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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 501c3 non-profit through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas. 

Books On Shelf


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.

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