The SHARKPACK Annual is creative sister to our critical magazine. It features poetry, visual art, short fiction—as a shorthand. Any art experiment is heeded in this house, as long as we can print it.
As of 2018, we are a print publication with some web content. Listen: our interest is avant-garde work, experiment, high dark lyric, Peril, Brut, Queer, dire, Neo-Gnostic, Other. We are diametrically opposed to the so-called ‘New Sincerity’ and talk-verse. 99% of the writing published in popular magazines would not receive a second look from us. Please consider this carefully before sending your writing along.
SHARKPACK Annual is open for general submissions from 11/15/18 until 12/31/18. If you miss that deadline, the magazine remains open to submissions through 1/15/19 under the ‘Tip Jar + Expedited Subs’ heading. Please send us your most adventurous, searching work.
If you’d like, please review a few anticipated questions from potential contributors:
Will the Annual be in aesthetic concert with the work presented and attended to in SPR?
It will. Please review our de facto credo here.
If, as Robert Graves has suggested, ‘nine-tenths of what passes as English poetry is the product of either careerism or keeping one’s hand in,’ we are seeking one-tenth of English poetry. We assume the same is true for the state of very short fiction, and seek accordingly.
Linguistically and thoughtfully, it is the eldritch, the pithy, the electric, the gnostic, the visceral, the well-wrought, the purposefully experimental, and the expansive that are of interest to us. Irony is not of special interest. Popular currency is not of special interest. Cliché and expletives are usually anathema. We prefer the hard-fought and sincere to the ‘sexy’ and ‘edgy.’ Please do not send us light verse.
If you read the critical work at http://www.sharkpackpoetry.com with any frequency (you are encouraged to do so previous to submitting!), these statements should come as no surprise.
What about visual art standards?
Our webmaster has created a beautifully fluid, content-forward environment for your art. Our interests in visuals are myriad: abstract, figural, minimal, symbolist, surreal, and brut-style are of equal appeal. We are not interested in ‘pop’ variants, however. No photography, please. Further details are available on our Submittable page, linked below when live.
Will the Annual have a theme?
Generally, it will. The theme for our inaugural issue was SUB ROSA, a phrase from the Latin meaning ‘under the rose’; for the second issue, CITIES, SITES; for the third issue, THE NIGHT; the fourth was unthemed, but called for longform work only; the fifth (‘#0’) a print-only issue compiling our favorites from the first four; the sixth a print-only with web content, themed PLAY (‘#1’).
Our 2019 issue will be DRY. Deserts, maybe. Deep deserts. Gypsum rose. What’s butterless? What’s parched, scorched, baked? Sobriety. The waggish and the sardonic or the sterile. The gasping and also the crisp in wine and the tart, piquant. Maybe bones.
Will my work be carefully reviewed?
In 2017, about 50% of submissions received 50-100 words of personal feedback. Our editor is in the business of— believe it—editing and caucus, not curation.
Is there any cost for general submissions?
No. You may choose to receive an expedited response on your submission for a small fee, but that choice will not impact our review.
What are the Prospero Prizes, and how can I have my work considered?
Please click here. The Prospero Prizes will be awarded to the very best groups of poems or short fiction pieces we receive—no separate application is required. The winner(s) will receive $150 and feature publication.
Are there length standards?
Each submission should be a maximum of five (5) pages, one piece per page. In the case of verse, no single poem should be more than fifty (50) lines, unless you’ve written something truly extraordinary (e.g., “Ulysses,” “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” “Directive,” “Diving into the Wreck”); for very short fiction, no piece should be more than 1,000 words. Please do not include a cover letter—your creative work will be your only qualification.
Please be sure the contact information you supply on submittable.com is accurate, and that it will persist for at least one year.
Are there any unusual publication rights addenda?
Not at all; SHARKPACK Annual will ask you to grant us worldwide non-exclusive electronic and print publishing rights. We are happy to review outstanding previously-published work, too (our most recent issue includes three such pieces). Just make a note.
Should your poem(s) be accepted for the magazine, a full contract will be e-mailed to you.
Do you pay contributors?
As of 2016, every contributor receives a small honorarium of $25. Again, winners of the Prospero Prizes (q.v.) receive $150.
SPR and the Annual are not-for-profit, and the expense of producing the magazine and awarding honorariums and prizes is strictly out-of-pocket. Additionally, we are dedicated to keeping all of our imprints advertisement-free.
Got it. How do I submit?
A link to our portal on submittable.com is here.
May I submit via postal mail?
No—help us deliver the trees from excision, please. However, if this rule means we will completely miss out on reviewing your work, please contact the editor via e-mail with your specific circumstances.