Submission Guidelines 

For All Submissions

  • We do not accept previously published work (either in print or online).
  • Use Times New Roman, 12pt.
  • List work titles in the order they appear in your cover letter.
  • Include your name and page number in the header of each page. If you are using Microsoft Word 2007 or later, you can use the "Insert" tab on the ribbon to edit the header area and insert page numbers.
  • Do not include extraneous or blank pages with your submission.
  • Do not send revisions unless our editors have requested them.
  • Allow 8 to 16 weeks for a response (sometimes longer in May-August and December-January). We thank you in advance for your patience.

Postal Submissions

  • Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) or sufficient International Reply Coupons for reply onlyNo work will be returned.

Email Submissions

  • Submissions should be sent to
  • Submissions made in the body of an email will not be consideredPlease submit work as an attached .doc.docx, or .rtf file. Links to a Google Docs (or similar) file will be rejected.
  • Please include the genre you are submitting in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email, please list the title(s) of the poem(s) or story that you are submitting. For prose, include a word count.

Submittable Submissions

Additional Information

  • We do accept simultaneous submissions if informed. We expect prompt notification if the work is accepted elsewhere. Manuscripts may be withdrawn until we send an acceptance notification to you.
  • We are not reviewing translations at this time.
  • Authors and artists receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears.
  • The MacGuffin is copyrighted. Upon publication, all rights revert to authors. We appreciate acknowledgement as first place of publication.


  • We consider traditional, formal, free verse, and experimental poetry up to 400 lines.
  • There are no subject biases.
  • Please do not submit more than five poems at one time.
  • Poems should by typed and single-spaced, with one per page and all in the same file.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

  • We have no subject biases, though obvious pornographic material will not be published.
  • Our word limit is 5000 wordsPlease include a word count in your email and in the file. The word count, as we define it, is the body text only, and does not include extraneous info such as title, author, headers, etc.
  • Please do not submit more than two stories. If submitting multiple stories via email, please send them as separate files.
  • Portions of longer works are acceptable if they can stand alone (and are still below 5000 words).
  • Please allow your word processor to wrap your lines—do not insert line breaks or hard returns at the margin unless starting a new paragraph.
  • All prose should be typed and double-spaced.
  • The page size should be set to 8.5"x11" and the page margins should be set to 1" all around.
  • If sending two stories, please send them as separate files.


  • Send your highest quality file(s) as a TIFF or JPEG. Images should be at least 2700p in height and preferably 1800p wide. These size specifications are mandatory if submitting work for use as cover art.
  • We will also consider works included in a portfolio (physical or digital) or on your website.