TS26 Call for submissions. Send us your Shorts!




Wanted:  SHORT Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

THE TALKING STICK is a locally published and nationally recognized publication.


  1. Writers must be from Minnesota or have some connection to this area. THIS YEAR, ALL ENTRIES MUST BE VERY SHORT. Focus on short forms, cutting all unnecessary words. Create an elegant moment that hints of a longer, more complex story. Think of these as compressed creations.


  1. DEADLINE: March 1, 2017. This year we will again offer monetary prizes in each of the 3 categories. Writers may submit for more than one category. Our Editorial Board will select the poetry and prose to be published in TS26. A published Minnesota author in each field will judge for the monetary prizes from the selected submissions, with authors’ names removed. Writers will be invited to our Book Release Party in September (tentative date is September 16, 2017). PLEASE READ SUBMISSION GUIDELINES COMPLETELY.


  1. Prizes are $200 for first place and $100 for second place in each of the three categories. Works are to be UNPUBLISHED. This must NOT be on your Website or on a Blog. We want new things, unseen by the public. No simultaneous submissions, please. Submit manuscripts with name, address, and email address in upper right corner of each page. THIS MUST BE THE WAY YOU WANT YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK. Clearly mark the genre for which you are submitting: POETRY, CREATIVE NONFICTION or FICTION. We would prefer that you do NOT start out your written piece with “inspirational” or “referenced” quotes from other literary works because of possible copyright issues, etc. We accept no political or religious rants and no children’s writings.


  • POETRY – Limit TWO poems per writer, either a Prose Poem no longer than ½ page or a poem with line breaks but no longer than 35 LINES total (and this has to include counting the blank lines), typed single-spaced. No word count necessary. See other requirements under #3 above.
  • CREATIVE NON-FICTION – Limit TWO entries of 500 words or less each, typed single-spaced. Number the pages and include word count at end. See other requirements under #3 above.
  • FICTION – Limit TWO short stories of 750 words or less each, typed single-spaced. Number the pages and include word count at end. See other requirements under #3 above.


There are many short forms. Fiction can include Flash Fiction, Short Fiction, Hint Fiction, Micro Fiction, Drabble and Dribble. You do not need to specify which one you consider your writing to be. We want only 750 words or less and label it as Fiction. Creative Nonfiction can include Micro Memoir, Micro Essay, Flash Nonfiction, just so it is at least somewhat true—and 500 words or less and just label it as Creative Nonfiction. For poetry, we will accept short line-break poems of less than 35 lines OR prose poems no longer than half a page as described above and just label it as Poetry. These short forms all seem to overlap and the differences are blurred. These short writings should stand alone but can suggest a larger more complex story.


  1. Send only ONE copy of each submission along with SHORT bio (50 word limit). If you have a pen name, you MUST stress in a cover letter what your real name is (for the contract and mailing) and the name you want on the submission in the book, in the table of contents, and back of book MUST BE THE WAY YOU HAVE IT ON THE PAGE(S) OF SUBMITTED WORK. Also, tell us what name you want in press releases. If you do not do this, we cannot promise that we will catch the different name. PLEASE SEND ALL OF YOUR WORK AT THE SAME TIME.


  1. Send ONE SASE so we can send an acceptance letter and contract to you. All contracts are to be signed and returned, but in the event a contract is not returned, submission implies permission to publish. FORMAL NOTIFICATION is required if you wish to withdraw your submission or if it is published elsewhere during this time period. After May 1, 2017, submissions cannot be withdrawn. SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE RETURNED. Decision of the editorial board and judges is final. Editors and editorial board of the JWB and JWB board members are eligible for publication in TS26, but not for the monetary prizes in this contest.


  1. Send hard copy to: Sharon Harris, TS SUBMISSIONS, 13320 149th Ave, Menahga, MN 56464. Send ALL your submissions for ALL categories in ONE 9×12 ENVELOPE—do not fold or staple sheets. Submission guidelines are also on our website: www.jackpinewriters.com. We are accepting submissions in electronic format again this year. Check the website for details at www.thetalkingstick.com. We will NOT accept submissions in the body of an email—only with our electronic form, either pdf or Word document. Do NOT send docx files—we cannot guarantee format to be correct. A SASE is not required but would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Contributors who have one or more pieces selected for publication in TS26 will receive ONE free copy of TS26. Your copy may be picked up at our Book Release Party in September 2017. Any books not picked up will be mailed later—we appreciate receiving $3.00 for postage. JWB requires first publication rights only.