One of our favorite things about Yemassee is how much it has changed and developed over 25 years of editors and contributors. As we begin our next 25 years, we’re excited by the possibilities. We hope to grow our online presence by continuing our digital issue as well as including multimedia and graphic design. We want to expand our team and outreach, establish nonfiction as a permanent fixture, and even pay our incredible contributors.

But in order to do that we have decided the best thing is to start imposing a small reading fee. Starting in October we are increasing our expedited submissions to $6 and our standard poetry and fiction submissions to $3.

We understand that even a small reading fee can be difficult for some. Because of that we plan to establish a few free reading periods throughout the year. We will do our best to make sure you’re given ample time to prepare for those dates.

As always, thank you so much for your submissions, your reading, and your good-news sharing. We look forward to an exciting future.

– Sarah, Andrew, and Trez, Yemassee Senior Editors

General Guidelines:

  • Take a look at the recent work we’ve published to see if your work is a good fit. You can purchase a digital back issue for $3 or explore our website.
  • We do not accept postal submissions. Please submit through Submittable.
  • Include a short bio and brief cover letter addressed to the appropriate editor, which can be found on our masthead.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions; please notify us in a note on your Submittable submission if your work is taken elsewhere.
  • Work must be previously unpublished.
  • Please wait three months before submitting again if your work is rejected. If you submit more work before the end of three months–expedited included–we will return your submission unread.
  • Our average response time is three months. For expedited submissions, we will respond within 30 days.
  • Yemassee asks for first-time North American rights, which revert to authors upon publication.
  • We are unable to offer monetary payment at this time. We will provide two contributor copies and promote your work on our social media outlets. Additionally, we feature contributor interviews on the site, host local and AWP readings, and send out Pushcart and Best New Poets nominations.

Genre-Specific Guidelines


Rather than limiting submissions to particular forms, subjects, or styles, we welcome any poems that give us reason to pause, poems that shake something loose from the ether and ask us to come closer, press against them with a listening ear.  We want poems that leap somewhere strange and take us along.  We want lines that strike and flash, that haunt us when we’re alone.  

Your submission should contain 3-5 poems combined in a single document with no more than one poem per page. Beginning October 1st, 2018, we will be charging a $3 reading fee for all poetry submissions. 

Fiction and Flash Fiction

We want prose that is honest, insightful, bold or funny. We look for fiction that asks questions and attempts to navigate the human experience. Prose stands out when it is engaging, both in tone and pace, and when it uses language in a compelling way. We do pay attention to basics, like grammar and structure. Make sure it’s polished!

We consider stories up to 8,000 words in length, double-spaced and paginated. We’re open to a wide range of styles and aesthetics, both traditional and innovative. If you’re sending in shorter works of fiction (less than 1,000 words), feel free to send along 3-5 pieces in a single document and submit them to our flash fiction category. Beginning October 1st, 2018, we will be charging a $3 reading fee for all fiction submissions. 


Nonfiction is currently closed for submissions.