Submissions

BASICS

We are now closed for submissions for Issue 58. We will reopen for submission on September 01.

☞ We publish three times a year: April, August and December. We accept unpublished submissions in five categories: fiction, graphic fiction, poetry, translated fiction and translated poetry. Our current issue, just published, is Issue 57.

☞ Please do not send us submissions via email; we will put up our submit form when we next open for submissions (September 01).

Payment: We pay an honorarium of  ₹ 5,000 (approx. $61 or €51) per contribution.

☞ We have a cap of 400 submissions in each category. Once we are maxed out, we can no longer accept submissions in that category. It’s a good idea not to wait until the end of the month to submit.

☞ As mentioned, we are looking for unpublished contributions. For us, blogs, college magazine articles, social media posts —anything  accessible to a larger audience— counts as a publication.

☞ FICTION SUBMISSION: The short story should be between 2,000 and 7,000 words in length.

☞ POETRY SUBMISSION: Please submit five poems, all in one document. Please do not send us fewer than five poems— we wish to understand your range and style through a substantial sample. We are publishing a poet, not a poem.

☞ TRANSLATION: We welcome translated poetry (3-5 poems) and translated short fiction. Each is considered a separate category.  Along with the translation, we recommend including (1) a proper citation for the original source and (2) a translator’s note (all in one document). If accepted for publication, we will need to verify you have the copyright to translate the text (see FAQs).

☞ GRAPHIC FICTION: We are looking for innovative graphic fiction (aka “comic books”) suitable for adults. The length is up to you. We’ve published 20+ page fictions as well as 3-6 pagers.

☞ ESSAYS & VISUAL NARRATIVES (Photo-essays): Currently, we directly commission these two types of narratives.

☞ You may send your work to other outlets (i.e. simultaneous submissions are okay). However, please inform us (help@bombaylitmag.com) if your work has been selected elsewhere. We remember such acts of courtesy. Please note that if more than 2 of your poems are accepted elsewhere, we will not have enough material to consider your submission, and it will therefore be marked withdrawn.

☞ We look forward to reading your work.

  1. Why the cap on the number of submissions in each category?
    We get a lot of submissions, especially in poetry. The evaluation process consists of four rounds of evaluation and our editors have to respond within six weeks. A cap on the number of submissions ensures we don’t have to compromise on the quality of our engagement.
  2. How do I submit something that’s a mixture of categories? For example, a prose-poem or creative non-fiction?
    We understand that sometimes creative work does not fit into neat genre categories. Our magazine is happy to feature and celebrate these forms, but for the editorial process we ask submitters to select a genre that seems closest to the one they have in mind.
  3. Do you accept unsolicited essays, interviews and reviews?
    We do publish in these genres, but currently we are approaching authors directly.
  4. Do you accept submissions in languages other than English?
    Regrettably, no. TBLM is an English-language based literary magazine. However, we welcome English-language translations from other languages.
  5. Do you publish genre authors?
    No, we don’t. However, TBLM does publish genre fiction and poetry. We’re mindful of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s observation that a division of labour quickly becomes a division of labourers. We see genre as a useful division of literary works, not authors.
  6. When can I send you my work?We follow a ternary publication schedule. We accept submissions in the months of January, May and September. Our new issues are made available in April, August and December, usually by the fifteenth.If you’ve published with us earlier (hello, friend!), please wait for a year before sending us something in the same genre.
  7. What IP rights do you ask for?
    We worked with Dr. Kalyan Kankanala, chief attorney at Banana IP, India’s leading intellectual-property law firm, to devise generous and equitable terms for the author. We only ask for the minimum set of digital rights that will let us legally display your work online, exclusively for a period of one year, but non-exclusively thereafter. You retain all other rights. Translation rights follow the same pattern, but they can get complicated, since in most legal jurisdictions it is the original author, and not the translator, who is ultimately assigning the rights.
  8. Help! I am not sure my submission went through. I’m afraid I may have submitted twice. I may have picked the wrong category. I attached the wrong manuscript. And misspelled my name. Or was it my email address? Help!
    No worries. For these and other existential queries, just ping us at help@bombaylitmag.com. We usually respond within a day.
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