American Chordata seeks short works of original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We have no formal word limits or stylistic constraints but look for work that is brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed. Please send us only finished work that you really believe in. Our back issues are free to read online, so do familiarize yourself with the writing that we have published in the past. It is the best way to know what we are looking for, although we are always happy to be surprised.

We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can, but allow up to 12 weeks for a response during reading periods. 

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but we hope you’ll let us know if your work has been accepted for publication elsewhere.

If accepted for publication, we ask for first serial rights to publish and distribute your story, essay, or poem(s) in the English language, in print and electronic formats, throughout the world.

We are a small, independent magazine and regret that we cannot offer compensation for publication at this time.

Send us fiction that is surprising, engrossing, affecting, bold, and emotionally detailed. We are looking for polished, elegant writing and inventive language. Read the stories we have published in the past for an idea of what we like. Please format your work so that it is pleasant to read and discuss.  

We like playful, fun, smart poems. We also like heartfelt, intense, honest poems. Please read the poetry that we have published in the past in order to get a sense of what we are looking for, but send us the poems that express what you do best. Send us your work in the format that you would like to have it published. Submit up to five poems in a single document. 

We are looking for nonfiction that tells a story that no one has heard before, or tells us an old story in a way we never expected to read it. We are just as interested in great writing as we are in great stories. Please send us both. Please submit your work in a way that is pleasant to read and discuss. We ask that you include no more than two essays per submission. 

Please send files with image titles and the year that they were created, and a short (twenty word max) bio.