What We're Interested In:

We're very open to all kinds of work. Feel free to send your best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic narratives, comic strips, artwork, and photography.

Simultaneous Submissions:

We hope you're pursuing simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your piece as soon as possible if accepted by another magazine. If this is the case, we offer you a sturdy e-handshake and congratulations!

Multiple Submissions:

No problem. Send all you like.


We offer all contributors a complimentary copy and several discounted copies of the issue in which their work appears, a place in the contributors' section of the issue, and the undying support of a caring and hard-working editor!

Response Time:

Response time is currently a week or two. As a writer and submitter, I understand how difficult it can be to wait for a decision on a submission. Palooka believes in having a fast turnaround, while still taking great pride in reading every word and giving each piece its due attention and thorough consideration. -- Jonathan Starke, Editor


These are read after the piece or pieces are evaluated and have no impact on publication. While schooling and publications are interesting, truths about yourself and your life are much more interesting.

Past Contributors:

We are only looking for work by authors and artists who have not yet published with us.

About Palooka Press

The press was founded in 2012 to offer a publishing opportunity for writers seeking a home for shorter manuscripts. 

How It Works

As always, we take great pride in reading every word and giving each manuscript its due attention and thorough consideration. We consider manuscripts of all types, styles, and genres and aren't looking for a particular aesthetic; we're wiling to give anything a fair chance. Please send your best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic narrative, or hybrid. Manuscripts should be roughly 35-50 pages, but we're flexible with this in either direction. There is a $10 entry fee that comes with an electronic issue of Palooka. All pieces within entries are also considered for publication in the magazine.

The Winner Receives...

       *Publication by Palooka Press (a professionally made perfect-bound book with a glossy color cover)
       *20 free copies of the book
       *$200 honorarium 
       *A bio and photo featured on our website 
       *Chapbook will be sent out for review and promotion

Deadline: 8/1/2016


All submissions will be read "blind" to ensure pure contest ethics. Palooka also prohibits submissions from any friends or family of the judge. The judge for the contest is Jonathan Starke, the founding editor of Palooka. Jonathan has published essays, stories, plays, and poetry in The Sun, Missouri Review, Threepenny Review, North American Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Greensboro Review, Shenandoah, Gulf Coast, Brevity, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Post Road, Passages North, and Third Coast, among others.


*Amount: Multiple submissions are permitted, but each submission must be accompanied by the proper entry fee and submitted to the proper Submittable category.
*Page count: 35-50 pages, roughly, but we're open to more or less.
*Formatting: No author information anywhere on the manuscript. Please put author information only in the Cover Letter/Bio section when submitting. 12-point font, one-inch margins, double-spaced (for prose). 
*Entry fee: $10 (comes with an electronic issue of Palooka)
*Cover Letter/Bio section should include: manuscript title, page count, author's name, phone number, and e-mail address.
*Simultaneous submissions are encouraged as long as you withdraw your manuscript if accepted elsewhere. As always, we will offer you a sturdy e-handshake for your accomplishment.
*It is perfectly fine if some of the works have been published elsewhere as the proper permission from other magazines/journals will be requested and cited on an acknowledgements page.


For questions, please e-mail the editor at palooka [at] protonmail.com

Make your submission here and receive a half-off electronic issue or chapbook! Please indicate in your cover letter if your submission is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, and please also indicate which issue (Palooka #1, #2, #3, #4, #5) or chapbook (Honey My Tongue or Hoosiers: The Poems--info on each) you would like to receive. You will find guidelines for all submission categories below.

$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: One short story or up to three flash pieces of at least 500 words each (combine the flash pieces into one document).

Word Count: 500 - 15,000 words.

Formatting: 12-point font, one-inch margins, double-spaced, page numbers.

Editor Says:

"I believe in strong storytellers with unique plots or characters I can say I've never met before but had a really great time getting to know them." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor
$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: Up to five poems (combine into one document)

Formatting: 12-point font.

Editor Says:

"I want to see poems with a great story or with some really vivid imagery. I want to feel startled and alive (don't we all?)" -- Jonathan Starke, Editor
$ 2.50
$ 2.50
Amount: One essay or up to three flash essays of at least 500 words each (combine the flash essays into one document).

Word Count: 500 - 15,000 words.

Formatting: 12-point font, one-inch margins, double-spaced, page numbers.

Editor Says:

"I'm interested in personal essays, memoir, hybrids, and academic or scholarly endeavors if they're fused really well with the creative. I want honesty, vulnerability, danger, rawness, risk." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: Five photographs (combine into one document or zip file) or you can also attach a document with a link to your website.

Formatting: All image types of the highest quality images you can send.

Editor Says:

"I like images that tell a story or offer a fresh glimpse of life or landscape." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: Five pieces of artwork  -- photo, painting, collage, etc. (combine into one document or zip file) or you can also attach a document with a link to your website.

Formatting: All image types, and we prefer the highest quality images you can send. 

Editor Says:

"I'm very open to anything that creates a mood or an emotional response or tells a story." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor

Amount: One graphic narrative or up to three comic strips (combine into one document). Must incorporate photos/drawings/paintings/sketches, etc.

Word Count: 500 - 15,000 words.

Page Count: Nothing over 40 pages.

Formatting: Any font or typeface or size that suits the material. 

Editor Says:

"I'm looking for something that moves both within the language and the image. The piece must hit on several levels if it's a graphic narrative. With the comic strips, I'm looking for thoughtful, dark, zany, funny, deep." -- Jonathan Starke, Editor