Submission Guidelines for Adults

Like many publications that have been forced to suspend their activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anansesem has stopped publication indefinitely and is no longer accepting submissions. Subscribe to our newsletter here to receive updates on our latest activities.

Anansesem publishes children's and young adult fiction, poetry, nonfiction and illustration. We welcome new work from children's authors and illustrators at any stage in their career. If you are 17 years old or younger and would like to submit work, check out our Submission Guidelines for Young People.

We give priority to submissions by persons living in or originally from the Caribbean region, but we are also open to work from around the world. Writers and illustrators from Australia, Africa, the UK, Canada, India and the USA are among previous contributors to the ezine.

There is no reading fee. Please see our FAQs page for information on contributor payment and publication rights. Thank you for your interest in Anansesem!


General Guidelines

1. All submissions should be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font with one-inch margins. Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be double-spaced.

2. Simultaneous submissions are okay, in fact they are encouraged. We'll be the first to congratulate you if your work gets accepted elsewhere, we just ask that you let us know immediately if that happens so we can withdraw your submission.

3. Previously published artwork will be considered provided you let us know where and when it was published. We do not publish previously published poetry and prose.

4. Please do not re-submit previous material unless we expressly ask you to do so.

5. Please do not contact us regarding the status of your submission as we are unable to respond to such inquiries. Please be patient! We respond to each submission we receive that follows the guidelines.

6. If your work has already been published in two consecutive issues of Anansesem, please wait two years from the date of your latest publication in Anansesem to submit new work.

7. Spelling and Translation Policy: Both American and British spelling are fine. Caribbean Creoles are fine (and encouraged!). We only accept English language submissions.

Category Guidelines


What counts as fiction?

By 'fiction' we mean anything within the realm of imaginative prose including flash fiction, short stories and collaborative fiction as long as all the authors are listed. Excerpts or chapters from unpublished books are fine as long as they can stand alone and still make sense. Word limit: 2,000 words.

What genres are okay?

We will accept children's fiction in the genres of realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, super hero fiction, mystery, humor, and traditional (traditional = original work that fits the folk tale, fairy tale, or myth/legend sub-genres.) The only genres we will not accept are religious fiction, fan fiction and certain types of horror fiction.


What counts as nonfiction?

We will consider narrative/creative non-fiction (i.e. personal or reflective essays, literary journalism, and memoir or autobiographical pieces) and expository non-fiction (i.e. scholarly/research/analytical essays). Word limit: 2,000 words.

Do you publish children's/YA book reviews?

Due to our limited resources, we rarely accept requests to review books, rather, we request certain books from publishers to review. You can, however, send us your own unpublished reviews of Caribbean children's and YA books published within the past three years. To review a book in Anansesem, you must be a third party not affiliated with the author or publisher of the book.

What nonfiction topics are acceptable?

Non-fiction pieces must bear some clear relation to children's literature, children's literacy, children's publishing or children's librarianship relative to Caribbean communities. We want to publish upbeat pieces that focus on Caribbean children's positive reading, writing and speaking experiences, but will consider any well-written piece evoking or exploring the experience of the Caribbean child or childhood in the Caribbean.

What academic styles do you accept for essays?

Essays using American Psychological Association (APA,) Chicago Manual of Style (CMS,) and Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting styles are all acceptable, but not necessary.


What kinds of poems do you publish?

We accept children's poems in all styles: limericks, action rhymes, haiku, reverso, acrostic, rhyming, non-rhyming, alphabet poems, nature poems, narrative poems, happy poems, sad poems...we want to see it all. You may submit up to 5 poems in one pdf or doc file.

ART []

What should I send?

Send no more than 5 images (illustrations, comics, cartoons, graphics etc.) in JPEG. or PNG. file format. Final, approved artwork should be of professional quality, at least 300 dpi. Please do not send us photos that you have taken of your artwork where a background is visible. All artwork sent must be scans or clear photos of the artwork alone with no background objects, people or scenery visible. See previously accepted artwork in our ezine to see what we mean.

Does my artwork have to have a title?

Yes. In the "Submission Title" field of the submission form, write the title of each piece of art, separated by commas. If the illustrations belong to a set, tell us the name of the set in your cover letter. After we have considered all submitted artwork, a single piece of artwork will be chosen to appear on the front cover of the upcoming issue. All submissions of art by adults are eligible for this distinction.

What We're Looking For

Stuff that amuses, inspires and delights. Richness of detail, authentic handling of dialogues and relationships and sensitive treatment of issues. Age-appropriate writing that authentically reflects the values and attitudes of Caribbean people. Writing that considers Caribbean children (and their parents and teachers) as the primary audience, yet is accessible to "cultural outsiders." Caribbean children's literature that builds upon the past while speaking to the present and the future, that critiques and informs, and that avoids stereotypical presentations. Send us some stories about real-life Caribbean children living in actual social and historical circumstances. Words and plots that evoke childhood in the Caribbean. Our main criteria is literary excellence. Send only your best writing.

Illustrations that daringly interpret the Caribbean children's illustration aesthetic, showing awareness of traditional Caribbean artistic expressions, but also innovative integration of styles of children's illustration drawn from other cultures. Ultimately, we are looking for pictures and narratives that Caribbean children will love and see themselves in!

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