For more detailed info,
  read the editor interview  
6/16 at Focus on Fiction.

Down in the Dirt
(revealing all your dirty little secrets)

Scars Publications,


    E-mail Down in the Dirt magazine with submissions of short stories, poetry, essays and art work. When sending submissions to us, send them either (1) in the body of the email (though bolds and italics and special characters may be lost in the body of the email sometimes), or (2) as an attached “.txt” file, “.rtf” file, or as a Microsoft Word file (we accept both .docx and .doc files, but we have to transfer all .doc files to .docx format, so we would perfer a .docx file to a .doc file). (Also, we will not consider PDF file submissions, and we will not consider web page links as submissions — if all you can bother to send is only a web page link and not the actual writing, that shows us how little regard you have to submitting writing for consideration to our magazine.) You can send it both ways (in the body and as an attachment) if you want to be extra-sure we can read it, but these are the ways we can receive submissions successfully. 99.9% of the material we currently accept comes to us in electronic form only (so we recommend you e-mail submissions to us, either as an attachment or by placing it directly in the letter). For samples of what we’ve printed in the past, visit our website:

    Remember these basics:
    Do NOT all-cap titles.
    No NOT enter two returns after every paragraph in prose.
    Do not center poetry.
(And because we import Word files into our layout program before looking at them, we cannot use embedded images and we do not use colors in text, so don’t do it).
    Do not give us writing with assorted random indentations or type in varying sizes
(they are too difficult to replicate on the web, so please refrain from using them).

    Authors are not paid for work. Currently accepted writings get their own web page at, and samples of accepted writings are placed into a semi-regular collection book Scars Publications produces. If you submit a large body of work, we may also choose to publish parts of all of the large submission as an online chapbook (a PDF file), that anyone can download (visible in the "chapbooks" section of

    We have no specific preferences, but we appreciate work that is related to issues such as politics, sexism, society, and the like, but are definitely not limited to such. We publish good work that makes you think, that makes you feel like you’ve lived through a scene instead of merely reading it. If we had to use two words to describe what we want, they would have to be intelligent and powerful. Keep that in mind.


    We accept work of almost any genre, but we will not consider rhyme, because it seems to us that all rhyme is for rhyme’s sake (we don’t care why you rhyme, we just don’t want it in Down in the Dirt), and we’re definitely not keen on religion poems (we were originally a section of cc&d magazine, whose byline says it’s an UN-religious magazine). We are also not keen (meaning, it’s best not to send it to us for consideration) poems with repeated or intricate indentations. If the poem cannot read well without the mass special indentations, then it’s probably not a good enough poem for publication at Scars. We do accept longer works, any length is okay. Simultaneous submissions and previously published work is fine. The rights to all pieces we accept for publication are yours, and will always be yours.
    If you have artwork you wish to include with your writing, do NOT place images inside a Microsoft Word file (we cannot use them inside a Word file), but send us the high-resolution image, in case we accept your submission.


    Because we get a LOT of prose (and do not have the time to read epic stories), please limit submissions to flash fiction, micro prose or prose poems (max size ~1,600 words). Send one story at a time (unless it is single paragraph pieces, like prose poems). What should the prose/fiction/essay be about?, you ask... Well, it really is open, but if it relates to how the world fits into a person’s life (political story, a day in the life, coping with issues that people face), it will probably win us over faster. Please tell the story like it actually happened — what makes a story believable is the detail given in it that pulls the reader in. Make our reader see the scene, smell the food, feel the wind on their face. They’ll remember the story more when they read something and they feel like they lived the story instead of merely reading it. They can take something from it — and when they do you know you’ve done something right.
    If you have artwork you wish to include with your writing, do NOT place images inside a Microsoft Word file (we cannot use them inside a Word file), but send us the high-resolution image, in case we accept your submission.

Art Work

    Do not send originals (this should not be a problem when e-mailing submissions to us). We don’t go for humorous illustrations or comics... Photography and drawings are usually your best bet, ones easily reproduced by photocopiers. But we have to admit, we have seen some really cool art work generated from computers, so the field is yours to explore. We’d love to see your work. Artwork can go into an art page on our web site, if you are interested in getting your art work on to the Internet. If you send us cool art we run on line, we may ask for it at a higher resolution for printing in a book. We’d let you know if this were the case.

Everyone: Read This Submission Advice
    As a rule, we are not accepting much in the way of snail-mail submissions. You can e-mail Down in the Dirt magazine; it’s a lot faster, you don’t need a SASE, so it is more economical.

Boring, Stupid Crap:

Part 1: details about contributor copies

     All magazines published from Scars Publications are released on the web — and pre 2010 issues were released as a free downloadable PDF file (e-book, or e-issue), as well as on a web page. In this way people can enjoy the magazine on the Internet for free.
    Down in the Dirt magazine originally started as an ezine only, but became available as a print issue to people interested in owning a print copy of this electronic magazine (four years after the magazine started). Down in the Dirt magazine has made every effort to continue to have issues available for free online. Print issues are offered to people who are interested in keeping a hard copy for their own records, but since over the years Down in the Dirt magazine has always been available primarily as an e-zine for free on the web, free print copies are not given away.
     Because all magazines published from Scars Publications are released on the web (with older isses even available as a free downloadable PDF file, as well as on a web page), it is always been the policy of Scars Publications to not give away free print issues.

Part 2: the really technical details:

    We don’t go for racist, sexist (therefore we’re not into pornography either), or homophobic stuff. And about copyrights — the work is yours, and we don’t want to ever claim it for ourselves. Simultaneous submissions are cool, previously published or concurrently published works are cool, and the work is always yours. You’re only giving us the right to publish it.
    We may want to run your work again in a collection volume in the future, but that only means you’re published again, the collection books/calendars/whatnot will be posted on our web site as well, and you can still do whatever you want with your work. You always retain the rights to your work; by submitting your material to us you are giving us permission to show off your work (on the web or in print issues or collection books), but you can do whatever you like with your won work. Someone else wants to publish your material after we accepted it? No problem. (Bigger bargain for us if they credit first publication rights to Down in the Dirt, and thanks.) Someone else published your material first and you want to submit it to us? Fine. (We’s laid back that way.) If you are accepted and you later ask us to pull your work from the Internet or a print issue, consider it done. Your work is yours, and we want to respect you and your writing and art work. (The only thing we won’t do is accept material that has already been published in the other Scars magazine, since both acceptances appear togther in the writings section of

    If you need anything else, please feel free to contact Down in the Dirt magazine - and thanks.