Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

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About Toasted Cheese

Toasted Cheese publishes poetry, flash*, fiction, creative nonfiction, and reviews. Our focus is on quality of work, therefore the number of pieces published in each issue will vary. We accept approximately 5% of the submissions we receive.

TC was founded in 2001 by a group of American and Canadian women writers. We are committed to publishing a diversity of voices and welcome submissions from writers of all backgrounds and from around the world.

We encourage unpublished writers to submit to Toasted Cheese. We are impressed by quality writing, not by a list of credentials. Currently, there is no remuneration other than recognition. Your support can help change this.

TC does not restrict publication based on subject matter, however, due to the nature of our audience and our service provider’s Terms of Service, we do not publish work that includes excessively graphic sex or violence.


How to Submit

These guidelines are for regular submissions of poetry, flash*, fiction, and creative nonfiction only.

  • If you’re entering a writing contest, click here for the contest guidelines.
  • If you’re querying an article, click here for the article guidelines.
  • If you’re submitting or requesting a review, please see below.
  • Additional contact information can be found on the masthead.

Send submissions to

Use the following format for your subject line:

  • Submission | Flash | Byline | word count
  • Submission | Fiction | Byline | word count
  • Submission | CNF | Byline | word count
  • Submission | Poetry | Byline | number of poems


Molly Anne Smith is submitting four poems. Her subject line would be:
Submission | Poetry | Molly Anne Smith | 4


Robert Jones writes as Joseph Q. Lee and is submitting a 2,500-word story. His subject line would be:
Submission | Fiction | Joseph Q. Lee | 2500

Paste your submission in the body of the email message. Format your submission like an email, using double returns instead of indents to indicate paragraph breaks and use a 10-12 pt standard font (see “tips” for more). NO ATTACHMENTS. This includes images, either in the body of the email or in signatures; our filters flag images as attachments no matter where/how they appear.

Your cover letter should include your name, byline if different, and a short biography.

You may only submit your own work. We do not accept submissions on behalf of the author by a third party unless the author uses a third party due to accessibility issues (visual impairment, mobility challenges, etc.). If this is the case, let us know in the cover letter.

Submissions must be your original work. No plagiarism or AI-assisted submissions.

Submissions must be previously unpublished. This includes, but is not limited to, publishing on blogs and personal sites.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions. A simultaneous submission is a piece of writing that is submitted for possible publication to more than one journal at a time.

You may submit either one work of flash* (500 words max.), one work of fiction (500-5000 words), one work of creative nonfiction (500-5000 words), or up to five poems per submission period.

Please submit only once per submission period:

  • March issue: October 1 – December 31
  • June issue: January 1 – March 31
  • September issue: April 1 – June 30
  • December issue: July 1 – September 30

Submissions are shortlisted at the end of each month. Shortlist notifications are sent out by the 25th of the following month, e.g. by February 25 for submissions received in January.

Final notifications are sent out in mid February, May, August and November.

If you withdraw a submission or receive a rejection letter, wait until the next submission period opens to submit again. If you withdraw a submission that was accepted elsewhere, we won’t consider subsequent submissions due to our policy on simultaneous submissions.



Here are some tips for submitting via email.
Here is a visual on how to format submissions pasted into the body of an email.



Note: For feedback on unpublished work, please visit our forums.

Review Submissions

We welcome submissions of reviews of published work by authors with an existing connection to Toasted Cheese. Note: by “author,” we refer to the author of the work being reviewed, not the writer of the review.

When submitting a review, please indicate the author’s connection to TC. Examples include: an author published in TC, an author who has written for Absolute Blank or been the subject of an Absolute Blank article, and/or an author who has been an active forum member, host, or editor. Reviews or queries that do not include this information will not be considered.

Book reviews should include the name of the author (or editor, for anthologies), title of the work, publisher, and publication date. Length: 250–750 words.

We will also consider reviews of non-anthologized pieces by the same author, for example, five stories published in different journals. Include the date and place of publication for each piece, as well as the URL for work available online. Length: 250–750 words.

Submit reviews to with “Review Submission” in your subject line and your review pasted into the body of the email message, including the author’s connection to Toasted Cheese as outlined above. There is no restriction on the number of reviews you may submit.

If you are interested in writing a review but are not set on a particular book, contact our reviews editor at and she can match you with a request.


Review Requests

To request a review of your new book, contact our reviews editor at with “Review Request” in your subject line, and the pertinent details about your book in your email. Please indicate your connection to TC and your willingness to provide the reviewer with a review copy (print or electronic). Review requests that do not include this information will not be considered.

If you request a review, please consider helping out our reviews editor by volunteering to write one as well. This speeds up our review queue and allows more books to be reviewed.

If you have a book you would like reviewed and you do not have an existing connection to TC, you can establish one by writing a review in exchange.

Questions? Talk to our reviews editor, Shelley Carpenter, at


Terms of Publication:

By submitting your work to Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, you agree, should your work be accepted, to grant Toasted Cheese exclusive electronic rights to your work for a period of 90 days commencing on the date of publication, as well as a non-exclusive right to maintain a copy of published work in the literary journal archives indefinitely. Any subsequent publication should include the credit “originally published in Toasted Cheese.”

“Exclusive electronic rights” means that you agree not to re-publish your work elsewhere online while the issue featuring your work is current. “Publish” means any public display of your work, and includes your personal website and posting to message boards. You are welcome to link to the page featuring your work instead. Once the issue your work appears in has been archived, you are free to republish your work online.

Effective January 2008, you also grant Toasted Cheese the right to post an audio version (podcast) of your work on the site. Authors of work published 2001–2007 will be contacted to obtain permission for this use.

You retain all other rights, including the right to re-publish the work in non-electronic form at any time.

Best of the Boards selections are subject to the same terms.

Letters to the editor(s) regarding submissions may be published in whole or in part. Names and other identifying information will be withheld unless the author’s express permission is obtained.


A Note About Our Editing Process

We edit as a collective (i.e. we do not have a poetry editor, fiction editor, etc.).

Featured Writing is work selected for inclusion by a majority of the editors.

An Editor’s Pick is a piece that did not receive a majority vote, but had the strong support of at least one editor.


* “Flash” is also known as microfiction, sudden fiction, dribbles, drabbles, even twitterature. Every publisher, writer, and reader defines flash differently but most agree that it has a specific tone and style unique to the genre. Flash is not simply a shorter piece of fiction. To get an idea of what we want from flash fiction writers, read the flash pieces we’ve published.


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