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KAIROS Literary Magazine

We take submissions on a rolling basis and publish tri-annually, in August, December, and April.

We no longer accept submissions through email. Unsolicited email submissions will go unread. Each piece will be carefully chosen based on genre, theme, and voice. If you want to know more about what we like, we recommend reading what we’ve already published. We do not publish racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic material. We are open to adult content in stories, poetry, or non-fiction, but we do not publish erotica.

We would like to maintain close relationships with our writers, so any larger editorial changes will be in conversation with the submitter of the piece. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but we ask that if your piece is accepted elsewhere that you let us know as soon as possible – there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a piece and then realizing we can’t publish it. As always, please do not submit anything that has been previously published online or elsewhere (this includes on social media).

KAIROS holds first publication rights and we do ask that you cite us as such if your piece becomes a part of a collection. Upon publication, all rights revert back to the writer of the piece.

You should receive an email confirmation that we have received your submission within one (1) business week. After that, please do not contact us about the status of your submission until eight-to-ten weeks have passed. For an inquiry of this sort or any sort, do not hesitate to email The Editors at KAIROS at [email protected].

The genre-specific guidelines to submission are in the calls themselves.

Quick Links to Open Calls:

2022 Chapbook Contest Fee: usd $10.00

Open

Closes on Thursday, September 1, 2022 11:59 PM EDT (in 58 days)

1st Place: $100 & Publication with KAIROS
Runner-up: Publication
Deadline: September 1

The KAIROS Chapbook Contest is held annually during the summer (June 1 – September 1). Submissions are reviewed based on KAIROS’s editorial preference for compelling, relevant, and intimate writing.

For the 2022 contest, there is no thematic requirement for the prize. However, all submissions must be written by woman-identifying or gender non-binary/non-conforming individuals. Upon submission, you will submit a registration and reading fee of $10 (Please note: this fee allows us to keep our online data protected and up-to-date and allows for us to continue publishing paradigm-shifting work. This is not meant to dissuade or prevent anyone from submitting their work.)

Winners for the 2022 prize will be announced in Fall-Winter 2022.

Requirements

  • The deadline to submit your work is September 1, 2022.
  • Each applicant is required to pay a $10 reading fee per submission.
  • We very much value an anonymous reading process (what some have called “blind” reading, though we prefer terms that do not metaphorize disability). So, please be sure to delete any and all personal information from your submission. Failure to do so compromises the judgment of this contest and may result in a rejection without reading and, consequently, forfeiture of registration and reading fee.
  • There can be no refund for pieces that are accepted for publication with another venue, so we strongly suggest to submit no simultaneous submissions.
  • Applicants may submit as many times as they wish so long as reading fee payment is also submitted with each submission. (Note: all submissions should be unique; so, in the case you are submitting more than one time, you should submit more than one chapbook).
  • Chapbooks should contain a majority of the author’s new work. This means that no more than one-third of the work presented in the manuscript should have been published in print or online (including blogs and social media). If anything from the chapbook has been published previously (including on blogs and social media), please indicate so on an acknowledgements page within the manuscript.
  • Upon winning, writers receive payment via PayPal and publication exclusively by KAIROS.
  • In submitting unique work, all authors agree to First Rights in the event the author is chosen as winner. After first publication, all rights revert back to the writer. (Note: First Rights are publication rights granted only to this publisher and include rights to be the first to publish, communicate, and distribute the published work online and in print).
    • For those submitting chapbooks in which work has previously been published, the submission should include written proof of second serial rights. (Note: Second Serial Rights are publication rights granted to this publisher and include rights to publish, communicate, and distribute work previously appearing in another publication.)

If you have any questions regarding your submission or eligibility, please do not hesitate to email the Editors at [email protected].

Please follow genre-specific guidelines below:

Fiction

Manuscripts for fiction should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman (or similar) 12-point font, and page numbers at the bottom right side of each page. Manuscripts should be submitted as a .doc or .docx file. PDFs will not be accepted. Fiction chapbooks should be no longer than fifty (50) pages double-spaced, including acknowledgements & title pages. Word count and title should be included on the first page. Please do not include any information, including name, address, or biographical information in the manuscript relating to the author of the chapbook.

Poetry

Manuscripts for poetry should be single-spaced with each new poem beginning on a separate page. Pages should be numbered at the bottom right side of each page. Poets may submit up to thirty (30) pages of poetry for consideration. All poems, title page, and acknowledgements (if applicable) should be submitted within the same document, as a .doc or .docx file. PDFs will not be accepted. Please do not include any information, including name, address, or biographical information in the manuscript relating to the poet.

Mixed/Multi-Genre

Manuscripts featuring more than one genre of writing should not exceed forty (40) pages in total, including acknowledgements (if applicable) and title pages. Fiction, non-fiction, and essays should be double-spaced while poems should be single-spaced. Pages should be numbered at the bottom right side of each page. Manuscripts must be in .doc or .docx file format. PDFs will not be accepted. Please do not include any information, including name, address, or biographical information in the manuscript relating to the writer.

2022 KAIROS Editors' Prizes in Fiction and Poetry Fee: usd $12.00

Open

Closes on Saturday, December 31, 2022 11:59 PM EST (in 179 days)

Grand Prize in Fiction: $150
Grand Prize in Poetry: $150
Deadline: December 31, 2022

The KAIROS Editors’ Prizes in Fiction and Poetry represents the utmost talent in contemporary fiction and poetry. The two prizes will be awarded to the story and poem(s) that most represent the KAIROS editorial preference for compelling, relevant, and intimate writing.

For the 2022 contests, there are no thematic requirements for the prizes. Upon submission, you will submit a registration and reading fee of $12 (Please note: this fee allows us to keep our online data protected and up-to-date and allows for us to pay the winners of the prizes in fiction and poetry with a grand prize of $150 each. This is not meant to dissuade or prevent anyone from submitting their work.)

Winners for the 2022 prizes will be announced in Summer 2023.

Requirements

  • The deadline to submit your work is December 31, 2022.
  • Each applicant is required to pay a $12 reading fee per submission.
  • We very much value an anonymous reading process (what some call “blind” reading). So, please be sure to delete any and all personal information from your submission. Failure to do so compromises the judgment of these prizes and may result in a rejection without reading and, consequently, forfeiture of registration and reading fee.
  • There can be no refund for pieces that are accepted for publication with another venue, so we strongly suggest to submit no simultaneous submissions.
  • Applicants who wish to submit to both categories may do so if and only if they have submitted two registration and reading fees.
  • Applicants may submit as many times as they wish so long as reading fee payment is also submitted with each submission. (Note: poetry submissions can each contain up to five poems for consideration while fiction submissions may only contain one piece).
  • Pieces that have been published in print or online (including blogs and social media) are ineligible for prizes.
  • Upon winning, writers receive payment via PayPal and publication exclusively in the print edition of KAIROS.
  • In submitting your work, all authors agree to First Rights in the event the author is chosen as winner. After first publication, all rights revert back to the writer. (Note: First Rights are publication rights granted only to this publisher and include rights to be the first to publish, communicate, and distribute the published work online and in print).

Please follow genre-specific guidelines below:

FICTION

Manuscripts for fiction should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman (or similar) 12-point font, and page numbers at the bottom right side of each page. Manuscripts should be submitted as a .doc or .docx file. PDFs will not be accepted. Fiction writers may submit any one story of up to 8,000 words. Word count and title should be included on the first page.

POETRY

Manuscripts for poetry should be single-spaced with each new poem beginning on a separate page. Pages should be numbered at the bottom right side of each page. Poets may submit up to five (5) poems for consideration. These poems should be submitted within the same document, as a .doc or .docx file. PDFs will not be accepted.

CREATIVE NON-FICTION Fee: usd $3.00

Open

Please submit a single document. The file name of the document should be your genre followed by your name. For example, a creative non-fiction submission from Naomi Klein would have the file name creativenonfiction-NaomiKlein.doc. You may only submit one (1) piece per submission. Please format your submission in standard manuscript style (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font-face with page numbers). Please do not submit anything above 10,000 words. If a piece is an excerpt of a forth-coming collection or chapbook, or will be published elsewhere online or in print, please do not submit it.

FLASH FICTION (<1000 words) Fee: usd $2.00

Open

Please submit a single document. The file name of the document should be your genre followed by your name. For example, a flash-fiction submission from Junot Díaz would have the file name flashfiction-JunotDíaz.doc. You may include up to two (2) flash fiction pieces per submission. Please format your fiction in standard manuscript style (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font-face with page numbers). If a piece is an excerpt of a forth-coming novel, novella, or chapbook, please do not submit it.

OPINION/EDITORIAL & CRITICAL ESSAYS Fee: usd $3.00

Open

Please submit a single document. The file name of the document should be your genre followed by your name. For example, an opinion/editorial submission from Sinan Antoon would have the file name oped-SinanAntoon.doc and an essay submission from Judith Butler would have the file name essay-JudithButler.doc. You may only submit one (1) piece per submission. Please format your submission in standard manuscript style (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font-face with page numbers). Please do not submit anything above 10,000 words. If a piece is an excerpt of a forth-coming collection, anthology, or chapbook, or will be published elsewhere online or in print, please do not submit it.

POETRY Fee: usd $2.00

Open

Include up to five (5) poems in a single document. Please submit no more than ten pages of poetry. The file name of the document should be your genre followed by your name. For example, a poetry submission from Natasha Trethewey would have the file name poetry-NatashaTrethewey.doc.

SHORT FICTION (>1000 words) Fee: usd $3.00

Open

Please submit a single document. The file name of the document should be your genre followed by your name. For example, a short fiction submission from Percival Everett would have the file name shortfiction-PercivalEverett.doc. You may only include one (1) short fiction piece per submission. Please format your fiction in standard manuscript style (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font-face with page numbers). We will accept any submissions that are below 10,000 words, but we usually prefer submissions that are in the 5,000-7,500 word range. Please do not submit anything above 10,000 words. If a piece is an excerpt of a forth-coming novel, novella, or chapbook, please do not submit it.