Thanks for thinking of us as a home for your work! Unsolicited submissions are the fossil fuel that keeps the Barrelhouse moped puttering along on the side of the literary highway.

We are currently open for book reviews and our special online Holiday 2017 Blog Special: Land of Misfit Lit (details about the Misfit Lit issue are below). 


Holiday 2017 blog special: ISland of misfit lit

And when everybody heard their story, they realized that maybe they were a little hard on the misfits. Maybe misfits have a place, too.
— Sam the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


What is Misfit Holiday Lit?

Barrelhouse wants to be the place for your holiday misfits. The stuff that would be sent to the Island of Misfit Lit for not fitting into a specific genre or a style. Yes, the traditional hybrid forms like flash fiction and memoir, prose poetry, lyric essay… but also, a treatment for the very special holiday episode of Battlestar Galactica (or whatever your Battlestar Galactica is). The other seven verses of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” that didn’t make the cut. Post-apocalyptic Solstice carols. Krampus/Belsnickle slash fic (actually, maybe not that).

Anything that's kind of a misfit and has something to do with the holidays: this is your place. 

A few  specifics: 

Submissions should be under 3,000. 

If you're sending poems or short poem-like thingies, you can send up to 5. 

No previously published work. 

Submissions are rolling and will be posted on our blog throughout the month of December. 

No submission fees but also no payment. We're working on that second part for online writing. 

Guest Editor Meghan Phillips:   

meghan elf.png


We're really excited that the awesome writer and editor Meghan Phillips is guest editing this issue. All decisions will be made by Meghan. Here's more about her:   

Meghan Phillips is the fiction editor for Third Point Press and an associate editor for SmokeLong Quarterly. You can find her writing at and her tweets @mcarphil. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she listens to Jethro Tull's Songs from the Wood when she decorates for the holidays.

If you're ready to roll you can head on over to Submittable to start the submitting. 


Magazine Submission Guidelines

Please read these instructions before you submit. We know we aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but it will make it easier on all of us if you have a general sense for what we’re looking for and how we’d like to get it.

  • We accept submissions through the Submittable online submissions manager. That’s the only way we accept submissions.

  • No previously published work.

  • There is no maximum length, although we tend to publish stuff shorter than 8,000 words

  • Please submit only one piece at a time. Except for poetry. You can submit up to five poems. Everybody else — just one!

  • We pay $50 to each contributor to our print issues, as well as two contributor copies. So far, online contributors are paid primarily in karma. All contributors are also promised free beer, if we ever run into you in the flesh. If you don’t believe us about the free beer, ask around a little bit. We are frequently tipsy and imprudently generous.

  • We accept simultaneous submissions — you would have to be insane to be sending your stuff out to one place at a time, right? Seriously. We hope you’ll tell us as soon as possible if you place the work elsewhere, though.

  • It will probably take us two to three months to get back to you. We try to do that faster, but there are few of us and many of you.

  • About electronic files: Please only send us word or rich-text (.rtf) files. Seriously. If you send something in a file format that we can’t read, it greatly reduces your chances of publication. For poetry, please submit 3-5 poems as a single document.

Go to our Submissions Manager


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