Thank you for daring to submit to Convolution Lit. Our mission is to facilitate a conversation between the author, the reader, and society at large. That conversation may go in circles for six hours. The conversation may result in gatekeeping others out of the conversation. We never know where a story might take us, and we’re not responsible for finding out. Here’s what you need to know to submit your work to us.

Submission Window: Submissions open at 3 AM on nights when our editor-in-chief looks at the night sky and feels a particular shade of melancholy, and they close exactly 36 hours later. (Members of our Patreon may submit at any time by paying a $59 reading fee.)

Who Can Submit: While we encourage submissions from all writers, we are particularly interested in publishing work from the following groups:

  • #OwnVoice stories from affluent white men with unresolved dad issues
  • Writers who are already successful
  • Writers who went to our college, or whose parents went to college with our parents

Please let us know in your cover letter if any of these groups apply to you. (And yes, we require a cover letter!)

Word Count: Convolution accepts the following written forms. (We require strict adherence to the word count. Any more or any fewer will result in being blacklisted from the site, and an unpaid intern will place a flaming bag of dog poop on your door.)

Poems: Send up to four. Any length. MUST BE A METAPHOR ABOUT DEATH.

Itty Bitty Fiction Committee: 56 or 105 words.

Flash Fiction: Between 208 and 702 words, unless the piece contains dialogue, in which case it must be exactly 504 words, excluding adverbs.

Bloated Fiction: Between 8,000 and 10,000 words, half of which should be able to be removed without any discernible impact to the story, but have been left in anyway.

What We’re Looking For: Convolution publishes stories that confuse, disturb, and frustrate our readers. We love incomprehensible sentence structure, the glamorization of substance abuse, and off-putting personal details about your dead relatives. If we understood your story, it’s probably too simplistic and not a good fit for us.

Here’s an example of a story we published that encapsulates what we’re about. Written by recent MFA graduate Josh McHubbard, “Sad Man” follows recent MFA graduate Jeff McKibbon as he has a mental breakdown on his dad’s yacht. As a storm representing his mid-30s approaches, Jeff is tormented by a hallucination of Ernest Hemingway, who berates Jeff for his humiliating loss in the Summer Valley Catholic High School Charity Regatta. McHubbard deftly works in explicit phallic imagery and a side plot about a waitress Jeff has a crush on who is somehow both critically acclaimed actress Helen Mirren and a deadly female bark scorpion.

Payment: Convolution is an anti-capitalist publication and therefore does not believe in capitalist constructs like “being paid for your work.” We will continue to fight the good fight by refusing to pay our writers no matter how large our publication gets.

Timeline: In spite of the low volume of submissions we receive, responding to your submission is just… kind of a big ask, you know? Please give us 2-3 years to review your work. If you haven’t heard from us in that time, or if you notice that our publication has folded and our domain name has been purchased by a porn site, you can assume we passed on your work. We do not allow simultaneous submissions.

If for some reason we would like to publish your work, we will come to you in a dream.

Please send one piece at a time, unless you are a member of our Patreon, in which case you have access to our exclusive multiple-piece fee option. In that case, send as many of those suckers as you want for $79 a pop.

Thank you for attempting to contribute to the artful conversation that is Convolution. We look forward to reading your work. We promise to be respectful with it in proportion to how much you paid to submit it or how much your dad owes our dad a favor.

Happy writing,

Josh McHubbard, MFA