The submission period for volume six is now open!
1. Runestone considers previously unpublished works of fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry by undergraduate writers.
2. You must be a current undergraduate at a two- or four-year institution (any age), or if unaffiliated with a college, between the ages of 18 and 22 at the time you send your work. We do not currently consider work by students at Hamline University.
3. Submit work for our next issue April 1 – October 1.
4. Your work should include a cover letter, in which you should verify your age or that you are an undergraduate and include the name of your college or university, your field of study, and your year (sophomore, junior, etc.). Include the name(s) and genre of the piece(s) you’re submitting, as well as a mailing address, phone number, and an e-mail address.
5. Submit your work via Submittable. Submitting to us is free.
6. For fiction or creative nonfiction, including flash, submit up to 3 files, not to exceed 7500 words total per genre (flash should be up to 500 words each). For poetry, submit up to 5 poems. You may submit work in more than one genre, but please do not send more than one piece or suite of fiction, one piece or suite of nonfiction, and one suite of poems per reading cycle. For more information, see the FAQ.
7. After an initial screening, the editorial process of considering your work will take place during Hamline’s “Introduction to Literary Publishing: Runestone” course during the fall semester. You should hear from us via e-mail by December 1. Thank you for sending us your work!
Frequently Asked Questions
May I send Runestone 5 poems, 1 piece of creative nonfiction (CNF), and 1 piece of fiction?
Yes, you may. This is a multiple submission. Just do not send 6 poems, 2 CNF pieces, and 2 stories. Our submission manager allows for up to 3 files in both Fiction and CNF, and 5 files in Poetry.
What is a Multiple Submission?
This is the practice of submitting more than one piece of work to a single journal at one time. This is common in poetry, where 3-5 poems are sent in small batches. It can also can mean sending a second piece before receiving a response on the first.
So, Runestone accepts multiple submissions?
Yes, we do! Each reading cycle, you may send work in more than one genre.
- For fiction and CNF, we will consider one of each per reading cycle, up to 5000 words.
- For poetry, we will consider up to 5 poems per reading cycle.
- For flash fiction and flash CNF, we will consider up to 3 pieces of each per reading cycle, up to 500 words each.
- You may send both flash and longer fiction or CNF in one submission; just limit yourself to 3 files total per genre, not to exceed 5000 words total.
What is Flash Fiction?
Extremely short or brief prose. Runestone defines this as under 500 words. 3 flash fictions = 1 fiction submission. 3 flash CNFs = 1 CNF submission.
May I send my writing to Runestone and other journals at the same time?
Yes. This is known as a Simultaneous Submission (sim-sub). Remember to always withdraw the piece from every journal you’ve sent the piece to as soon as another journal has accepted it.
I got an acceptance from Runestone, but another journal also wants to publish that piece. What should I do?
Well, you are going to have to say yes to the first journal that accepted your piece and apologize to the other journal for not withdrawing the piece as soon as you received the first acceptance. We know you are just starting out with submitting, so we are going to forgive you. But learn from your mistake. Practice good submission etiquette.
What is good submission etiquette?
We are glad you asked. The Review-Review has a fantastic article on just this. Please take a look. But we will sum it up here: Keep a good record of your submissions. Consider setting up a spreadsheet with columns for title, date sent, where sent, and date of rejection or acceptance. This will come in handy now and down the road. Here is a template of a submission tracker spreadsheet you can download and use. Let us know if another journal accepts any of your work. If it is one poem out of a batch of 5, please, let us know which poem is no longer available. Send an email and/or use the “withdraw” button on Submittable. Notify other journals where the same work is being considered if we send you an acceptance. Withdraw the piece(s) from their consideration. Remember, only one journal may publish your work at a time. This is called First Publication Rights. You cannot give these rights to two journals at a time. Only submit your work to journals you would be proud to be published in and be prepared to accept the first offer that comes to you. You are under no obligation to allow any journal to publish your work (submitting your work for consideration is not a contract), but holding out for a better offer is certainly frowned upon.
Do you accept previously published work? What is Runestone’s definition of previously published?
No. We do not publish previously published work. Our definition of “published” is material distributed in any manner to the public, print or web, so work currently posted on your personal blog should not be submitted to us for consideration.
What should my cover letter say?
In the cover letter please include the name of your university, status as an undergraduate student, year, and contact information. Example Cover Letter:
Dear Runestone Staff,
Thank you for considering my poems “Title One,” “Title Two,” and “Title Three” for publication in Runestone Literary Journal.
I am a junior at The University of Minnesota, studying Chemistry.
Sincerely, Jessica Jason
1234 First Street Minneapolis, MN 12345 firstname.lastname@example.org (111) 123-1234
If I submit to Runestone, how soon can I expect a response?
Responses will be sent by December 1, but some may be sent earlier. If you have not heard back from us by then, and the submission manager still shows that your work is pending, please send us an email and we will get back to you.
I submitted a story during your last submission period and the editors said some nice things about it, but it was rejected. Should I resubmit the same story again next year?
No. We would prefer to see different work, or work that has undergone significant changes.
I am a senior at Hamline University, may I submit work?
No. Sorry, but we only accept work from undergraduates outside of our program. Here are some alternative journals for you to consider for your work. These journals only publish undergraduate work:
- Plain china (Bennington College)
- Prairie Margins
- The Albion Review
- The Allegheny Review: A National Undergraduate Literary Journal
- Susquehanna Review
- Catfish Creek
- Outrageous Fortune
- Red Cedar Review
- Polaris: An Undergraduate Journal of Arts and Literature
- The Blue Route: A National Literary Magazine for Undergraduate Writers