If you have questions about the kind of work we accept please read over our Mission and About pages. We are interested in submissions where contributors do not to dull the edges of their art, because the violence of our time is not dull. We ask that artists not spare their readers, because life does not spare us. We assume creative acts as a responsibility to the community, to the powers of imagination, to memory, to story. To be more honest, we must be creatively ruthless.
We especially encourage submissions from marginalized voices, such as Queer, Trans* and Two Spirit writers as well as, Black, Indigenous, Writers of Color and those from the Global South. decomp is committed to centring your voices, please do not self-reject.
We invite submissions of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and art/media. All submissions should be sent in using our online submittable platform.
- For poetry: You can submit up to 3 poems at a time
- For Prose: 8,000 words maximum. If you write pieces that are under 1,000 words, feel free to submit two.
- Art/other media: We accept art across all mediums as long as they can be uploaded in JPG, mp3 or mp4 files
We publish three issues a year and submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis.
We only accept previously unpublished work and yes, we consider websites, blogs, youtube channels, etc., as previously published.
We readily encourage simultaneous submissions, all we ask is that you notify us when another market accepts your work. If another market accepts one or more of your submissions [congratulations], please write a note in Submittable instead of withdrawing the whole submission.
Submitters have the option of sending in a 3-4 line biography alongside their work. This is your chance to tell us a bit about yourself and your art. It is by no means a requirement. We ask for this because we want to give writers the ability to bring more of their full selves to the work that they publish. We are interested in you just as much as we are interested in your art. Feel free to include a link to your website and your email address, in the case that your work is accepted we will publish these as well unless you ask us not to.
We are a team made up of students and volunteers who try our best to respond to submissions sorta, kinda fast, while attempting not to fall into capitalism's constant demand for productivity, so give us around 90 days.
[Payment, Edits, and Legal Matters]
Unfortunately, we cannot offer payment for accepted work at this time even though we really wish we could pay you.
If your work is accepted, it may be subject to minor editing and copyrighted upon publication.
For accepted work to be published, writers agree to automatically grant decomp First North American Serial Rights which means we will have the right to publish your work first, as well as Archival Rights which allows us to keep your work archived online (for-ev-er). Rights revert back to the author upon publication. If a piece of yours is reprinted online or in print, we ask that you please mention it appeared in decomp first.
We won’t ever share or sell your personal information, and we leave it up to you how much or how little of yourself you want to share along with your work.
We are excited to read, admire, and become enamoured with your submissions. Remember, the creative tools handed down to us, the tools of resistance, have not been forgotten. They have only undergone decomposition.
decomp journal's Zine #4: Action as Art: an interactive zine
Curated by Emperatriz Ung and Chris Patterson (Kawika Guillermo)
What becomes activated when we use interactive media? What types of activity and activism are made possible by interactive art?
The term “interactive” suggests a feedback loop—a user acting upon a device, the device acting back. But what if we saw the “interaction” of digital media as the way that digital art can act upon the world around us, shaping our interactions with each other, setting the rules of our digitized lives, and helping us imagine our virtual selves? How can interactive stories, poems, artworks, and digital games, act upon us and through us? How can they compel us to take action for ourselves?
decomp journal is hoping to explore these questions through “Action as Art: Interactive Media and Social Justice,” a curated collection of interactive media in various forms (electronic literature, interactive fiction, as well as alt or indie games). We look to the “actions” that interactive media can make in understanding marginalization and structures of power within multiple spaces (across nations, communities, and genders/sexualities) and scales (from the deeply personal to the broadly political, social, and economic). We seek works that do not merely reflect or represent marginalization, but that use interactive artwork to express the experience of being marginalized, and the powerful structural processes that create and reinforce our marginalization.
We invite submissions that use digital forms of storytelling and art-creation to reveal new ways of understanding race, gender, sexuality, nation, and other matrixes of marginalization. We seek work that asks how interactive forms of digital media can enact systemic upheavals and decolonization—how we can better practice the actions, activities, and activisms of social justice.
Eligible Works Must Be made specifically for the zine, or otherwise published in 2020 or 2021.
Instructions for how to submit
If you are sending us unpublished work:
Send us your unpublished work playable in a web browser, hosted on a platform such as itch.io that is Unlisted or on the Restricted Visibility & Access setting, with the password to view the page, as well as any other additional instructions for accessing the work. Please provide 3 Download Keys if the work must be downloaded.
If you are sending us work already published, within the past year (since Oct 2020):
Send us the webpage where it is hosted and playable, as well as any additional instructions for accessing the work.
Technical guidelines for all submissions
Your work should be interactive in some way (not just a video or text document). We have a preference for works that are playable on web browsers, as well as a preference for work playable on itch.io. Otherwise, work should run on Windows (without the need to install other programs). For this zine, we are not looking for physical games or games that require other software to run (such as emulators, Super Mario Maker levels, or Dreams PS4 games).
Works must follow the mission of this call and the mission of decomp journal. As this is a curated e-zine, not all submissions will be featured.
The author (you) would retain all rights, and decomp journal would hold no ownership to any of the work that appears in this zine. If accepted, we plan to publicize your work as part of our zine on our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and encourage that you note your work’s inclusion in this zine.
Resources to make interactive art
Twine: an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.
Ren‘Py: a visual game engine
Flatgame Maker by Dreamfeel
Examples of Interactive Artwork for Inspiration
Half by Emma Kidwell
hilos de una historia by Emperatriz Ung
Yellowface by Mike Yi Ren
Secrets Agent by Marina Kittaka
Hair Nah by MomoPixel
SweetXheart by Catt Small
Coming Out Simulator by Nicky Case
Tamales Con Familia by Sam Ortiz, Caio M. Jiacomini, Oriana Carletto, Gem, Jamie Camera, Cam Perry
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
> 8,000 words maximum, though shorter tends to catch our eye.
> If you write pieces that are under 1,000 words, feel free to submit two.
> Do not submit previously published work (yes, we consider Web sites, blogs, etc. as previously published).
>Send us creative non-fiction, memoir, auto-theory, essays, and whatever you feel constitutes "the real."
>8,000 words max, but we prefer shorter pieces.
>previously unpublished work only.
> Upload up to three poems at a time in a single file.
> Do not submit previously published work (yes, we consider websites, blogs, etc. as previously published).
Upload digital artworks here of your preferred medium, and we will do our best to open it with the tools at our disposal. We are open to various digital forms and genres (comics, video, images, interactive media, combinations of these with fiction/poetry), but it also doesn't hurt to ask.