Sugared Water

Sugared Water lit mag

Sugared Water is a handbound lit mag made using traditional printmaking & bookbinding methods. Limited edition.

If we could candy words, we’d eat them to bellyaches every afternoon. We carry journals and collect chapbooks like Smaug ripping through a gold-sequin disco. If we’re lucky enough to leave something behind that enriches the dialogue of writerly types around the world, so much the better. Send us your stuff—we’ll only hoard it for a little while. // @sugared_water

Submission Guidelines

Sugared Water reads April 1 – May 1 and October 1 – November 1 via Submittable.

Give us your decayed, sugar-crusted, little black hearts. Write to us about sun-warmed planks and hollow bones. Don’t be afraid to bury the grotesque right next to the beautiful. It’s the change we’re looking for, the surprise hidden just under the surface.

Our cover letter is optional, but we do need the following information:

  • your name as you wish it to appear
  • contact information including email address and mailing address
  • brief bio (50 words or fewer & no more than 5 previous publications, please). We have a word-count box in our submission form to prevent lengthy bios. Please use it. 🙂

Please send:

  • only your original works
  • previously unpublished
  • standard manuscript format
  • Garamond or Times New Roman typeface preferred—no Courier
  • submission in one of the following formats: .rtf, .doc, or .docx
  • all works in one file
  • for artworks or erasures, we prefer .jpgs

We’d be delighted to sample 3 to 5 of your finest poems.

We enjoy image-heavy work, narrative or lyric, experimental or grounded, and prose poems too. We look forward to leaping with you, discovering as you lead us along the page.

Please submit all poems in one .rtf, .doc, or .docx. Poems should be spaced as you’d like them to appear. (NOTE: Due do our production size and layout, long lines won’t always appear as they do in 12 point font—try 18 point Garamond to test line breaks)

IF you are sending us erasures with whited-or-blacked-out text, please send them in JPG format via the ART category.

Things we don’t usually accept:

  • double spaced poems (rare is the poem that can stand up to a stanza break after every line)
  • poems with lines scattered all over the page (our format doesn’t allow for this)
  • poems shaped like a guitar (or other centered object d’art)
  • rhyming poems (end-line rhyme distracts us)
  • love poems using the word love
  • poetry full of angels

Give us your briar patches and shady ladies, your heroes and literary tales. (If you dare to send us a story with a unicorn, she better be a chain smoker.)

  • up to 2,000 words
  • our happy place is right around 1,500 or fewer

Our fiction gnomes get upset when things show up without paragraphs or proper manuscript format. Flagrant lack or proofreading or a failure to observe legible fonts will likely lead to instant rejection. Comic Sans is a travesty. Violators will make us cry buckets of unattractive, snotty tears. We really dislike Courier typeface, so please stick with Garamond or Times New Roman.

Things we’d rather not see:

  • 2nd person narratives
  • classic Westerns (we’ll take a look at a twist, though!)
  • war poems or stories (unless written by a veteran)
  • a narrator creepering the object of his affection from afar
  • time travel, unless it’s something like One-Minute Time Machine
  • misogynist narrators complaining about all the women who’ve ruined his life
Creative Nonfiction

Yes, we love the lyric essay. We adore character sketches, journal entries, letters, and flash nonfiction. We’ll try experimental prose forms and things that blend and bend the lines of reality whilst remaining true at the heart. We’ll check out your braided essays and hermit crabs, your lists and even your word maps. Stun us with the beauty of your words.

  • up to 2,000 words
  • preference for works 500 – 1,500 words
Art, Comics, Sequential Art, & Illustrated Narratives
  • 1-5 artworks at a time
  • please send 72ppi .jpgs (we will request printable, high resolution files should we accept your work)
  • Artist statements (in cover letter) are appreciated

All media considered, though we have a bit of a soft spot for the figurative, narrative, or documentary style. Don’t be afraid to write on photographs and scribble over paintings.

If you send in illos, please try to send things that can stand alone OR as a cluster. We like to accept more than one piece by each artist.

Layers are wonderful, and we’d love to see the things you’ve been hiding in your sketchbooks.


Simultaneous submissions are allowed & encouraged, but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere and needs to be withdrawn. The best way to withdraw a single piece from a packet is the ‘add note’ feature. Open your submission, click the activity tab, and type in your note telling us which piece(s) need to be withdrawn. Using the ‘withdraw’ button takes your entire packet out of consideration.

Please wait for our response to your first packet before sending additional submissions in any given genre. (You may, for example, submit 5 poems and 2,000 words of fiction if you like, but not two packets of poems at the same time.)

Please do not withdraw submissions multiple times to make small edits to work. Multiple edits on the same piece inspire us to reject things, because they clearly weren’t ready for us in the first place. If you need to make an edit, please request an edit via Submittable.

Payment & Rights

We request First North American Serial Rights. Your rights revert back to you, the author/artist, upon publication. For participation in our magazine, you will receive one (1) contributor copy of the issue in which your work appears. You will also receive a contributor discount on additional copies.

We may ask to archive your work on our website/blog some time after print publication. We will ask first.