Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions: Issue Seven - Will-o'-the'Wisp


Dearest readers,

Today is the Autumnal Equinox and the Midwestern weather is finally bringing in the barest whisper of a cold front. Meanwhile, your editors have been gallivanting amongst books and trees, putting our heads down, and studying for exams. We’ve also been putting all the pieces together for our next issue!

Without much ado, we present the theme for issue seven: Will-o’-the-Wisp. 

What is Will-o’-the-Wisp? In its oldest form, it is a bit of friendly fire that appears over bogs and swamps and leads unwary travelers down a sinister path. It is Baba Yaga waiting in her hut on chicken legs or the dance of the Wilis in Giselle. It is myth, magic, and melancholia, but it is also jamming out to Monster Mash in your bedroom at 2 AM. 

If this issue was a sentence from a novel, it would be: a wisp of silk in a forest of black wool.

If this issue was a painting, it would be Morgan-le-fay by Frederick Sandys (1964-65).

If this issue was a constellation, it would be Auriga.

If this issue was a piece of music, it would be Bach’s Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 - Chaconne.

We want your hobgoblins, hinkypunks, sprites, pixies, and trolls! Send us your feverish writings that wink in the dark; your wild midnight rides and your conversations with deep waters.

Submissions of writing and art are open until October 19th. Check out our submissions page for more guidelines on what we are looking for, or feel free to shoot us an email at As always, we seek to support and publish the works of diverse creators.

We can’t wait to read your submissions!

-The Editors

Call for Submissions - Issue Six: Noodle Soup

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Dearest readers,

It is almost midsummer here and the weather has begun to flip-flop between early morning thunderstorms and cloudless afternoons. Time has seemed to slip away from us a little, but we have finally returned and are pleased to announce the theme of our sixth issue!

Noodle Soup: something warm and comforting for the summer months.

What are the things that you crave on an evening where all you can see are trees and stars? When it is unbearably hot out and you turn to colder memories and wish you could summon up a patch of snow, what do you turn to? Noodle soup is a staple in different cultures across the world. We want your fiercest and most vibrant memories, as well as the ones you would rather stay submerged.

This is both our food and nostalgia issue. There are any number of words that have been composed for longing for the past, but we prefer to keep it simple this time around. Noodle soup is the grand equalizer, so don't burn your tongue!

Or as Shakespeare wrote, "that is hot ice and wondrous strange snow." 

Submissions of writing and art are open until July 14th. Check out our submissions page for more guidelines on what we are looking for, or feel free to shoot us an email at As always, we seek to support and publish the works of diverse creators.

We can't wait to read your submissions!

-The Editors


Call for Submissions - Issue Five: Untranslatable

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Dearest readers,

Have you ever had a moment where you've found yourself trying to voice something so essential but found yourself stumbling? The collapse of words and feelings between one person to another. It is winter again, but sometimes it feels as if it is always winter. 

Welcome to 2018 and to the theme of our fifth issue: Untranslatable. 

What is untranslatable? 

Words that linger on your tongue that are too scared to slip off / Art that claws itself up from the earth to claim existence / The things that have made you call yourself more earthquake than person /Half-formed love songs / Something screeching and raw/Something blooming with infinite tenderness. 

Submissions of art, poetry, and prose are open until February 20th. Check out our submissions page for more guidelines on what we are looking for. We can't wait to read your work!

We are also excited to announce that from this year forward, Bombus is now a quarterly journal and we will be publishing issues in March, June, September, and December!

Wishing you warmth and light in the New Year,

-The Editors

Call for Submissions - Issue Four: Chiaroscuro

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Dearest readers,

Somehow every time we sit down to write one of our announcement posts, the world seems to slip into a more precarious state, as if to say: “let me change into something more comfortable.” Of course, only the opposite could be true and we learn to keep moving forward and to temper the noxiousness with a little bit of light.

As such, we would like to introduce the theme for our fourth issue: Chiaroscuro

'Chiaroscuro' is an Italian word for a painting technique that describes the interplay between light and shadow. It is particularly noted in the works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, da Vinci, and a whole host of other painters.

We also see chiaroscuro as this: 

The velvet edge of afternoon that unfurls on itself like orange peel. Walking along the beach at night, illuminated by flash light on your phone - the waves dragging you in ever deeper. 3 AM insomnia and watching the moonlight flicker through the shades. Having tea with the man in the moon in cups fashioned from comet spines and star gas. 

It is a mix between the fantastical and the profane; send us your mothball-covered saints and wintery bus stops lurking in the lines of your poetry. We want your short fiction that is transient and translucent and the ghosts hiding at the edges of your artwork.

Submissions are open until September 20th. As always we support and seek the work of diverse creators, and please feel free to send an questions to We can’t wait to see your work!

Marilyn Schotland

Call for Submissions - Issue Three: Portrait/[self]-Portrait

In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
— William Shakespeare

Dearest readers,

It’s been a little while since we have been on here, but we are back again this time with a few announcements. Somewhere along the way, the lilacs and azaleas began to bloom and I saw my first cluster of bumblebees puttering along the grass. Everything is in bloom and as the poet e. e. cummings once put it, “it’s spring and the goat-footed balloon man whistles far and wee.” With the arrival of the bees and warmer temperatures, we’re extraordinarily excited to announce that we are opening up our submissions for our themed, third issue!

This is Portrait/[self]-Portrait. The concepts of portrait and the self-portrait are not too terribly uncommon in the art world and are foundational to any type of art making. Indeed, the constant reevaluation of identity is essential to this process and profoundly necessary in these times. This is about creating new ways of seeing in a platform that is accessible. How do we respond to the conditions of everyday life? 

What are we looking for? Send us your sketchbook and journal pages, poems that discuss your perspective and ways that your identities coalesce. Send us works that discuss moments of both comfort and discomfort. We would like to underscore especially that we are seeking works from diverse creators, as too often the canons of art and literature are centered on the work of the proverbial straight, white man. This is a rallying call or a murmuration from a small corner of the literary world: to disrupt, insert, and create a new paradigm in the history of this magazine. We are hoping to have this be our largest issue to date!

Some more updates on what we are expanding and including in this round:

  • Creative non-fiction! Please check out our submissions page for more information on what we're looking for.
  • For this issue, we would like you to send us a picture of yourself along with your submission.

Submissions to are open until June 2nd, and as always, feel free to send us any questions you might have. We are looking forward to seeing all of your work!

Marilyn Schotland