Submission Info


Whirlwind seeks to publish diverse voices who are not a part of the literary establishment. The literary world right now has succumbed to the status quo of Empire, of accepting meaninglessness and oppression in literature and art. Whirlwind has proudly published many voices of people of color, dozens of people from what the Empire calls “third world countries,” disabled writers/artists, people of various sexualities, gender identities, and on average a majority of those published in each issue are women. We are interested in voices influenced by intersectional feminism, queer theory, and especially writers/artists who have personally experienced poverty. Most of all we want writers, poets, and artists who are class conscious and will portray the oppressive experience of Empire in everyday life.

More specific guidelines can be found below.

How to Submit

All art submissions (we take visual art of any medium) must be sent to in full size 300dpi, JPEG, or psd format.

Send up to 3 poems, one short story, or one creative non fiction piece of no more than 2,500 words  in the body of the email to the editor at with the headline “Whirlwind Submission.” Please also send a succinct, 3rd person bio. Simultaneous submissions are fine, just let us know if your work gets accepted elsewhere.

We are primarily interested in poetry, although fiction and non-fiction pieces are welcome as well. Experimentation in form holds a special place in our hearts. Yet it’s important to note that we don’t care for obvious non-literary writing i.e. horror/fantasy/romance, etc.

We are now also considering fiction and creative non-fiction.

In general, we are looking for literature that bears witness. We believe that poetry should be weighted with purpose, and that the best writing speaks for the struggle that is necessary for progress. Shorter pieces will have a better chance.

Let us know if your submission was previously published and where. We obtain rights to accepted work until time of publication, when the rights will be reverted back to the author. We only ask that you include a reference to Whirlwind in any future publications. All submissions will be responded to (yes, with feedback) within 60 days. Please do not query unless 60 days have passed.

We do regret that we cannot afford to pay our contributors. However, we can pay you in the form of one contributor copy of our limited edition magazine (otherwise worth $20) if you attend our launch party. Our print editions are of the highest quality, and are only printed in one edition of 50-100 copies. We will ship magazines to contributors if they cover postage. $5.00 will do the job for domestic and can be paid via paypal or check to our mailing address. Query for international options. Mailing copies of the magazine to over two dozen writers and artists each issue is not an option for us financially, so we hope that our manner of distribution is an incentive for you to join us in Philadelphia for our launch parties. You will be given ample notice of the event.

We no longer accept postal submissions.


Whirlwind staff and contributors at our 5th launch party (August, 2015). From left to right: Lester Mobley, Sneha Sundaram, Lamont Steptoe, Theodore Harris, Bob Zell, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Aaren Yeatts Perry, Sean Lynch, Alexis Cabrera, Jorge O’Connell, and Courtney Gambrell.