Guidelines

We accept submisssions to Ploughshares Solos from June 1, to January 15, at noon EST.  To submit, please visit our submission manager.  You must be logged in to submit.

Submissions to Ploughshares Solos should be longer works of original prose—either fiction or nonfiction.

  • 7,500 to 20,000 words.
  • Novel and memoir excerpts are acceptable if self-contained.

The series is edited by Ladette Randolph, Ploughshares Editor-in-chief. Before submitting, we strongly suggest that you examine the Ploughshares Solos that have been published so far.

Reading Period

Submissions to the Solo series are considerd through January 15, at noon EST. All submissions mailed from January 16 through May are recycled or returned (if a SASE is provided) unread.

Simultaneous vs. Multiple Submissions
We do not consider multiple submissions, so please send only one manuscript at a time, either by mail or online. Do not send a second submission until you have heard about the first. Simultaneous submissions to other journals are fine as long as they are identified as such and we are notified immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

If you are working on submissions with an agent, or are an agent submitting work on behalf of an author, please read our note on simultaneous submissions with an agent.

Cover Letters
We encourage you to include a short cover letter with your submission. It should reference:

  • Major publications and awards
  • Any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor
  • Past publication in Ploughshares

Manuscript Guidelines

  • Submissions shorter than 6,000 words should be submitted to the regular journal.
  • Typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Numbered pages.
  • If in hard copy, submit with text on one side of the page.

Restrictions

  • We do not reprint previously published work.
  • We cannot accommodate revisions, changes of return address, or forgotten SASEs. We cannot be responsible for delay, loss, or damage.
  • We cannot print work written by individuals currently affiliated with Ploughshares or Emerson College as a volunteer screener, intern, student, staff member, or faculty member.

Submitting Online

If this is your first time submitting, you will need to create an account before uploading your document. To do this, click “My Account” at the top right corner of this page. 

  • There is a $3 service fee for online submissions (current subscribers may submit online without charge*). This is not a reading fee.
  • Upload your submission as a Word (.doc, .docx), rich-text format (.rtf) file, or PDF. No .Pages, .txt, or Open Office Documents.
  • Upload only one file containing one prose piece. Include your full cover letter as the first page of the file.
  • From the drop-down genre menu, be sure to select “Solo” and mark the “Yes” box beneath the Ploughshares Solo query. 

*If you are a current subscriber, you will still be prompted to checkout, but you will not be required to enter your credit card information and will not be charged. 

Submit by Mail
We greatly prefer digital submissions, but you may mail submissions to:

Ploughshares
Emerson College
120 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116-4624

  • Mail your manuscript in a page-size manila envelope, your full name and address written on the outside (at least an inch down from the top, to account for USPS barcodes).
  • Identify the genre of your manuscript on the outside of the envelope.
  • You must include your email address in your cover letter.  All manuscript replies will be sent via email.
  • If you would like your full manuscript to be returned, indicate this in your cover letter and ensure that you include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with adequate postage.
  • We cannot return manuscripts to international addresses, even with IRCs.
  • There is no service charge for mail submissions.

Accessing Your Submissions
You can view the status of your current submission as well as a list of your past submissions at any time by logging in to your account and clicking “My Submissions.” 

Notifications and Queries
Expect three to five months for a decision (our backlog is heaviest during the fall and spring). We now receive well over a thousand manuscripts a month, so please be patient. We accept queries after five months have passed. Queries as well as withdrawal notifications should be sent via email or the mail. They should include:

  • Your name.
  • The date, genre, and title of the submission.
  • Whether the submission was sent by mail or online.
  • A SASE, if you send your query via mail.

If you submit online, you will be able to track the status of your submission yourself.

Contributor Honorarium
$450 payment is upon publication.

To submit, please visit our submission manager. You must be logged in to submit.