Bay Laurel is currently
to new submissions


What we do and don't accept

We accept submissions of previously unpublished poetry and fiction (including short stories and excerpts of longer works) which have been rejected by other publications. Each submitted piece must have been submitted to and refused by at least one publication, whether print or online.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know if your piece is going to be published elsewhere. We have no limit on the number of submissions each author may send in. Work previously posted on a personal website, blog, forum, or critique site is also acceptable.

Our word count limits are pretty generous, so they’re set in stone.

POETRY: 1,000 words maximum.
FICTION: 8,000 words maximum.

We strive to publish great writing that happens to have been turned away from other publications. It isn’t our goal to create a venue for work that’s “so bad it’s good”. There are a number of legitimate outlets for that sort of writing, including The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, The Bad Sex in Fiction Award (presented by Britain's venerable Literary Review), and The Scent of an Ending Contest. (For the curious, we currently accept roughly 68% of submissions.)

We are unable to accept previously published work (sorry for repeating ourselves), fanfiction or other works based substantially on the copyright-protected work of others, works in languages other than English (though we gladly welcome translations), and works that have been rejected from other publications due to noncompliance with their submission guidelines.

How and what to submit

If you've got something you'd like to submit, we'd love to check it out. You can send your submissions to Each poem, story, or fiction excerpt should be sent as a separate email. In the subject line of each piece, please type, "SUBMISSION: [Your piece's title]".

In the body of the e-mail, or as a .doc or PDF attachment, we'd like you to include:

- The title of the piece (If it's an excerpt of a longer work, please let us know)
- Your name as you'd like it to appear in Bay Laurel
The piece itself (exactly as you want it to be published)
- A list of any and all publications that have declined to publish the piece (we won't publish or share the titles of these publications)
- A brief bio (preferably no more than 200 words), exactly as you'd like it to appear below your published piece and on our Contributors page
- Anything else you'd like us to know about the piece or yourself

Your rights and such

We're writers ourselves, so we know how important writers' rights are. All work submitted to Bay Laurel belongs to its original creator. By submitting a poem, story, or excerpt, you merely grant us First Publication Rights for 9 months, should we choose to accept the piece. All that means is that you agree to let us be the first publisher of the piece, as long as we do so within 9 months. After publication (or 9 months, whichever comes first), all rights revert back to you. We will keep each published piece online as long as Bay Laurel stays on the web, as part of the issue in which it appeared, unless you request that we remove it.

Money, or more correctly, the lack thereof...

Unfortunately, like a number of other small, independent literary journals in the current economic climate, we're unable to offer monetary compensation to our contributors. Bay Laurel generates no income or revenue of any kind, as we do not charge our readers and do not run advertisements on the site (which costs a small amount of money to maintain). But all accepted submissions will be met with our undying admiration. And publication, of course.

A brief note on rejection from Bay Laurel

While we love underrepresented work, and it's our mission to make unheard voices heard, we do also have the unfortunate (and perhaps slightly ironic) task of rejecting submissions ourselves. We can't publish every piece that comes our way; no literary journal can. If you receive a rejection letter from us, it doesn't mean your piece is unpublishable or anything of the sort. It may be brilliant. We here at Bay Laurel are only human. We have our biases and our tastes. And by declining to publish a story or poem, we aren't presuming to judge its literary merit or its entertainment value. We love you all so much (sorry for the schmaltz), and we hope that, even if we pass on your work the first time, you'll submit other stuff in the future. And never ever ever stop writing.

For more on why rejection isn't the end of the world, I'm going to turn it over to Chuck Wending: 25 Things Writers Should Know About Rejection.

Ready? Let's do this.