“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one “less traveled by”—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth. The choice, after all, is ours to make.”
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
In the nearly six decades since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, we have, on whole, walked the road to disaster. We have continued to use toxic chemicals in the quest for ever-greater consumption. We have burned fossil fuels in such quantities that we have altered the temperature of the planet’s air and water. We have deforested and overfished and overhunted and overdeveloped. We have pushed other species to the brink of extinction and beyond. In the name of progress, we have undone millions of years of change in a matter of centuries.
But still, the choice is ours to make. Millions of people—scientists, conservationists, elected officials, activists, and those who simply choose to take action—make the choice to follow the other road each day. Their path is not paved and the walk is not easy. And that’s exactly why we must follow them.
For apt’s tenth print issue, we are seeking to publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and comics that address climate change, the defining challenge of our lifetime. It is, of course, not the only major, systemic issue we face and, for many, it is not the most important issue in day-to-day lives marked by injustice and inequality in a system that privileges the few. But it is an issue that touches nearly everyone and that permeates our systems, exacerbates inequality, and sharpens injustice.
Specific Guidelines for apt 10
We encourage all types of work, but please proceed with these facts in mind: climate change is real, it’s caused by humans, there’s still time to fight it.
On that note, we’re excited to read your words and hear your ideas on the topic. Keeping in line with our usual wish list, the following issues aren’t meant to be exhaustive, but to provide potential areas we’d love to see you address:
- Environmental, economic, and intergenerational justice
- Community-based responses to climate change
- Physical- and mental-health impacts of climate change
- Biodiversity, species and ecosystem conservation
- Environmental policy and programs
- Intersectional views (e.g. indigenous communities, re: contested lands and their stewardship; the vulnerability and strength of racialized and classed neighborhoods; the challenges faced by disabled people and those with mobility constraints)
A note: While our editors know (and love) many academics, we want to gently remind you that we run a literary journal, not an academic press. We’re seeking work that provides readers with an entry point to the stakes, the details, and the background of climate change.
As always, we seek longer work for our print issues in order to publish and promote narratives that engage deeply with a subject and take time to explore it fully. For this issue, we will also read shorter work (5,000 words minimum for prose, 1,000 words/100 lines/7 pages minimum for poetry) that falls within our theme. If you have work that comes close to these constraints but doesn’t quite meet them, submit it and we’ll figure out the rest. We also welcome a wide range of forms, genres, and the genreless. If you’re submitting something that doesn’t fit neatly into a classification, select the Hybrid category below.
Reflecting the World We Live In
We’ve always strongly encouraged submissions from writers of color. Because climate change disproportionately affects communities of color all over the world, especially those living in areas neglected by their respective governments, we would love to read work by writers who have insights into the daily reality of enduring the effects of climate change and environmental inaction.
In addition, we have also long championed work by writers in LGBTQ communities, women and gender-non-conforming writers, and disabled writers, and we hope to continue to do so for apt 10.
Authors included in the issue will receive a $50 payment and a copy of the issue.
Acceptance Rates & Response Times
Please know that we will end up accepting very few submissions overall. Historically, we’ve published a small percentage of the submissions we read. This is a result of multiple factors: the high volume of submissions, our perceptions and tastes as readers and editors, and the way we build each issue so that the accepted work coheres into something more than a collection of individual voices.
As writers, we appreciate the courage it takes to send work out for publication and we understand the disheartening feeling of getting the “thanks, but no thanks” email in response. While we accept very few of the submissions we receive, we read each one with the care it deserves and that you deserve for creating something and sending it out into the world.
All submissions will receive a response within 90 days.
How to Submit
We will read submissions for the tenth issue of apt April 5-August 31.
Include a brief bio (30 words or fewer) written in the third person.
Simultaneous submissions are fine. Let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere.
What We Do Not Want from You
Previously published material.
Writing about writing. Stories about writers. Poems about poetry.
Preachy religious material.
Any work that is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, hateful, etc.
We reserve first printing rights, including publication in apt in both printed and ebook formats, and the right to excerpt portions of accepted work online in order to promote you, your work, and the journal. The copyright for work published by apt is always held by its authors. If we publish your work on the website, we reserve first North American electronic publication rights and the right to keep it here in archives indefinitely. All other rights remain property of the author. If you want to reprint any work that originally appeared in apt, we ask that you credit the author and the publication.
This is the category where you show your completely optional financial appreciation for what we do.
Guidelines for apt 10 (climate change)
Fiction and non-fiction
The MINIMUM word count is 5,000 words. The maximum word count is 15,000 words.
The MINIMUM word count is 1,000 words; the MINIMUM line count is 100 lines; the MINIMUM page count is 7 pages. The maximum is 3,000 words/500 lines/25 pages.
We are only considering one-act plays.
Comics and Graphic Narratives
Please send 10-15 pages of black and white comics.
- Please send only one submission at a time. For example, if you send a poetry submission, do not send a fiction submission until you hear from us about your poetry.
- If you submit more than one poem or story and you need to withdraw a portion of your submission (e.g. one poem from a set of five), PLEASE do not withdraw the submission and resubmit it. Just let us know by using the notes field in Submittable.
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to longform work about climate change. This category is for fiction about climate change.
To that end, do not submit work here that isn't fiction. Do not submit work that is shorter than 5,000 words. Maximum word count is 15,000 words.
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to longform work about climate change. This category is for poetry about climate change.
To that end, do not submit work here that isn't poetry. Do not submit work that is shorter than 1,000 words.
To that end, we are looking for long poems that satisfy one of the following criteria:
- 1,000-3,000 words
- 7-25 pages
- 100-500 lines
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to longform work about climate change. This category is for non-fiction about climate change.
To that end, do not submit work here that isn't non-fiction. Do not submit work that is shorter than 5,000 words. Maximum word count is 15,000 words.
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to work about climate change. This category is for dramatic works about climate change.
Length constraints: We're only considering one-act plays for publication. Your play does not have to have had a production history of any kind.
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to work about climate change. This category is for comics and graphic narratives about climate change.
Length constraints: Please submit 10-15 pages of black and white comics.
Our next print issue is dedicated solely to longform work about climate change. This category is for hybrid work about climate change.
Submit work here that defies genre constraints.
You can order our most recent issue (devoted entirely to long-form writing) and submit your work at the same time!
Guidelines for print publication - apt 10: Climate Change
Our next issue is dedicated entirely to work that addresses climate change. If your work doesn't address climate change, we will not consider it for publication.
Fiction and non-fiction
The MINIMUM word count for stories and essays is 5,000 words. The maximum word count is 15,000 words.
The MINIMUM word count for poems is 1,000 words; the MINIMUM line count is 100 lines; the MINIMUM page count is 7 pages. The maximum is 4,000 words/500 lines/25 pages.
Please send a one-act play. Short plays and two-act plays will not be considered.
Please send 10-15 pages of black and white comics.
If your work doesn't easily fit into one of the genres above, but satisfies the length requirements and addresses climate change, send it our way.