Arboreal Literary Magazine
There are presently no open calls for submissions.
The submission window for Issue No. 04 is September 3 – October 15, 2023. All work must be submitted by October 15 @ 11:59 p.m. PT.
Issue No. 04 Theme: Fresh Hell
The theme for our fourth issue, Fresh Hell, comes from a famous quotation attributed to wisecracking American satirist Dorothy Parker:
[Parker’s] way of looking at life was incurably pessimistic. Confronted by the unknown, she immediately prepared for the worst. Ordinary occurrences—the doorbell or a ringing telephone—made her wonder “What fresh hell is this?”
– Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? (1988).
The phrase "fresh hell" embodies the intersection of humor and despair in the face of life's twists and turns. We invite you to respond to this theme by responding to the tumultuous and unpredictable facets of human experience—personal, social, cultural, global, or otherwise.
This might mean delving into intimate encounters with life's daily challenges. Or dissecting the absurdities of our world, casting a light on its more comically tragic elements. Maybe you have a pessimistic satirical take on life's inherent chaos. Or perhaps your work explores personal growth our of the depths of fresh hells.
As always, these are merely suggestions to get you thinking about the theme. Indeed, we always appreciate thematic angles we haven't considered!
The third issue of Arboreal will be published on November 15, 2023. It will be released for free online, and there will be a print version available to purchase.
Submitting Your Work
Please submit all writing in .docx files. Work submitted in PDF or other file formats will be declined without review.
What We Accept
We accept unpublished works of poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art.
For us, unpublished means the work has not appeared in an edited online or print publication—including self-published.
This does not include works shared on your personal social media accounts or personal websites. That is, if you have shared the work on Instagram or Twitter or your own portfolio website, etc., we will still consider your submission.
No Artificial Intelligence (AI) Content
We do not accept any writing or visual art that was created—entirely or partially—with AI software.
While we often consider AI and the content created with it fascinating and even impressive, Arboreal is not the venue for such things. Our publication is meant to be an outlet for human creativity only.
We gladly accept simultaneous submissions. We value your success, whether that involves our publication or any others.
You do not need to inform us if you are submitting your work to other publications simultaneously. We simply ask that you notify us as soon as possible if your submission(s) will be published elsewhere.
We do not require a fee to submit your work.
Expedited Response ($)
While no fee is required to submit your work for consideration, you can opt to pay a $3 fee to expedite our response. If you choose to pay this expedited response fee, we will inform you of our decision within 10 business days of submission.
As a nascent, self-funded publication, we are unable to offer any form of payment to our contributors at this time. Nor are we able to offer free or discounted print copies.
We know…it’s not ideal.
That said, we will do everything we can to promote the hell out of your work and your personal brand on social media, email, and any other channels at our disposal.
Our contributors’ success is our success, and vice versa.
If we select your work for publication, Arboreal will retain worldwide First Serial Rights and worldwide First Electronic Rights.
That is, once your work is published in Arboreal, the copyright immediately reverts to you.
We also reserve the right to keep your work on our website and include it in promotional materials in perpetuity.
You can read the full agreements our selected contributors must eSign before publication here: