Barrelhouse is an independent non-profit literary organization that bridges the gap between serious art and pop culture. It is a biannual print journal featuring fiction, poetry, interviews, and essays about music, art, and the detritus of popular culture, and also a web site that regularly posts new short fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and random stuff. Stories originally published in Barrelhouse have been featured in the Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Million Writer’s Award. Barrelhouse Presents is a monthly reading series in DC showcasing the work of other literary magazines and small presses. Barrelhouse offers 8-week online workshops where writers get the straight dope on their work. Barrelhousehas been recognized for its awesome
ness by the mainstream media, including but not limited to such outlets as the Washington Post, DCist.com, The Urbanite, NewPages.com, and Washington City Paper.
How does your submission process work? What is taken into consideration when looking at each
We take submissions online. We don’t have any set reading periods. When we’re open is somewhat random, depending on how quickly we’re moving through the submission and the quality of the writing we receive. I’m the exclusive reader for poetry and Tom McAllister is the exclusive reader for nonfiction. For fiction, we have a cadre of assistant editors who do a first read and three fiction editors (Dave Housley, Mike Ingram, and Joe Killiany) who make the final decision. We just brought on Susan Muaddi Darraj to head up our online issues.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say the only considerations are the quality of the writing and the fit for Barrelhouse’s aesthetic. That second part is important. Sometimes we pass on really well executed pieces because they’re just not right for us.