Type Of Organization
(312) 909-1625
Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
The riddlebird mission is to publish and promote writers of literary genre fiction alongside writers of literary fiction. In fact, riddlebird wants to find ways to conflate the two. The journal idealizes the childish glee we might find as adults when we pick up something that stimulates our intellect and reminds us that it might not be such a guilty pleasure to like magic at the same time. Also, riddlebird hopes to publish personal essays/memoirs with a strong and unique voice with an understanding of what Vivian Gornick calls situation versus story. In terms of artwork, we would like to provide art alongside artist descriptions of technique and art history. Our goal is to pay writers for their work, and to celebrate new artists alongside well-known artists. The goal is to publish 9-12 submissions at three different points during a year online only before releasing all three cycles (27-36 submissions) in an annual print publication.

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Primary Editor/Contact Person
Joshua Thusat
Contact Title
essays, fiction
Submissions Policy
The journal will contain several online sections focused on different calls: Pipesmoke Frontier, Prairiegrass Prose, The Plosive, and an art section. Submissions will be accepted in three two-month periods, and each period will be followed by two months of reading and online publication, the culmination of which will be a print publication at the end of the year. Here are the submission interests for each section. Prairiegrass Prose This section of riddlebird is for high-quality prose fiction. Prairiegrass Prose is for those people eager to be the next Souvankham Thammavongsa, Emma Cline, Sherman Alexie, Toni Cade Bambara, or Richard Ford. Flash fiction is considered 500-1000 words. Longer short stories will be accepted from 1,001-8,000 words. Longer work is occasionally considered if it is high quality, but please make a note in your cover letter if it is over the word limit. Pipesmoke Frontier This section of riddlebird is for high-quality “genre” fiction. Pipesmoke Frontier is meant to evoke the Wild West as well as space, fantasy as well as mystery. Pipes might make one think of a detective or even a wizard. So this the section for the science-fiction or the western, fantasy or mystery. Flash fiction is considered 500-1000 words. Longer stories are preferred in this section, from 1,001-8,000 words. The prose Please consider: we are still looking for literary fiction, meaning language that evokes mastery of craft. For example, if you write sci-fi, we will publish anything that achieves the level of Ray Bradbury, LeGuin or Butler. If you write westerns, we want to publish the next Charles Portis. We realize that many authors who publish these types of stories wouldn’t necessarily call themselves “genre” writers, but the marketplace tends to do this for them. We’d like to find more Karin Tidbecks or Susanna Clarkes, Karen Russells or Helen Oyeyemis, Shawls or Chesnutts. The Plosive This section of riddlebird is for high-quality personal essays or memoir. The magisterial Vivian Gornick and her book on writing memoir, The Situation and the Story, would serve as a good reference for what we hope to publish. Gornick has learned that the great memoirs contain a unique narrative voice striving to understand a real situation through story. We will accept a chapter of a book-length memoir up to 6,500 words. In terms of the personal essay, consult Phillip Lopate or Annie Dillard. Art This section of riddlebird couples art with instruction for any medium that transfers well to a .jpg: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and digital. Your art must be accompanied by a technique description/lesson, and it may include an artist statement about the content, but this is not required. We want people to look at your art and learn a little about art history and technique whenever possible. So an artist might describe foreshortening, for example, and where/how they employed it. As with the prose, riddlebird seeks the satirical graphic novel as well as the Robert Mapplethorpe photograph. Your art will be published online and in print as a .jpg image. Several special calls are forthcoming for the cover of the first issue, as well as a call for art that might be used long-term on the riddlebird website. After reading these calls for content, you may submit to riddlebird through Submittable here during its three open-submission months (September/October or January/February or May/June). If accepted, riddlebird acquires first rights to publish your work, but all rights revert back to you upon publication. We ask that you allow us to showcase your work in a print edition before submitting elsewhere. As we are a brand new publication, writers will be paid $20 per accepted submission, but we hope to see this number grow as our readership grows.
Accepts Unsolicited Submissions
Submission Guidelines URL
Simultaneous Submissions Accepted
Reading Period
From 3 / 1 - 5 / 1
Reporting Time
6 - 7 months
Author Payments
cash, copies
Number Of Unpaid Staff
Year Founded
Back Issues Available
Unsolicited Manuscripts Accepted
Average Number Of Pages