Featured Market: Cactus Heart Press Reply

This week’s featured market is Cactus Heart Press. 

You might be thinking, ‘What is a Cactus Heart?’

According to their website: Cactus Heart is, of course, a metaphor for how we believe literature and art should be. It should shock and wound and delight us; it should fill us with curiosity and terror. It should survive.

Cactus Heart are ‘a quarterly e-magazine, published as a full-colour PDF. We also produce two print versions each year, separate from the e-issues.’

The magazine is ‘devoted to spiny writing & art—sharp, relentless, coursing with energy and able to thrive in the harshest of places, all while maintaining a vulnerable, succulent interior.’

Their editors outline a few guidelines you might want to take note of.


Word Count: 5,000 maximum for e-Issues; 2,000 maximum for print.

Do send:

-Stories in which transformation occurs for the situation or characters.
-Characters who want things, who love things, who lose things, who blunder.
-Stories with tension.
-Quirky love stories.
-Subtle stories.
-Lyric stories.
-Stories that explore the collision of wild and ordinary.
-Non-linear stories. (I like linear too, but it depends on the story—form should follow function.)
-Stories that use language really well (keep in mind, I used to be a poet).
-One last, to interpret as you will: In stories, I want to see the crash. I want to see the sky light up.

Don’t send:

-Female characters who only exist as ex-strippers/bartenders/next-door neighbors with perky, perfect breasts.
-Gratuitous violence or aggressive sexuality.
-Anything homophobic.
-Anything overtly religious.
-Stories in which nothing happens.
-Stories not set in scene.
-Stiff or overly explanatory dialogue.
-Stories riddled with typos and bad grammar.

We could probably add ‘Don’t write’ before many (if not all) of those guidelines!

There’s a $2 reading fee which is easily paid through Submittable. A very small fee for what would be an excellent opportunity to feature in a very attractive magazine. You can see their submissions portal with full submission guidelines here.

Let us know what you think

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