Welcome to submissions for Under the Gum Tree, a digital literary magazine. Please scroll down to submit for the appropriate category. Thank you!

During the month of June 2017, we will only be accepting contest entries. Please see more about our (dis)empowered contest here. 

Under the Gum Tree Submission Guidelines

1. Please don’t email with questions until you have familiarized yourself with these guidelines and the details on our submit page (http://underthegumtree.com/submit/). Sorry, but we can’t answer emails that ask us to “please send more information about what you’re looking for.” Also, please don’t email us asking whether we have read your submission or if we’re going to publish it. If we decide to publish your piece, you will hear from us. Promise.

2. Under the Gum Tree does not accept queries. Only complete manuscripts sent digitally will be considered. We are a digital publication, after all.

3. Simultaneous submissions and work previously published on your own blog or website are both OK. We do not want submissions of work that has been previously published by someone other than yourself. Under the Gum Tree contributors retain all the rights to their own work.

4. Under the Gum Tree does not compensate contributors.

5. We accept digital submissions only (see below).

6. Yes, we charge a nominal submission fee. This helps us do things like pay our contributors (a goal we are working toward), send complimentary print copies to our contributors and offer a cash prize for our contests.

7. Do not include any identifying information (name, contact information, email, location, etc.) in the file that you submit. Doing so will mean your submisison is automatcially declined.

8. We generally accept submissions for departments and features year-round, but occasionally close when our plate is too full.  

9. Please submit one piece at a time to us. We'd hate to accept all of your work at once! 

10. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will not be eligible for consideration.

Under the Gum Tree now accepts submissions for consideration to be published on our blog. 

Being an American has never been a simple experience to define. Built on the sacrifice of immigration and dreams of independence, the story of our nation is a complex tapestry of individual heartbreak, achievement, and profound longing. Though America’s current political climate demonstrates the consequences of some of our story’s more powerful characters, each of us represents a subplot that is intimately affected by the overarching narrative. We want to hear how your subplots have been affected; what your experience of being an American is right now. We are looking for original creative nonfiction that relates your honest perspective on America today, and how our recent political shift has impacted you—directly or indirectly, legally or morally, real or imagined.

Submission Guidelines

·      Please limit submissions to 2000 words

·      Submissions may be written (prose or poem) or visual artwork

·      Writers may only submit one piece for consideration

·      Selected submissions will be published to the Under the Gum Tree blog


Under the Gum Tree, Sacramento’s premiere literary arts magazine, seeks a graphic design artist to join its team.

About us: Under the Gum Tree is a quarterly literary arts magazine in its fifth year of publishing. We publish creative nonfiction and visual art in the form of a micro-magazine. We believe in the power of sharing a story without shame. Too much of the human experience gets hidden behind constructed facades based on what we perceive the world expects from us. Stop hiding. Live a story. Tell it without shame. And by without shame, we mean that the authors and contributors featured in our pages own their stories, even the ugly parts, and share it with pure, unadulterated, raw, candid vulnerability.

About you: You are someone who cares about literature, art, and the power of telling true stories. You may be a college student or a beginning freelancer who is looking for ways to build a portfolio of work, or you might be someone with a full-time day job who is looking for an inspiring project where your creative and artistic talent will be valued and appreciated. Either way, you care about affecting the world by making beautiful things that move people deeply. You want to be part of a creative, artistic community and you’re eager to contribute something unique to help our young, small magazine be as successful as it can be.

About the Position: You will consult with the editor/publisher to develop a list of prospects for commercial subscriptions and potential publishing partners. You’ll work independently on contract to sell monthly print subscriptions and partnership packages. This position is not location-specific, and therefore you should feel comfortable reaching out to prospects via email and following up with them by phone.

Ideal Candidates

  • are comfortable taking the initiative to prospect and build relationships with potential partners

  • have existing contacts with like-minded brands

  • have sales experience and know how to close a deal

  • have a knack for chatting with people in a comfortable way that puts them at ease

  • value art, both literary and visual, and understand the importance it has in everyday life

  • care about storytelling and truth-telling

  • understand that artistic endeavors need patrons and see this position as an opportunity to solicit support for something that they believe in

  • have their own necessary equipment and tools, including computer and Internet access

  • have flexible schedules and are comfortable working remotely to collaborate on this project

This is a commission-based position. You will also be listed as staff on the magazine’s masthead and website. We ask for a minimum 1-year commitment.

Include a letter of introduction and your resume. In your letter of introduction, please tell us why you want to work with Under the Gum Tree and how we would benefit from having you on our awesome team of volunteers.

Ends in 3 days, 19 hours $20.00
$20.00

Under the Gum Tree invites you to submit today to our annual creative nonfiction contest, judged by Kwame Dawes.

Kwame Dawes is the author of dozens of books of poetry, essays, fiction, and criticism. His most recent nonfiction work is the essay collection he edited, When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing & the Writing Life (Pacific University Press, 2016), and his essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb Magazine, The London Review of Books, Granta, Essence, World Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. His newest poetry collection, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press) will appear in 2017. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska and the Pacific MFA Program.  He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival.

Contest submissions should respond to the theme of (dis)empowered. Contest submissions are accepted March 30-June 30, 2017. Contest entries must be previously unpublished, submitted blind, and not exceed 5,000 words. Winner and any honorable mention(s) will be announced in Fall 2017. One winner will receive a $500 cash prize, publication in our January 2018 issue, and a one-year subscription in 2018 to keep or gift. The winner also receives the option to guest-edit a section of a future issue of Under the Gum Tree; in this way, we desire to push the limits of our aesthetic and include more and more voices. Honorable mention(s) will be published and receive a one-year subscription to keep or gift, plus a mystery box of inspirational CNF goodies including books and UTGT schwag. We also hope to publish many finalists and other contest entries, so submit today!

More about the theme of (dis)empowered: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “empower” as “to give official authority or legal power to,” “to enable,” and “to promote the self-actualization and influence of.” It defines “disempower” with slightly different nuances: “to deprive of power, authority, or influence; to make weak, ineffectual, or unimportant.” We want to see your best writing that converses with one or both of these words and more.

To us, this theme invites considerations of power and agency and their possession, both the lack and the excess thereof. Tell us your true story of powerlessness, weakness, ineffectiveness (cultural, artistic, spiritual, racial, economic and more). Or take a hard look at how we sometimes treat others: Tell us your true story of too much authority, or too much strength, or legal or social power—influence and attention you may have desired or deserved (or not), and which may have cost you, or cost someone else, or both. Tell us your personal story (or the true story of someone you know, and how that story has affected you) that engages with this theme from any and many direction(s). 

Under the Gum Tree wants your very best narratives, articulated in any form (straight-ahead narrative, lyric, modular, etc.), that invite us as readers and people into a space, experience, examination or contemplation that brings us closer to our raw, complex and varied humanity/ies and challenges us to deeper authenticity with ourselves and fuller empathy toward others.

Submissions are accepted via Submittable through underthegumtree.com. Multiple submissions are welcome, though only one manuscript is allowed per submission. Current Under the Gum Tree subscribers submit for free! General submissions bear a $20 reading fee and include a one-year digital subscription to the magazine; a year of the print edition is available for an additional fee (see underthegumtree.com for details). Under the Gum Tree subscribes to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics and provides complete and transparent contest guidelines and process overview at underthegumtree.com

For complete contest rules and guidelines please visit our website underthegumtree.com/contest.

**$20 contest submission fee includes 1-year digital subscription**

Under the Gum Tree invites you to submit today to our annual creative nonfiction contest, judged by Kwame Dawes.

Kwame Dawes is the author of dozens of books of poetry, essays, fiction, and criticism. His most recent nonfiction work is the essay collection he edited, When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing & the Writing Life (Pacific University Press, 2016), and his essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb MagazineThe London Review of BooksGrantaEssenceWorld Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. His newest poetry collection, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press) will appear in 2017. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska and the Pacific MFA Program.  He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival.

Contest submissions should respond to the theme of (dis)empowered. Contest submissions are accepted March 30-June 30, 2017. Contest entries must be previously unpublished, submitted blind, and not exceed 5,000 words. Winner and any honorable mention(s) will be announced in Fall 2017. One winner will receive a $500 cash prize, publication in our January 2018 issue, and a one-year subscription in 2018 to keep or gift. The winner also receives the option to guest-edit a section of a future issue of Under the Gum Tree; in this way, we desire to push the limits of our aesthetic and include more and more voices. Honorable mention(s) will be published and receive a one-year subscription to keep or gift, plus a mystery box of inspirational CNF goodies including books and UTGT schwag. We also hope to publish many finalists and other contest entries, so submit today!

More about the theme of (dis)empowered: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “empower” as “to give official authority or legal power to,” “to enable,” and “to promote the self-actualization and influence of.” It defines “disempower” with slightly different nuances: “to deprive of power, authority, or influence; to make weak, ineffectual, or unimportant.” We want to see your best writing that converses with one or both of these words and more.

To us, this theme invites considerations of power and agency and their possession, both the lack and the excess thereof. Tell us your true story of powerlessness, weakness, ineffectiveness (cultural, artistic, spiritual, racial, economic and more). Or take a hard look at how we sometimes treat others: Tell us your true story of too much authority, or too much strength, or legal or social power—influence and attention you may have desired or deserved (or not), and which may have cost you, or cost someone else, or both. Tell us your personal story (or the true story of someone you know, and how that story has affected you) that engages with this theme from any and many direction(s). 

Under the Gum Tree wants your very best narratives, articulated in any form (straight-ahead narrative, lyric, modular, etc.), that invite us as readers and people into a space, experience, examination or contemplation that brings us closer to our raw, complex and varied humanity/ies and challenges us to deeper authenticity with ourselves and fuller empathy toward others.

Submissions are accepted via Submittable through underthegumtree.com. Multiple submissions are welcome, though only one manuscript is allowed per submission. Current Under the Gum Tree subscribers submit for free! General submissions bear a $20 reading fee and include a one-year digital subscription to the magazine; a year of the print edition is available for an additional fee (see underthegumtree.com for details). Under the Gum Tree subscribes to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics and provides complete and transparent contest guidelines and process overview at underthegumtree.com

For complete contest rules and guidelines please visit our website underthegumtree.com/contest.

**This contest category ($0 submission fee) is for current subscribers only. If any submissions from non-subscribers are submitted to this category incorrectly, they will be automatically declined and must be resubmitted before the contest deadline to be considered.**

Under the Gum Tree invites you to submit today to our annual creative nonfiction contest, judged by Kwame Dawes.

Kwame Dawes is the author of dozens of books of poetry, essays, fiction, and criticism. His most recent nonfiction work is the essay collection he edited, When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing & the Writing Life (Pacific University Press, 2016), and his essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb MagazineThe London Review of BooksGrantaEssenceWorld Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. His newest poetry collection, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press) will appear in 2017. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska and the Pacific MFA Program.  He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival.

Contest submissions should respond to the theme of (dis)empowered. Contest submissions are accepted March 30-June 30, 2017. Contest entries must be previously unpublished, submitted blind, and not exceed 5,000 words. Winner and any honorable mention(s) will be announced in Fall 2017. One winner will receive a $500 cash prize, publication in our January 2018 issue, and a one-year subscription in 2018 to keep or gift. The winner also receives the option to guest-edit a section of a future issue of Under the Gum Tree; in this way, we desire to push the limits of our aesthetic and include more and more voices. Honorable mention(s) will be published and receive a one-year subscription to keep or gift, plus a mystery box of inspirational CNF goodies including books and UTGT schwag. We also hope to publish many finalists and other contest entries, so submit today!

More about the theme of (dis)empowered: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “empower” as “to give official authority or legal power to,” “to enable,” and “to promote the self-actualization and influence of.” It defines “disempower” with slightly different nuances: “to deprive of power, authority, or influence; to make weak, ineffectual, or unimportant.” We want to see your best writing that converses with one or both of these words and more.

To us, this theme invites considerations of power and agency and their possession, both the lack and the excess thereof. Tell us your true story of powerlessness, weakness, ineffectiveness (cultural, artistic, spiritual, racial, economic and more). Or take a hard look at how we sometimes treat others: Tell us your true story of too much authority, or too much strength, or legal or social power—influence and attention you may have desired or deserved (or not), and which may have cost you, or cost someone else, or both. Tell us your personal story (or the true story of someone you know, and how that story has affected you) that engages with this theme from any and many direction(s). 

Under the Gum Tree wants your very best narratives, articulated in any form (straight-ahead narrative, lyric, modular, etc.), that invite us as readers and people into a space, experience, examination or contemplation that brings us closer to our raw, complex and varied humanity/ies and challenges us to deeper authenticity with ourselves and fuller empathy toward others.

Submissions are accepted via Submittable through underthegumtree.com. Multiple submissions are welcome, though only one manuscript is allowed per submission. Current Under the Gum Tree subscribers submit for free! General submissions bear a $20 reading fee and include a one-year digital subscription to the magazine; a year of the print edition is available for an additional fee (see underthegumtree.com for details). Under the Gum Tree subscribes to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics and provides complete and transparent contest guidelines and process overview at underthegumtree.com

For complete contest rules and guidelines please visit our website underthegumtree.com/contest.

**$80 submission fee includes 1-year print subscription.**

We consider submissions of visual art and photography. Every issue features two artists: a photographer and a visual artist. Art should be recent, no more than 2 years old, and should be previously unpublished in literary magazines or journals. We do not consider an exhibition or gallery show as previous publication.

1000 Words: a photo* essay, illustrating stories told without shame. Photo essays must be a complete body of work, and we are looking specifically for a story told visually through photographs.

Cover Art: The cover artist also has work featured as section breaks between stories throughout the magazine. Art must be a collection that is a cohesive body of work.

*Photo submissions need to clearly state whether they are a photo essay or general submission.