The B’K is a quarterly art and lit, online and printed magazine prioritizing traditionally marginalized creators, but open to all. Own voices only, please.
“We are interested in people being able to decolonize their own stories and tell their own stories.”Read an interview with Chris Talbot-Heindl by Clara B. Jones in PANK Magazine
What do we mean by all that, anyway? We mean we want people from marginalized communities to show up authentically and be able to tell their own stories in our publication. There’s a great quote that we wanted to share:
“Writers from a minority, write as if you are the majority. Do not explain. Do not cater. Do not translate. Do not apologize. Assume everyone knows what you are talking about, as the majority does. Write with all the privileges of the majority, but with the humility of a minority.”Viet Thanh Nguyen
We want to see authentic pieces that embody this quote and we are overjoyed that you want to share your work with us. We also have a set of guidelines of what we will or will not read or publish for the emotional well-being of our readers (internally and externally). Please review those guidelines (below) and only send us authentic, own voices pieces that follow them.
We are committed to editing with an equity lens, ensuring any edits are for clarity and not stylistic in nature. We are committed to never alter a writing style, the intention of a piece, or change the voice in any way. If we ever fail or come up short in this attempt, please do let us know.
We are limiting each issue to 44-pages and will notify accepted submitters as to which issue they’ve been accepted to. We are free to submit to and free to read. We will accept up to one written piece and two pieces of artwork per issue per person and typically respond within two weeks.
To submit, fill out our submission form (one piece per entry in the form). Be sure to read all of our guidelines below before submitting.
Issues come out in January, April, July, and October. Submissions are due for that issue on the 15th of the previous month or when the issue is full, whichever happens first.
We’re the masthead, the team, the folx reviewing your work:
Requirements for Submissions
What we expect from submissions:
Recently, there’s been a few people in the lit community who have been exposed as predators and abusers. We want our publication to be a safe space:
Other things to know
Rights, publication, copies, and payment information:
Things that will be rejected and could get you temporarily or permanently banned:
If your submission violates any of the guidelines below, you will be informed and temporarily banned from submitting for one month’s time. A rejection for violating a guideline is not the start of an argument. You don’t have to agree with our guidelines, but if you choose to submit to our publication, you have to follow our rules.
The temporary ban is as much for submitters as it is for us. We want to make sure that we are reviewing your submission with an open mind, and can’t do that if you are rapid firing “proof” that you can write something else. (This did happen recently, and it was very hard to divorce our feelings from the last submission when reading the new one.)
If it is a flagrant violation or you argue with us or respond aggressively to a rejection for any reason, you will be permanently banned.
Likewise, even if your submissions to us are not problematic, but we are informed of problematic behavior outside of our publication against people from marginalized communities and can verify it, you will not be welcome to our publication and we reserve the right to remove your work from past issues.
- The piece implicates you in a crime.
- The piece is partially or fully plagiarized.
- The piece uses fridging of marginalized people or children (the trope where a marginalized person is injured, killed, or demoralized in some way to move a privileged person’s story or character development forward).
- The piece reduces people from marginalized genders or races to body parts, objects, or in another way dehumanizes them.
- The piece’s main focus is sexual attraction or exploitation.
- The piece is erotica or is sexually explicit.
- The piece sexualizes a child. This means anyone under 18 years old, no matter what.
- The piece glorifies or sexualizes violence against marginalized genders.
- The piece is a fiction, poetry, or art piece that mentions or implies molestation, sexual assault, or r*pe
- We will only consider nonfiction prose that has been personally experienced by the author, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis. There is NO wiggle room on this. Our editor is a survivor and will not subject themself to the pain of reading this unless it is written by a survivor about their own experience (because we value and understand the need for catharsis through art). NO ONE ELSE is permitted to submit a piece with any of these topics mentioned; NO FICTION, POETRY, OR ART PIECE is permitted with these topics mentioned or implied.
- In the case of personally experienced nonfiction, all the other guidelines still apply – any mention or implication MUST NOT be sexually explicit or regarding a child, etc – and there must be a CLEAR INDICATION of what is contained within in the trigger warning area (That means stating “sexual assault” if the piece includes a mention of sexual assault. Weaker synonyms and euphemisms don’t help us prepare or know if we’re ready to read the piece).
- Honestly, if you’re unsure of how to submit it after reading this guideline, don’t. Err on not submitting it and finding a different publication to submit to rather than harming our editor.
- Any violation of this guideline and sub-sections of this guideline will result in an instant permanent ban from our publication. The trauma is too great and therapy is too expensive to deal with this.
- The piece includes content or slurs that could be considered racist, xenophobic, queerphobic, transphobic, sexist, misogynistic, fetishist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, ableist, audistic, or in any other way offensive to a protected class or minority. Your piece will be rejected unless it is made clear within the piece or in an artist statement at the end that the behavior/language is unacceptable, proper content warnings are provided, and the word is in some way censored in the piece (vowels replaced with * as an example we’ve accepted). While I understand that some people are reclaiming words that have been used to disparage people that share an identity, not all our readers from that identity will be reclaiming that word and we need to think of their well-being as well.
Resources and podcasts to help you create things that are appropriate for The B’K
Conscious style guides we like and a few of our podcasts to help you:
The B’K is made on the ancestral traditional lands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (the Seven Council Fires) peoples. This area was also the site of trade, hunting, gathering, and healing of other Indigenous peoples, including the Comanche, Apache, and Shoshone. In offering this land acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty, history, knowledge, and experiences.