We are looking for complex stories, poems, and essays. Our focus is literary work. We love unexpected poetic language and a bit of magic realism. We are seeking work that features well-rounded characters. We welcome all authors and their words with one caveat — if you can sum up your female characters in one line (or worse yet: one word), our publication is probably not for you.

For quarterly publications, we are looking for work that is 2000 words or less. There is no minimum word count.

For MoonBites, we are looking for poetry or prose that is 300 words or less. 

We are looking for previously unpublished work but have made exceptions. Please reach out to discuss if you have a previously published work that you think might be a good fit. 

We are a small magazine with volunteer readers yet we are committed to compensating writers for their work. We pay authors $15 per published piece in the quarterly journal.  This in no way reflects the value of the author’s work but merely the amount we are able to pay from submission fees. 

We partner with writers on enhancing their visibility. All published authors received custom-designed promotional images (similar to book covers) that are suitable for social media promotions and tips on promoting their work.

There are people who cannot tell their Abortion Stories in America for fear of criminal prosecution. We have seen a rapid loss of reproductive rights across the nation. To mark the one-year anniversary of the Dobb's decision, we will publish 5-10 new abortion stories. If you have a story to tell and want to share for those who cannot, please send us your essay.

We are looking for first-person essays where people talk about their experiences, in their own voices, with all the complexity in their lives. We look to dispel the common myths and misinformation. 

  • Essays should be up to 1500 words in length. 
  • We can accept previously published essays as long as the rights have reverted back to the author. Please let us know where and how to credit the first publication.
  • For essays, we take great care to make sure that we do not use the language of the anti-reproductive choice movement. A lot of that language is not only medically inaccurate but also engenders shame, fear, and stigma. Here's a great resource: https://www.msichoices.org/get-involved/abortion-language-guide-how-to-use-your-voice-for-choice/
  • Writers may choose to publish anonymously.

There is no fee for submission. 


Do you need developmental feedback to bring your short prose to life?
Our editors will review your submission and provide feedback on your work. We assess the strengths of your work from several lenses, each with a different focus. We read your work first as lovers of stories, getting a sense of how engaging the story is. We evaluate our emotional connection to the characters. We identify where we were fully sutured in and where we got confused or distracted. We experience the beauty and power of the voice of the piece. In the next read-through, we begin to look at the technical aspects. In this read, we add comments, often in the form of questions, so that you have insights for your rework. Sometimes, we provide resources and exercises that will help you refine your writing. Very occasionally, we will insert possible language to show you one approach you can use to strengthen a section.
The goal is to provide insights that can help you refine your story in your own voice.
This is perfect for works in process though some writers request feedback on final drafts. Just let us know what you are looking for.
We specialize in literary fiction and creative nonfiction. 

This is intended for short prose up to 3000 words. If you have a longer work you would like us to review, please reach out to us at teresa@tangledlocksjournal.com

Ends on $4.00

Please submit your work in a single document. Work should be previously unpublished.
Simultaneous submissions are welcomed but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
Fiction and Nonfiction: 2000 word maximum. Please include the word count and title in your document.
Poetry: Please submit one poem in a single document. If special formatting is required, please send it as a pdf. Please note, we may not be able to reproduce special formatting on the web and mobile version of your poem but will attach a PDF. 

Thank you for sharing your words with us.

Ends on $4.00

Submissions are open for our June 2023 MoonBite

MoonBites are short works of fiction, poetry, or essays (300 words maximum). One work will be selected. We are looking for pieces that evoke vivid images. We will use the work as inspiration for an illustrated slide deck that combines the written word with images. Four to eight original slides will be created.
A cover image will be created and provided to the writer to use on their website and/or social media profiles. Tangled Locks Journal will also publish and promote the work on our website and social media accounts.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere!

Thank you for sharing your words with us. 

Tangled Locks Journal