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a bit about submissions

if you've come to this page that means you came because you are interested in submitting to mad swirl. for that we thank-you. we are very pleased with the response we have received from our fellow mad ones to contribute their work to this collective community. this mad swirlin' creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible. just a few things before we lead you down to our submission guidelines...

mad swirl does not pay for submissions. as much as we'd love to showcase your work and be able to give you cash for your talents, efforts and time, we cannot. mad swirl is fueled by our love for the arts, our passion for publishing and our deep seeded need to spread the mad, mad word. we currently do not make a single cent on posting and promoting.

mad swirl does not retain rights. mad swirl is your platform and creative outlet only. this is the place to share your poetry, your paintings, your stories and/or your opinions. we will never request that we retain exclusive rights to your creations. they are yours to do with as you please, as it should be.

online submission: guidelines

gotta need to share? wanna catch the swirl of madness? well you came to the right place 'cos submissions are ALWAYS welcome for, which in turn, will also be considered for future print issues.

"who do you want to submit to"
"what format do you need my short story in?"
"should I send my 20MB photograph?"
"can I copy and paste my work into my e-mail?"

if you have any of these questions and want answers then you're in the right place!


we are calling any and all: poets, illustrators, writers, photographers, painters and psychos (preferably harmless ones) to send ALL original submissions to be considered for to

poetry/short stories/columns/classifieds submissions

• we prefer to receive poetry/prose in a microsoft word file, preferably saved as an "rtf", "txt" or "doc". if that's just not possible, please copy and paste your work in the body of your e-mail. this may go without saying, but please, please and please format your pieces the way you'd like them to be seen, and utilize sepll, um, spell check.

• please limit your poetry submissions to three (3) poems at one time.

• please limit your short story submission to (1) story at a time.

• please submit short stories that do not exceed one-thousand (1000) words. (excerpts from larger bodies of work, limited to 1000 words, are acceptable.)

we usually do not accept simultaneous submissions but exceptions may apply. convince us otherwise.

visual submissions

• for image files (illustrations, photography, paintings, cartoons, etc.) we prefer they be saved as "jpeg"s, preferably RGB and preferably no larger then 2MB each. exceptions may apply. again, this may go without saying, but please color correct and crop images as you would like them to be seen.

• please limit your visual submissions to a minimum of five (5) pieces but no more than ten (10) pieces at one time.

submission etiquette

if you have never submitted to an print or online zine before (or even if you have and wanna quick lesson in submission etiquette), there are a few considerations to keep in mind when you send off an e-mail to our editors. we made a checklist of what to include...

• write a subject line on your e-mail that tips us off to what you are sending, i.e. "Poems for consideration in Mad Swirl"

• provide a greeting. a "Hello" or "Dear Editor" works great.

• tells us who are you. example "I am John and/or Jane Poet". wow, that's so easy!

• your purpose for sending your e-mail to us. check this out..."I am sending you the attached (poems, short story, photos, illustrations, paintings) to be considered for your website/publication." if you really want to impress us, use the NAME of our website/publication "Mad Swirl and/or"

• a kind word to close. "Thank-you for your time and consideration." will suffice.

• a closing salutation with a name at the end. "Sincerely, John and/or Jane Artist".

contact us

chief editor



mad swirl staff

Johnny Olson
Johnny Olson
founder/chief editor

A bit about Johnny: In 1999, Johnny, with a couple of other mad cohorts, started Mad Swirl. This project has now evolved into a being all its' own. After wearing too many hats for too many years, he now only wears a few at Mad Swirl: chief editor, webmaster, and host at Mad Swirl's monthly Open Mic night.

MH Clay
MH Clay
poetry editor

A bit about MH: MH Clay is a poem writin', harp blowin', corporate beast dodgin', lover & husband & father & son, etc. Who can't help but write "out loud" the things he knows that many of us are thinking. It's a compulsion, a condition, a possession.

Tyler Malone
Tyler Malone
short story editor

A bit about Tyler: Tyler wouldn’t have lived past fetushood if it wasn’t for the caffeine his dear momma ingested. Bless her & the little palpitating heart she gave him. He loves to sneeze more than most people love to eat, & he has always idolized those who are famous but talentless as well as Tom Jones’ hairstylists.

madelyn Olson
Madelyn Olson
visual arts editor

A bit about Madelyn: Maddi daydreams about dreaming in technicolor.

Cheyenne Gallion
Cheyenne Gallion

A bit about Cheyenne: Chey lives in Austin. He has trouble remembering his dreams. He believes in everything.