PBQ has long held a dream to be able to pay our writers. Despite winning grants and establishing an enduring affiliation with Drexel University, we have not been able to make that happen.

We’re now looking to you to make that dream come true. We will be charging a flat $3 fee for submission of any genre. (We ask that you still keep poetry submissions to three pieces per submission.) We know many magazines have gone this route, and we held out, but our desire to pay authors has won out.

We will be paying all authors $20 per accepted piece, no matter the genre, (i.e. if we publish two poems, you will receive $40.).  We hope that payment can grow as our income does, and we know it’s not a significant amount—but, please understand that the idea of paying our authors drives us. The nominal payment still has meaning for us, as we hope it will for you.

We believe that you’ll “get it.”  It’s still easier to submit online than print, address two envelopes, have stamps, and trek to a mailbox.  So please see the $3 fee that way---it’s about the cost of a paper submission but more streamlined.

Thanks for understanding.


Our democratic editorial policy takes time, so forgive us if we take a bit to get back to you, and rest assured that your work gets the undivided attention of several members of our editorial board. Please also know that we never take a reading hiatus and we sincerely appreciate your submissions.

Guidelines for Submission 

Painted Bride Quarterly accepts up to 3 poems, fiction up to 5000 words, and essays and reviews up to 3000 words, in any genre or school (occasional exceptions are made.) 

All artwork: photographs, paintings, etchings, lithographs and line drawings are now accepted in black & white and color for publication on our website, and in black & white only for our print annual. We appreciate photoshop files (psd.), or jpgs; size 1024x768.

If at any time you wish to check on the status of your submission please make a formal edit request through submittable. This is the only way we can assure that we will see your message through the deluge of influx.

Some will call the last few months “The Great Pause.” Travel has been hampered and suspended. We’ve been asked to shelter in place, to stay put, to be safe, be still. The great stillness of pandemic lockdown gave way to the great awakening, as millions took to the street, demanding justice. The streets, emptied of cars, filled with people putting themselves on the front lines, facing down both hostile forces and the new virus. The chaotic hum of commuting, working, and consuming turned into the virtual stillness of Zoom, as unemployment reached record levels, and as we tried to hold on to normalcy, it turned out that we were gestating a fundamental shift in how we wanted to make the world. As one version of our lives was replaced with a stillness and isolation, a new fight was readying over the world that we were going to remake and reimagine. As we write this, there are daily show downs over what the world looks like moving forward. What do we dismantle? What do we fund? How do we use language? When do we take risks to come together in somatic space; when do we beam our images to each other because it is unsafe to show up?

At the beginning of the lockdown, anyone on social media would have seen a country obsessed with domesticity and baking. By early June, anyone on social media saw a world fed up with refusing to examine its own history, and we had gone into the public square to make daily (and nightly) demands for change. We are looking for work that examines gestation and change, how stillness might be a precondition for action, and how it is hard to see what is rising until it breaks the surface.

Painted Bride Quarterly