Profane publishes poems, essays, and stories.

For guidelines, check out the individual categories below.

Please wait to receive a response about one submission before submitting again.

For questions, feel free to shoot us an email at profanejournal@gmail.com
Provide your mailing address, and select which issue(s) you want to buy.

Issues usually arrive within 1-2 weeks.
Ends on July 31, 2017$10.00
$10.00
The 2017 Profane Nonfiction Prize will be judged by Elena Passarello. 

The prize is $1,000, publication in our Winter 2017 issue, and a blurb from the contest judge. Finalists will be announced and considered for publication. We hope to name a winner in early October.

Elena Passarello is the author of Let Me Clear My Throat, a collection of essays on pop-culture voices, and Animals Strike Curious Poses, a bestiary of celebrity creatures. Her essays recently appeared in Oxford American, Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and Iowa Review, as well as the nonfiction anthologies After MontaigneI’ll Tell You Mine, and Cat is Art Spelled Wrong. She has received residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Willapa Bay Artist’s Colony and the Hambidge Center, as well as an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship and the 2015 Whiting Award in nonfiction. She teaches in the MFA program at Oregon State University.

Her new book Animals Strike Curious Poses is out now.

Contest Guidelines

  • You may submit up to 2 essays, so long as they don't exceed 7500 words cumulatively.
  • Please remove any identifying info from your Word document(s).
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • There are no refunds for withdrawals or edits.

Nonfiction Guidelines
We like essays that express what might normally be suppressed. Essays that ache, that gnaw at the gut, that make us laugh at the things we shouldn't. Essays that self-incriminate.

We also like essays that let us in on what's unfamiliar. Maybe that's an essay about the experience of being in a particular time and place. Maybe that's an essay about a particular culture or subculture. We love the feeling of walking away from an essay knowing something we didn't know before.

We don't like didactic essays. Essays that express certainty about the world tend to be a bit of a bore. We much prefer essays that take us to the uncertain places, that are skeptical and inquisitive of both the world and the self in turn, that brim with curiosity.

We like essays that look outward. Even in deeply personal essays, we're interested not just in an author's self-investigation, but in a sense of how we might carry the results of such an investigation out into the world. In other words, essays should be more than indulgences of narcissism.
Ends on July 31, 2017$10.00
$10.00
The 2017 Profane Fiction Prize will be judged by Devin Murphy.

The prize is $1,000, publication in our Winter 2017 issue, and a blurb from the contest judge. Finalists will be announced and considered for publication. We hope to name a winner in early October.

Devin Murphy’s debut novel, The Boat Runner, is due out with Harper Perennial in August. His short fiction appears in The Chicago TribuneGlimmer Train, and The Missouri ReviewThe Michigan Quarterly Review, and New Stories From the Midwest, as well as many others. He holds an MFA from Colorado State University, a PhD from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and is now an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Bradley University. He lives in Chicago with his wife and kids.

devinmurphyauthor.com | The Boat Runner

You can read Devin's short story "Sad for Who I Am" from our Winter 2014 issue here.

Contest Guidelines

  • You may submit up to 2 stories, so long as they don't exceed 7500 words cumulatively.
  • Please remove any identifying info from your Word document(s).
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • There are no refunds for withdrawals or edits.

Fiction Guidelines
Give us stories that are bold, that are daring, that mock and ridicule, that sneer, that disgust and appall and shock. Give us the riotous ones, the mad ones, the defiant ones. Give us the stories you're too scared to share with your peers, the ones so ugly you're sure no one would publish them.

We do consider stories of all kinds, so we encourage you to interpret this as broadly as you like.

In considering stories, we're very cognizant of that ubiquitous writing maxim: "Show, don't tell." Even in character driven stories, we believe characters are developed through action (or perhaps inaction). Give characters choices to make. Complicate those choices.

We also value a sense of time and especially place (even times and places that may be wholly satiric or speculative).
Ends on July 31, 2017$5.00
$5.00
We will respond to you within 7 days regarding your poetry, nonfiction, or fiction submission.

Profane is a passion project run out-of-pocket by its founders. Money we receive from "Quick Response" submissions helps towards our operational costs, and we greatly appreciate your support.

Because there is only one "Quick Response" category (as opposed to one for each of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction), please select your genre from the dropdown menu. Additionally, if you want to know what we're looking for in each of these genres, check out those specific categories elsewhere on our Submittable page.

We don't accept previously published material. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it's accepted elsewhere.
Ends on July 31, 2017
We tend to like poetry that's rooted in the world we actually live in. Poetry that combines and balances lyrical and narrative qualities are preferred, although we consider poetry of any style, form, and length. We are interested in poems that move us in a certain direction and linger within the reader’s mind. A true mark of a successful poem is one that demands to be read again and again. Challenge us to remember your poem.

You may submit up to 5 poems at a time.

We don't accept previously published material. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it's accepted elsewhere.
Ends on July 31, 2017
We like essays that express what might normally be suppressed. Essays that ache, that gnaw at the gut, that make us laugh at the things we shouldn't. Essays that self-incriminate.

We also like essays that let us in on what's unfamiliar. Maybe that's an essay about the experience of being in a particular time and place. Maybe that's an essay about a particular culture or subculture. We love the feeling of walking away from an essay knowing something we didn't know before.

We don't like didactic essays. Essays that express certainty about the world tend to be a bit of a bore. We much prefer essays that take us to the uncertain places, that are skeptical and inquisitive of both the world and the self in turn, that brim with curiosity.

We like essays that look outward. Even in deeply personal essays, we're interested not just in an author's self-investigation, but in a sense of how we might carry the results of such an investigation out into the world. In other words, essays should be more than indulgences of narcissism.

We accept essays of any length up to 7500 words.

We don't accept previously published material. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it's accepted elsewhere.
Ends on July 31, 2017
Give us stories that are bold, that are daring, that mock and ridicule, that sneer, that disgust and appall and shock. Give us the riotous ones, the mad ones, the defiant ones. Give us the stories you're too scared to share with your peers, the ones so ugly you're sure no one would publish them.

We do consider stories of all kinds, so we encourage you to interpret this as broadly as you like.

In considering stories, we're very cognizant of that ubiquitous writing maxim: "Show, don't tell." Even in character driven stories, we believe characters are developed through action (or perhaps inaction). Give characters choices to make. Complicate those choices.

We also value a sense of time and especially place (even times and places that may be wholly satiric or speculative).

We do publish flash fiction.

We accept stories of of any length up to 7500 words.

We don't accept previously published material. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you withdraw a piece from consideration promptly if it's accepted elsewhere.