How to Submit

YARN Submission Guidelines


Because of the many changes in our busy lives, we have to announce that YARN is going on an indefinite hiatus. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS OR PUBLISHING. We all love the work — and especially the stories, poems, and essays you send us — but we don’t currently have what it takes to commit to continuing after this season. We offer some goodbyes-for-now:

From Laura McCaffrey: I was so honored to join this team of open-hearted editors and writers. I’ve loved all that our submitters so generously and bravely offered to us. I’ve adored working on the stories we’ve published here. Like Kip and Kerri, I’ll miss this. I recently read Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus,” and, like the characters in that novel, I often find myself with other rêveurs, appearing and disappearing to create a little magic. I hope to run into many of you elsewhere.

From Kip Wilson: I’m now on my fifth season at YARN and have loved working with our poets and readers, so I will really miss reading new submissions this year. If the opportunity arises to break our hiatus, I will be all for it! And if not, I hope to see many of you in the poetry-related interwebs in the years to come.

From Kerry Maher: YARN changed my life when I launched it with a few good friends close a decade ago — not only did it make me an editor and entrepreneur, it made me a better and more open-hearted writer. I’ve learned so much from reading submissions by aspiring teens and famous authors alike, as well as from the amazing crew of editors and readers I’ve had the privilege of working with.  I’m so grateful to Diana, Kip, and Laura for taking the journal over these past few years when I need to semi-retire. And three cheers for YOU, READERS, for it’s you who have made YARN worth the effort since 2010. I really can’t thank you enough.



Please note that we expect you to have read everything below before you submit, since it includes important information about the rights we acquire, etc.  Also, there is a special incentive for SCBWI members, described below.)

We can’t wait to see your creative writing!  Since this is a YA literary journal, we ask that the material be appropriate for, and of particular interest to, young adult readers, 14 years old and up.  We have no age restrictions for authors (fogies over the age of 18 write YA, too), no genre restrictions (if you’ve got a story set in 2060, bring it on!), and no geographic restrictions (we have published teens in China and other similarly far-away places, and would love to see more international submissions).  We only ask that the writing you submit be original and publishable, with some literary merit (in other words, if you’ve written a slasher thriller with lots of smooching and slaying, we recommend sending it to Hollywood and not to us).  Send us only your very best.

Important Note #1:  If you happen to get a rejection from us, do not despair!  Plenty of great writers (including the editors of this very magazine, and, you know, J.K. Rowling and John Steinbeck) were rejected loads of times before they got published.  You’re in good company.  Don’t take rejections personally, and keep writing!  And maybe make a dart board out of the rejections; it’ll make you feel better.

Important Note #2:  Just about all of our rejections will be a form letter.  Please don’t hold this against us.  There is simply not enough time for us to respond personally to all of you.  Rest assured that your piece was read, carefully.  And keep writing!

To make sure we can read your work as thoroughly as possible, instead of getting bogged down in a lot of confusing paperwork, we do have a few guidelines for your submissions:

Submit online to the email address appropriate to your genre:

  • poetry[at]
  • fiction[at]
  • essays[at]

All other inquires can be sent to editors[at]  Please also:

  • Write the TITLE of your submission in the subject bar.
  • In the body of the email, please write your name, phone number, snail mail address, and email address.  Please also provide a short biography of yourself and your writing history; also, please let us know where you found out about YARN.  If you are a teenager, please note this in your bio, as we have a special place for teen writers in YARN.
  • Below the biographical info, PASTE your submission into the body of the email.  DO NOT send the submission as an attachment; attachments will be discarded.
  • Only submit one piece at a time, and wait to hear back from us before you submit again.
  • Note that all accepted writers under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a form giving his/her permission for the piece to be published
  • If you are accepted, we ask that you provide a digital photo.
  • Observe the specific guidelines for each genre, below.
  • Note that once we accept and publish a piece, we will not take it down on the YARN site, although we are happy to consider allowing pieces to be reprinted with permission elsewhere.


Please submit at least 3, and no more than 7, poems, totalling no more than 10 double-spaced pages.


6000 word limit.  Please do not submit excerpts from longer works, like novels.  The story should stand alone.  Please double space your submission.


3000 word limit. As with fiction, please do not submit excerpts from longer works.  In this category, we welcome autobiographical essays, or reflective essays about events, people, or places.  We do not welcome essays like those you might find on a college application, or those you might submit in a history or English class.  Unless, of course, you want to write a parody of those forms.  Again, double-space.


At this time, only our editors conduct interviews with authors.  But we’d love your input.  If you have ideas for authors you’d like to see interviewed, by all means send us your ideas, and explain why you’d like to see the interview.

A few important business notes:

  • We cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged submissions.  If you haven’t heard from us after 5 months, you may inquire about the status of your submission.
  • We encourage simultaneous submissions.
  • We acquire exclusive first-time Internet rights (including the right to produce work in audio format to be distributed online, as well as educational materials to be distributed online) for all works we publish. Works are also archived online. All other rights, including the right to publish in print form, revert to contributors.
  • We ask for 3 months of exclusivity before the work is published elsewhere.
  • Should the work get picked up by another publication after YARN, even if it is re-edited, we ask for the standard industry credit–something along the lines of “This work originally appeared in YARN,” with either a hyperlink to your work or to the YARN homepage (
  • We reserve the right to crop all photos to fit our layout.
  • Much as we wish we could pay our writers, it’s just not in the budget (if it makes you feel any better, none of the editors get paid, either).
  • We do not publish works that have been published anywhere else, except a high school literary magazine that is not nationally distributed.
  • If you are an SCBWI member, please remember that you can nominate your own work published in YARN for their Magazine Merit Awards.  The deadline is usually in December each year, and requires a letter of verification from us.  Since you need to self-identify as a member, you’ll need to do the legwork on this (it’s minimal!), but suffice it to say we think that everything we publish is great and we give you our blessing to nominate yourself!

What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

So. What's your YARN?

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