Reading Period for Obsidian 2024
For the next general issue of Obsidian, submit May 15–October 15, 2024 by 11:59 PM Central time (US & Canada). Unless otherwise noted, submissions sent from October 16, 2023 through May 14, 2024 will not be accepted.

Submitting Online
We accept submissions via our online submission management system only. Submissions via postal mail or email will be discarded without response. To submit online, please use the Obsidian submission management system, found at 

Notifications and Queries
Expect three to five months for a decision. Using our online submissions system you will be able to track the status of your submission. We accept queries after five months have passed. Queries should be sent via email. They should include:
• Your name.
• The date, genre, and title of the submission.
• The title of the Call for Submissions to which you are responding, if applicable.

Spam Notice
To ensure that you receive our email responses, please add and to your address book so that our correspondence does not end up flagged as spam. 

Obsidian at 50: Activating the Archive—Looking Forward/Looking Back

Editors: Obsidian Editor Duriel E. Harris & Guest Editors Kwame Dawes, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Erica Hunt & L. Lamar Wilson

Obsidian’s volume 50.2 special issue, Obsidian at 50: Activating the Archive—Looking Forward/Looking Back, is a celebration and activation of our 50 years of publication history. The award-winning and dynamic publishing platform Obsidian is a versatile, enriched, vibrant, and extensive space for Black imagination, Black presence, and Black futures, and we invite you to participate in this landmark volume—taking the present moment to consider our recent past and potential futures. 

Guest edited by five esteemed artists, historians, and archivists with ties to Obsidian’s rich history, the issue will be composed of five folios representing the five decades of Obsidian’s publication—one decade folio for each editor. Each editor will invite 5-6 contemporary artists of their choosing to mine the content of their respective decade and craft original poetry, fiction, drama/performance, and/or visual art inspired by/engaging that decade’s content. 

Manuscript Submission Deadline
  Deadline for submitting is March 15, 2024, by 11:59PM Central Time (US & Canada)

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

  • Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted. Address your cover letter to the decade editor who invited you to submit. 
  • Upload your text submission as a Word (DOCX), portable document format/PDF (PDF) or rich-text format (RTF) file. No Pages, TXT, or Open Office Documents.
  • Typed, double-spaced (poetry may be single-spaced) pages. 
  • Numbered pages. 
  • Submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style for grammar and MLA format for citations and works cited, when applicable. 
  • Margins should be set at no less than 1” and no greater than 1.5”. 
  • For any genre: no more than ~5 pages of creative work. 
  • Fiction, Hybrid genre: 12-point font. Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained. 
  • Drama/Performance: Follow Samuel French or the Dramatists Guild suggested formatting. Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained.
  • Images: Upload as JPG, GIF, PNG, or TIF file(s) (TIF preferred) in 300 ppi at the size(s) intended to be used (Obsidian journal is 6" x 9"). Specify the orientation of the image(s) as portrait or landscape.

Direct inquiries to Obsidian Managing Editor Tara Reeser:

Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora