Asymptote welcomes submissions of translated poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama; certain types of original English-language nonfiction, including literary and critical writing; as well as visual art. We also have two special features in every issue, with different requirements, specified below.
Upcoming Special Features
For our first special feature in the July 2013 issue, we invite submissions of 1) drama by playwrights who translate their own work from their native language into another language and/or who co-translate their own work from their native language into another language and vice versa, as well as 2) writings on the subject of theatrical translation from the perspective of ex-patriation, re-located citizenship or multiple citizenships. How does an author translate herself? What are the processes of creating multiple versions of the same text? If the author is translating herself, what insights are there into the process of creating drama—which is already a process that involves multiple layers of translation of cultural practice, theatrical methodologies and negotiation with potential audience and readership reception—via the authorial site of origin, however contested it may be? In other words, can origin be located? Deadline: 1 Jun 2013
In the past, Asymptote's annual English-language poetry feature has asked for "after" poems and poems concerned with the notion of foreignness. This year, for our Oct 2013 issue, we leave it open. We ask simply for poems written in English: poems with an expansive, complex, mysterious sense of what English is—indeed, of what poetry is. Committed as we are to literatures from around the world, to translation and issues that bear upon translation, what sort of a poem would Asymptote publish? Reading our past English poetry features (2011 & 2012) is a good way to find out what we like, but know also that we are eager to discover new ways of witnessing the world and of experiencing the language(s) in which we live. Show us with up to 10 pages of original, unpublished work. Deadline: 1 Sep 2013
Writers on Writers Feature
For the other special feature in these and all other issues, we continue to invite, as always, essays (written in English, passionately, in fewer than 2,500 words) about a relatively unknown author writing in a language other than English who deserves more attention from the English-speaking world. Rolling deadline.
The submission might include one or more works of short fiction or excerpts of a longer work translated into English. Please send no more than 5,000 words in total. Rolling deadline.
Please send up to 10 pages of poetry translated into English. Rolling deadline.
You may send a one-act play or an excerpt from a full-length play, in either case not exceeding 20 pages, translated into English. For full-length plays, send a brief synopsis first. Rolling deadline.
This includes genres such as memoir, despatch (reportage), travelogue and the occasional essay. Memoirs and travelogues must be work translated into English. Despatch typically must involve some translation from a foreign language (e.g. excerpts from an interview). However, essays about translation may be written in English. We will also accept the occasional essay in English about the literature's place and function in society that takes into account the global context we live in. To get a stronger sense of what we are looking for, go through the past articles that we have published. Send no more than 5,000 words in total. Rolling deadline.
Please send work, written in or translated into English, of no more than 8,000 words. We welcome a gamut of critical work, ranging from casual reviews to academic essays. Rolling deadline.
We welcome interview pitches. We ask that the interview be primarily about translation, or about the intersection of the issue of language and some other domain. Interviews must be in English or, if the original has been conducted in a foreign language, rendered afterwards into English. Rolling deadline.
Please inquire first, providing a URL to your portfolio website. Illustrators (including photographers) are encouraged to try for our guest artist positions by submitting a cover. (Guidelines to the cover contest can be found here.) Rolling deadline.
1. All submissions should be sent as one Microsoft Word attachment (as a .doc file, please) via Submittable or, only if this is not possible, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Microsoft Word attachments must be labeled with the last names of the author and translator: authortranslator.doc.
2. For ease of reference, your email header should follow this format: SUBMISSION (Genre)-Submitter Name [e.g., SUBMISSION (Fiction)-James Frey]
3. Your submission must include the following:
Optional, but highly encouraged:
4. For poetry submissions, please format your submission so that each original work follows after its translation. [Translation 1, Original 1; Translation 2, Original 2, etc.]
5. Translations must not have been previously published, although the source text may have been.
6. Submissions in English (where permitted: see above) must not have been previously published.
7. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but we ask in return that you notify us by email as soon as you learn of an acceptance elsewhere.
Asymptote is a journal that celebrates translation and world literatures. Therefore, we mainly consider work translated into English, particularly for poetry, fiction and drama. The exceptions are:
Providing the text in the original language and arranging all necessary permissions are solely the translator's responsibility. Submissions with uncertain rights issues will not be considered at all. Submissions with no source text or introductory material (for poetry) will be at a significant disadvantage versus those that do have them.
1. Rights to the work revert to the author and the translator after publication. We do hope to put out a print anthology one day (after we have recovered the costs of the website). Contributors who have been chosen for such an anthology will be queried for permission.
2. We try to respond to each submission within a reasonable period, but due to the volume of submissions we receive, we may not always be able to do so. Please query after three months if you have not heard back from us, and would like to know the status of your submission.
3. Our finances do not permit us to pay contributors at this time. If and when we obtain funding that exceeds the costs of website maintenance and the production of the print anthology, we will immediately commit to paying our contributors in future.
4. If you require further clarification on any matter, please send us a query (with the word "QUERY" included in the header) at the email address listed above.