WHAT WE PUBLISH

Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer, neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, short fiction, hybrid genre, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and artwork submissions.  We also welcome and publish essays about neurodivergence and the creation of literature.

Poetry: Up to 5 poems per submission.
Short Fiction (max 1,000 words per story): Up to 5 stories per submission.
Creative Nonfiction: Up to 8,500 words total per submission.
Hybrid Genre: Up to 8,500 words total per submission.
Book ReviewsUp to 1,000 words per individual review.
Neurodivergent Lit EssaysUp to 8,500 words per submission.
Artwork: Up to 5 pieces per submission.

To view our current call for submissions (which includes information about the issue's theme), click here.


A NOTE ABOUT THE TERM NEURODIVERGENT: While typically the term “neurodivergent” refers to people who are Autistic, bipolar or or have similar neurotypes, we at Barking Sycamores do not feel it is our place to define what states of being are or are not considered neurodivergent. Therefore we cannot answer questions as to whether you are considered ND or not. It is very much rooted in identity, and if you’re unsure, we happily point you to this article written by Autonomous Press partner Nick Walker. The simplest definition of the word, first coined by Autistic writer and activist Neurodivergent K is “having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of ‘normal’.”

GENERAL GUIDELINES

1) We support neurodiversity. Please don’t send us any work that pathologizes neurodivergence, uses functioning labels, or promotes the supremacy of one type of neurology above others.

2) Submissions must be your own original work. Please do not submit work on behalf of other people (unless you are also a joint author of the work and you have your co-authors' permission). Also, due to potential copyright issues we cannot consider found poetry, centos, art collages, erasures, or similar types of work.

3) We value the voices of neurodivergent and disabled writers and artists, as well as wish to avoid “othering” of disabled and neurodivergent people. For this reason, we cannot consider submissions written about neurodivergent or disabled people from contributors who are not themselves neurodivergent or disabled.

4) We allow simultaneous submissions. However, please let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

5) Contributors must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.

6) No previously published work. Previous appearance on your own blog or social media site is fine, we just ask that you take the piece down or make it non-visible during the issue publication period.

7) Work not in English must be accompanied by a translation. If accepted, both versions will be published.

8) Contributors will be paid once their work is included in our annual print anthology. Payment is funded out of the Autonomous Press anthology fund

9) 
In all categories of submissions, please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.

PLEASE NOTE: We have updated our policies concerning publication rights.

By submitting you grant us the right to publish your work online in perpetuity in both HTML and single-issue ebook formats, and in our online journal exclusively for 60 days from the date each work appears on our website. In addition, you grant us non-exclusive print and electronic anthology rights.

If you have any questions, please contact us at barkingsycamores@gmail.com.

Thank you,
N.I. Nicholson
V. E. Maday
The Editors

Ends on October 31, 2017
INSTRUCTIONS

Submit up to FIVE (5) pieces of artwork.

Attach .JPEG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .PNG files. 

NOTE: We strongly recommend a resolution of 300 dpi or higher for image files, due to our print publication needs and standards. 
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.
Ends on October 31, 2017
INSTRUCTIONS

Submit up to FIVE (5) poems at a time.

Attach .doc, .docx, or .odt files (one file with all poems, or one file for each individual poem).
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.


Ends on October 31, 2017
INSTRUCTIONS

Submit up to FIVE (5) pieces of short fiction, no more than 1,000 words each.

Attach .doc.docx, or .odt files.
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.
Ends on October 31, 2017
INSTRUCTIONS

Submit up to 8,500 total words of creative nonfiction (one piece or multiple pieces),

Attach .doc.docx, or .odt files.
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.
Ends on October 31, 2017

HYBRID GENRE SUBMISSIONS

We seek work that either a) blurs the lines between genres or b) alternates the usage of different literary forms within the same work. We’re mostly interested in the following categories of hybrid literature:

  • pieces that blur the line between prose poetry and creative nonfiction;
  • pieces that blur the line between prose poetry and flash fiction;
  • biomythography; and,
  • pieces which mix and/or multiple literary forms (i.e. poetry and memoir) within the same work (such as hybrid narratives, as described by Thomas Larson in this article)

You may submit as many hybrid genre pieces as you like in the same submission; however, we ask that the total word count between all hybrid genre pieces submitted does not exceed 8.500 words.

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INSTRUCTIONS


Submit up to 8,500 total words of hybrid genre work (one piece or multiple pieces),

Attach .doc.docx, or .odt files.
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.
Ends on October 31, 2017
BOOK REVIEW INFORMATION
  • We prefer reviews of 1,000 words or less.
  • There is no limit on how many reviews you may submit per period.
  • Types of books for which we seek reviews:
    • Books by neurodivergent authors
    • Multiple-contributor anthologies where most of the authors identify as neurodivergent
    • Books with neurodivergent themes or that feature at least neurodivergent person as a primary character
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INSTRUCTIONS

Attach .doc.docx, or .odt files.
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.

NEURODIVERGENCE AND LITERATURE ESSAYS GUIDELINES

We seek essays (maximum length 8,500 words) that use strong facts and/or well-documented observations to support a solid thesis statement. We are particularly interested in essays about:

  • how  neurodivergence  aid in the creation of literature;
  • neurological divergent traits that might cause a writer to break common rules and conventions in literature (and do this well);
  • how a neurodivergent individual might use the creative arts (especially literature) to express him/her/zirself when ordinary communication means do not suffice;
  • how an author’s work might reveal his/her/zir neurological divergence.

If you are identifying neurodivergent traits in an author’s work, we prefer that the author about whom you are writing be deceased. If the author about whom you are writing is still alive, we ask that you obtain permission from that author to write about him/her/zir and forward that statement of permission to us; no one likes to be “outed” and we have a strong respect for individual privacy.

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INSTRUCTIONS

Submit up to 8,500 total words.

Attach .doc.docx, or .odt files.
 
Please include your name, a bio, and your connection to neurodivergence. Feel free to include this information in an attachment or in your cover letter.