Submission Guidelines

For All Submissions

  • We do not accept previously published work (either in print or online).
  • Use a standard, easy-to-read typeface (for example, Arial or Times) and font size (11 or 12pt).
  • List work titles in the order they appear in your cover letter.
  • Include your name and page number in the header of each page. If you are using Microsoft Word 2007 or later, you can use the "Insert" tab on the ribbon to edit the header area and insert page numbers.
  • Do not include extraneous or blank pages with your submission.
  • Do not send revisions unless our editors have requested them.
  • Allow 8 to 16 weeks for a response (sometimes longer in May-July and December-January). We thank you in advance for your patience.
  • All inquiries about submissions must be made via email or U.S. mail.

Postal Submissions

  • Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) (No. 10 or larger) or sufficient International Reply Coupons for reply onlyNo work will be returned.

Email Submissions

  • Submissions may be made electronically to
  • Submissions made in the body of an email will not be consideredPlease submit work as an attached .doc.docx, or .rtf file. Links to a Google Docs file will be rejected.
  • Please include the genre you are submitting in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email, please list the title(s) of the poem(s) or story that you are submitting.

Additional Information

  • We do accept simultaneous submissions if informed. We expect prompt notification if the work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts may be withdrawn until we send an acceptance notification to you.
  • We are not reviewing translations at this time.
  • Authors and artists receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears.
  • The MacGuffin is copyrighted. Upon publication, all rights revert to authors. We appreciate acknowledgement as first place of publication.


  • We consider traditional, formal, free verse, and experimental poetry up to 400 lines.
  • There are no subject biases.
  • Please do not submit more than five poems at one time.
  • Poems should by typed and single-spaced, with one per page and all in the same file.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

  • We have no subject biases, though obvious pornographic material will not be published.
  • Our word limit is 5000 wordsPlease include a word count. The word count, as we define it, is the body text only, and does not include extraneous info such as title, author, headers, etc.
  • Please do not submit more than two stories. If submitting multiple stories via email, please send them as separate files.
  • Portions of longer works are acceptable if they can stand alone (and are still below 5000 words).
  • Please allow your word processor to wrap your lines—do not insert line breaks or hard returns at the margin unless starting a new paragraph.
  • All prose should be typed and double-spaced.
  • The page size should be set to 8.5"x11" and the page margins should be set to 1" all around.
  • If sending two stories, please send them as separate files.


  • Submit the best quality image available; that is, original photographs, slides, or artwork. Photocopies or laser outputs scan unevenly, and leave streaks across the image.
  • If you want an image cropped, indicate the cropping on a photocopy of the image. Do not crop photos or artwork. We size and crop images electronically.
  • Electronic images should be EPSTIFF, or JPEG files saved at 300 dpi for photos, and 600 (minimum) to 1200 (maximum) dpi for line art.
  • Embedded images are not accessible to the page layout software.