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We seek to showcase work that will invite the audience to a deeper understanding of our corner of the State of Virginia; whether it be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or artwork. We want to produce, and promote, redemptive literature with a Hampton Roads flavor. 

Our definition of Redemptive: Serving to redeem or save. Stories that value a higher cause than ourselves or serve to point in that direction. Stories that do not glorify depravity. 

  • What we want:
    Virginia is home to mountains, lakes, beaches, farmlands, cities, and much more. Here at the Penultimate Peanut, we're interested in stories from Virginians or stories about Virginia, specifically the Hampton Roads area. We hate to play favorites, but this is where we live and these are the stories we want to see. This doesn't mean we won't look at stories from or about other places, but any such stories will come second.

  • What we don't want:
    We don't enjoy stories that glorify violence and evil. That doesn't mean your story can't have anything bad happen in it or that it must have a happy ending, but violence and evil have consequences and we don't want stories that make it seem like there are none. Also, please no stories with gratuitous swearing or sex. If it serves a purpose for the story, that's fine, but we don't want stories dominated by it.

  • Things to consider:
    Are you a hundred-year-old ham? Do you have a story about one? There's some pretty cool history about this area. The Penultimate Peanut is happy to look over historical or creative non-fiction essays about this strange and interesting place we live in. Just remember to keep it redemptive (for more ideas about what we find redemptive, see our mission statement above.)


We are a quarterly journal that accepts fiction/flash/poetry/ submissions on a rolling basis; meaning, we read for the month of August for the fall issue published in September, we read for the month of November for the winter issue published in December, and so on. Reading period dates are subject to change based on the amount of submissions we receive. 

Our next reading period for the summer publication begins 4/1/2021 and ends 4/20/2021 (possibly earlier depending on how many submissions we receive)

Art Submissions and Creative Non-fiction Essays about the Hampton Roads area:

These categories are open to submissions year-round. Send us what you got.

Payment: there is none. We work for peanuts, and we expect our writers to do the same. There may come a day when we are able to pay our writers, but until then, all you will receive is the glory of having your work published. 


we are not interested in reprints at this time. Perhaps this will change in the future, but as of right now, we want first publication rights. That means that we are not interested in any stories that have been published anywhere else, including your blog, word press, website, or print in any form. If your work is published with us, we receive the first publishing rights and also the right to archive your work on our website. Afterward, the rights revert to you, the writer, and you're free to publish your work somewhere else so long as we are acknowledged.


Simultaneous submissions:

we are perfectly fine with you submitting your work other places too. In fact, we encourage it. We only ask that you withdraw your submission through our Submittable site as soon as possible if your work has been accepted elsewhere. We will be happy to congratulate you.

Multiple submissions:

do not send us more than one story at a time. We do accept up to three poems in one attachment or five pieces of art in one attachment, but that's our limit. Feel free to submit something else during our next reading period. Also, do not send us work that we have previously turned down unless expressly told to by our editors. 

Cover Letters: 

in your cover letter include your name, phone number, email address, whatever name you would like your story to be published under, any social media accounts you would like to have linked to your story, and a short bio (50 words or less) about yourself. Also, be sure to include where you're from in the Virginia, Hampton Roads area if applicable or any cool info about how your story relates to the Virginia, Hampton Roads area. We are giving preference to those sorts of stories, and this will help us choose which ones to read first.


Submissions should be double spaced, 12 point font, Times or Times New Roman, doc. docx. pdf. or rtf. files only, and standard manuscript format. For more information on what standard manuscript format looks like, here is a helpful website to visit. Proofread, proofread, proofread. We cannot emphasize this enough. We admit, we're lazy, and too many typos and or poor grammar is a great way for us to take stories out of consideration. Send us your best work. 

Fiction: 2,000 word count limit. If it's a page or two off, we'll still read it, but don't get crazy. We have short attention spans.

Flash Fiction: anywhere from 100 to 500 word count limit. We love short stuff. Make sure to submit to this category and not to the regular Fiction category.

Poetry: 1,000 word count limit, but it can be as short as you would like. Feel free to include up to three separate poems in one submission. If you have some sort of complicated formatting, please be aware that we may have to edit this to suit our website's formatting. We will let you know if we need to make changes, and of course, you are free to withdraw the work if you do not agree with our edits.


We accept artwork year-round. You may include up to five pieces of art in one submission, no more. Please use jpeg. pdf. or gif. files only. By submitting to this category you agree that all artwork submitted is original and all rights belong to you, the artist.

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