Obsequium Religiosum

Submission: To yield oneself unconditionally to the power or authority of another.

Ted Hash-Berryman

By the authority vested in us as editors, we decree that you obey the guidelines below. Failure to comply with these commandments will result in your outright rejection.


1. We are not accepting submissions at this time.

2. If you do not submit to our authority, know that you will be branded a heretic, excommunicated, and stoned by a council of MFA students.

3. If you believe yourself worthy of submission, you are mistaken. You cannot yet submit. You must first subscribe to our submission system.

4. To properly submit, you must worship the subjective tastes of editors as infallible pronouncements of objective truth.

5. To properly submit, you must compromise your artistic vision by converting your imagination to the hive mind’s aesthetic.

6. To properly submit, you must demonstrate your worthiness by including a Bio of 150 self-aggrandizing words or less.

7. We prioritize submitters by level of fame, so be sure to already have some.

8. If we solicit you, it is not because we like your work, it is because we like the way your name looks on our website.

9. If we’ve never heard of you, you can eat a cactus dick.

10. Allow “up to” 12 months for us to “discuss” the “quality” of your submission.

11. We reserve the right to reject your submission for any reason. Common reasons include:

“Your submission isn’t the right fit for us. We suggest buying many back issues to familiarize yourself with the type of work we publish.”

“We know that you worked very hard on your submission, but we really didn’t feel like reading it.”

“We heard that you are an asshole on Twitter.”

“We received nearly 300 submissions from people more famous than you.”

“We are trying to fill our VIDA quota, and you’re not a woman.”

“Sorry, but your hipness underwhelmed the white male Magisterium.”

“We only publish African Americans, and your name doesn’t sound black enough.”

12. For optimal success, spend at least twice as much time submitting as you spend writing.

13. For optimal success, begin your lifelong practice of submission well before entering the MFA seminary.

14. For optimal success, prostrate yourself in social situations before writers who have more industry clout than you.

15. When rejected, submit more fervently. You have not been faithful enough. You must continue to submit since it’s your career’s only hope.

16. If you are accepted, we legally own your work, your name, the dog you mentioned in your bio, and a page of your first born book.

17. When submitting to our contest, include an exorbitant tithe via PayPal. Good luck, because the winner has been chosen in advance.

18. Do not refer to our cult as a religion.

19. Our submission guidelines are subject to change.

20. We are not accepting submissions at this time.

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