We publish: two issues of Passager Journal each year; books of poetry, short stories, and memoir; a biennial book prize for a new poet over 70; and the Pandemic Diaries.
Please see our guidelines for each series below.
We are very excited to announce that Christine Lincoln, Passager’s friend, writer, teacher, artist, community leader and activist, will be guest editing the upcoming Open Issue. The theme is Ancestral or Generational Trauma. See submission guidelines below.
Whether it’s personal, family, or cultural and social trauma, my vision is to craft a singular story as told through a multi-verse of voices and points of view. Bearing witness that we are not alone.
Christine Lincoln is an internationally award-winning author and motivational speaker. Her stories have appeared in many literary journals such as Pleiades Magazine and the Paris Review. They have been read and performed by Don Cheadle, Gary Dourdan, and Lizan Mitchell.
Lincoln is Poet Laureate Emeritus of York, PA. As Laureate, she created a writing group at a local domestic violence safehouse where she helped survivors of trauma and abuse explore poetry as a means to healing.
Christine has traveled throughout the U.S. and the world, including South Africa where she was the first author to represent the United States in South Africa’s annual Year of the Writer Celebration. She has appeared on NPR, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been featured as a “Phenomenal Woman” in O: The Oprah Magazine.
Lincoln’s life motto is this: you only have this one wild beautiful life, so live it like you mean it.
Lincoln sees herself as an artist activist who uses every talent and gift like a superhero, like Princess Diana of Themyscira. But, instead of using a magic lasso and invisible plane Lincoln uses words to save herself and hopefully the world.
Joining Christine on this special themed issue will be Ladi Glori, Breasia Boyd and Shira Segal. For more about these three women, visit our Staff Directory.
Passager Open Issue Submission Guidelines
Submission period: July 15 – September 15
Guest Editor: Christine Lincoln
Next Issue Theme: Ancestral or Generational Trauma
Accepted genres: poetry, memoir, short fiction
Up to 5 poems, 40-line max ea. OR 4,000 words of prose
No reading fee
Now accepting submissions
About the theme: Ancestral or Generational Trauma
We hear the words ancestral trauma and we might immediately think of childhood sexual or physical abuse, or the dissolution of our parents’ marriage, or the discovery some awful family secret. Secrets and generational trauma often go hand in hand.
But there are other less obvious ways we can and, most likely, have experienced ancestral trauma. Generational trauma can be something as seemingly insignificant as being raised to fear people who live in the inner city, or something as quietly insidious as growing up poor, or it could be something as prevalent as bearing witness in a family that did not treat its women with the highest regard.
The truth is only you, the writer, the artist, can decide the kinds of trauma that have been passed down as easily as mother’s milk, the limiting beliefs and damaging ideas handed down as succinctly as family myths and bedtime stories—the legacy of pain that has been perpetuated by our ancestors, because they could not do any better, but also the generational trauma we have inadvertently continued, because of our inability—until now—to look straight into the shadows where these things hide, to heal, and transcend, create a new legacy.
Writers must be age 50 or older at the time of publication to submit.
You can send paper submissions by postal mail or submit online via Submittable.
7401 Park Heights Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21208
Include a cover letter and brief bio.
Include your name and contact information on each page (even when submitting online).
There is no reading fee for the Open Issue.
No previously published work will be considered.
Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere!
No email entries accepted.
Unfortunately, we are unable to return submitted work to you.
Work received outside of the submission period will not be considered.
Passager has always been about welcoming new voices and giving readers a broad range of the best work by older writers. We wish we could afford to print all the poems and prose we love. Since we can’t, we often (reluctantly!) must make hard choices.
So, if you have had work in a recent issue of Passager, please read on.
When submitting to the Open Issue, please wait 2 issue cycles (a year and a half) before submitting again. For example, if you were published in the most recent Open Issue or Poetry Contest issue, you would not submit to the next Open Issue. We’ll be happy to see your work again the year after that.
Have a question that wasn’t covered here? Please check our FAQs page.
Passager Books Guidelines
Our next reading period for book manuscripts is during the month of February 2023. (Note: unfortunately, we won’t be reading unsolicited manuscripts in 2022.)
Passager only considers manuscripts from authors whose work has appeared in Passager Journal. If you have not yet been published in the journal, please see the guidelines for journal submission. We have two reading periods a year.
Congratulations to Mark Elber,
The 2022 Henry Morgenthau lll First Book Poetry Prize Winner!
Read from Elber’s winning manuscript Headstone and celebrate our honorable mentions, here.
The Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize is awarded biennially to a poet 70 or older. Read more about Henry Morgenthau III and his legacy.
Reading Period Closed
All correspondence concerning the contest should be addressed to Passager, 7401 Park Heights Ave. Baltimore, MD 21208. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pandemic Diaries Guidelines
For our online feature “Pandemic Diaries,” we invite observations, impressions, feelings, conversations, encounters with people and places, drawings, and artwork related to or responding to the ongoing Pandemic. Whatever your situation, if you are at home or working, volunteering, taking care of children and parents, please share with us an entry from your journal. No poems or essays, please, and only submit entries from August 2021 forward. Writers must be age 50 or older to submit.
We are also collecting entries describing a piece of art, music or literature that moves you these days. And tell us why.
Total Word Limit: 250 words
Total Artwork Limit: 2 images
Please include: the date of the entry, your state/country.
We will periodically post some entries in whole or part on our website. If yours is selected, we will contact you.