The Dark Mountain Project is committed to publishing original writing and art which touches on the themes of our work. We are not interested in whether you are famous or unknown. We are particularly interested in new writers. We are looking for innovative, challenging, brave writing and art, which responds to the challenge that Dark Mountain lays down – to find new stories, and new ways of telling them. However – before you submit anything for one of our books, please read the guidelines below, so you know what we do and what we’re looking for.
1. Before submitting work to us, we strongly suggest that you read our manifesto and get your hands on a copy of one of our recent books. This will give you a feel for the range and the standard of work we are looking for. Make sure you like what you see, and you know what we do. We encourage you not to get bogged down by form. Challenge us.
2. We publish fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art and sometimes work that is entirely non-categorisable. Please note that we are not accepting poetry submissions for Issue 14.
3. All work must be your own. When you submit it, please tell us something about who you are, including your previous work and a link to any relevant web presence. We rarely reprint work that has been published elsewhere – we are looking for original work – but if you do submit something for re-publication, please tell us where it appeared first. Please do not send us work which is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.
4. We publish many styles and shapes of prose writing, from flash fiction to long-form essays. In terms of length, we are currently considering pieces up to 4,000 words – but when writing for us, please bear in mind that this is an upper limit, not a target length. We look for sharpness and originality, both in what you are saying and how you are saying it. When sending in your submission, please state the word count in the accompanying email.
5. If you are submitting poems, please submit no more than two. There is no line or word limit. If sending several poems, please include them all in a single document. Please note that we are not accepting poetry submissions for Issue 14.
6. IMPORTANT: Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘BOOK SUBMISSION – [YOUR NAME]’ as the subject line. Please send your submission as an attached document in a format that can be opened in Microsoft Word (e.g. .doc or .rtf). We cannot accept submissions sent in PDF format or in the body of an email. Please also name your file to include your name and the name of the piece you are submitting (eg: ‘JohnSmith_ShortStory.doc’. We receive hundreds of submissions and this makes our lives very much easier.
7. If you are submitting artwork, we ask you to send your submission as JPG or PNG files (max 2MB) in the first instance. Please send no more than two images.
If your image(s) are accepted, we will ask you to send them as larger files for publication. The full specifications for images for publication can be found here.
8. Please be patient! Depending on the time of year, it may take us a few months to get back to you, but we will reply to every submission we receive. If you have submitted a piece to Dark Mountain, please do not submit it for publication elsewhere until you have received a response from us.
9. If we do accept your work for publication, we may get back to you with some suggested changes or improvements. We often like to work with authors to get the best out of their work.
10. We are currently unable to pay for work that we publish – we hope this will change in future – but we do send you a copy of the book on publication, and we guarantee you a smart and growing audience for your work. All copyright remains with the authors, though we ask that you don’t republish accepted work elsewhere before the book is published.