We are limiting each issue to 60-pages and will notify accepted submitters as to which issue they’ve been accepted to – which will happen on a first-come, first-served basis.
To submit, fill out our submission 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 20th of the previous month or when the issue is full, whichever happens first.
Requirements for Submissions
We require written submissions to be under 2,000 words, submitted in a Word Document or text file. PDFs will not be considered and will be rejected outright.
We require that image submissions be sent at least 300 dpi, with a title, your name as you would like it to appear, and the media.
We will accept simultaneous submission. Please let us know if it is a simultaneous submission and let us know as soon as you do if it has been accepted elsewhere.
You retain the rights to your pieces after publication in our zine. We encourage you to submit your piece to other publications after it has appeared in ours (if their submissions allow it), we just ask that you acknowledge that it was previously published in ours first. We fully accept pieces that have been published elsewhere (if their submissions allow it) and will be happy to acknowledge that it was published elsewhere first. We want to get your creations in front of as many people as possible and are happy to do it!
What to include in your submission:
Our form requires the following information: your name (nickname or pen names are perfectly acceptable) as you’d like it to appear, the name of the piece as you’d like it to appear, trigger warnings if necessary, and answers to our identity questions.
We aim to have a diverse publication from a diverse set of voices. In order to make sure we do that, we need to know who you are. We will not deny someone based on identity unless it is deemed that the submission becomes inappropriate or appropriation due to the submitter’s identity. Things that we would consider inappropriate or appropriation would include writing about what it’s like to be part of a historically marginalized community you do not belong to. We encourage people outside of the community to include people from historically marginalized communities, but we won’t publish pieces that explain what it’s like to be part of those communities.
We’ve seen concern that cishet white men would not be published. Rest assured that is not what this data is for. This is to find out if we are heavy in one identity, and if so, we will actively seek other voices. You will be asked to identify the following information: race, gender, sexuality, and ability.
We don’t want to read something that might be triggering without being in the right head space. We would hate to deny something because it caught us off guard at a bad time. If appropriate, please include a trigger warning. Before you submit, make sure that it will not violate our submission guidelines (see the full list below).
What we are and are not looking for:
Subjects we don’t care for/things we don’t like:
- We don’t care for rhyme if it makes the poem unreadable, works against the cadence, or forces bad grammar.
- We don’t care for self-gratification writing. While it’s a great practice, it’s not the best for publication. It must have relevance to someone else.
- We don’t care for pieces that drive the meaning through the reader’s skull like a mallet, or pieces that take verbal nuance so far it becomes vague and confusing.
- We’re not fans of excessive words of temporality (while, meanwhile, as, during, and, etc.) or excessive words of causality (because, thus, so, causing, therefore), or words of opposition (yet, but).
- We don’t care for pieces that sound like period pieces. We are a modern publication, so let’s keep it modern.
- We don’t care for the trifecta. What we mean by that is, almost every time a new submitter comes, they submit three pieces: a love/love lost piece, a meta poem about writing poetry, and an extended metaphor about nature and life.
- We also don’t care for pieces about how technology is ruining our relationships, how much millennials suck at life and are the destroyer of all things, or word salad pieces. We get a ton of these pieces every month and they don’t really tell us anything new.
That’s not to say that you couldn’t amaze us with these things, just know that they will likely be rejected.
Things that we expect/prefer:
- Respectful discourse
- We appreciate diverse perspectives and thoroughly enjoy reading viewpoints from women, people of color, LGBTIQA2+, people with disabilities, and members of religious minorities.
Resources and podcasts to help you create things that are appropriate for The B’K:
Things that will be rejected and could get your 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. This 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 feeling 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. We have dealt with too much harassment to waver on this, so don’t ask. This is not a conversation. You have submitted to our publication, so follow our rules. If you don’t want to follow them, don’t submit to us.
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.
- The piece implicates you in a crime.
- The piece is partially or fully plagiarized.
- The piece slanders a member of the general population (public figures are exempt from this rule, as they open themselves for criticism).
- The piece uses marginalized genders or children as an object/bargaining chip for a male protagonist (either the plot involves saving the damsel, or they are used as an object to “hurt” the male protagonist in some way).
- The piece reduces people from marginalized genders 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 to a degree that could be triggering for people with past sexual trauma.
- The piece sexualizes a child. This means anyone under 18 years old, no matter what.
- The piece glorifies or sexualizes violence against marginalized genders (unless it is absolutely clear that it is consensual).
- The piece uses child molestation or rape against children as a plot point (unless it is a memoir or experienced non-fiction, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis by a survivor. There is NO wiggle room on this. Our editor is a survivor and will not subject themselves to the pain of reading this unless it is written by a survivor about their experience, because we value and understand the need for catharsis through art. NO ONE ELSE is permitted to submit a piece with this plot point.).
- The piece uses rape or sexual violence against marginalized genders as a plot point (unless it is a memoir or experienced non-fiction, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis by a survivor. There is NO wiggle room on this. Our editor is a survivor and will not subject themselves to the pain of reading this unless it is written by a survivor about their experience, because we value and understand the need for catharsis through art. NO ONE ELSE is permitted to submit a piece with this plot point.).
- The piece includes content that could be considered sexist, fetishist (unless consensual), homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist, or in any other way offensive to a protected class or minority.
- Things that we consider sexist: naming all characters except the ones from marginalized genders, providing developed cisgender male characters but flat characters from marginalized genders, generalizing based on gender, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider fetishist: depicting certain races as hyper-sexual or animalistic in their sexual appetites, depicting certain genders or gender identifies as sex objects or hyper-sexual, depicting certain sexual identities as hyper-sexual or as something to be observed by others (voyeurism), sexualizing things that people naturally do that are not sexual in nature, etc.
- Things that we consider homophobic: depictions of homosexual relationships as less valid than heterosexual relationships, sexual orientation erasure, the depiction of sexual orientation as abnormal or as a mental illness, generalizing based on sexual orientation, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider transphobic: depictions of transgender people as less valid than cis gender people, the depiction of a gender identity as abnormal or as a mental illness, generalizing based on gender identity, dead naming or misgendering a trans person, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider racist: depictions of people of color as less than white people, depictions of people of color in a way that could be interpreted as animalistic or fetishized, generalizing based on race, the use of racial stereotypes, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider ableist: depictions of people with disabilities as heroes for doing something ordinary, depictions of people with disabilities as having tragic or empty lives for reasons having to do with their disability alone, using people with disabilities as a symbol rather than a fully fleshed out character, generalizing based on ability, use of pejorative terms, etc.
Once the piece has been published, it is done. If we made a typo, we’d be happy to fix it, but we will not pull the piece or make any large edits. You have until the piece goes to print to make any changes to the piece.
Unfortunately, we can’t offer submitter copies. We wish we could, but this is not a zine that makes money, but instead is one that we pay for with our day jobs and do on the side as a labor of love.