Get your work on the Street!
Broad Street, a semi-annual print magazine of true stories, seeks beautifully crafted narratives and artwork that present the truth in a way that’s new and special to readers. We feature big names and new names. We love to discover fresh talent. Our greatest need is for prose that transcends the ME-moir and incorporates cultural commentary, perhaps even some research.
Our truth telling takes many forms (though our definition of truth is absolute): The ideal length for essays is between 900 and 4,500 words, though we’ve been known to go over or under for a great piece that really resonates. Flash prose, prose poems, and poetry are also welcome, but the heart of the magazine is in the nonfiction essay with cultural relevance. We also feature photo essays, individual artworks, and interviews with movers and shakers in their fields. Please see further descriptions below–and explore the website for examples from our archives that show what we do best.
We are taking submissions through Submittable. The submission fee is $3.00, which helps offset Broad Street‘s costs for Submittable itself.
Visit our page and see how we stack up against other fine publications on Duotrope: Broad Street on Duotrope.
The Thematic Concept
Each issue runs through a new part of town, being loosely based on a theme that can be interpreted in several ways. Don’t be afraid to get creative in your approach to any theme; we appreciate the surprises that come from a fresh perspective. We will also assess the relevance of submissions to future themes but may not have determined the publication schedule for a particular future issue.
If you are submitting for a theme, identify it in the subject line and/or cover letter of your entry. You don’t have to explain how your work fits that theme; we like to let our minds roam too.
Themes and submission deadlines for upcoming issues:
Rivals and Players (summer 2017; submit until March 1, 2017)
Do we play the game, or does the game play us? Who or what has been the biggest obstacle in your path to the life you are meant to live? What do you see when you spin Fortune’s wheel? We’re interested in broken hearts, rakish behavior, jealousy, envy, greed, friendship, frenemies, monopolies … and just plain old down-home games, video or board or sport. Cultural commentary is particularly welcome. Toss a horseshoe our way and show us what you have.
Birth, School, Work, Death (winter 2018; submit until August 1, 2017)
The Seven Ages of Man have become the Four Ages of Humankind. We’re born, we learn, we work, we die. Broad Street has conceived of a four-part magazine with several features exploring each phase of life. Give us your origin stories, your schoolroom struggles, your cubicle frustrations, your tales of passing on. Where has this road taken you?
It’s a Sunshine Day! (summer 2018; submit until February 1, 2018)
Hey, maybe things aren’t as bad as we think they are. What do you have to offer that might slip some hope into this life, this world, the experience of living? Or maybe your day started out full of shine and then got duller, cloudier … We’d love to see some essays and artwork exploring the goodness that lurks (however briefly and obscurely) in the unmapped corners of our generally bedeviled world.
Beyond Chaos and Control (winter 2019; submit until August 1, 2018)
Out of the chaos, let there be light—and let the light represent some kind of control over life, self, culture, the world, whatever you have. Your climate, our climate … We’ve found an engineer’s notebook that details building trenches for different purposes in World War I; what could be more doomed, more pathetic, during a campaign of chaos and attrition? And yet we continue, boats against the current … Send us essays and art that explore attempts at this kind of control … of a global climate in flux, definitely, but of a more intimate examples as well. We are most interested in essays, short or long, that link the personal to something larger in the culture.
1.1 “Dangerous Territory,” published fall 2013.
1.2 “Hunt, Gather,” published fall 2014.
2.1 “Bedeviled,” published spring 2015.
2.2 “Maps & Legends,” published summer 2016.
3.1 “Small Things, Partial Cures,” forthcoming winter 2017.
The Fine Print
Forms of Truth-Telling
Craft and story can come in many forms: fact-based reflective reporting, expansive memoir, lapidary poetry, a stirring photo essay, or a single visual image. No academic studies or pomposity, please. All other approaches to telling true tales are welcomed, including the experimental. We are particularly interested in cultural reflection; go ahead and write your “me-moir,” but please demonstrate that your personal experience has wider cultural significance.
Seeking the Unpublished
We prefer previously unpublished works, though we will consider a limited number of published pieces, primarily for republication on the website, where they will meet a broad audience. Please explain in your cover letter where and when a piece appeared, whether online, in print, or in a gallery show. It is most likely to reach print with us if it first appeared in another country or a radically different form and we can give it a new audience. Appropriately credited work will find a niche on our website when it fits one of our themes.
Literary Artists: The Requirements Are …
We welcome your best work, ideally coming in under 5,000 words. If your piece really needs to exceed that length, we understand and are not entirely opposed, but be aware that space in print is limited.
Excerpts of larger works may be considered but must be presented so as to stand alone as individual pieces.
For prose, please double-space and use a legible 12-point font. We are eager to read both traditional creative nonfiction and experimental prose, so dare to use the approach that works for you—as long as it is truthful. Ideal length is around 900 to 4,500 words, though we’ve been known to go under or over for a fantastic piece. Please see our website or order a copy to see the range.
Researched essays should come with endnotes explaining where you found your facts. We try to avoid publishing footnotes, but we fact-check everything that comes through. We’re sticklers that way.
For examples, please order a copy of the magazine or at the very least, read carefully what we’ve re-published on our website: “Making Friends with Midge: Your best friend and Barbie’s.”
Memoir should transcend delight in the personal in order to offer a sense of the universal, including (perhaps) cultural reflection and parallel narratives. Examples from our pages, now available online, include Paisley Rekdal’s “Lives of Strangers,” an exploration of marriage and murder in Salt Lake City (a Pushcart Special Mention), Ramsey Hootman’s “Chastity Belt Included,” and Patricia Smith’s “Holy War.”
Poetry may come in single-spaced, with one poem per page. Please do not send more than five poems at once, unless there is a strong artistic reason (a haiku cycle, an experimental series). Remember that this is a nonfiction magazine, so send us truthful poems. Poems about the mythology of gods and goddesses are not considered truthful unless the mythology is secondary to a real-life subject. If you place a portion of your submission elsewhere before we get a chance to respond to you, please write us a note in the comments portion of your Submittable entry–try to avoid sending the news via email, as we are inundated every day with emails on topics sundry and trivial.
We’re always looking for good interview subjects—in-depth conversations with people who tell stories in interesting and perhaps unexpected ways. See our interviews with literary megastar Jeanette Winterson and with Tony-winning costume designer Paloma Young (republished on the website).
Visual Artists: We Need You Too.
Visual art is a hugely important part of our print issue and our online presence. We feature a photo essay or artist’s portfolio in every issue, and we put individual artworks in conversation with written pieces. If you are submitting an image, please upload it with a title; use png, jpg, or gif formats and low resolution (100-300 dpi). We will request a higher resolution rendition if it is accepted. If you have trouble with the upload, please contact the editor. Your cover letter may explain the image or photo essay; you may also want to write an introduction for the piece.
We are very interested in collaborations between artists of word and image.
Our Response Time
Broad Street’s staff is lean (but never mean), so please allow up to 120 days for a response. We aim to avoid those year-long waiting periods common at other journals, but even we sometimes develop a backlog as each piece gets several readers. We are among the few, the brave, the dedicated, who read during summers. If there is some reason you need information about your submission right away (e.g., a world event has made your essay or poem suddenly of great timely significance, or you’re dying to publish with us but some other magazine has expressed interest, you can email an editor). Otherwise, please be patient and remember that some magazines make you wait years and don’t even send out notices that you’ve been rejected, so you’re in a state of perpetual suspense–not so nice.
Of course. We understand that it’s tough to wait for an answer from one magazine before submitting to another, so we do accept simultaneous submissions. We ask that if your piece is accepted elsewhere, you inform us immediately via Submittable (emailed notes to the editors create more work for us hunting down your submission) … We’ll congratulate you and take your entry off our roster.
What Rights We Claim
If we accept your piece, we acquire first-time North American serial rights (unless your work is previously published, in which case we need to work out a different agreement). Upon publication, rights revert to the author or artist, who may reproduce it in other forms (books, magazines, etc.). We ask that you acknowledge Broad Street as the work’s first place of publication.
If we run special “best of” issues in future, we may contact you for the right to reprint. We might also feature small excerpts of your work on our website to promote the magazine; in some cases, we request the right to re-present your work in its entirety. Remember that our online features are great publicity for your body of work.
As with most literary magazines, Broad Street is unable to offer payment other than contributor’s copies. If we run your piece, we will send you four copies automatically, plus a copy of the issue following yours. You may order more for $3 each, roughly the price of postage.
*Again: If your work has been accepted for publication elsewhere, please revisit your Submittable entry and make a note of the fact. Your time is valuable and so is ours. We utterly hate falling in love with a piece only to find out it’s appeared somewhere else and/or that the creator may or may not have sent us an email that got lost in a mass of emails requiring urgent response. These are the preferences of pretty much every magazine that uses Submittable.