No question is too small.

Below are some questions we get asked most frequently.

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Reach out to us and we’ll get back to you within a week.

General

According to myth, the seventh wave is the tallest in a set of waves. That is to say, the one that makes the biggest impact. Our organization hopes to pull in voices and perspectives that will, collectively, crash loudly onto the shore. Some say waves travel in groups of 12 to 16, which is the number of pieces we publish together. We want to expose the forces underneath the surface of the social issues we examine. We want to challenge how and what people interact with, and that means starting somewhere scary and groundless, like the ocean. Water and waves are also perfect metaphors for us, as the way in which we curate our issues — and our calls for submissions — are not too dissimilar from how waves form: from storms. We are always, and forever, responding to our climate and the times. The Seventh Wave is a record of the storms we have witnessed in the world since 2015. 

A literary magazine is, quite simply, a magazine that publishes literary writing, which differentiates it from news and lifestyle magazines, blogs and otherwise. Literary writing includes traditional forms, like short stories, essays, and poems, but we also publish hybrid, experimental, and non-traditional forms, like prose-poetry, lyric and braided essays, flash fiction, graphic comics, and excerpts from plays. We regard writing as an art form, rather than strictly a vehicle for information. You can see more about the type of work we publish below. 

Our annual literary magazine is digital. We are not/do not have a print magazine, so you will only find our issues online. However, we do print limited run literary and art objects, like our print anthology, “We Keep Beginning: an anthology on process,” which features mini-essays on process from 28 of our past contributors. We also occasionally print other one-time objects, like zines or artist series postcards, all of which you can find over at our online store.

75% of our published voices come from marginalized communities, and 70% of our staff are from marginalized communities. We are a BIPOC- and queer-led organization.

We are a 501(c)3 literary arts nonprofit organization. 

We are Brooklyn-born with current operations based just outside of Seattle, WA. We have in-person residency programs in Rhinebeck, NY, and on Bainbridge Island, WA, and our staff of 15 is scattered across the country (and globe). 

You can donate once or at a recurring level. Every dollar goes toward funding the arts, and every donation is tax-deductible. We have been buoyed by the generosity of and the belief from our community in our mission and purpose. From $7 to $1,000, it all helps us to keep beginning. But money isn’t the only way to support us. You can also sign up for our newsletter or tell your friends to; you can tell you writer and artist friends about us and encourage them to submit to our magazine or apply to our digital residency program; you can buy a copy of our anthology (or anything else from our store); you can share our published work on social media with your communities; or, you can send us an email and encourage us to keep doing the work.

Submissions / Publication

Over the years, we’ve worked with writing that spans a wide gamut of genres, from short stories to personal essays, single poems to hybrid pieces that suture together visual art and text. We’ve published excerpts from plays, parts of academic dissertations, and photo essays. As a social issues-based organization, our magazine naturally features work that has something to say about the world around us, and our roles within it; our contributors have shared work that touches upon topics such as climate change, racial inequities, intergenerational trauma, reclaiming agency, and trans joy. We welcome work that can only be told by that particular writer or artist, in that particular piece; that is voice-driven and thought-provoking and engaging. In short, we publish writing that leaps off the page and makes you think differently. You can take a look at our past issues here, as well as our submission guidelines here. We welcome and publish work from all disciplines and practices. If we can find a way to publish a piece of work, we will. The only thing we do not publish is a full manuscript. We do, however, publish excerpts, chapters, and parts of longer-length works and manuscripts.

Currently, for our annual literary magazine, we publish one issue per year with 32 writers/artists in each. Since 2015, we have published 16 issues and over 250+ writers/artists from around the world. Starting in 2023, we will also be publishing four community anthologies per year, each curated by an editor-in-chief, which allows us to publish an additional 28 writers/artists per year, for a total of 60 voices each year.

When people ask us if they should submit, or what type of work we accept, our answer is always the same: if our call interests you, then you interest us. Meaning, if something from our call for submissions speaks to you and the work you are doing in the world, then we would like to see your work. We look for work specifically tied, in some way, shape, or form, to our call for submissions. 

Our only barrier to entry is one of effort. (Though we do currently charge a $7 submission fee to honor the time and effort it takes for our largely volunteer editorial staff to read through hundreds of submissions, we are always happy to waive the fee if this poses a financial barrier.) In addition to a formal bio and the piece you are submitting for consideration, we require all submissions to include a 500-word cover letter that answers four questions. To us, it matters who is behind the page just as much as what is on the page, so the cover letter gives us a chance to get to know you, the context from which you’re creating, and why our call spoke to you. Our editorial process is intimate: collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. 

In addition to the term itself being problematic, we believe reading submissions anonymously reinforces the very gatekeeping practices that it was meant to dismantle. You can read more about this from our executive director, who wrote about this for Poets & Writers, in her article, “The Politics of Gatekeeping: On Reconsidering the Ethics of Blind Submissions.”

Yes, we have paid every contributor we have ever published. Our payments, historically speaking, have ranged from $50-$250, depending on whether it was a single poem, longer-length work, or featured artwork for an issue.  

Residencies

There are many kinds of artist and writing residencies and retreats, as well as words that people use to describe them. It can get confusing: residencies, retreats, fellowships, etc. The main commonality across most residencies is that they provide some amount of uninterrupted time for a writer or artist to work on a piece or project. Some are catered more toward solitude — where a writer might have their own studio to work in — whereas others may involve more social times and collaborative spaces. Some may include built-in mentorship, where you meet with an established author to talk about your work, whereas others are simply meant for you to get as much creating done as you know you need. We call TSW’s in-person residencies “quiet collaborations,” as there are no studios, just shared spaces. Conversation and exchange are key to our experiences. Currently, our in-person residencies are reserved for TSW alum, meaning only folks we have to published or worked with in some capacity are eligible to apply.
Yes. Once you get published in our magazine or partake in our digital residency program, you are eligible to apply for our in-person residencies. Our residencies are for you to work on your work. We do not publish work from our in-person residencies.

No. Only past contributors, staff, and past digital residents can apply to our in-person residency programs. Once you publish with us, work with us, or go through our digital residency program, you become eligible to apply for our free, in-person programs.

There is no application fee and, if accepted, no cost to attend our in-person residencies. The only cost is in securing your transportation to and from the residency, which could include flights, taxis and trains, rental cars or ferries, depending on where you’re coming from. We also ask that each resident cooks a meal or provides a side dish for everyone (details depend upon which residency you are attending), and you are responsible for paying for those groceries. See more on our residencies page.

Yes. If you are published in a community anthology, you are then eligible to apply for one of our three in-person residencies. Once published in an anthology, we consider you to be a “TSW Contributor.”

Anthologies

There are many differences between our annual literary magazine and our Community Anthologies program. For example:

  • Contributors. Our magazine publishes 16-32 people per issue, whereas each anthology publishes seven;
  • Issue vs. Topic. Each magazine issue is tied to a single social issue, like Dangerous Bodies or Rebellious Joy, whereas our anthologies are tied to a single topic, like On Work or On Permanence;
  • Calls. The calls for submissions for our magazine are three-paragraph prompts, which are curated over the course of two months with nine individuals, whereas our anthology calls are 1-paragraph prompts curated over the course of one month between four individuals (though each EIC is responsible for their own call);
  • Editorial experience. Each magazine contributor works closely with two of our TSW editors over the course of four months, whereas anthology contributors work directly with the EIC for that anthology — who is not a part of our TSW editorial team — for two months;
  • Duration. Our magazine issues are always open to the public for at least two months, whereas our anthologies are only open for three weeks, and depending on the anthology, may only be open to specific demographics (queer BIPOC artists, for ex.).

You may have noticed the difference is that of scale, intentionally so. We built our community anthologies to be mini, special issues. We wanted to take everything we have done over the past seven years of building a literary publication — our annual editorial calendar, signature editorial process, and so on — and package that into a resource that we can give to those who want to be editors, or in this case, Editors-in-Chief, and curate their own issue. By doing so, The Seventh Wave, as an arts organization, is able to publish almost twice as many people per year: 32 individuals in our annual literary magazine and 28 individuals in our four community anthologies.

While our magazine is a publication, we view our community anthologies as a program: a cohort-based storytelling platform. Below are some details on how the program works:

  • Frequency. We will be publishing four community anthologies per year. The anthologies will publish at the end of the year, around the same time. Each anthology will showcase the work of 6-8 writers/artists.
  • Process Timeline. Applications for EICs will open in March of the same year. TSW will select four EICs by the end of April, and the EICs will meet monthly, working in a cohort together with TSW, as they develop their call and work toward publication. The EICs will select their contributors — either via invite-only or an open call on TSW’s Submittable page — by the end of July, and will then work with their seven contributors over the course of two months. The issues will publish collectively in November-December of the same year.
  • Anthology Topic. Each community anthology will follow the title convention of, “On ____.” For example, “On Work.” Each EIC will also develop a one- paragraph call that provides context for the topic. Each EIC will also write an “Editor’s Note” to introduce the issue when it is published. Visit any of our Community Anthologies to see examples of these items.
  • Stipends & Budget. EICs receive $1,000 to curate their issue, and contributors receive $100 for publication. Each EIC also has a $250 stipend they can offer to a featured artist to help curate featured imagery for their anthology. Alternatively, the EIC could curate their own artwork, and keep that stipend for themselves, thus bringing their stipend to $1,250. The total budget, then, for one community anthology is therefore $1,850-2,050 ($1,000 for EIC, $100 x 6-8 for contributors, and $250 foe featured artist/EIC). EICs are welcome to raise additional funds for their issue to host events, etc., and if support is needed, TSW will act as a fiscal sponsor (we do charge a 10% fee on all funds raised).
  • TSW Resources. TSW Director of Programs Bretty Rawson will oversee the program and work directly with the EICs from selection to curation to publication. EICs will get hands-on experience working in TSW’s editorial system, which includes using Trello, Slack, and Google Drive. TSW will also support the publication of each issue, helping EICs with design and social media awareness campaigns.

Publication experience is required. Meaning, you either need to have a) published your own work before (in a print or digital magazine, publication, anthology, or outlet, etc), and/or b) published someone else’s work before (i.e., been an editor before). This is our only requirement for this program: that you have gone through some kind of editorial or publication process yourself. If you have any questions about this or your eligibility, reach out to submit@seventhwavemag.com.

Are you a writer who wants to be an editor? Are you an editor who wants to be an EIC or curate your own issue? Are you a creator who has been wanting to build community in the digital space, but might not have the resources to do so (like budget, non-profit status, or otherwise)? If so, we got you. We’ve taken what we learned over the past seven years, from tools, tips, and tricks, and have created a way for artists and writers to produce an anthology of voice on our website.

  • Applications. Applications to be an EIC will open in March of each year. Applicants will be required to submit a cover letter, bio, and any relevant materials (this could be an EIC’s own published work or work they curated in the world). Publication is required — meaning, you have had to publish work somewhere — as it important to have gone through an editorial process yourself prior to guiding others through one. You also need to have some form of editorial background and/or experience.
  • Your Topic: Applicants do not need to know what their exact topic will be at the time of application (in your first month as a cohort, you will develop and finalize your topic/call). However, you do need to include in your application the call that you are currently thinking to curate. It is important for us to know what you hope to achieve with and through this process. We want to know what it is you want to bring to this process, and why this program can help you get there. We encourage you to follow our naming convention of “On ___,” in letting us know what topic you are thinking to curate.
  • Stipend. As mentioned, the stipend to the EIC is $1,000. We landed on this stipend because we pay our editors $100-150 per piece they edit, and with you editing 6-8 pieces, that is right around $1,000.
  • Co-EICs. We do welcome and allow two EICs to curate an anthology together. Please note that the $1,000 stipend would then be split between both EICs, with each co-EIC receiving $500. You will note in your application whether you are curating or co-curating your anthology. You will also submit one application for the two of you and assign a primary point of contact.
  • Monthly Meetings. Our goal is to make sure you have what you need to get curating. The only requirement for this process — in addition to publishing your anthology — are monthly meetings with TSW and your cohort of EICs. Those meetings will take place on the first week of each month. You are required to attend all meetings. Please note that this is a crucial part of the process. If you cannot commit to this, please consider not applying. We will decide the re-occurring day/time once all 4 EICs have been selected.
  • Solicitation vs. Open Call. Each EIC has the option to invite/solicit seven writers/artists for their anthology, or, do an open call for submissions via TSW’s Submittable portal. You can see more in the next drop down as to why we have these two routes.
  • TSW Resources. You’ll get the chance to use TSW’s platforms, like Trello, Zoom, Google Drive, providing you with hands-on professional experience. You’ll also have the chance to work with TSW in designing your social graphics for your anthology.

As mentioned above, while our annual literary magazine is always open to the public and writers and artists of every kind, our community anthologies are a little bit different. Please read the below thoroughly:

  • Submissions. Submissions to our community anthologies open in June of each year on our TSW Submittable portal. Each community anthology will specify its requirements, but you can expect that you will need to submit a piece for that topic/call, as well as a brief bio and possibly a cover letter. You will hear by middle of July as to whether 0r not you are accepted.
  • $7 Fee. As with all of our calls for submissions, there is a $7 fee for submitting to a community anthology, unless specifically stated otherwise, which goes toward the hours of work it takes each EIC to read, select, and respond to all those who submit. You can waive the fee by simply emailing your submissions — no questions asked — to submit@seventhwavemag.com, but please include all required information. In the subject line of your email, you must indicate which community anthology you are submitting to. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted and will be declined without feedback.
  • Invite Only/Solicitation vs. Open Call for Submissions. As mentioned above, EICs have two options: 1) solicit/invite writers and artists to be published in their issue; or, 2) open a call for submissions via TSW’s Submittable portal. We allow both, as soliciting/inviting allows a curator to specifically elevate the voices of a particular demographic/community (for example, queer BIPOC artists). TSW builds for and with artists and writers from marginalized communities, and this is one way for us to honor the voices of those who are oft-unheard or left out of conversations about social issues. If an EIC decides to open a call for submissions, they will follow the same equitable, inclusive, and accessible practices that TSW undertakes for its annual magazine.  Should you have any questions about this process, please reach out.
  • Process. Contributors will be selected in July and work directly with their EIC over the course of two months toward publication. Please note that while our team oversees this program, your primary contact for all things regarding the publication of your work is your EIC. You can reach out to us at any point with questions or concerns, but the publication of your work is a conversation between you and your EIC. TSW will have several sensitivity readers who review all pieces prior to publication, but they do not provide editorial guidance or advice to the EIC or writer/artist.
  • Genre. Each community anthology will announce what type of work they are seeking to publish. Some anthologies may be poetry only, whereas others may be hybrid works or prose only. Please make sure to read the submission guidelines for each anthology prior to submitting.
  • Payment. Each anthology contributor, similar to our magazine contributors, receives $100 for publication.

No. You may only submit to one anthology within a cohort — so please do not submit to all four at the same time — and similar to our annual literary magazine, we will only publish you once. So, if you are published in a community anthology, we ask that you do not submit again to a future anthology. You are welcome, however, to submit to our annual literary magazine or apply to one of our in-person residencies.

Yes. However, whichever call reads first, if they accept you, you will have to make the decision then to say yes or no to that offer without knowing the status of the other. And, because the selection processes and committees are different, just because you are accepted or rejected by one has no bearing on what happens in the other.

We give our Editors-in-Chief three submission options: 1) open their call to the general public via Submittable (just like we do for our annual literary magazine); 2) invite writers and artists to be a part of their anthology (this would mean the anthology is “closed” and not open for submissions, but rather solicitations; or 3) a hybrid of the two (for example, in our 2023 Cohort, one of our EICs opened their call up for submissions, but only for queer BIPOC artists or writers). We honor these three choices. Don’t worry, as it will never be the case that all of our anthologies are closed to the public (we ensure this through our application process when we select our EICs to begin with).

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