an anthology about the epic mythology and folklore of the Mounties.

Maintain the North: An Epic Mountie Adventure Anthology Submissions

We’re looking for sagas, epics, adventures, detective stories, (light) romance (not erotica and not purely women’s fiction), literary work, parodies, and maybe surreality or the fantastical if you hit us in the right bone. We’re not seeking work about modern-day RCMP or Canadian police forces; we want stories of the mythologized past, the cowboys of the North, the daringness of the NWMP from the Norfolk Jacket to the Red Serge, the stories as big as Wild Western lore and legends. We want heart and humor and adventure and darkness and fun and depth and personality. Kudos for the human condition, diversity, strong females, overarching metaphors and allegories, deeper meanings and morals.
We’re not seeking nonfiction or poetry, nor true stories unless they are grandly fictionalized. Fiction only.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
There is currently no deadline for this anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make a deadline. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We are not seeking work aimed at children.
Do not use characters outside of the public domain if you’re playing off someone else’s source material.
We will accept approximately 20-30 pieces for this anthology, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions.


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The Tertiary Lodgers: An Anthology of Fiction from the First-Person Viewpoints of Secondary and Tertiary Classic and Contemporary-Classic Characters
It’s time to shake up the shelf of those old books you read in high school for this anthology of fiction from the first-person points-of-view of secondary, tertiary, or other random bit-part characters from classic and contemporary-classic public-domain works.

The Tertiary Lodgers: Stories from the Viewpoints of Secondary and Tertiary Classic Characters Submissions

Fiction only, though it can be historical, contemporary, speculative, literary, hybrid, or you-just-made-it-up. No nonfiction or poetry.
All stories must be told from the FIRST-PERSON (only) points-of-view of secondary, tertiary, or other random bit-part characters from classic and contemporary-classic public-domain works.
We are not seeking work about the main protagonists or main antagonists; we’re seeking work told through the eyes of the butlers, maids, cousins, other-women, sisters, neighbors, pets, squires, and lawnboys, no matter how absurd, far-fetched, funny, realistic, sad, traumatic, simple, or complicated. Give us grand. Give us lore and legend, heartbreak and laughter. Make us think. Make us change how we feel about that story and its characters forever. Kudos for diversity and awareness of societal, class, racial, gender, and economic biases during the stories’ original time settings. Kudos for characters that do something; we aren’t as interested in staring at wallpaper or settling into the scenery for 20 pages, and we don’t want you to regurgitate the original source material or storyline in more than a breath or two.
Work must spring from classic or contemporary-classic public-domain fictional characters and ought to be somewhat recognizable (though not outright copied). For this anthology, we’re more interested in popular classics (Dickens, Austen, Melville, Hawthorne, Dumas) than we are in fairytales, folktales, and mythology. In the U.S., public domain works are any works first published prior to 1924.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
We are not seeking work aimed at children.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
There is currently no deadline for this anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make a deadline. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We have already accepted pieces from the following viewpoints, so we are no longer reading work from the viewpoints of: Merlin (Le Morte d’Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight), The Miller’s Daughter’s Brother (Rumpelstiltskin), Lamb from Bo Peep’s Flock (Little Bo Peep), Cassandra (Agamemnon, Iphigenia at Aulis, and The Iliad), Hector of Troy (The Iliad), Nettie’s Baby (The House of Mirth), Horatio (Hamlet), The Mouse (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Portia (Julius Caesar), Mrs. Medlock (The Secret Garden). Please choose a different story or a different character!
We will accept approximately 20 pieces for this collection, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions.


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Hear & Now: An Anthology on Deafness
This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.
We’re seeking poetry, fiction, hybrid, and nonfiction that touches on deafness in some way (however slight) that is WRITTEN BY deaf and hard-of-hearing writers.

Hear & Now: An Anthology on Deafness Submissions

The genre and style is purposely left very open, so deaf and hard-of-hearing writers can bend the theme to mean what they want it to mean for their own purposes.
Work must be WRITTEN BY deaf and hard-of-hearing writers. We will also consider work by people directly affected by deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals (an interpreter, a parent of a deaf child), but the connection or perspective must be unique and important so that we can reserve the page space primarily to showcase deaf and hard-of-hearing writers.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 10,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
There is currently no deadline for this anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make a deadline. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We will accept approximately 20-50 pieces for this anthology, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to the National Association of the Deaf.


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We’ve Always Done It!: Poems about Wartime Women
This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.
We’re seeking poetry about women during times of war, from ancient wars to the War of the Roses to every war of independence to Rosie the Riveter to Afghanistan.

We've Always Done It: Poems about Wartime Women Submissions

Poetry only. No fiction or nonfiction, but hybrid, experimental, and prose poems will be considered.
Poems should touch on the historical or the personal, whether about a public figure or your own sister, mother, wife, or daughter, and that woman’s wartime role, whether as a spectator watching soldiers tear through her crops, as a war nurse patching eyes and limbs, as a fighter, or as a peacemaker trying to stop the fighting. We’re seeking personal connections and personal details. We don’t want biographies-with-line-breaks; we want heart, soul, humanity, essence, passion, intrigue, duty, pain, laughter. Kudos for diversity; we especially want to hear from People of Color and Indigenous Peoples. Specific subjects will be given more preference than general subjects.
Poems are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count or line-count limit.
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
“Woman” is left open to interpretation and all-inclusive. We are an LGBTQ+ safe space.
Poems should be about women or women-identified persons, but the poems do not have to be written by women.
There is currently no deadline for this anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make a deadline. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We will accept approximately 60-80 poems for this anthology, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to Women Veterans Interactive and Service Women’s Action Network.


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Mother Goose Is Sometimes a Father and Sometimes Both: Fairytales, Fables, Nursery Rhymes, and Children’s Stories for Raising Good Little Boys in the Era of Toxic Masculinity
This category is currently closed while we catch up on our reading.
In the age of Me Too, Own Voices, toxic masculinity, gross nationalism, and a general awareness that what we’re assigned at birth or childhood is not who we have to be throughout our lives, how do we teach people to be kinder, more inclusive, more tolerant, more empathetic? Much of it starts at a very young age, and a lot of it comes from what we teach our little boys about being men. With this anthology, we want your fairytales (original or rewritten from classic work in the public domain), fables with good or interesting morals, children’s stories, nursery rhymes, or epic rhyming stories (or storytelling rhymes) that are engaging for children, fun and entertaining and full of heart and story, specifically aimed at making our little boys better.

Mother Goose Is Sometimes a Father and Sometimes Both Submissions

Whether talking about accepting people who are different, not othering others, how to respect girls and women, what being a man really means, that it’s okay to cry, what personal space is, that there is no pride in nationalism, not to bully, not to waste resources, or whatever else you can think of that you’d like to say as a lullaby to little boys to help make them better people, we want to hear it. Humor is good, but honesty is even better. Entertainment is good, but there must also be sincerity. Kudos for the human condition, diversity, strong females, overarching metaphors and allegories, deeper meanings and morals. Work should specifically be aimed at young boys, to be read aloud by conscientious parents. We are NOT looking for “Christian values”; we are looking for human values.
We’re not seeking nonfiction for this anthology. Pretty much any other style will be considered.
Stories are read incognito. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS INSIDE THE FILE, inc. headers, footers, cover pages, acknowledgments, and file names.
Must be at least 18 to submit.
All work must be in English and must be the author’s own. Single work by multiple authors considered.
No word-count limit, but a soft upper limit of 2,000 words is suggested, and preference may be given to shorter works. (The attention span of a child is not a lengthy visitor.)
Simultaneous submissions allowed.
Previously published pieces considered. Don’t include acknowledgments in the file.
Submit via Submittable only. We do not accept email submissions.
There is no reading fee.
We close our free submissions when we reach our monthly Submittable submissions cap, so submit early in the month and don’t wait last-minute for the deadline.
We respond to every submission, in order. Form response only. We are regretfully unable to provide feedback.
You may submit as many pieces as you’d like, but please submit them all at once, in one single submission, and please only submit to free categories once per month, to give everyone a chance to submit before submissions are capped.
Do not use characters outside of the public domain if you’re playing off someone else’s source material. In the U.S., public domain sources that are acceptable to use are works that were first published before 1924.
There is currently no deadline for this anthology; as we approach our maximum amount of accepted pieces, we will make a deadline. Please understand that it may take a couple years to reach our volume of accepted quality material, so have patience. Acceptances and declines will be notified as they are read. Please refrain from asking for updates.
We will accept approximately 20-50 pieces for this anthology, depending on length. There is a $200 payment budget for the anthology, and all authors published in the collection receive an even division of that amount, after publication, in an opt-in system (which you will choose at payment time), along with a digital copy of the completed anthology in all formats, and an author-discount price for print versions (without obligation). We do not give out complimentary print editions. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will go to GLSEN: The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and the Association of Children’s Museums.


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Microgrants for Marginalized Writers Applications

We here at Alternating Current Press reject the hateful rhetoric of the current presidential administration. We reject travel bans and legislation meant to target people of certain cultural backgrounds, races, identities, or sexual orientations. We believe that diverse voices and diverse literature make the world a better place, can teach compassion, and can end biases. We want people to stop being afraid of Muslims. We want to build a safe space for LGBTQ+. We want Own Voices to speak, and Native Americans to have oil-free water, the disadvantaged to have access to being heard, and people to stop being shot for the color of their skin. We’re just a small press; we can’t do much. But we believe that we ALL can do more than we’ve been doing, so as of now, we’re doing more. We are offering a space for underrepresented voices to receive microgrant funding for their talents. The grants are small monetary gifts for writers to help them free up their time to create. Grants tell writers that their work is valued. The money does not get paid back (it is not a loan), and the author only has to apply and fulfill the specific requirements if the category applies to him, her, or them. It’s more important than ever to take a stand, so we are standing with you.


More soon.




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Transparency Questions & How Information Is Used
We ask for some sensitive information in our submission form, such as your race, sex, and cultural backgrounds, to help us work toward a balanced submission / acceptance rate, and, much like the VIDA Count, to know which groups of underrepresented voices we need to work harder to reach, and which portions of writing communities are submitting. PLEASE KNOW that this information is not made public, is not shown to the reading editors, is not factored into any judging process, and has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not your work is accepted. Work is accepted solely on the merit of the writing, regardless of race, sex, creed, orientation, or background. Only the editor-in-chief and submissions director have access to this information, and its only purpose is to help us in our submission / acceptance transparency percentages; the editor-in-chief and submissions director do not read submissions. Please help us remain transparent by answering the questions honestly.

Before You Withdraw
If you submitted in the wrong category, uploaded the wrong file, put your name inside the document, or otherwise made a mistake, please DO NOT withdraw your submission from Submittable. Rather, go into your submission on Submittable, and request to EDIT it. We will open it up for editing, and you can make your changes, then close out the editing. If you just want to make minor edits to your manuscript because you spotted a missing comma, please refrain from doing so; it is more of a hindrance and a distraction than it is a help. Accepted manuscripts will have the opportunity for editing before publication, and minor errors are a fact of life and are not held against the author during the reading period. If your full manuscript is accepted elsewhere before you hear back from us, please withdraw your manuscript promptly. If only a portion or individual piece of your submission is accepted elsewhere, please DO NOT withdraw your submission; rather, open your submission in Submittable and send us a note in the sidebar or content tabs. There are no refunds for withdrawn manuscripts, and manuscripts submitted twice must pay all fees twice.

Fees
Our submission categories have fees indicated during regular reading months. Each category has at least one fee-free reading month, so if you cannot afford the fee, please mark your calendars and come back when the fee-free period is open. Fees help to defray administrative costs and to pay our authors, and each paid submission comes with a copy of our latest published book fitting the respective category. Authors may submit more than once during fee periods, but must pay a separate fee for each manuscript. Authors may submit only once during fee-free periods or to free categories, and only once total across all free categories combined per month.

Free-Submission Periods & Marginalized Voices
Submissions of any kind can be submitted for free during our Submit Anything! Open-Reading Periods in August and October of each year, or during fee-free periods for respective categories. There are no feedback services available for free submissions. Native Americans, LGBTQ+, Minority Ethnics, Disabled, and People of Color can submit anything year-round for free using the marginalized voices category. YOU MAY ONLY SUBMIT ONCE PER MONTH DURING FREE MONTHS AND ONLY ONCE PER MONTH TOTAL ACROSS ALL FREE CATEGORIES. We are only allotted a set number of free submissions per month across all categories, so we close the portal once we meet our maximum. Allowing only one free submission ensures that everyone gets an equal chance to submit before we have to cap monthly submissions. If a portal is closed, return during the next month that it reopens, and always submit early in the month.

After Submission
We will respond to EVERY submission. Responses can take up to 6 months, but we aim to have responses back within 2 months. Please do not follow up on your submission. If we decline your submission, it isn’t personal. Please refrain from sending snarky response emails, and try again with something new. If we accept your manuscript, then it is automatically sent to the semifinalist round for your respective category award, and you’ll hear the results during award-announcement times. We often accept submissions several years out, so do not expect instant publication. DO NOT approach our readers about your manuscript before they have read it, or it will be disqualified and rejected unread. We will not respond to any status-update queries about your submission; we receive hundreds of submissions each month, and responding to updates would take time and staff that we don’t have. We will notify you when we have new information on your piece, and yes, sometimes it may take a while. Make sure you add editor.acpress@gmail.com, coil.acpress@gmail.com, submissions.acpress@gmail.com, alt.current@gmail.com, and editor@thecoilmag.com to your safe contacts list, so you receive our emails, and check your spam filters regularly.

Editing Accepted Work
Alternating Current Press extensively edits, comments on, and makes suggestions for ALL accepted work we publish, from a tiny haiku to an Infinite Jest-sized tome. We will work with you line-by-line, and at least three different editors at our press will communicate with you on edits. We make excellent end products, no matter the grueling process, and if you are not interested in making your work the best it can be, think your work is too personal or perfect that it is beyond editing, or are not open to outside editing suggestions, then absolutely DO NOT submit your work to us. All authors get a final say in their work, but we pride ourselves on shaping it into the best it can be; we do not have the time to spend on manuscripts from authors who are not open to suggestion.

Payment
We pay for all the material we publish. Specifics are listed under each category below. Please keep in mind that we are a small, independent press; while it is important to us to offer some kind of payment to our authors, our payments will be token and often below a standard professional rate.

Snail Mail Submissions
For all categories, we do accept snail mail submissions if that is the only submission option available to you. There is no need to pay extra for priority shipping. All category rules apply to snail mail submissions, as well. Leave manuscripts unbound; no fancy stapling jobs, please. Include a cover letter. Fees must still be paid. For check and mailing address information, click here. Include SASE envelope or an email address for response. Manuscripts will only be returned with proper return postage provided. If your manuscript is selected, you must send us an electronic copy; we will not transcribe by hand. *It is important to note for transparency that manuscripts submitted via snail mail cannot be read blind. If selected, however, the finalist round will be read blind.*




Contest Process and Code of Ethics


Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics
We subscribe to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics. CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1.) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2.) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3.) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Alternating Current’s Selection & Judging Process
1.) We take submissions through Submittable and use its tools and our own to accept blind submissions. Only the Editor-in-Chief has access to the information, and she does not read or accept submissions. Snail mail submissions cannot be read blind (but are also included in our process so there is a submitting option available for everyone). The Acquisitions Editor occasionally has access to contact information provided by solicited or invited manuscripts, but the Acquisitions Editor only selects work for final publication (not judging), and does not read the initial submissions. While the Editor-in-Chief and Acquisitions Editor determine what is published on our press, they do not make judging decisions for awards.

2.) We ask submitters not to include their names, contact information, or any identifying marks within the documents, titles, and file names of submissions.

3.) Staff members of Alternating Current may have pieces published on The Coil or submit pieces for blind submission consideration, but they are not eligible to win award prizes while they are on our staff. (Please note that some of our staffers became staff members after they won awards because they enjoyed working with our press during the process.)

4.) For all awards, the Editor-in-Chief compiles a spreadsheet of all the eligible pieces, makes sure everything is stripped of any contact information, and sends that spreadsheet to a judge (or multiple judges). The judge is an editor for the respective category at Alternating Current, and our award is an editor’s prize for each category. The judge ranks his selections from 1-5 to choose the Top 5 Finalists or from 1-12 to choose the Top 12 Finalists for individual categories, including a first, second, and third place. The judge is not to be contacted by submitters during any part of the process. Judging decisions are final.

5.) While the pieces are read blind, the judge is asked to disqualify any pieces that he may recognize as posing a personal conflict of interest. Once selected, we will reveal the winner’s name privately to the judge before announcement to clarify that there is no conflict of interest. Should there be, the next finalist in line without conflict shall become the winner. Conflicts of interest are defined as: close friends, relatives, students, and former students of the judge. We do not consider workshops to be disqualifying factors, unless the judge personally feels there is a conflict there. We leave the discretion of conflict identification up to the judge. If the judge determines that the selection process was handled fairly, then we stand by that decision.

6.) All winners and finalists are notified prior to announcement. The results are publicly posted online at The Coil and on the press website. The locked judging spreadsheet is made publicly available upon request, and we publish the judge’s comments if there are any.




Submission/Acceptance Transparency


Thanks for your patience while we compile this information.

2016
Submissions
# Total: # Poems, # Prose, # Historical, # Manuscripts, # Editing/Critiquing, # Coil
#% White, #% Native American, #% Hispanic/Latina/o, #% Minority Ethnic/Asian, #% Black/Biracial, #% Non-American, #% Male, #% Female, #% LGBTQ+*
Acceptances
# Total (#%): # Poems (#%), # Prose (#%), # Historical Poems (#%), # Historical Prose (#%), # Manuscripts (#%)
#% White, #% Native American, #% Hispanic/Latina/o, #% Minority Ethnic/Asian, #% Black/Biracial, #% Non-American, #% Male, #% Female, #% LGBTQ+*

*In 2016, we had free periods for poetry and prose for one month each per year, and for history submissions two months per year. We had a free submit-anything category for two months of the year. We began asking for minority details in December to improve transparency accuracy, so our percentages here are still based on volunteered information from cover letters, author photos, and guesstimates. Actual numbers in minority categories could vary. Numbers are rounded.

2015
Submissions
# Total: # Poems, # Prose, # Historical, # Manuscripts, # Editing/Critiquing, # Coil
#% White, #% Native American, #% Hispanic/Latina/o, #% Minority Ethnic/Asian, #% Black/Biracial, #% Non-American, #% Male, #% Female, #% LGBTQ+*
Acceptances
# Total (#%): # Poems (#%), # Prose (#%), # Historical Poems (#%), # Historical Prose (#%), # Manuscripts (#%)
#% White, #% Native American, #% Hispanic/Latina/o, #% Minority Ethnic/Asian, #% Black/Biracial, #% Non-American, #% Male, #% Female, #% LGBTQ+*

*In 2015, we had free periods for poetry and prose for one month each per year, and for history submissions two months per year. We had no free categories for unsolicited full manuscripts. Our book award category opened up in May, so its numbers are fewer than current levels. We opened our designated category for marginalized voices in November, so there is an increase in minority submissions toward the end of the year. We did not yet ask for minority details, so our percentages are based on volunteered information from cover letters, author photos, and guesstimates. Actual numbers in minority categories could vary. Numbers are rounded.

2014
Submissions
625 Total: 132 Poems, 150 Prose, 222 Historical, 121 Manuscripts, 55 Editing/Critiquing
85% White, 0% Native American, 0% Hispanic/Latina/o, 15% Minority Ethnic/Asian, 3% Black/Biracial, 11% Non-American, 69% Male, 31% Female, 5% LGBTQ+*
Acceptances
20 Total (3%): 7 Poems (5%), 6 Prose (4%), 2 Historical Poems (2%), 4 Historical Prose (4%), 1 Manuscript (1%)
80% White, 0% Native American, 0% Hispanic/Latina/o, 20% Minority Ethnic/Asian, 0% Black/Biracial, 0% Non-American, 40% Male, 60% Female, 5% LGBTQ+*

*In 2014, we opened for unsolicited manuscript submissions in December only, and we were on hiatus from June to December for our major U.S. reading tour. We had a designated prose journal (Go Read Your Lunch) that ran through May (then discontinued), so our number of prose acceptances was higher in the beginning of the year than current levels. After closing down our general journal (Poiesis Review) in January, we were open again for poetry submissions only in December, so poetry numbers were lower than current levels. We also did not have a designated category for marginalized voices, so our percentages are based on volunteered information from cover letters, author photos, and guesstimates. Actual numbers in minority categories could vary. Numbers are rounded.

2013
Submissions
839 Total: 361 Poems, 279 Prose, 199 Historical, 0 Manuscripts*
85% White, 1% Native American, 1% Hispanic/Latina/o, 15% Minority Ethnic/Asian, 1% Black/Biracial, 14% Non-American, 62% Male, 38% Female, 2% LGBTQ+*
Acceptances
161 Total (19%): 43 Poems (12%), 61 Prose* (22%), 45 Historical Poems (25%), 12 Historical Prose (10%)
80% White, 2% Native American, 1% Hispanic/Latina/o, 14% Minority Ethnic/Asian, 0% Black/Biracial, 15% Non-American, 67% Male, 33% Female, 4% LGBTQ+*

*In 2013, we were not open to unsolicited manuscript submissions, and we had a designated prose journal (Go Read Your Lunch), so our number of prose acceptances was higher than current levels, as well as a general-submissions journal (Poiesis Review) for poetry and prose. Both of those journals are now discontinued. We also did not have a designated category for marginalized voices, so our percentages are based on volunteered information from cover letters, author photos, and guesstimates. Actual numbers in minority categories could vary. Numbers are rounded.