Submissions

We are currently closed to submissions. We will announce future submission opportunities with a formal call for papers. Please check this page for updates.

Unsettling Wonder publishes works that treat folklore and fairy tale as a living art form. We publish twice a year. Submissions are read on a rolling basis. Acceptances are limited to only a few stories and poems each issue.

Each issue is themed around a particular folk motif, and contributors are strongly encouraged to read and study traditional tales that use the motif they wish to write about. Submissions that do not engage with the theme, however laudable in themselves, will not be considered.

The themes for Volume 2 (2015) are as follows:

Issue One (2:1)

      Why Would Anyone Enchant That?

Issue Two (2:2)

     Changelings

All submissions should be sent to UWsubmissions@unsettlingwonder.com; the subject line should state ‘Poetry’ or ‘Fiction’, followed by your surname and the work’s short title. Please attach your work as a .doc(x) or .rtf in standard manuscript format, with your name, address, professional bio, and PayPal address in your covering letter. All submissions must conform to the correct guidelines. Our average response time is six to eight weeks. Please do not reply to rejections; the editor’s decision is invariably final.

Fiction

Unsettling Wonder is a space for fiction that plays with fairy tales and folklore. We welcome original writing that endows fairy and folk tales with new meanings, directions and experimentation. We will consider contemporary works that incorporate fairy tale elements, as well as writing that remains loyal to more traditional forms. We believe different geographies produce different stories, and we want to bring them to light. While we have themes for each issue, we will accept incongruent pieces if they possess a beauty we find uniquely suited to Unsettling Wonder. We publish work that surprises and delights us, and that typically bypasses the marketplace.

    Please send your work as Word attachment to submissions [at] unsettlingwonder [dot] com.
    We accept flash fiction (of up to 1000 words), short stories and novel extracts (up to 3000 words), as well as other experimental forms, especially maps.
    Longer works and print titles are by solicitation only.
    We do not accept previously published work.
    Please submit one story at a time. You are welcome to submit again once we get back to you about your first submission.
    We are not a market for fanfiction, needless gore, or erotica. Submissions of this nature will not be considered.
    Payment for fiction appearing in the magazine is $.01/word.

Poetry

Please submit 1-5 poems of not more than 70 lines each in a single Word document with each poem on a separate page. Individual poems longer than this should be queried through the contact form before submission. Please use the comment feature to list the titles and the poetic form of each poem. There should be a palpable presence of fairytale, folkloric, or mythological themes in all works.

Above all, we are interested in beautiful and surprising poems; however, the editorial staff have a few definite preferences, and adherence to these increase the likelihood of acceptance.

    We are far more likely to accept poems that are in line with the themes of an upcoming issue, but this is not hard and fast.
    While we are interested in high-quality free-verse poems and encourage their submission, metrical verse is preferred.
    We are unlikely to accept poems that are purely or largely political in nature, regardless of stance.
    Titles are strongly preferred.
    It has been nearly two decades since Carol Anne Duffy wrote The World’s Wife. Please do not submit works that are derivative of hers and that volume in particular.
    Avant-garde works are acceptable, even desirable, but we have no interest in either gimmicks or concrete poetry.
    We do not accept simultaneous submissions. Works previously published (even online) may not be submitted.
    Payment for poems appearing in the magazine is $10/poem.
    Please be aware that the editorial staff may request substantial edits or even a rewrite for poems that have promise but are not, we feel, up to our publication standards. Refusal will result in our having to decline the work.

Nonfiction

For academic essays on folklore or fairy tale, historic or contemporary, please use the contact form to submit a formal abstract and a professional bio listing your educational background and institutional affiliation. We will contact you if we have further interest and wish to see the full essay. All academic submissions are peer reviewed.

Illustration

We are looking for illustrators with an interest in folklore and fairy tale motifs, who can create quality work per spec on tight deadlines. If this interests you, please use the contact form to query with a portfolio or links to examples of your work. We unfortunately cannot pay for artwork featured in the magazine, but we are more likely to commission artists for print publications if they’ve already worked with us.

Unsettling Wonder

We craft and tell stories because we’ve stood on the uncertain edge between the waking world and our imagination, between enchantment and fear. And we remember other stories that help us build our own stories, scraps of lumber and fragments of narrative we gather together to make stories for ourselves.

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Artwork by Laura Rae