Guidelines

What/When to Submit

DRR accepts web-only submissions all year round from any emerging or established writers. We will accept original work that has not been published anywhere else in print or online. For authors interested in the themed print issue, check here. We encourage anyone interested in submitting to DRR to read through our back issues and website to familiarise themselves with what we like. BAME writers are especially encouraged to submit.

We consider these genres:

  • Poetry in any form or style. Send up to five (5) poems in a single file, run fewer than 10 pages in length. We encourage particularly experimental forms and work that challenges us.
  • Short Stories between 2000 and  5000 words.
  • Creative nonfiction (all types, from immersion reportage to personal essays to memoirs) between 2000 and 5000 words.
  • Flash fiction (microfiction, short-short story, etc.) submissions should aim for a word-count of 500-1500 words per piece. Also consider submitting to our Flash Fiction challenge.
  • Photography & digital art. We seek original photography and artwork. Your submission may include up to five (5) image files each in JPG format at a resolution of 1,850 pixels on the longest side and no larger than 7MB.
  • Book reviews & interviews. For a feel of the kind of in-depth interviews we are looking for, please take a look at Frankline Sunday’s interview. We welcome unconventional approaches and conversations with authors focusing on the craft of writing and the writing life.
  • Full-length manuscripts (including novels, creative nonfiction, short story collections, poetry). This will be either for consultancy or publication by the DRR imprint. Send queries to info@downriverroad.org

Simultaneous submissions are encouraged in all categories. Should your work be accepted elsewhere, please send us an email to let us know.

Payment

If your work will be accepted for the print and epub issues, contributors will receive $30/piece and a complimentary one-year subscription to the journal. At the moment we will are not in a position to pay contributors for web-only work, although contributors will receive complimentary copies of our past issues and subscription to the journal.

In addition to your work, and upon acceptance for publication, we will ask you to send a less than 200-word writer’s bio and a contributors note of your work. Here’s an example from JudAnnet Muchiri on her story, In Anatolia Our Ghosts Drink Tea at Night:

For the longest time I experienced place as a distant idea. Rather than conceive place in the here and now, place was, for me, the past and the future. Place in the past (which is almost always dreary) and place in the future (which is almost always idyllic). That is, place as that which needed to be forgotten and as that which could possibly be arrived at in the (near) future. This means that I didn’t quite experience place in the present (did I live without fully living?).

As I have evolved the way I conceptualize place has changed. Place has moved (and evolved) with me as I have moved (and evolved) across time and geography.  For me, place now transcends time. It has now become more fluid, more open, broader. Importantly, place has come to mean the here and now. That is, place is something I bring with me to the here and now. This does not mean that place in the past is gone and in the future unimagined. No. Rather, I am more present in place, in the here and now. I have even gone further to curate place for myself by cultivating community, experiences and dreams.

Rights

All rights revert to the authors upon publication. Regarding rights, we require First Rights, meaning we will be your submitted work’s first publisher. We will therefore not consider poems that have been published elsewhere (books, magazines, or newspapers, in print or online). This does not include work that has only been self-published to blogs and social media. For reprints of your work elsewhere we ask for acknowledgement of the work’s publication in DRR first.

Send your work to submissions@downriverroad.org. Please submit your short story in .docx, .doc, or .pdf format. Response times will range from two to four weeks. Submission questions, concerns, and inquiries can be sent to info@downriverroad.org

If we decide we’d like to publish you, you will have an opportunity to revise the work. We ask authors who are accepted and open to reading their work to send us voice recordings of their work to be published along with the text. In case this is not possible, we ask for permissions to have others read the work.

Happy writing!