Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions only through Submittable.


Submission Periods: Submissions may be sent to us between January 1st through June 1st for consideration in our web issues. Submissions are always open to the public.


Simultaneous Submissions: We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. We also allow simultaneous submission for contests, but the entry fee is nonrefundable.


Content: We prefer work that has been workshopped and polished. We are open to genre, but do not accept erotica or anything overly sexually explicit, lewd, or otherwise offensive. We will also reject work that is racist, sexist, homophobic, or devaluing in any way.


Fees: We do not charge to read or review your work. Fees are only applicable to contests.


Response Times: Within 1-6 months with the exception of contests. Those entering contests will be notified at least one week prior to the publication date.


PaymentsHelen is strongly committed to supporting our contributors’ work. We strive to be a paying market in the literary world. We pay the following rates: $2 per poem; $5 for flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and art.

Artists and poets will also have merchandising opportunities.

*NEW* Poets published on the poker chip will be paid $25. This is because it will be our only printed item moving forward.


Rights : When we accept your work we are acquiring First North American Serial Rights and Electronic Rights for a period of 30 days in all literary categories. We will grant permission for anthologies and collections for an earlier date and for special circumstances. Art is excluded from this as we accept reprints from artists and photographers only.


Length: Short fiction pieces can range between 50 to 1,500 words. Creative nonfiction should be between 1,500 to 4,000 words. Poetry should be no longer than twelve pages, single line, total. Spoken word, performance art and short film files need to be less than fifteen minutes.


Formatting: All manuscripts should be in 12-point type in either courier or times new roman. Please include at least one-inch margins and number your pages. Fiction and creative nonfiction needs to be double-spaced. Poetry should be single-spaced. Do not include your name, address, telephone number, and email address in your cover letter or within your submission. This information is automatically supplied to the publishers of Helen and we wish our editors to read submissions blindly. Please include a brief biographical summary within your cover letter of no more than three sentences. We accept Word doc and docx for all written documents through Submittable. Please check our category submission in Submittable for current file formats in Artwork, Photography, Spoken Word, Performance Art, and Short Film.

Short Story and Flash Fiction Formatting PDF:

[slideshare id=39711101&doc=shortstoryformat-140930112450-phpapp01&type=d]

Poetry Formatting PDF:

[slideshare id=39711338&doc=poetryformat-140930113005-phpapp02&type=d]


Previously Published or Reprints: We currently only accept previously unpublished, original works in short fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction categories.. This includes any self-published works that can be found on a personal website. We do accept reprints and previously published artwork and photography. We also consider reprints for our Friday Night Specials blog series.