Who can submit?

We accept submissions from students, alumni, and rising freshmen (current high school seniors) in Oberlin College and/or Conservatory. We also theoretically accept submissions from Oberlin Staff, though we have not received any as yet!

What can I submit?

Here at the Spiral we're committed to creating a safe, creative environment for writers to share ideas and stories. This means we will absolutely reject any sexist, racist, or homophobic content. Yes, The Evil Dead can get away with having crazy uncomfortable nature-vs.-human sexual violence, but here that is an immediate no-no. That being said, we're fully open to explicit depictions of sex and violence, and will totally publish anything as long as it's not blatantly and shallowly offensive.

Oh, and no fan-fiction. Unless it's Sonic themed. Then feel free.

We have no limit on the number of pieces you may submit at one time. We can only print a limited number of your pieces at one time (to make room in our magazine for other talented writers and artists), but we will keep additional pieces of yours to publish in our next issue(s).

We will publish up to three of your pieces in either the poetry or art divisions, one piece of long fiction, and up to two pieces of short fiction. If you submit in multiple divisions, the total numbers are slightly different: we will publish up to five of your pieces if you span two divisions, or up to six pieces if you span all three divisions.

Guidelines for written submissions Guidelines for visual submissions Guidelines for other submissions

How can I submit?

Deliver your submission(s) to Spiral's email address, spiraloc@gmail.com by 11:59 pm on the deadline (15 November or 15 April).

We prefer prose and poetry to be submitted in *.doc format, though we also accept *.rtf and *.pdf formats. We prefer artwork to be submitted in *.jpg format, but we also accept *.png and *.gif formats.

If you would like your pieces to be published anonymously, please make a note in your email. Please still include your name and information (to confirm that you are an Oberlin student / alumnus).

Submitting an electronic copy Submitting a hard copy

What's the difference between erotica and pornography?

This is an age-old debate and not one easily answered. Though it is not perfect, the staff's definition is: erotica is pornography with an additional layer. This layer may be anything from characterization to emotional impact, but erotica must contain something beyond explicit sexual representation or exploitation.

Ultimately, this interpretation depends on personal interpretation. While an author or artist's intention is important, the author or artist must be able to represent their intention is such a way that a reader or viewer notes this intention. There are, however, some immediate red flags. If you're artistic vision includes things of questionable legality, such as rape, incest (no matter how titillating Game of Thrones makes it seem), or pedophilia, then we can't accept it. We'd love to look at it and shape into into something less morally-unstable, so keep that in mind that the staff consists of a wide range of individuals (with various interests).

Now to an important question: fetishes. Here at Spiral we are committed to a non-judgmental approach both writing quality and content; if your erotica wants to be aimed at a certain fetish you feel is outside the 'norm', please feel free to submit it! We believe that everyone is entitled to their preferences, as long as those preferences are within the realm of legality, as stated above.

An example of a type of fetishistic erotica that we will not accept is something like Breakfast with Sister (if you're having trouble viewing it, that's because DeviantArt's 'mature content' filter is on and you need to sign in to turn it off), which caters to a certain non-mainstream fetish. The fact that it is fetishistic is not the problem: the fact that it involves hot and heavy sister-on-sister action is. You can go as dirty with your fetish as you would like, as long as it doesn't stray into this questionable territory. So please, go wild!

Written Submissions

We accept writing of any length. If your piece is too long for us to publish in one issue (approximately 10 pages, single spaced, 12-pt, Times New Roman), we will work with you to find acceptable intermission point(s) and publish it across several issues.

If you would like to publish your prose in pieces (a serialized piece), please submit at least two sections or a detailed outline of future sections.

If your poetry is dependent upon formatting, please submit a *.pdf or *.jpg version. Additionally, please note in your email which aspects of formatting are necessary and which can be changed for the magazine's coherence (we prefer to use Cochin font, so unless you specify that your poem must be a specific font, we will change all submissions to Cochin).

Visual Submissions

You may submit any printable artwork. Only two images (at most) can be published in color (on Spiral's cover). Therefore, if you would allow your piece to be considered in black and white in addition to color, please submit your piece in both versions. Otherwise we will assume that your piece only works in color.

Other Submissions

If your piece does not fall into these arbitrary distinctions, please still submit! Just look over all of the above guidelines to determine whether they apply to your piece.

Submitting Hard Copies

Deliver your submission(s) (in an envelope) to Wilder Information Desk. Please address the envelope to Spiral: Wilder Box 08 and include your preferred name and OCMR. On the back, please note your graduation year and status as college, conservatory, or double degree student.

Submitting electronically

Please email your submissions as an attachment to Spiral's email address, spiraloc@gmail.com from your OCMail account. In the text of your email, please include your preferred name, graduation year, and status as a college, conservatory, or double degree student. If your submission has any specific formating requirements, please note them in the text of your email.

Original Content Policy

Due to copyright laws and the fact that we do not wish to be sued, we cannot accept any submissions containing non-original material. This includes, but is not limited to, fanfiction, fanart, and photographs of paintings and graffiti.

As in everything, we do have exceptions to this rule. In written material, your piece may reference another work, but it may not use the characters or setting of that work. In visual artwork, if your photograph (etc.) adds something original to the other work, we will consider it original work. (For example: if you take an image of graffiti which is not yours, we cannot accept it, unless the photograph adds something to the interpretation and effect of the graffiti—such as shadows, architecture, models interacting with the artwork, etc.)