About Kelp Journal
Kelp Journal publishes issues twice a year—once in the summer and once in the winter. For each Kelp Journal issue there is an open and closed submission period. Kelp Books has ongoing open submissions for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry manuscripts, but an open and closed submissions period for special projects such as the poetry chapbook competition, surf noir anthology, and the Salinas agricultural community high school anthology. Kelp Journal and Kelp Books both use Submittable to receive submissions.
Kelp Journal is a premier digital and print literary magazine. With a global reach and the spirit of adventure in our DNA, we are always searching for new and established voices from around the world. Located on California's West Coast, we are especially interested in stories pertaining to oceanic and conservationist themes.
Kelp Journal values diversity and seeks to promote the work of writers of all ethnicities, orientations, and backgrounds, both domestic and abroad. We accept fiction, essays, poetry, and travel memoirs so long as the writing is in the English language or translated into English. We have no genre restrictions.
Kelp (Journal and Books) does not accept unnecessary and gratuitous gore, rape, violence, and bigoted or racist components or features in any work. Any indication of these elements, even in the non-fiction section, will result in an automatic rejection. Additionally, Kelp may ask the author to add a content or trigger warning to accepted pieces for publications. An author’s decline to add the warning may result in the piece being rejected.
Submitting to Kelp Journal
We are seeking previously unpublished fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for our Summer and Winter issues and the same categories with the addition of photography, art, and film in our ongoing multimedia blog, The Wave. We are not particular in terms of style and aesthetics; however, in order to reach our future goals we are looking for quality work that befits a top tier publication.
Kelp Journal section submission guidelines:
When submitting, please name your submission file with your last name, title of work, and section.
Ex: Olsen_Surf’s Up_Fiction
Ex: Santana_Pirate Ghosts_Poetry
Ex: Larks_Birds of Paradise_Nonfiction
Kelp Journal Fiction
We accept all kinds of previously unpublished fiction, generally in lengths of under 6,000 words. A sense of place is important to us, and while no place is excluded from our appetite, we strongly prefer coastal themes, West Coast locales, surfing, and works that embody travel and adventure; however, all themes will be considered.
Kelp Journal Poetry
We also seek previously unpublished poems long and short. Send us 3 to 5 of your best poems for consideration. Again, coastal, travel, and adventure themes are preferred; however, all themes will be considered.
Kelp Journal Non-Fiction
We consider previously unpublished essays of all types, generally in lengths of under 6,000 words, with extra emphasis on oceanic and surf themes. We are also looking for unique takes on global travel, like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that blew your mind, or a strange experience abroad.
A delightful mixture of all our sections, we are looking for previously unpublished micro, flash, and short fiction in any genre; short essays on any topic; book reviews; poetry, and photography and art. As always, coastal, travel, and adventure themes are preferred; however, all will be considered.
Please note that submissions that do not follow Kelp Journal guidelines will receive an automatic decline.
Submitting to Kelp Books
We are actively seeking submissions of literary, noir, crime, thriller, and mystery manuscripts, as well as poetry. A sense of place is important to us, and while no place is excluded from our appetite, we strongly prefer coastal themes, West Coast locales, surfing, and works that embody travel and adventure. We will consider novel-length (70,000-120,000 word) manuscripts. We also consider short story collections, poetry, and non-fiction. No agent is required in order to submit.
Kelp Books submission guidelines:
Submissions must be in Word or PDF files. All submissions must include a query letter and synopsis. Kelp Books will only consider the first ten pages of any manuscript. Any submission more than the first ten pages will be automatically rejected. No simultaneous submissions will be considered. No previous submissions will be considered, even if they have been revised, unless specifically requested by the editor-in-chief.
Please read Kelp Books guidelines carefully. Submissions that do not follow Kelp Books guidelines will receive an automatic decline.
Kelp Journal summer issue submissions open February 15 & close May 15
Kelp Journal winter issue submissions open August 1 & close November 1
The Wave submissions are ongoing
Kelp Books submissions are ongoing