The Drum Literary Magazine

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Submissions in all categories will be open until March 31, 2019.

We are pleased to be able to pay contributors a $50 honorarium for their work.

The Drum is looking for work that pays close attention to language while never losing sight of the narrative drive. We want stories that really do tell a story. And essays that engage in the complexity of an idea.

At The Drum we seek poems whose voice, vision and music surprise us. Submissions may contain up to three unpublished poems. The poems should be submitted as a single file; you may also include a brief cover note. We are open to all forms and styles, but please keep in mind that The Drum is an audio magazine (with no print component), so your poems must thrive out loud.

We publish essays under 5,000 words in length, and fiction in a wide range of lengths, from short-shorts to short stories, no more than 5,000 words. We no longer accept unsolicited novel excerpts. Please note our new maximum length for short fiction. We have found that longer stories don't work as well in audio form and are thus looking for fiction that comes in at approximately twenty minutes of recording time.

New! Audio-produced pieces: We are open to pieces that combine sound production with the author's voice and that come to us pre-recorded. If you have work that you feel excels in bringing together your writing with audio effects and/or (non-copyrighted) music, please submit it under the Dispatches category and include "Sound Production" in the title.

A word about the essay form: An essay is not the same thing as a first-person narrative of events from your life. At least that's not all it is. An essay by definition attempts something, tries something out. It is not simply a story that is true (to distinguish it from a short story that is fiction). A good essay explores something,  examines an idea or an event, reflects on an experience. If you have an essay like that, we are eager to take a look!


If we accept your work, we will be in touch about how to arrange a recording. Make sure that your name, your contact info, and the title of the work appear on each page of the manuscript. Present the manuscript with standard margins and type.

For information on rights, read the FAQ on The Drum website at

We charge a nominal fee for submissions through Submittable to reflect the time and effort of our staff in reading and responding to the works we receive. This fee of $3.00 will help support The Drum in its mission to bring new and established literary voices to a wider audience through the innovations of audio. The fee is comparable to the cost of preparing a snail mail submission, and we feel it is worth the convenience of the online submissions platform. Submitters who wish to avoid paying the fee may send their work via snail mail to: P.O. Box 380959, Cambridge, MA 02238. We will not return manuscripts without an SASE.

Please include a note with your cover letter if you would like to add your name to our mailing list to receive updates on The Drum and on audio-literature news.

The Drum Literary Magazine