Submission Guidelines


Heart of Flesh is a biannual, online and print literary journal that seeks quality writing and art with a Christian theme. We are not a typical “Christian fiction” journal. We believe God’s truth as written in the Bible can be found in both the sacred and the secular, in nearly every work of literature and every part of the human condition.

That being said, we are a Christian journal, and we aim to spark honest and real conversations about Christ, faith, doubt, and other Biblical themes and people. Jesus is not boring. The Bible is not tame or timid. We want these topics to ignite a passion displayed in words and art from both Christians (of all denominations) and non-believers who are heavily influenced by Christianity.

Read more about us HERE.


We prefer literary work, but we accept all genres of poetry, flash fiction, short stories, creative nonfiction, and visual art & photography from both Christians and non-Christians, as long as the work includes a Christian theme.

What are Christian Themes?

Redemption, hope, charity, profound love, awe and praise, the fruitlessness of self love, the ugliness or destructiveness of sin, the attractiveness of sin, a desperate need for soul-cleansing, a righteous heart shining against the backdrop of a fallen world, a battle against temptation, anything that portrays the deepness and profoundness of scripture or Biblical people, and more.

We like hopeful. We also like bleak. We like desperation and grit. But only if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We want to see that golden pinprick of light guiding us out of the darkness.

What we would LOVE to see:
  • Christian Southern Gothic stories in the style of Flannery O’Connor.
  • Poetry that reads like the Christian version of Sylvia Plath.
  • Visual art in the same vein as William Blake.
  • Anything strange or exciting that is also unflinchingly Christian.
What we do NOT love:
  • Proselytizing.
  • Gratuitous/graphic sex or violence.
  • Excessive/unnecessary profanity—we will allow a swear word or two, but keep it somewhere between PG and PG-13.

We also love work that surprises us, so if you think your work doesn’t fit the mold, it doesn’t hurt to give us a shot!

To learn more about what we look for in submissions, read our FAQs, check out our past issues or take a look at this interview with Six Questions For…


  • Short Stories (Fiction and Creative Nonfiction): 1 piece at a time (4,000 words max)
  • Flash Fiction: up to 3 pieces at a time (700 words per piece, max). Please submit all pieces in one document.
  • Poetry: up to 3 poems at a time (no length limits). Please submit all poems in one document.
  • Art & Photography: up to 4 pieces at a time. Send as JPEG/JPG. Please provide an artist statement or description that we can publish with your work.

You may submit work for multiple categories at the same time, but please do so in the same e-mail if possible.

Only submit ONCE per reading period. If you are accepted or rejected please wait until the next reading cycle to submit again.

We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know immediately if you are accepted elsewhere.

Please do not send previously published work.


On acceptance, Heart of Flesh asks for:

  • First electronic rights to be the first to publish the work online.
  • Non-exclusive Digital Format rights to publish the work in our downloadable PDF.
  • First North American Serial Rights to be the first to publish the work in the English language in North America, in a print issue.
  • Right to archive the work on our website for as long as Heart of Flesh exists.

The copyright of all work is retained by the writer/artist. This means that after we publish your poem, story, art, etc. you keep the right to your work and are free to publish it elsewhere. We only ask that you credit Heart of Flesh as the place where your work first appeared.

We do not offer payment, and, unfortunately, we do not have the funds to compensate anyone with contributor copies. We hope to change this in the future. All contributors will receive a free PDF copy of the issue in which they appear.


Include a short cover letter and a 50-word bio in the body of an e-mail. The subject line should include the word “Submission” and the type of work (short story, poetry, etc.). The editor is Veronica McDonald. Please attach your work (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .odt) and send to:

Response time ranges between 2 weeks to 2 months.

If you haven’t heard back after 2 months, please follow up!

Are you new to submitting, and need a little guidance? We love this helpful article by Neon Books.


Spring Issue (May publication): February 1–March 31

Fall Issue (November publication): August 1–September 30

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