Pidgeonholes is an online literary magazine with the tagline “weird birds. weird words.” They are currently seeking “to publish work with the grit of heavy-duty sandpaper: words that will tear and scar. / Send us your literary, speculative, experimental, or absurdly unclassifiable, just make it bold and beautiful.”
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Todhunter and she kindly replied. See my interview with Todhunter and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Pidgeonholes.
TODHUNTER: Pidgeonholes is an online lit mag that looks to publish fiction and poetry that is gritty and fearless. We want to showcase bold, odd, foreign pieces that stick with our readers—pieces they’ll come back to read again and again that have a gut punch, rather than a punch line.
We recently migrated websites and are transitioning to a new format, moving away from themed issues and toward weekly fiction/poetry posts coupled with stunning artwork, and we are thrilled with the way things are shaping up.
We also have an incredible masthead, with the likes of Cathy Ulrich (fiction editor), Alina Stefanescu (poetry editor), Ana Prundaru (art director), Cavin Bryce (reviewer), and a slew of top-drawer first readers, just itching to read new work.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Pidgeonholes originally started?
TODHUNTER: Our founder, Nolan Liebert, started Pidgeonholes in 2015 because he wanted to create a venue for writers and readers that balanced experimental with approachable, genre works with literary works. He also wanted to create a market that was inclusive—that published work from individuals with unique social or cultural backgrounds, those identifying as part of the LGBT+ community, those that are somehow “othered” in their lives.
Nolan stepped down as EiC at the beginning of 2018, but we still work hard to hold up these values.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
TODHUNTER: Anyone looking for a quick blast of grit. We publish short fiction and poetry—pieces that can be read while you’re standing in line for a coffee or waiting for the bus. We love the “what next” aspect of these genres, how the characters and themes often stick with readers and get them thinking about what could have come next.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
TODHUNTER: We publish pieces of fiction up to 1000 words, poems no longer than 50 lines each, and artwork that plays with unexpected angles, textures, and composition.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
TODHUNTER: We’d love to see more work that experiments with form, as well as more microfiction, and more invented forms of poetry.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
TODHUNTER: There are a lot of journals that are killing it right now! It’s impossible to name all of our favourites, but we have strong feelings for lit mags that showcase amazing art, such as Paper Darts and Synaesthesia Magazine, fledgling journals that are keeping it real, like Wohe and Cotton Xenomorph, and those who show the lit community a lot of love: Jellyfish Review, Split Lip Magazine, and Longleaf Review.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
TODHUNTER: We accept submissions through Submittable, an online submission manager: https://pidgeonholes.submittable.com/submit
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: Open year round
SPECIAL THEMED DEADLINE: April 30, 2018
FORMAT: digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, fiction, artwork