Porkbelly Press is an independent chapbook press based in Cincinnati, Ohio (where pigs fly). We print chapbooks, zines (such as the body image zine Love Me, Love My Belly), and the literary magazine Sugared Water.

We welcome works from writers all along the identity spectrum; we're queer-friendly & feminist. No hate speech. 

Our catalog favors lit & poetry leaning heavily toward fabulism, folklore, & magic—often confessional or intimate poems or personal lyric essay. All work should be tightly linked. 

Full guidelines: porkbellypress.com or click the market you're interested in under subs:

SUBMISSION PERIODS


NOTES

Sugared Water is transitioning to an online magazine with occasional mini-print issues. Issues 001 - 007 are print. Issue 008 on will be digital-only. See porkbellypress.com for more information & updates.

Simultaneous Submissions are fine by us, but do let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere and needs to be withdrawn in part (please use submittable's messages feature). Submittable's "withdraw" button will take the entire packet out of consideration. Need to make an edit? Please request an edit rather than withdrawing.

POETRY & PROSE POEMS

12 to 26 pages of poetry (or prose poems).

Please submit poems all in one document (.docx, or .rtf), one poem per page (use insert > break > page break to be sure each poem has its own page, please). We enjoy both lyrical work and narrative, leaning heavily to a combination. We have an affection for confessional poetry, poetry linked closely to identity, or an intimate point of view. We often enjoy a touch of myth, fable, folklore, or speculative elements.

It’s not often that we choose a collection with a raging case of alliteration or rhyme.


YOUR PACKET

12 to 26 pages of poetry (or prose poems).

Dedication/epigraph, title page, acknowledgements, & bio (front and end matter) do not count against the page count. No table of contents is necessary (we don't usually use them). If you have a dedication or epigraph, include that on its own page.

Please be sure to attribute the first appearances of any poems in your manuscript in an acknowledgements page.

Submit poems all in one document (.doc, .docx, or .rtf), one poem  per page. Be sure to include your contact information in the cover  letter section of the Submittable submission form. 


NOTES

We tend to lean toward image-heavy poems over sound-based poems, but are open to great things in all forms. 

Don't let form overshadow content and clarity. 

You're welcome to get a little drunk on language, but please don't rhyme. 

Use Garamond or Times New Roman. Do not submit to us in Courier or Courier New. 

12 poems that speak to each other are more likely to find a home with us than 26 that are only peripherally linked.

CREATIVE NONFICTION


12 to 26 pages of essay or other CNF forms.


We'll consider single pieces or essays as well as collected micro and flash length works. We like our creative nonfiction image-heavy & evocative—don't be afriad to blur the line between essay and prose poetry. Layered and braided works considered. We're not afraid of lyric essays. If it's beautifully written, we'll give it a try.


YOUR PACKET

12 to 26 pages of work.


Dedication/epigraph, title page, acknowledgements, & bio (front and end matter) do not count against the page number. No table of contents is necessary (we don't usually use them). If you have a dedication or epigraph, please include it.


Please be sure to attribute the first appearances of any pieces in your manuscript in an acknowledgements page.


We're particularly interested in, but do not require elements of:

  • travel narratives, journeys & road trips
  • discovery & experimentation
  • pieces with how-tos or recipes woven in
  • narratives in and around visual arts fields
  • tales of expats & culture shock & connection
  • cartooned narratives & true comics
  • stories of identity & experience
  • spells, stirring, witchcraft, forests
  • speculative elements, myth, fable, magic, or folklore
  • coming out, growing up feeling othered, finding yourself
  • nature, adventure, mycology, other -ologies


NOTES

12 pages that speak to each other are more likely to find a home with us than 26 that are only peripherally linked.

MIXED GENRE / HYBRIDS
 

We'll take a piece of fiction paired with creative nonfiction, or poems and CNF, or any combination thereof, provided the stories/essays/poems link in some fairly obvious way, such as theme or image. (For example, one of our first chapbooks pairs a personal essay with short fiction. Both feature the central image of a river.) 

Please be sure to tell us (in your cover letter) which combo you're using and perhaps a bit about how you consider them linked.

Standard manuscript format. Times New Roman or Garamond 12 point font  preferred. All pieces should be in one .docx, or .rtf. Do not submit to us in Courier or Courier New.  


YOUR PACKET

12 to 26 pages of work.


Dedication/epigraph, title page, acknowledgements, & bio (front and end matter) do not count against the page count. No table of contents is necessary (we don't usually use them). If you have a dedication or epigraph, please include them.


Please be sure to attribute the first appearances of any pieces in your manuscript in an acknowledgements page. 



NOTES

12 pages that speak to each other are more likely to find a home with us than 26 that are only peripherally linked.

FICTION

 
12 to 26 pages micro, flash or short fiction.


Standard manuscript format. Times New Roman or Garamond 12 point font  preferred. All pieces should be in one .docx or .rtf. Do not submit to us in Courier or Courier New. 

We'll consider single stories, but prefer micro and flash fiction collected into a chapbook-length work. We prefer works with elements of the speculative, fantastical, or fabulist, but have been known to go for literary stuff as well. If it's beautifully written, we'll give it a try. Pieces should be linked in a distinct and important way. These pieces should feel like they belong together, that together they begin a conversation.

(Lots of presses shun humor & werewolves, but we use our aconitum sparingly.)


YOUR PACKET

12 to 26 pages of work.


Dedication/epigraph, title page, acknowledgements, & bio (front and end matter) do not count against the page count. No table of contents is necessary (we don't usually use them). If you have an epigraph or dedication, please include that in your packet.


Please be sure to attribute the first appearances of any pieces in your manuscript in an acknowledgements page.



NOTES

12 pages that speak to each other are more likely to find a home with us than 26 that are only peripherally linked.

Topics we'd prefer not to see in fiction submissions:

  • fan fiction
  • any kind of abuse narratives (do not send misogynist work)
  • war stories/military narratives (if we have subs of this nature, we'd prefer to see creative nonfiction or poetry by veterans)

Every now and again we have an opening on staff. If you're interested, please review our website (porkbellypress.com). In January, we'll be reading all month and trying to reply within February/early March, so it's important that anyone signing up to read be able to commit to 4-5 weeks of regular logins.


We're currently seeking Fiction (2), Creative Nonfiction (2), and Poetry (4) Editorial Assistants. 

  • Editorial Assistants must read at least 100 packets a month (during selection periods) in order to maintain active staff status.
  • What happens in the comment box stays in the comment box. :D (Don't be an asshole, but do alert us to any gross violation of guidelines or misogynist content. We try to add trigger warnings as needed/noticed.)
  • All of our staff & reading work is done online via Submittable.
  • This is an unpaid (volunteer) position. For SW & LMLMB & antho readers: will receive a copy of the issue for which you read, and your name will appear inside the issue. (Provided you read at least 100 packets, OR most of those in your genre if there are fewer than that.) We have also been known to gift chapbooks & the occasional gift card. For chapbook & micro chap readers: we'll offer you some chapbooks for the time you put in! 

We look for people who love lit. You do not have to critique everything you read, or finish everything you read. If a piece just doesn't suit the press/theme/mag, drives you batty, breaks guidelines (pls alert us), etc, vote no. If you adore a piece to the moon and back, tell us why. Champion work you can't live without, and we'll consider it.

Porkbelly Press