Guidelines for contributors
At carte blanche we believe there is more than one way to tell a story. Our mandate is to provide a venue for narrative of all forms from fiction and nonfiction, to poetry and photo essays.
carte blanche is published three times a year: in the winter, spring/summer, and fall.
How to submit
Submissions for translation, photography, and comics are open from May 1st – 31st, 2019. Accepted submissions will be included in our summer or fall issues. Fiction will be open from May 1st – May 15th for publication in the summer or fall issue. Submissions for Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction will re-open summer 2019.
Simultaneous submissions: We accept simultaneous submissions. Please indicate in your cover letter if you are sending your piece elsewhere and notify us immediately if it is accepted somewhere else.
Rights: We ask for first world serial rights and the right to archive your work on the website. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication.
Payment: carte blanche pays a modest honorarium per submission. We hope to increase the amount in the future.
What to send
Fiction and creative nonfiction
We like narrative: a story that moves from some kind of a beginning to some kind of an end, be it short fiction, memoir, personal essay or literary journalism. If it’s well written and tells a story, we’ll consider it.
Creative nonfiction submissions should be factual. Any changes to names to protect privacy should be indicated in an author’s note.
Word limit: 3500 words. You may submit one prose submission per reading period.
Send us your best work. From odes and haikus to free verse and sonnets, we welcome poems in any form. Limit: 3 poems per person per submission round. Please upload each poem separately.
We accept English translations of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction written originally in French. If possible, please include the original work on which the translation is based. If we like your piece and choose to publish it, you will be required to provide proof of permission from the copyright holder of the original work to translate and publish the translation. Obtaining permission can take time, so please do so before you submit!
Size limit: 20 pages
We’re looking for comics that have a story to tell, that explore the boundaries of narrative within the comics form.
We’re open to all styles, subjects, shapes, and sizes, but keep in mind that your comic will be displayed on the web using out image gallery.
See our previously published comics to get an idea of how the gallery looks.
Please submit your files at web resolution (72dpi) with an artist’s biography of 75 words or less, and any relevant links.
All files should be named with their proper titles as you would like them to be displayed on the site. Note: If your piece is selected, you may be asked to submit print-ready files for a print-on-demand copy of your issue.
Tell a story in 12 photos or fewer. Together, your photos should create a narrative – whether abstract or concrete – and have something to say.
Send a Word or PDF doc with your work pasted in it and include a statement, captions, and any other relevant text. If your work is selected for publication, we will contact you for a high-res version of the photo essay. Final submissions must be in JPG or PNG format.
Pitches: à la carte blog
Submissions are currently closed unless you have been solicited by a carte blanche editor. For future reference, we are especially interested in pitches for the à la carte blog from marginalized writers (i.e., BIPOC, LGTBQA2S, disabled (visible & invisible), under-represented religions, and others) are especially encouraged to submit. Check this page for updates and reading periods.
We are open to audio submissions but only if you send a query to us first. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Now, time to use our handy online submission form!
Once you have registered, created an account, and uploaded your work, you can come back to check your status. Depending on when you submit, please allow enough time for us to process the submissions and make our decisions. Please keep in mind that we are a largely volunteer organization and that we have limited resources and time. But we will look at your work. Promise.