Q: Do you pay for published work?
A: We are actively working toward a goal of providing a small stipend for our authors. Until that time, authors are compensated with immense gratitude and literary swag.
Q: Can I submit my work by snail mail?
A: When possible, we strongly prefer electronic submissions. However, if your circumstances prevent this, you may mail your submission to: Proximity Magazine, 4202 Major Ave., Madison, WI, 53716.
Q: I just submitted an essay. When will I hear from you?
A: We’ll reply to you via email (through the Submittable system) within 30 to 45 days of the theme’s submission closing date. If it’s been more than 45 days and you haven’t heard from us, feel free to send us a friendly inquiry via our contact form.
A note re: your submission’s “status” from Editor Maggie Messitt: “As an editor who reviews via Submittable, and a writer who submits to other publications via this same system, I wanted to let you in on something I learned while reviewing submissions for Issue 08: When an editor reviews your work, your status does not automatically change to “in-progress” (or any other status). In fact, the status will only change when someone writes an internal note re: your submission, a reader votes on your submission, or a formal acceptance/decline decision has been made. I am mentioning this b/c some publications, editors, and readers don’t use these functions which means you might think we (or other publications) haven’t reviewed your submission at all. For example: I take notes on paper while I read and typically only make changes in the system in the final week of my review process. Our process at Proximity is quite thorough, so please don’t worry–we commit to reading all submissions and often do multiple times. I hope that extra information helps!”
Q: Will you edit my story, or publish it as-is?
A: Virtually all published submissions are edited to some degree — for length, clarity, etc. For substantial reworking, we may ask you to submit a revised draft with suggested changes. Rest assured, we’re professional editors with a commitment to respecting the author’s voice and point of view — and we’ll give you the chance to review all changes in advance of publication.
Q: I have three different pieces that work for your theme, and I can’t decide which one’s best. Can I submit all of them?
A: Yes! Please do. We will only publish one work from one author per issue, but we’d love to see what you’ve got. Authors may submit up to 2 pieces for consideration per issue.
Q: I don’t live in the United States. Am I still eligible to submit my writing?
A: Yes! As long as your piece is written in English, OR if you can provide an English translation for work originally written in another language. We accept submissions from all over the globe.
Q: Your mission statement says “true stories.” What does that mean, exactly?
A: By “true,” we mean stuff that actually happened. We expect our authors to submit work that is as factually accurate as possible and fact-checked as needed; we expect our authors to tell evocative, powerful stories, within the bounds of what actually happened. Hybrid characters, compressed chronology, and other divergences into the “not true” are allowed only when the author explicitly acknowledges such techniques in the text.
Q: If you accept my essay, is there anything else I need to do (other than celebrate)?
A: Yep. You’ll get an email from us, requesting a few things from you, and we’ll work together through a few rounds of edits. Our process is very hands-on, and we are invested in working with you to get the best version of your submission ready for publication. It’s a team effort!
Q: If I reprint my essay somewhere else later on, do I need to acknowledge that it was first published in Proximity?
A: We’d appreciate that, yes. Please also pass along our URL, www.proximitymagazine.org