Mission: To provide an imaginative alternative for readers and writers of original work bypassed by corporate and institutional publications. To ignore fads, movements, fashions, styles, current events, the mass media, and agendas (except for the purposes of satire). To support reflection, emotion, thought, and humor. To search for wisdom, accept delight, appreciate wit, and admire craft.
Poetry and prose from authors interested in the creation, sharing, and transmission of ideas, imaginings, and experiences. Getting rich or famous from publication here is unlikely, but more people in more places actually read Iconoclast than the vast majority of other small press literary magazines.
Prose: To 3500 words (occasionally longer). Subjects and styles are completely open (within the standards of generally accepted taste—though exceptions, as always, can be made for unique and visionary works). We like work to have a point or more. We don't care for the slice of life type of story—or any other kind in which characters are unable or unwilling to change their own conditions. Most stories of alcoholism, incest, domestic and public violence are best left to the mass media. Anything topical has probably already been overdone. Simple storytelling usually wins out over slickness of style or the perfectly crafted workshop, MFA story about nothing or the author's neurosis. We never look down our noses at plot. Nor are we immune to the power of a literary stylist. With the possible exception of mysteries, most genres written well, sincerely, and conscientiously have a chance. Humor and science fiction are hard sells (too often these writers think an interesting concept can substitute for a plot or an original ending), but we do publish a fair amount of both. Politics and religion are best left to the demagogues and hypocrites. Killing a character-(s) off in the end usually indicates a lazy or unimaginative beginner. Will we ever publish another bar room story? I don't think so.
Is a cover letter really necessary? We don't do bios (as iconoclasts, we're not into personality cults or self-glorification). A good writer can make us interested in nearly any subject or person. Essays that are merely undocumented opinion or op-ed style pieces have little chance.
Please don't send preliminary drafts—rewriting is half the job. If you're not sure about the story, don't truly believe in it, or are unenthusiastic about the subject (we will not recycle your term papers or thesis), then don't send it. This is not a lottery (luck has nothing to do with it).
To 2 pages. Everything above applies. Try for originality; if not in thought than expression. No greeting card verse or noble religious sentiments. Look for the unusual in the usual, parallels in opposites, the capturing of what is unique or often unnoticed in an ordinary or extraordinary moment. What makes us human—and the resultant glories and agonies. The universal usually wins out over the personal. Rhyme isn't as easy as it looks—especially for those unversed in its study.
Art & Photos
We're always looking for black and white drawings/photographs for the cover and spot illustrations.
One submission per person per month is all we can handle. We tried accepting simultaneous submissions: it didn't work. Our response time is usually well within six weeks (which we think a fair amount of time both to writers and editors serious about what they do). All submissions are seen by the editor-in-chief. There are no first readers, committees, grad students, interns, advisors or politics/favoritism (confession: in two stories of equal merit, the subscriber may have an edge).
Please include a sufficiently stamped self-addressed envelope with all submissions or correspondence from which you expect a reply—and make it clear whether or not you want the material returned. Everything counts.
Prose -2 copies and 1 cent a word for the First N. A. Serial Rights on publication.
Art and Poetry - 1 copy per page or work, 2 copies for cover art.
$2-$6 per poem or artwork for First Rights on publication.
*All contributors get a 40% discount on extra copies.
People who buy, read, and subscribe to Iconoclast keep it alive and available to those who seek publication. This is not a government program. We don't apply for grants, nor do we have non-profit status. Our biggest resource is the curious, literate, general interest reader with a zest for life. Are you one? If Iconoclast is good enough to send your work to, is it good enough to buy and read?