Literary Orphans

The Guidelines by Tushar Jain


As the editor, I am overjoyed that you’ve chosen to send your work to our little magazine. We at ‘Our Little Magazine‘ are always on the lookout for new and exciting literary work in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, photographed offensive graffiti and versified grocery lists.

We genuinely hope that the writing being submitted meets our vision. But more importantly, it should meet our guidelines. Any submitted material that does not follow these will be, mercilessly and instantly, rejected.

But firstly, as editor, it is my duty to inform all interested parties that for the September issue, we will not be accepting submissions from writers whose names begin with ‘P’, ‘N’, ‘F’, or ‘T’. For the October one, writers with surnames starting with ‘L’, ‘O’, ‘U’ and ‘R’ should similarly refrain from submitting. For the month of November, writers with initials ‘N.P.’, ‘S.R.’ and ‘P.C.’ are strictly warned against accessing the magazine’s website. The website software will be designed to attack and infect the machines of the said and forewarned initial-bearers if they choose to access us in November.

Those who have submitted earlier will naturally be aware that submissions, as usual, will open on February 29th, 23:59:59 P.M. and close on March 1, 00:00:00 midnight.



While the word limit for work that may be submitted is 750, 000, we tend to pick pieces no longer than 400 words.

The story or poem should be pasted within the body of the email, added as attachment and also mailed in three different SAUSEs (Self Addressed, Unequivocally Stamped Envelopes). The envelopes should be of red, green and lilac colours. On each envelope, a kangaroo smoking a cigar need be drawn with a 2B pencil and coloured in with locally available crayons. The kangaroo may or may not be wearing shades. We leave that to the discretion of the writer. We are not crazy people.

In the piece being submitted, odd paragraphs should be left-aligned and even paragraphs should be right-aligned. However, paragraphs that are multiples of five or contain the word “legitimate” should be centrally-aligned. Though, if possible, writers must try and avoid the word “legitimate” entirely.

At Our Little Magazine, we are very accepting of your font choices. Being in the business of stories, we hear from writers of all ages who describe the sheer difficulty and terror with which they opened up to their parents about preferring Verdana to Times New Roman. At Our Little Magazine, we accept your Arial Narrow and your Comic Sans MS. Be unafraid. Be very unafraid. We accept your font no matter what you choose. Of course, that is, except Calibri. That is just sick.

Please state the word count of your piece on the top left of every page of your submission in square brackets (the opening bracket should be a deep, soulful turquoise and the closing bracket must be a pining, wistful mauve). It is pivotal that your word count is divisible by 17.83. If it is not, we shall find it impossible to accept your work, regardless of any other merits.



Please specify within the body of the email your height, your weight and your B.M.I. or Body Mass Index. We have provided a link at the end of this page to help you calculate this. Submitting writers must have a B.M.I. of or close to 25.3. If not, please only contact us after at least three months of cardio.

Along with the other details, please include three photographs of yourself. The first photograph should be with a cat (animal lovers will be given preference). The second photograph should be with a hobo (humanitarians will be given more preference). The third photograph is vital. Please send us this final photograph of yourself dressed up as Saddam Hussein. This is a relevant step in your application. Any ‘strong’ resemblance to the dead dictator, we are sad to say, will unfortunately lead to an immediate rejection. To get a clear, precise idea, please scroll through our earlier issues for photographs of poets and writers dressed up as the dead Hussein.

The name of the file containing your work should bear your maternal great-grandfather’s nickname next to the title of your submission followed by the name of your favourite one of the now extinct Jonas Brothers. E.g. Monty_Title_of_Your_Submission_Nicholas_Jerry_Jonas. Writers who deviate from this will be met with a firm ‘no’. A ‘Nein’. A ‘Non’. A ‘Hasta la vista, Author’.

Send your submission to We do not yet have a Submittable account. If you’re willing to design and maintain one for us, your submission will automatically be in the running for some of our preference.

We will typically respond within three years of your submission. In the meantime, contributing authors shouldn’t email, call or approach the editors in the street to make inquiries about the said submission. Submitting writers should know that the editors of ‘Our Little Magazine‘ are very heavily armed at all times. Any attempt at inquiry will be met with fierce action.

Please send your submission as a MS Excel file only (no other format shall be opened).



In your cover letter, please include your richly detailed third-person Bio in no more than seven words. Please list all your awards, accomplishments, every prior publication (age five onwards) and any relevant school certificate we should know of. Do state names and addresses of any wealthy relatives, with a recognisable tendency towards self-harm, interested in funding a literary magazine.

In the cover letter, do tell us why you specifically chose us to publish your work. Moreover, on the website, there’s a photograph of a very handsome and available editor. If you’re a woman, in your forties, and like what you see, it’s required of you to include a phone number in the letter as well. Also, in this particular case, a fourth photograph of the submitting entity in uncomfortable beach wear, (perhaps, a bikini?), will also be needed.



We either accept simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions. If you’re making a simultaneous submission, ensure that it’s not a multiple one. In case you’re making a multiple submission, be certain that it’s not simultaneous. In the event we receive a submission from you that is both simultaneous and multiple in nature… this is all what we have to say about that:

We do not know who you are. We don’t know what you want. But we do have a very particular set of skills. Skills that we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a nightmare for writers like you. If it is revealed that your submission happens to be both multiple and simultaneous, we will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you.

For further guidelines, please click the link below.

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Tushar Jain is an Indian poet, playwright, and author. He was the winner of the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize, 2012, the Poetry with Prakriti Prize, 2013, the RL Poetry Award, 2014, the DWL Short Story Contest 2014, the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing, 2016. His work has been published or is upcoming in Papercuts, The Madras Mag, The Nervous Breakdown, The Wagon, Cold Noon, Antiserious, Raed Leaf India, The Young Ravens Review, The Bangalore Review, Streetcake Magazine, The Sierra Nevada Review, Into the Void Magazine, The Cape Rock Journal, Miracle, Dryland Magazine, Edify Fiction, Gramma, decomP Magazine, Priestess and Hierophant Magazine, East of the Web magazine and elsewhere. His stories will also appear in the 2018 Dark Lane Anthology, Sahitya Akademi Anthology of Young Indian Poets and the Medusa’s Laugh Anthology. uthor of the chapbooks (all the things you’re not), published by dancing girl press, and Maritime, published by Bitterzoet Press.  Her work has appeared in venues including 3:AM Magazine, Cheap Pop, Hobart, and Leopardskin and Limes.  She teaches writing in Queens, New York, where she lives with her partner and some animal friends.


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–Art by Marina Ćorić