Thanks for submitting your work to Barrelhouse!

Before you proceed, a note about open and closed categories. If you don't see the category that fits your work, we're not open for that thing. We keep submission periods pretty short because we're hoping that helps make our response times shorter, as well. The best way to track submission periods is probably to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook or check back later.

Here are some guidelines:

No previously published work.

Please submit only one piece at a time. Except for poetry. You can submit up to five poems. Everybody else — just one!

We pay $50 to each contributor to our print issues, as well as two contributor copies. 

So far, online contributors are paid primarily in karma. All contributors are also promised free beer, if we ever run into you in the flesh. If you don’t believe us about the free beer, ask around a little bit. We are frequently tipsy and imprudently generous.

We accept simultaneous submissions, on the understanding that you’ll tell us if you place the work elsewhere.

It will probably take us two to three months to get back to you. We try to do that faster, but there are few of us and many of you.
Barrelhouse loves to celebrate books just like you do, so let's do that thing together! We're interested in running reviews of books that fit Our Whole Thing. You read Barrelhouse, so you know what we're about. Let that be your guide. And also, these:

Book Review Guidelines:

  • Reviews should focus on recent (last two years) small press titles--especially debuts.
  • Interested in full-length or chapbook-length collections of poetry & prose. Hybrid, graphic, multi-modal--sure! We'll give it a whirl.
  • 750 words or less. Seriously. Please don't send 900 words and think we'll edit that down. Nope. If you have an idea for something longer, ask first.
  • Include publisher, price, pg.#s and word count on the review.
  • Include a link to the publisher's website for purchase. We want to support small presses!
  • Include an image of the cover if possible.
  • No self-published titles, sorry.
  • Open to non-standard reviewing forms, as long as it doesn't distract from the book in question. Proceed with caution.
  • All accepted reviews are subject to editorial suggestions. Obviously.
  • We love you but we can't pay for your reviews at this time.
Note: if you are an author or a publisher who wants to put an ARC into our hands, query first for instructions about how to do that. 


Ends on September 30, 2017
Barrelhouse loves comics. Send us comics for our print issues!

Comics guidelines:
  • We're looking for completed stand-alone pieces, so no strips. If you have a continuous strip to pitch, send it as a blog submission and address it to both editors Sheila and Killian.
  • Please send completed comics. No scripts or pitches.
  • For initial submission, upload a .jpeg file that's 300 dpi. If it's accepted, we'll ask for higher res. PDFs are also fine, but make sure you can send a .jpeg or .png if accepted.
  • Since these comics will be printed, they must be formatted to fit and read well within our parameters of 5x8" (We print at 6x9" with a 1" gutter). 
  • Page limit is 8 max.
  • Important info regarding previous publishing: If you've published your piece in a comics anthology or on your website, that's totally ok. Send it along! However, we are not looking for pieces which have already been published by another lit mag.
  • Submissions take a while to read, so expect to wait up to 6 months for a response! (I appreciate your patience!) 

Seeking proposals for craft workshops or panel discussions for "Conversations and Connections: Practical Advice on Writing," our awesome one-day writer's conference in Pittsburgh, PA in October 21, 2017. 

Background on the Conference
Conversations and Connections: Practical Advice on Writing is a one-day writer's conference organized by Barrelhouse Magazine. The conference is held in DC in the Spring and Pittsburgh in the Fall, and has attracted writers, editors, and publishing professionals for more than ten years. This year's Pittsburgh conference will be  held on the lovely campus of Chatham University on October 21, 2017.

About Craft Workshops and Panel Discussions
  • Each conference includes three breakout sessions of one hour each, during which we hold workshops and panel discussions on issues of craft, publishing, community, and just about anything else we think might be of interest and value to the more than 100 writers in attendance.
  • Each session includes at least one workshop or panel discussion about poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and publishing, respectively.
  • Craft workshops are typically led by one person, and examine an issue relating to the craft of writing in particular detail. These are best when they're specific and hands-on, and they're often geared to more experienced writers. Recent workshops that facilitated writing exercises have been especially popular among attendees. 
  • Panel discussions focus around a particular topic of interest to writers, and usually include between 3 and 5 writers of various backgrounds, including a moderator who will lead the discussion. 
What are we looking for? 
Our primary determination about whether to run a particular panel or workshop is whether this session will be useful to our participants. We like to say that people should leave each session with information they can use immediately. We're looking for a variety of topics relating to all areas of writing and publishing, but that one thing -- does this sound like a workshop/discussion that will be useful for participants? -- will be the key question we ask in evaluating whether to move forward with a proposal or not.  

On panels and panelists
If you're submitting a panel discussion idea, and you know some people who would make great panelists, give us those names. Only people you're pretty sure you can connect with, and who can be there, though -- we're not looking for a name-dropping exercise and it would be a bummer if you gave us four people in a proposal but were unable to actually connect with them, or if they lived in Australia, or were singing backup on the Beyonce tour in October. So the long story long is: tell us if you have a pretty good idea of people you can get on this panel, but if you have a great idea and need some help filling up the panel, we can help.

We really want the conference to represent a diverse range of voices, backgrounds, experiences, and all things. Proposals that would help us do this are very welcome and will be warmly received.

The bad news: no money
We can't pay for you to travel to the conference, and we probably can't put you up for the night either. We wish we could offer a more attractive reward for your time and smarts and efforts, but this is a very cheap conference and we do not have money to pay panelists. Maybe some day. If that sounds lame to you, you should definitely not submit a proposal.

In order to be totally transparent, here's the deal with the money: registration is $70, and half of that goes directly back into participating literary magazines and small presses. Part of the other half goes to conference organizing expenses, and the rest goes to Barrelhouse. "The rest" is part of the reason we're able to pay writers and never even think about charging submission fees, so we feel pretty okay about that. 

What we can offer: 
For panelists with books, we'll have a bookseller on site, so you can sell your books to a captive audience who hopefully will have just seen and heard how smart/captivating/funny you are, and will be motivated to buy everything with your name on it. We'll promote the hell out of you and your work and your panel in the months/weeks/days leading up to the conference. 

All panelists and workshop leaders get free attendance to the conference and all related conference stuff, including Boxed Wine Happy hour. We know that's not much, we can confidently say we'll offer a good time and a great day hanging with other writers, editors, and publishers inside a lovely little writer-bubble. 

What Happens Next:
We'll review each proposal and will get back to you as soon as possible (probably pretty quickly -- we need to get this thing booked). 

Pittsburgh, October 21, 2017:
We probably don't have to say this, but remember that if you submit this, we're going to assume you can get yourself to Pittsburgh on October 21, 2017.