The Offbeat is calling for the zany, the thought-provoking, the humorous, and the quirky to submit work for us to read! The Offbeat, a literary journal specializing in undisputedly unique works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and sequential art, is accepting submissions. Submit writing that is intriguing, eccentric, and, most importantly, “off the beaten path.”


Please read our guideline FAQs before submitting. Any piece that does not adhere to these restrictions will be denied without consideration.

Q: When can I submit work?

A: We accept work 24/7/365. Yes, even on Canadian Independence Day.


Q: What genre of work do you accept? 

A: Poetry (up to 3 poems), Flash Fiction (up to 3 pieces under 1,000 words each), Fiction (up to 4,000 words), Creative Nonfiction (up to 4,000 words), and Sequential Art (up to 10 pages). 


Q: How long will it take before I hear back?

A: It generally takes us around 6 months to give you a decision, but it can be as short as 1 month or as long as 10 months. This window fluctuates greatly depending on when we receive your submission, how many submissions are ahead of you, and sometimes the planetary alignment of Mercury (don’t ask). Please don’t email us asking about your submission status unless it has exceeded 10 months without a response.


Q: Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

A: Yes, we do. Please let us know that it is submitted elsewhere in your cover letter. If your piece is accepted elsewhere, please let us know by withdrawing your submission or emailing us. Messenger pigeons generally do not reach us at this time.


Q: How many times can I submit?

A: We kindly ask that you limit yourself to one submission per genre each calendar year unless we tell you differently. This allows us to read every submission at least twice before making an editorial decision.


Q: If I’ve been published in the past, can I submit again?

A: It’s not you, it’s us. We love our authors, but we also want to publish new voices in our journal. That being said, if you have been published in the past please wait at least 24 months after publication before submitting again. This ensures we can publish new authors and helps limit editorial biases.


Q: Do you offer payment for accepted pieces?

A: We send one complimentary issue of the journal for all contributors as payment. If we had a wealthy benefactor, we’d pay as well, but c’est la vie. (La vie).


Q: Why do you charge a reading fee?

A: Because either A) we’re secretly Ebenezer Scrooge; or B) we’re a growing business and the only way we can keep the lights on is by charging you $3.


Q: Do you accept explicit content?

A: Great question! Since we ask for “offbeat” works, sometimes we’ll be inundated with unnecessarily explicit content produced purely for the purpose of being shocking. Please don’t send that.


Q: Can I submit previously published work?

A: No. We only publish pieces that have never been published before whether in print or online. Upon publication, you have granted The Offbeat first publication rights and we must be credited on the piece’s subsequent publications.


Q: Anything else?

A: Make sure your Submittable email address is correct and you receive emails from Submittable. If you miss our acceptance email, we’ll miss publishing your piece. Also, title your submission the same as your piece.

$3.00
$3.00
All short story submissions should remain within 4,000 words. You may submit up to three flash fiction pieces of under 1000 words each in one file. Files containing more than one flash piece must include all individual titles in the title of the submission.

You may submit up to three flash fiction pieces of under 1,000 words each in one file. Files containing more than one flash piece must include all individual titles in the title of the submission.

You may submit up to three flash CNF pieces of under 1,000 words each in one file. Files containing more than one flash piece must include all individual titles in the title of the submission.

$3.00
$3.00
Up to 3 poems may be submitted. Files containing more than one poem must include all individual titles in the title of the submission.


All creative nonfiction submissions should remain within 4,000 words.
Sequential art should not exceed 10 pages.
For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequential_art

To order a print copy of The Offbeat, choose the "Purchase" option and click "Submit".

  • On the next screen, fill in the requested mailing details and click "Save Address and Continue".
  • Choose the issue (or issues!) you'd like in the "Payment" section.
  • Click "submit" to complete your order.


If you would like multiple copies of the same issue, you'll need to submit this form multiple times. 

For more complicated orders or INTERNATIONAL orders, please contact us at offbeatmsu@gmail.com.


Current and back issues:

  • SOLD OUT! VOLUME 15 | 2015
  • VOLUME 16 | 2016
  • SOLD OUT! VOLUME 17 | Fall 2016 
  • SOLD OUT! VOLUME 17 | Spring 2017
  • VOLUME 18 | Fall 2017
  • VOLUME 18 | Spring 2018
  • VOLUME 19 | Fall 2018
  • VOLUME 19 | Spring 2019
The Offbeat