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Cherry Tree welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. We read manuscripts between August 1 and October 1, submitted electronically via Submittable. We only consider original, unpublished work. For accepted work, we purchase First North American serial rights. Payment is $20 per contributor and two contributors’ copies.

All work submitted to our poetry, fiction, or nonfiction categories will be considered for inclusion in the Literary Shade feature section of our upcoming print issue. If you’re not yet familiar with our Literary Shade feature, which we debuted in Issue 3, here’s a brief description of what we’re keeping a lookout for:

In the great tradition of Jennie Livingston’s documentary, Paris is Burning, we are looking for impeccably-crafted shade. But not just ordinary shade: we’re especially interested in poems, short stories, or essays that throw shade at the institutions that have whitewashed our literature and history, be they laws or events or texts authored by dead old cisgender white supremacist misogynistic homophobes. We believe that shade—subversive wit, withering critique—can empower. And we want to read the shadiest shade around.

Cherry Tree is listed on Duotrope and NewPages.

What We’re Looking For

Cherry Tree's aesthetic champions image-rich, sonically adventurous poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction which showcase whimsy and wit alongside risk and urgency. In 2016, we introduced "Literary Shade," a section featuring work that responds to and challenges oppressive social structures. Our name recalls the apocryphal story of George Washington’s ax, and we encourage writers to craft new and inventive ways to critique, to re-imagine, and to chop away at literary traditions. We endeavor to serve as both a site of coalescence and protest and a vibrant archive of human thought and feeling.


Please review our guidelines below before submitting online. We are open for submissions from August 1 to October 1. We regret that we cannot respond to submissions received outside of our reading period window

Submission Guidelines
Cherry Tree welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and literary shade. We will read submissions for Issue 9 from August 1 to October 1. Cherry Tree only considers original, unpublished work. For accepted work, we purchase First North American serial rights. Payment is $20 per contributor and two contributor's copies.

The $3 reading fee helps us to pay contributors and defray publication costs. 10% of these fees will be donated to Minary's Dream Alliance
, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which transforms the lives of youth, families, and communities and which has particularly strong programs in youth mentorship. The editors will personally match the donation (up to $500).

Submissions are only accepted via Submittable (except for currently incarcerated writers). Please familiarize yourself with our mission statement and guidelines before submitting.

  • Please send no more than 5 poems, 5 flash prose pieces, or 20 total pages of prose uploaded as a single file.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine. If any of the submission is accepted elsewhere, please notify us by adding a note to your submission in Submittable. We will happily consider the remaining work in your original submission.
  • Use the comments section to enter a cover letter, then click submit. Please include contact information, including a phone number.
  • Cherry Tree does not allow any revisions to submissions during the reading period. Rest assured that typos and other minor mistakes will not deter us from accepting otherwise outstanding work. If your work is accepted, you will be allowed to make necessary corrections prior to publication. 
  • You are able to withdraw a part of your submission (a poem or flash piece, for instance) by making a note in Submittable. If you want to withdraw an entire piece, you are welcome to submit again in that genre, though each submission will incur a separate reading fee.
  • We welcome work in translation that has not yet been published in English. It is the translator’s responsibility to secure all necessary permissions before submitting.
  • If your work has been published in a previous issue of Cherry Tree, please wait 2 years before submitting again. For example, if you were published in Issue 8, please wait to submit again until we are reading work for Issue 10.
  • Further queries may be directed to managing editor Amber Taliancich ([email protected]). All submissions will receive a response by the end of November.
  • Writers currently incarcerated may send paper submissions to: James Allen Hall c/o Rose O'Neill Literary House, 300 Washington Ave., Chestertown, MD 21620 or via email to [email protected].
  • Current Washington College students and those who have graduated in the past 4 years are not eligible to submit to Cherry Tree.
Subscriptions are $15 for 1 issue (1 year) and $26 (2 years). Back issues are available for $10 each, or $25 for a bundle of 3. Cherry Tree can be purchased at our online store, where we also have letterpress broadsides, chapbooks, and swag items available for purchase.