The Cabal magazine welcomes submissions of original fiction, essay, reviews, and commentary year round. We look for stories and articles written with honesty and precision. That doesn’t mean we value one particular aesthetic over another, but it does mean we expect to see a certain level of skill in your writing. Please spend some time reading our current collection of work to get a better feel for our style.
Submissions will be published based on openings in our editorial calendar, which could be several months or mere days after final approval. That said, The Cabal is not among the many elitist megajournals that keep writers waiting nine years to hear any kind of definitive feedback and even then only offer a heartless form letter. We respond personally to every submission within 30 days.
Please review the guidelines for each respective category:
- Stories: 6,000 words or less
- Flash fiction: 1,500 words or less
Submit Word Doc or PDF files, double-spaced, standard font. Genre fiction is okay, but less likely to be selected.
- Essay: Meaning “essay” in the literary sense, as in “creative nonfiction.” All topics welcome. 6,000 words or less.
- Commentary: Notice something in popular culture or current events that intrigues, perturbs, or disturbs you? We’re interested . . . maybe. 1,200 words or less.
Submit Word Doc or PDF files, double-spaced, standard font.
The Cabal magazine accepts reviews on current literature, music, film, and anything else that might interest our readers. Please do not send stale, pedantic exegeses that belong in a ProQuest database. Please do reveal some of your humanity. If that means reviewing an electric toothbrush, so be it.
Work in Progress
It’s easy to admire a story (or essay) after it has been airbrushed by seven or eight rounds of tedious revision, but more real and heuristic to see the curtain drawn back before the same work’s completion. For the purpose of our mutual edification, the Work in Progress category gives writers a chance to show themselves and their work as unfinished, but beloved, projects.
- Excerpt: Include a 300 to 600-word excerpt from your work in progress—be it a story, essay, or novel. Try to choose an excerpt that reflects the theme and aesthetic of the larger project.
- Reflection: Beneath your excerpt, give an account of your creative process. Why are you writing the piece? What aspects of form, narrative, or subject matter are you struggling with? What do you hope it becomes?
Email all submissions (as attachments) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify a category and include the word “submission” in the subject line.