We seek works of fiction and poetry that speak to LGBT young adults and their allies. We are interested in creative, thoughtful, original work that engages our young readers. We seek writing that challenges them and makes them think. We’re looking for stories that capture their imaginations and characters that are relatable. We think there’s a need in the young adult literary market for writing that speaks to the everyday experiences of LGBT adolescents: themes of identity, friendship, coming out, families, etc., are especially welcome. The protagonist need not identify as LGBT, but we do ask that there be some kind of LGBT angle to your story. We welcome all genres of fiction and poetry!
Because we publish for a young demographic, work submitted to Iris may not include depictions of sex, drug use, and violence. They can certainly be discussed and referenced, but not directly portrayed. It is our hope that Iris will find a home in classrooms and libraries; in order to do so, the magazine must adhere to these guidelines. We publish pieces with profanity only if that profanity is neither gratuitous nor excessive.
Iris is friendly to everyone along the LGBTQAI spectrum and their allies. You do not need to identify as queer (or one of the above) to submit! We ask only that there exist an LGBT angle in your story.
We accept short stories (3,000 words max), poetry, and visual art. We encourage creators of visual poetry to send us PDFs or image files only - we want to be sure that your work renders correctly for our readers!
Those interested in writing essays, reviews, or columns for our blog are encouraged to email us with a pitch and links to published work/writing samples.
Accepted Submissions & Author Rights
If your submission is accepted, an editor will be in touch to discuss the next steps.
At Iris, we ask for first digital publication rights. Therefore, we ask that all submissions to Iris be previously unpublished, including on personal blogs. Simultaneous submissions are fine – just please let us know as soon as possible if your piece has been accepted elsewhere, and we will do our best to respond to submissions in a timely manner.
Authors retain all rights to their work following first publication in Iris. That means that you can go on to publish the piece elsewhere; if you do, it would be lovely to include a note indicating that it was first published in Iris.
Submitting Your Work
For our third issue cycle, we are piloting managing submissions through Google Drive. Submit your work as a PDF or Word document attachment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attachments sent to this address are automatically uploaded to our Google Drive using a script from Send to Google Drive. This ensures that you do not have to make an account anywhere in order to submit, and also addresses the issues with uploading and file rendering that many writers encountered previously.
All submissions must have this cover sheet as the text of the email. Because our submissions are read blind, we ask that your attachment contain only your piece's title, with no identifying information. Do not include your name in the same document as your piece.
We do our best to respond to each submission within three weeks. If you have not heard from us within that time frame, please email us.
By submitting to Iris, you acknowledge that you are the creator of the submitted work and that this is its first publication. If you are under the age of eighteen, please know that if your piece is accepted for publication, we will require permission from a parent or guardian.
We really regret that we cannot pay contributors; please know that Iris is a labor of love for us, too.
Art & Visual Poetry
Please submit your visual art or poetry via email to: email@example.com. Our preferred file formats are .png or .jpg.
If you format your visual poetry with Adobe Illustrator, please attach the Illustrator file as well; this will help us when we design the issue with InDesign.
We are happy to clarify any of our policies or the instructions for submissions. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.