Submissions are open September 1–November 1 for our fifth issue.

Please send an email to with your submission attached as a single .doc or .docx file. Please include a short bio (under 100 words) including your pronouns and your favorite bird. Do not include your name or any contact info in your actual submission document. In the subject line, please write “Submission-- category (poetry, fiction, CNF, art, comic).” If your work has previously been accepted by What Are Birds, please wait one issue before submitting again.

Poems: 1-5 poems (up to 5 pages)

                       We love translations but request that you include the original poem as well as the translation.

                       We love hybrid work.

We recommend you do not send poetry about birds unless you feel extremely confident in the work.

Fiction/CNF: under 1500 words. We are very interested in publishing more prose so please send more.

Art (Photography, Collage, Painting, Sculpture, Comics, anything, etc.). Images of art should be high resolution.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please do let us know if your work finds a home elsewhere! All pieces must be previously unpublished.

All submissions will be read blindly. You are welcome to tell us about yourself in the email, but keep the submission itself free of identifying information.

We understand the dire need for representation and diversity and strive to be changing the trends in publishing. We strongly encourage queer, trans, nonbinary, POC, femme, neurodivergent, disabled, (and any other writers who lack representation) to submit to our journal.

At this time, What Are Birds cannot provide financial compensation for publishing. However, we hope to be able to do so in the future as our journal continues to grow!

What Are Birds claims First North American Serial Rights, with rights reverting back to the author upon publication. We kindly ask that if the work is reprinted in a full collection or anthology it is credited as first appearing in What Are Birds.