Submission Guidelines

We are open for Submissions to Volume 6 of the Santa Barbara Literary Journal, due out in June 2021, titled "Saturn's Return." 


We have a new submission process. To offset costs of production, we're charging a $3 submission fee for short stories and poetry. To submit your work and pay the submission fee, please visit our store here. In return for paying the submission fee, you will receive a PDF of a recent copy of the journal!

We accept short stories under 5,000 words. We will consider one short story per author per submission period. Poets may submit up to three poems per submission period. Please only submit to one genre per submission period. We do not accept memoir. Lyrics are by invitation only.


Also featured in Volume 6 will be a novelette of 10,000-20,000 words, as part of our Novelette Competition! We think that novelettes, halfway between a short story and a novella, are often unfairly stranded in publishing land. We aim to remedy that in Volume 6. Any genre is welcome, as long as the story is compelling and well written. To submit your novelette for consideration, there is a $5 submission fee, payable in our store here. If your novelette is the winner of this contest, you will receive 5 copies of the journal.

Your submission should include:
1. A short (3-4 sentence) biographical paragraph explaining who you are as an author. Include any websites/social media.
2. Let us know the total word count and the genre (if it defies genre, note that too).

We aim to respond within six weeks, although it is not always possible.

Who can send us work? Everyone. Anyone. We read all work with hopes of finding a masterpiece, and we select work solely on the basis of craft. You do not have to live in Santa Barbara to be published in the journal, but let us know if you're local.

 We accept simultaneous submissions but let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere.  If we have accepted a story from you, please wait a year before you submit another. You are welcome to submit short essays, song lyrics, or interview proposals with notable authors in-between.

Volume 6: Saturn's Return

Submission Window  Jan 13 - March 15,  2021

In European astrology, every thirty years, the planet Saturn returns to the same position it was in when you were born. This is when we are said to experience Saturn's Return, a time when people change directions, leave relationships, start new paths, transforming into the next phase of their lives. If you live long enough, you will experience Saturn's return at 30, 60, and 90. We do not require literal adherence to the theme; in fact, we'd prefer you be as creative with it as possible. Everything from literary fiction to science fiction and fantasy are welcome. If your work is accepted, fame and fortune await...well, perhaps infamy and certainly a PDF of Volume 5!

SB Lit Jo
Novelette Competition

Submission Window

Jan 13- March 15, 2021

Novelettes are short stories that careened out of control and dove down the rabbit hole! In Volume 6 of the lit jo, we will feature one longer story, between 10,000 and 20,000 words. All genres are welcome. Our theme for Volume 6 is Saturn's Return, but we will consider all stories. Send us your best writing! 

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