As the editors of the farthest north literary magazine, we’ve chosen an unconventional, expansive place to live. That, too, is what we seek in your submissions.
This is especially to say: we are not particularly interested in reading obvious, Alaska-themed work (i.e. snowflakes, polar bear romances, and your tormented ice-capped heartcicles). We get plenty of polar saturation from the Great White North everyday. We want the far-reaching, skittish, and confused/confusing. We want the crystalline and devastating. We want the sickly, the sweet, but not the sickly sweet. We want things to get ugly, or maybe beautiful. Give us the stuff you tucked away in the folder you hesitate to open on the weekdays—the pieces you scour and revise during weekend binges. You know, the intense 3am-on-a-Saturday, ersatz pieces. Push us with your intricate language, your lyrical alchemy. That’s what we’re looking for. Let’s get weird with it.
We only accept previously unpublished work. We accept simultaneous submissions and you are welcome to send as many submissions as you like, but let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere as soon as it does. We’re looking for flash essays, prose poems, hermit-crab stories, lyric essays, lists, anecdotes about your creepy uncle. All of it. Send us work without boundaries, art that leaves us with questions, and words that resonate with us—train whistles echoing through the valley.
We are currently reading for our upcoming print issue.
You can submit online here: https://permafrostmag.submittable.com. Please note that we charge a $3 fee for submitting online, which is comparable to the cost of postage and mailing materials and helps offset some of the journal’s expenses.
We only accept submissions by mail IF you provide a return envelope with a stamp, so we can mail our reply to you. Our mailing address can be found on the Contact Us page. Email submissions will not be read.
What we’re looking for in your…
When it comes to nonfiction, more than anything, we look at language. It needs to be precise, eloquent, musical—it should sound good to the ear and feel good in the mouth. Though we are most interested in essays, we have a soft spot for flash memoir, hermit-crab writing, or really anything that pushes the limits of genre and that is driven by deep and powerful thinking. Nonfiction submissions may include one piece up to 8,000 words or up to three flash pieces (less than 1,000 words each) in each submission.
Like many people, we’d rather read an interesting failure than something safe and boring, but interesting successes are really what we’re after here. Engage us. Challenge our perceptions. Increase our capacity for empathy. Make us aware of prejudices we didn’t know we had. Teach us how to see beauty in the way that you do. Fiction submissions may include one piece up to 8,000 words or up to three flash pieces (less than 1,000 words each) in each submission.
Here in the heart of Alaska, we pride ourselves on that perfect balance of warmth and danger, and we hope to find the same in your poems. It’s ok if your words climb into velvet heels at night, so long as the feet are muddy and well-traveled. We’re looking for fresh language and imagery, an element of risk, and compelling narratives. Poetry does NOT need to be double spaced; please submit it as you would like it to appear. Please do not submit more than five poems at once.
We like it weird and we hate boundaries, which is why we live in Alaska. We’re looking for play with words that makes us rethink everything we know about language and genre. Nonfiction prose poems, stories in verse, graphic essays. We are especially excited for excerpts from your comic books and graphic novels. Surprise and mesmerize us. Hybrid submissions may be up to 8,000 words. If using visuals, make sure that you have the necessary copyrights.
Photographs, drawings, cover art, etc. will be considered. Please do not mail any artwork to us — use our Submittable account only. We do not charge a fee for submitting artwork.
What else you should know
Contributors will receive one copy of the issue in which their work appears. Additional copies can be purchased at the reduced price of $5.
Don’t be discouraged if your first submission is not accepted, and please specify if your submission is simultaneous.
Permafrost also sponsors literary contests. See the contest tab above.