Submission Guidelines

Please consider submitting to Chatham University’s Undergraduate Literary Magazine: The Minor Bird. Our journal is a place for beginnings and giving you a platform for your voice to be heard.

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The submission window is closed for the Spring 2020 edition

Submission Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures are as follows:

How to Submit

All submissions should adhere to the guidelines listed below for their respective genre. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the elimination of your pieces from the review process. These guidelines are put into place so as to prevent one or a few voices from dominating the magazine and to offer a more diverse set of artists a home for their work(s).

Submissions should be sent to

  • Submissions only accepted from Chatham University email accounts
  • Please indicate the type of submission in the subject of the email by using one of these three subject lines: “Minor Bird Creative Writing Submission,” “Minor Bird Critical Scholarship/Literary Criticism Submission,” “Minor Bird Art Submission,” or “Minor Bird Mixed Genre Submission.”
  • All literary submissions should be placed in their own Microsoft Word document (pdfs are acceptable for poetry to keep creative forms)
  • Include a title
  • Include trigger/content warnings as needed
  • Be devoid of any authorial identity markers except major/minor
  • All attachments should be sent in one email
  • Include a short biographical text about yourself in the body of the email. Include the following information: name, year, major/minor, previous published works and where (if applicable), any involvement with other literary/art student organizations on campus, and if your piece(s) is eligible for a SOAR award.

The Minor Bird is ONLY accepting submissions from current undergraduates of Chatham University which is why we require you to submit from your Chatham University email account. Thank you for understand!


What you can Submit

Creative Writing

  • Poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction, samples/scenes from screenwriting or plays will all be considered for review
  • No more than three creative submissions per person
  • Please submit in standard MLA formatting (Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, 1” margins; exceptions will be made for poetry that makes use of form outside of these standards)
  • Prose, creative nonfiction, and samples/scenes from screenwriting or plays should be no longer than eight pages double-spaced


Critical Scholarship/Literary Criticism

  • No more than one critical scholarship/literary criticism submission per person
  • Essays should be no longer than eight pages double-spaced
  • Essays must be original work with clear and concise writing; they should present an insightful and meaningful thesis
  • Accepted essays will be organized meaningfully to best develop this thesis, presenting supporting arguments and reaching a satisfying conclusion
  • Essays should be a close analysis of a literary or cultural text (novels, poetry, films, television, cultural artifacts, etc.)
  • Please submit in standard Chicago-style formatting (Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, 1” margins); essays must include a “Bibliography” and must properly use footnotes; A title page is not necessary



  • No more than five art submissions per person (understand all your pieces will not be accepted to keep 1 or a couple of artists from dominating the journal)
  • Photography, drawings, graphics, and sculptures will all be considered for review
  • Artwork must be submitted with a title
  • All work should be submitted as a 3” by 5” photograph with 300 dpi
  • Submit art as jpeg or pdf only


Mixed Genre

  • No more than three pieces across any genres (i.e. 2 art pieces and 1 poem; 1 literary criticism, 1 poem, and 1 prose piece)
  • Follow the guidelines above for the respective pieces



While there is no set aesthetic or theme for The Minor Bird, the Executive Board recommends that you review older copies of the magazine to familiarize yourself with what has been previously accepted. Previous publications can be found in JKM Library archives, Lindsey House, and online at

Q: What pet peeves do y’all have when it comes to submissions?

A: Sexism, racism, other isms, homophobia, transphobia, other phobias, shaming, pretty much any kind of ignorance, straight-up erotica (sexually suggestive pieces are up to the discretion of the editor-in-chief), writing about experiences that aren’t yours, swearing just to seem cool, characters smoking cigarettes to seem cool, characters abusing substances to seem cool, typos in the first sentence…and that’s just the shortlist.

Q: So what kinds of things are y’all looking for?

A: Innovative and entertaining storytelling, underrepresented voices (both in writers and in characters), inclusive feminism, accessibility, boundary-pushing and norm-challenging stories, and whatever you’ve created that doesn’t already exist somewhere else.

Don’t feel pressure to make your piece fit these suggestions. The Minor Bird is a place for new beginnings and experimental pieces. Submit your piece(s) to us!



The Minor Bird anonymizes all received submissions expect of major/minor before they are reviewed by the Editorial Board, which is comprised of students from the Undergraduate student body. The Editorial Board reads through their selected genre(s) of interest and then votes on the submissions. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Editorial Board, please email