Cotton Xenomorph is a quarterly online journal that publishes poetry, fiction, and visual art. They publish accepted pieces every few days on their site and then publish a compilation of all the work in a quarterly PDF issue. Their tagline is “No Creeps” and while they support a social justice approach, they accept work with any theme as long as it does not include language of oppression. You can read more about what they are looking for on their FAQ page.
I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked editor Hannah Cohen and she kindly replied. See my interview with Cohen and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Cotton Xenomorph.
COHEN: Cotton Xenomorph is a journal that wants the weird, startling, amazing work. We are a safe space to avoid the creeps, a place to immerse yourself in good art, and a community of thoughtful readers and writers.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Cotton Xenomorph originally started?
COHEN: It was sudden – it started off as a Twitter joke/meme that Chloe Clark responded to, but then she, Teo Mungaray, and I pretty much came together and decided to do this. This could have been just another unfulfilled wish, but we were all very sincere. We talked about it for a bit, made pretty amorphous plans, and then Teo bought the domain. After that, we started to seriously plan. Unfortunately, we've all dealt with or seen harassment and nasty behavior in the lit community, and wanted to create a space where we uplift and promote creativity, and also have a journal where people don't have to worry about problematic editors or abusive contributors. Hence our tagline No Creeps. We're serious about that.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
COHEN: We purposely don't have a set aesthetic. We'll read any style, we just want each person's best work. I will admit that light verse, humor, and haiku are much less likely to grab my attention, but I'm sure there will be exceptions even to that.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
COHEN: Art. From experience in working with several journals, most magazines struggle with getting art submissions because I think visual artists are kind of in their own world when it comes to sending their work to places. Artists aren't typically looking at submissions calls from lit mags. The people that tend to see it are "writers first," but also make visual art. We'd love to see sculpture, collage, and textiles.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
COHEN: Glass, wildness (Platypus Press), Split Lip, Yes Poetry, Foundry, Luna Luna, Muzzle, Assaracus, PRELUDE, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Black Warrior Review, The Shade Journal, and Cortland. We really like journals that take a chance on people's works and voices and give back to the lit community.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
COHEN: They can read our guidelines and submit here: https://www.cottonxenomorph.com/submissions
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
COHEN: Anybody with questions can email us with the subject line "query" at firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: Rolling (always open)
FORMAT: digitally online, PDF quarterly issues
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: None “Sadly, at this moment we do not pay contributors. We are very committed to a free submission process and everyone involved in this journal is an unpaid volunteer. In the future, we hope to run contests that will have prizes. We are MORE than glad to promote you across our social media platforms.”
FORMS: poetry, fiction, and visual art