ISSUE THE FOURTH
Pertinent dates for Issue the Fourth
September 15th - 11:59 PM October 26
October 26-November 4
The Circle’s Reading Period
Submission Response Window
Note: You may hear from us earlier in the process if you make it to the Circle’s shortlist, but not hearing from us early indicates nothing about our eventual response, as we often get many gorgeous 11th hour pieces.
We’re so glad you’re thinking of submitting to Issue the Fourth: Shadow Season. Our submission guidelines are pretty comprehensive, as we’ve tried to make sure you have all the info you need to submit. Our submissions form is at the bottom of the page. Should anything go wrong with the form, please email us as Editrix@wyrdandwyse.com.
Thanks so much and we can’t wait to see what you’ve got brewing,
The Wyrd & Wyse team
Who should submit to Wyrd & Wyse?
Anyone who identifies as woman/femme/genderfluid/non-binary and a witch (we'll accept "witchy" or "witchy leaning" as well). We prioritize witches writing from the margins. This means that we encourage BIPOC, neurodivergent witches, LGTBQUIA+ witches, disabled witches, fat witches, immigrant witches, etc. to submit.
We are committed to promoting voices creating from the margins and voices that don't already have a large platform or following -- we are always excited to publish emerging creators, though we love hearing from more established folks as well. However, we are very interested in letting new blood, so to speak, into the witchy publication arena. We want to give folks who aren’t already having their work seen and heard a platform.
Please, if you primarily identify as a cis-man, do not submit or make inquiries about submission. We are not in any way, "haters" of cis-men, but we do not publish their work. Especially please do not use the terms non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, etc. to gain entry to this publication without *actually* identifying this way -- this is a gross violation of what we do, and we are very protective of our mission.
What is The Circle looking for?
Brass tacks? We're looking for short fiction and essays, short creative non-fiction, poetry, and illustrations/art. More info on the specifics of that below, but let's take a minute to discuss theme and content.
ISSUE THE THIRD’S THEME IS “SHADOW SEASON”
You have always known this publication is comfortable with the darker side of magical things. That darkness and shadows do not make us shy away or squirm. That as much as we love the light, we recognize the power in the dark. And if you know us at all by now, you know that we resist binaries like light=good/dark=bad. No, we prefer liminality. The greyspace, the complexity, the unflattening of a world that so desperately wants us all to choose sides. This is where we like to sit.
And this is where we want to see you create for this issue.
“Shadow” does not necessarily mean “dark” -- it is the space between dark and light. The medial space. As such, we are interested in your ghosts, your hauntings, your ponderings on the spaces between all things. We are interested in ponderings about dreams and visions, about magic and mystery. We love a fairytale retelling for the shadowy season (think Angela Carter), but we also love a new story that feels like a fairy tale. If you have stories of Persephone, sirens (not mermaids!), valkyries, stories of travel between here and elsewhere, poems about the between-space, or accounts of seances and journeys to the liminal realms, we want to read them. We want to read tales of mycelium, and crepuscular creatures, real or imagined.
We want to hear about witchcraft and ritual for times spent in shadow. Tell us about “shadow” beyond what we typically hear in “spiritual” circles -- what does shadow do for us? How does it teach us? How do the darkening days of late autumn prepare us for the sleeping season of winter? What grows in the cool, dark seasons? What comes from the void and creeps into our shadowy consciousness? Can we look into the abyss, stare into its darkness, stand in its shadow and come out the same?
We live in a time between what we have “always” known and done, and a revolution of thought and action. We are living through another burning time, and want to know: What are you living through in this Shadow Season?
POINTS OF INSPIRATION
Need a little inspiration, or some different ways of thinking about what we’re looking for in this issue? We’ve got you covered.
things that grow in the dark * crepuscular creatures * medial space * resisting the overculture * mycelial structures * ghosts * hauntings * haunted attics * queer identities that don’t fit into easily understood categories * shadow rituals * shadow selves * bones * what’s left behind * acorns * who is left behind? * who is left out? * who does not fit anywhere?* out of the cauldron * ashes * rituals for shadow season * preparing for winter * tales of the liminal* thistle * thorns * fallen leaves * waning light * shadowy moon phases * spirit * witches, always witches, of all kinds*
WHAT WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN
Anything depicting graphic or gory violence. Anything that uses rape for shock value. Anything to do with angels or overtly Christian themes (unless you are subverting this in some way — but we are a publication for magical folks and Christianity has not been kind to witches). Anything that demonizes sex workers or sex work. TERF and SWERF ideologies are NOT welcome in this publication. Anything to do with yoga, or mixing Hindu and/or Buddhist theologies/deities with witchcraft in an appropriative way. Using indigenous religions or religious symbols in an appropriative way. Anything that holds up white fragility or supremacy. Stories of deities outside of your cultural/ancestral traditions/knowledge. White people writing about "shamanic" experiences of any kind-- this includes anything about ayahuasca/sweat lodges or other indigenous traditions. White people writing about BIPOC cultures and their religions as though they are their own. White people writing about anything appropriative. Anything that essentializes body parts as integral parts of gender identity (i.e. penis = men/masculine womb/vaginas = women/feminine). This does NOT mean that we don't want to hear about body parts/menstruation/birth/etc. This does mean that we are not into the idea of these "parts" belonging solely to a binary structure of gendered identity.
How should you submit?
We are happy to consider publishing work that has not been published elsewhere. If your work is published elsewhere during the submission period, please let us know and we will remove you from the running in our selection process.
TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
Artwork must be in high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) and in true black and white to be considered. We are not currently publishing high resolution color painting or photographs -- though we will consider collage work if it is in black and white. We tend to favor black and white illustrations because they print crisply and go with our overall aesthetic. Especially with artists, we like to see a digital portfolio website or social media where we can see your other work.
We accept submissions of short essays, short fiction, short creative nonfiction. Please keep submissions under 3,000 words.
Please feel free to submit up to 3 poems. We may pick and choose or print all you submit, depending on space.
NOTE: We pay $15 per contributor, not per contribution. If we choose 3 poems, you’ll be paid the same as if we chose 1.
How do we choose?
Starting in Issue the Third, Wyrd & Wyse began employing a small circle of readers who are intimately acquainted with the goals and mission of the publication. We choose together what goes into the issue.
Part of our process is to anonymize each submission before the Circle reads it. No one in the circle has your personal information at the time of our reading period, or even knows who you are, unless they are already personally acquainted with your work. Circle members' identities remain a secret.
As a policy, we do not respond to queries about submissions until the reading unless you are writing to tell us your work has been accepted elsewhere, and then we will heartily congratulate you. Otherwise, we send acceptance and rejection letters after the Circle has completed the reading period and voted.
If we reject your work, please do not take it as a personal slight. We reject for many reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the quality of your work.
While we can't offer the moon, we value our contributors' work. We offer the following to our contributors as a huge thanks for being a part of the magic:
Free Contributor Copy of the issue you are published in
Free advertising space in the back pages
Shoutouts on our social media
$15.00 and lots of smoky prayers for your continued success, and your name sung to the chill autumn wind
RIGHTS AND PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK
We request first print rights. These are returned to you after six months and you are always free to publish your work elsewhere at that point. We may request rights in the future to re-print for anthologies or omnibus compilations. You have the right to refuse.
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK
We prefer to print work that has not been printed and/or published elsewhere. We may make some exceptions to this rule, but typically in very specific cases and typically if we are soliciting work or excerpting from a longer piece of work on a regular basis.
The main case where we make this exception generally is with artwork. We know that those working in the visual arts thrive by showing their work and WIPs on social media and by selling prints individually. So long as someone else does not have rights to your work, and it has not been previously published by another organization we are happy to print artwork you’ve shared on social media in the past.
We would prefer not to publish written work that you have published on a personal blog or social media (especially when it comes to longer essays or fiction), but we do realize that poets are in a similar spot to visual artists when it comes to this kind of thing, so please just let us know that your work has appeared on your personal social media in the past when you submit.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSION
We use a form to gather some information about the folks who submit, and things like artwork, poetry that is written with a specific structure that affects page layout, anything with footnotes,or other specific/nonstandard layout needs. should be emailed to us. If you do not complete the form, you will not be considered for publication.