Thanks for considering submitting to us!

Please read the guidelines. It amazes and frustrates us that some people clearly don’t!






Unbroken – Ekphrastic Issue

For our next issue of Unbroken (#42), we are having a special themed issue: prose poems inspired by, or in response to, any other art forms (e.g. music, visual art, dance, etc.). All submissions must include a reference to the work of art in question (no source cited, no publication). 

We will only be reading poems that adhere to this theme. All other guidelines for Unbroken remain the same (please read carefully, many people don’t!). 

We look forward to receiving your poems for our special “ekphrastic issue” between May 1 – June 15, 2024

We seek prose poems. We do not publish lined poetry. Our strong preference is for a single block of text (one paragraph/stanza), maybe two, per piece. More than that, we start arguing about whether it’s a prose poem! Don’t make us argue. Some of our editors are already dangerous.

Both traditional and innovative works are welcome. We want dark and disquieting, we want fanciful and funny, we want surreal and surprising. We want stunning and unusual imagery and language that compels.

To get some idea of the kind of content we like, check out current and past issues.

The editors of Unbroken seek prose poems that transcend the boundaries of conventional storytelling. Of course, we believe that submissions should be coherent and intelligible, but also that coherence can be achieved through style, tone, imagery, and even transgressive methods. Linear narratives with predictable situations and language will be discounted. We want prose that smolders in the ditch. We want it to cry. Maybe laugh at inappropriate times. We want it to knock on our doors in the middle of the night and demand to be let in, fed, given black coffee, and assured that life isn’t completely insane. We want prose poems that have been fired from multiple jobs and have gaps in their resumes that cause them to perspire in interviews. Poems that listened to “Venus in Furs” daily for the entire year of 1993. We want poems that are the perfect carrot cake at your aunt’s house. We want poems that need extensive dental work because of unfortunate incidents outside bars in Phoenix or Indianapolis or Mobile. Finally, we want submission guidelines that don’t read like Dale Wisely got his hands on them.

We publish quarterly online. We have a reading period of six weeks for each issue. Here’s the schedule for upcoming issues:

How to Submit

We read 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off. Here’s our current schedule.

We accept submissions:

Nov 1-Dec 15 for our January issue

Feb 1-Mar 15 for our April issue

May 1-Jun 15 for our July issue

Aug 1-Sep 15 for our October issue.

Here’s our calendar of reading periods


We read 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off.

In any given reading period, submit no more than 2 pieces. If you submit more than two pieces, only the first two will be read.

We do final acceptances for each issue shortly after the end of each reading period.


We do not accept previously published works (including self-publishing and blogs). Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know if you are submitting the pieces elsewhere, and immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.


We do not have a rigid word limit, but we tend to favor shorter, punchier pieces. If you send us something that’s more than 500 words, it really needs to sock our hosiery off.




Cover letters are not essential, but please provide a brief (around 50 words) third-person bio in your email. We reserve the right to edit bios.


Do not supply line breaks. We are looking for blocks of text. Hey. We see your right pinky creeping toward that RETURN key. Don’t do it! Save yourself! Ok, we are not necessarily opposed to 1 paragraph break but prefer a single block of text. At what point will these guidelines have beaten that point to death?


If your work is accepted, we may fix at our discretion minor grammatical problems. For anything more involved, you will be contacted for clarification. We are unable to provide feedback on work we do not accept.


If your work is accepted, you agree to give Unbroken first serial electronic rights to your work and non-exclusive electronic and print rights in perpetuity. This means we can archive your work on our website indefinitely and include it in potential future publications and anthologies. Otherwise, all rights revert to the author upon publication.

If you publish the work elsewhere in the future, we ask that credit be given to Unbroken for first publication.

We cannot pay our contributors because we have revenue. (Just expenses!) We do, however, promote our authors on social media and nominate for Pushcarts and Best of the Net.

Follow us on Twitter for updates @unbrokenjournal

Report your submissions on Duotrope and/or thegrinder