Your work is worth it.

If you’re interested in submitting to Protean, we would be happy to consider your work for publication on our website or in our annual print issues. We offer pay for all criticism, journalism, essays, reviews, interviews, poetry, fiction, and artwork that we publish. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills—we believe in recognizing the labor involved in this work, and we do our best to compensate our freelancers fairly. Protean’s web and print contributors are all paid in full before publication.

So why don’t you send it to us? 

We accept both drafts and pitches on a rolling basis for our online content. Submissions for print are open during a yearly one-month submissions call. Please know that in evaluating work, we must be extremely selective. See the following guidelines before submitting:

  • We do not have a submission fee.

  • Submit using the appropriate email inbox, as outlined below.

  • We publish work geared explicitly to the anti-capitalist left. Please take this into consideration before submitting.

  • We will always reject submissions with racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist, or otherwise bigoted content.

  • All submissions (criticism, fiction, and poetry) should include a short bio, past bylines, and other relevant information in the pitch email. When pitching an article, tell us why you’re the right person to write this piece.

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine—just let us know in your initial email. If your pitch is time-sensitive for any reason, please explain.

  • Our required format for sending all drafts, fiction, and poetry is a separate document (.doc or .docx) attached to your pitch email. (Please don’t send work in .pdf format.)

  • We will read completed drafts, but we do not ask contributors to write on spec.

  • We typically do not accept republications of previously published works. We make exceptions for poetry that has appeared on social media and excerpts from upcoming books (rights permitting).

  • If accepted, please anticipate one or more rounds of revisions, as well as intensive edits for both style and content. We may request that you make significant rewrites. If the editing process is unusually extended, we will offer increased compensation to reflect the additional work.

  • We do attempt to respond to all submissions with acceptance or rejection notices. If you have not received a response within two weeks, feel free to send a follow-up email. A rejection does not disbar you from future submissions.


Calls for submissions for our print editions will be announced via social media and a post on our website. To be considered for print, the subject line of your pitch email should begin with “PRINT:”. All guidelines listed on this page also apply, with the exception of rates.

Please do not submit for print unless there is an open call. All questions should be directed to editorial[at]

UPDATE: Print submissions for Issue IV are currently closed. They will reopen later in 2023 when work on our next issue begins.


Critique, Essays & Reviews

If you’re interested in submitting criticism, news analysis, essays, or film or book reviews, send your pitch or your draft to submissions[at] Drafts should be sent as an attached .doc file. 

We typically look for pieces that are longer than 1,700 words and no longer than 4,500. Rare exceptions can be made, so please explain if a higher word count is absolutely essential. However, in general, we would much prefer that your article falls within the above range.

The base rate for criticism, news analysis, reviews, and essays that are published online is $300; the base rate for interviews is $200. We will offer increased compensation for pieces that require extra revisions, reporting, research, or other labor. Rates are negotiable.

Fiction submissions are currently closed.


If you’re interested in submitting fiction, send your work to fiction[at] as an attached .doc file. Fiction submissions should be between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Fiction need not be explicitly leftist, but it’s preferable.

The base rate for fiction pieces that are published online is $100. 

Poetry submissions are currently closed.


If you’re interested in submitting poetry, send as many as five poems in an attached .doc file to poetry[at] Poems need not be explicitly leftist, but it’s preferable. 

The base rate for poetry that is published online is $30 per poem.

Art & Illustration

If you’re interested in having your visual art featured in Protean Magazine, email a bio and a link to your portfolio to illustration[at] We will review your work and will contact you if we’re interested in licensing existing work or commissioning an original piece.

Rates vary—we’ll ask for your quote.