Submitting work to Karawane:

The Big Picture

Karawane is seeking performance texts for two issues in 2017:  One featuring Quad City writers and performers and the other from people all over the world.   Here are our guidelines:


For the Quad City edition, our submission period will be September 1 - December 31.

For the national/international issue, the reading period will be March 1 - May 30th.

What we are looking for

Karawane is a magaine devoted to experimental or avant-garde writers who perform their work.  You must meet both criteria in order to submit.

What constitutes a performance text?  You tell us.  When you submit, if it's not completely obvious how your work is a performance text, tell us.

We think performance texts may include but are not limited to:

Fiction/Creative Non-fiction
Performance art scripts
Performance descriptions
Production journals
Performance manifestos
Post-performance reflections
Short plays
Speeches and Orations

Please note that our bent is still experimental.  We have always said for example, that we are spoken word more in the sense of Cabaret Voltaire than a poetry slam.  You can submit slam poetry, but it needs to stand out head and shoulders above all other slam poetry.    (See the box nest to this one!)

Ditto with short fiction. There are oooooodles of places that publish narrative work like short stories & creative nonfiction. So even if you do perform your stories or are a storyteller, we're still looking for work that pushes the boundaries of the form.  Read what's been published in previous issues to get an idea of what goes over well with us.  

And in both cases, tell us where you perform (ir)regularly and how these pieces fit with Karawane's mission.

For that matter, we're not apt to publish a neat, tidy 5-act play either.  We're going to be looking for experimental forms of theatre.  That doesn't mean we won't take play texts.  But if you're submitting your plays to, say the Guthrie Theatre, we're probably not the place for you.  

What is a Performance Text?

Along with the work in the reborn Karawane, we are looking for some reflections from you on what exactly is (or is not) a performance text.  How do you work with text, how do you define your text, or anyone else's as a performance text, etc.  We always welcome short essays of one paragraph, one sentence, all the way up to two pages DS.  You can submit this with other work, or as your entire submission.
But dear editor, you protest,

I perform my work but I don't do experimental work--at least I don't think I do. I write traditional (poetry, fiction, narratives, plays, etc.) to which Fluffy says "play with form. That's what experimental art does. It plays with form." Take a story you have already written and mess it up. Mess around with the form of the story, break it into sections, change the order of the paragraphs, write some of it in epistolary form and some of it as a poem and some of it as a short story. Create something unreadable and then go and read it in public and prove that anything can be readable. Break your poetry up into syllables. Scramble the syllables. Follow Bernadette Mayer and Charles Bernstein's experiments list to create something new. Read Kenneth Goldsmith's Uncreative Writing to write something uncreative that will actually be fantastically creative.

Come up with your own form of poetry. Name it. Give it a random name. If you write in first person, change it to third person. Try to think of what 5th person would be like and write it from that perspective. Throw dice, throw the I-ching, go through random books pulling out random lines and put them together. Throw tarot cards, playing cards. 
Assign words or phrases to them.

Have fun and have your inner child meet your inner critic and then draw doodles for one another.
Essentially, blow my mind. That is what I am always looking for. To have the top of my consciousness blown away.

Even if the work is undone,needs work, if it is unique and I feel that I haven't read the form a million times before, that it is something that I haven't seen before at all, it will probably get published.
Follow us on Facebook to get the latest guidelines, news, etc.
The nuts and bolts:  Previously Published Work

Previously published work is fine as long as you have retained or secured the reprint rights to your work.  Please indicate when and where the piece was originally published.

The nuts and bolts:  Simultaneous Submissions

There is no prohibition with us against simultaneous submissions. This journal is published irregularly at the moment and you are not expected to wait around.  But do so judiciously.  Don't bulk mail submissions to us or anyone else.  It's offputting and we catch on.  And let us know ASAP if you get published elsewhere.  It's not necessarily a dealbreaker for us, but will require some negotiation.

The nuts and bolts:  Formatting & Sending

Submit your work in a Microsoft Word document, formatted the way you want it on the page.  Make sure that your name and email address are on every page of the manuscript.  Shit happens, ok?  

Odds are slim of getting something published over 10 pages.  So if you have a longer work, send an excerpt of no more than 10 pages, double spaced, 11-12 point Times New Roman or 10 point Arial.  If you think the work is worth being serialized, indicate that and we will let you know if we want to see more.

Send your work to:

Cover letters are nice, or a chatty little note inside your email.  Knowing a few places where you've been published before is nice, but credits won't get you published.  They're just interesting for us to know.  A little bit on the philosophy of your work is good to know, and a little bio--a couple of sentences or so.  Also indicate if you would like your email address published/linked to your work to receive comments.

The nuts and bolts:  Reading Fee (or not)

We would appreciate a reading fee of $1 - $5, payable through PayPal.  However, this is not required.  We have a grant that requires us to provide matching funds, but at Karawane we also don't believe that you should have to pay someone to read your work.  If you have something you can spare, please send it along.  Otherwise, don't sweat it!