Submission Guidelines

The Disappointed Housewife seeks fiction, essays, and poetry – along with unclassifiable writings, photos, and drawings – that stretch genre definitions, break the rules, challenge readers, and bend their brains, all while maintaining the highest levels of style and substance.

We think that literature has to evolve, that it should keep up with the world around it even if it doesn’t reflect it so much as use it. Taunt it. Remold it, when required.

We’re looking for stories that strike us as different, always with that idiosyncratic touch. Iconoclastic. Kind of bent. Humorous. Poems that find the metaphors we’ve been looking for but never quite landed on. Essays that take us away from the usual and into the world of the unseen and overlooked.

Above all, The Disappointed Housewife is a literary journal. We aren’t looking for genre material, though if your submission manipulates a genre in a literary way, we might just bite.

A little more specifically: we aren’t interested in romance, science fiction, thrillers, horror, fantasy, or erotica in their typical forms. We’ll cut you some slack, though. Just be sure that your work adheres to the general mission of The Disappointed Housewife.

Which is, to put it more plainly, to provide readers with great writing they can’t get anyplace else.

Submit your previously unpublished work by email to, and paste the entire submission in the body of the email. We do not open unsolicited attachments. For poetry, do your best to recreate line breaks and other layout elements in the email, with the understanding that it will appear on the site, if it’s accepted, exactly the way you want it. For all submissions, provide a brief bio written in the third person; feel free to include links to your work available online.

By submitting to The Disappointed Housewife, you grant us first electronic rights, nonexclusive anthology rights, and archival rights should the work be accepted. All rights revert back to you after publication. If you elect to publish the piece elsewhere, you agree to cite The Disappointed Housewife as the original publisher.

We do consider simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere while under consideration here. Submit to only one category at a time.

Understand that if your work is accepted, you will likely not be able to publish it elsewhere (i.e., at another, perhaps more famous, magazine). Most outlets don’t consider previously published material, and your piece’s appearance here will be considered a publication.

If your work is rejected, please wait thirty days before your next submission. If your work is accepted and published, we ask that you wait one year before submitting new material.

Flash fiction and creative nonfiction should be 1000 words or less. Submit only one piece at a time. Submit up to three poems. For items that are harder to categorize (lists, faux official documents, parodic advertising, humorous-text tattoos …), we’ll know the right length when we see it, but understand that exceptions to the word limit are going to be rare.

A word on form

There’s so much that can be done in terms of the way readers “read” literature now. Words on a page, sure. But you could construct a short story entirely in tweets or phone texts. Or handwrite poetry on 3 x 5 index cards and photograph them (please write legibly). A photo slide show with enigmatic captions. A facsimile of someone’s job application. The menu of a hip restaurant that’s on the forefront of insect haute cuisine. A story made up of urls that readers click on to go on a virtual journey.

There’s a story in almost anything that’s written, even if it was told unintentionally.

In other words, writers who can think of unorthodox and offbeat ways to tell their stories will be highly appreciated here at The Disappointed Housewife.

We hope to be challenged, and if your idea isn’t easily translated to basic website conventions, we’ll work with you to figure out a way to get it out there.

Think multimedia. Think imagistic. Sound clips. Facsimile. DIY. Objects as literature. “The medium is the message.”

A (discouraging) word on payment


One day we might be able to pay writers for their contributions, but for now it’s a labor of love on all fronts. Maybe a Kickstarter campaign eventually. We’ll see.