• stories, poems, essays

    all written on brown paper lunch bags

  • Fall 2016 Submissions Now Open!

    We want your best ghost story, essay or poem.

    Plot twist! Your story must mention a paper bag to be considered for publication on the site.

     

    Submission Guidelines:

    500 words maximum.

    No graphic violence, sex, torture porn or animal abuse. No artwork.

    Font: Times New Roman 12 pt

    File format: Word document or PDF.

     

    Submit your piece by 11:59 pm Eastern time, November 30, 2016.

  • How It Works

    2016 submissions now open! See rules for details.

    Write Your Story

    Write your story, poem or essay

    on a brown paper lunch bag.

    You can use both the front and back.

    Remember, you are limited to writing

    on the bag.

    Be sure to scan the bag when you're done so you have a copy of your work.

    Mail to Us

    If you want to be considered for publication on the site, print out the submission form and mail the completed form, along with your bag, to us.

    Get Approved for Publication

    If we think your submission is a good fit for our site, we'll contact you about publishing your bag in our Featured Writers section.

    Become a Featured Writer

    We upload an image of your bag to the website, along with a brief bio and link(s) to where people can read more of your writing. We promote your bag via Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • Featured Writers

    Friend

    Heide Juchnik

    A beloved member of my writing group passed away in February 2016. In her honor, I am posting a piece she shared with us, written in her own hand on a paper bag. Our group facilitator and PBW mentor/supporter/featured writer, Jan Haag, wrote this beautiful bio/obit in celebration of her life. We'll miss you, Heide. - Ed.

     

    Hideko Saito Juchnik was born the granddaughter of the last of a samurai line in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in 1929. Heide, as she became known, immigrated to the United States in the 1950s with her American husband, Bill, and they lived for a time in his hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

     

    The Juchniks eventually moved to Sacramento where, after Bill retired from the Air Force, they owned and operated a stamp and coin shop. Heide trained as a hair stylist in the early 1970s, and she worked in that field for some time. She came to Sacramento City College after her retirement, taking classes from 1999 to 2013 and earning two associate of arts degrees with honors—one in Social Sciences and one in Communication.

     

     

    She came to write in a Saturday morning writing group in an old "temporary" building on campus after taking a class called "Writing as a Healing Art." She was part of that writing group for more than five years. This paper bag piece of Heide's was born in that writing group.

     

    Hideko Saito Juchnik died Feb.16, 2016, in Sacramento, California, at the age of 86. She is much missed by her friends and fellow writers.

     

  • Fiction

    After the Sunset_Ayres

    After the Sunset

    Heather Ayres

    Heather Ayres contributes to the  geek culture website Eat/Geek/Play where she explores the things that set her heart aflutter. By night she dives deep into the sea of fiction and recently self-published the modern folklore short story The Water.

     

    Find out more at Heather's website at heatherayres.com

    A Manual for Living with Defeat_Bruederlin

    A Manual for Living with Defeat
    Barbara Bruederlin

    Barbara Bruederlin is a freelance writer and music nerd who left behind the world of neuroscience. She specializes in feature articles, reviews and issues affecting the arts community. Barbara writes web content for East Village Experience, blogs for National Music Centre, and is a long-time regular contributor to BC Musician Magazine and No Depression. An advocate for emerging musicians, artists and theatre companies, who also dabbles in concert promotion and convention planning, she loves architecture, walkable cities and twangy guitars. And she is still a sucker for a really cool science story.

     

     

    Read more of Barbara's work on her website, Like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

     

    Untitled letter to Harper Lee_McCleary

    Untitled Letter to Harper Lee

    Katie McCleary

    Katie McCleary is a writer, teacher, mother, activist, daughter, bookworm, home cook, starling watcher, and beauty archivist. Her first novel, Blinded, is currently being shopped. This letter to Harper Lee is from the main character of Blinded, Robin. However, the novel is based on real life, chronicling Katie/Robin's adventures growing up rural Idaho with a blind sister who has a severe mental disability and is on the Autism spectrum. Katie is also the founder of 916 Ink, a literacy nonprofit that transforms everyday Sacramento kids and teens into published authors as a way to increase literacy skills and empower them to live healthier lives. You can learn more about Katie at www.katiemccleary.com.

    Lon's Werewolf Academy_Penn

    Lon's Werewolf Academy
    Aden Penn

    Aden's biggest passion in life is writing. He keeps his creative fire burning by playing around in other people's universes, while working on creating his own. Aden's first novel "Pick Up Styx" is currently in its infancy.

     

    Follow Aden Penn on Twitter.

    Untitled Letter_Reynolds

    Untitled Letter
    Marilyn Reynolds

    Marilyn Reynolds is the author of ten books of young adult fiction in the award-winning “True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High.” Covering sensitive topics ranging from teen pregnancy to bullying, the series has received praise from teens and adults alike. Reynolds also has a book for teachers, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers. An experienced Reading/English teacher, Reynolds frequently leads workshops for writers and/or teachers. She currently works with 916 Ink, a Sacramento organization devoted to increasing youth literacy through creative writing. Her most recent book is Over 70 and I Don't Mean MPH.

    Find out more about Reynolds and purchase her books at her website, and keep up with her activities over at her official Facebook Page.

    It Started with a Whisper_Rutledge

    It Started with a Whisper

    Kim Rutledge

    Kim Rutledge is a former journalist and blogger who now works in California state politics. Her writing and editing has appeared in many online and print publications, including the Los Angeles Times, AOL, and the Sacramento Bee. A native of Kansas, she is not amused by "Wizard of Oz" jokes. Kim holds a Bachelor's of Journalism from the University of Missouri and a Master's of Social Welfare from UCLA. She lives in Sacramento with her feisty polydactyl cat, Oscar. When she can actually remember her password, she can be found being snarky on Twitter as @ms_r.

    You Don't Quit_Secrist

    You Don't Quit

    Will Secrist

    Will Secrist is a starving writer who lives outside of Seattle where the rents aren't preposterous. He grew up outside of Philadelphia and misses proper Fat Kid food. His patient wife indulges in his eccentricities and his two cats, Bertrand and Matilda, silently judge him pretty much all the time.

    Luck_Staats

    Luck

    Sue Staats

    Sue Staats’ fiction and poetry have been published, or is forthcoming, in The Los Angeles Review, Farallon Review, r.kv.r.y, Alimentum, a Journal of Food, Tule Review, and others. She earned an MFA from Pacific University, and was a recent finalist for the Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction and the Nisqually Prize in Fiction. Her stories have been performed at the Sacramento reading series “Stories on Stage” and at the SF Bay-area reading series “Why There Are Words.” She’s currently working on a collection of linked short stories.

  • Nonfiction

    Hard to Hear

    C. S. Bevins

    Sue has been a driver, a drummer and a drugstore clerk, but always a writer, and considers it an honor. She was born and raised in central California, but her family’s deep southern roots often inform her writing in mysterious ways. Sue writes poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction, and is a proud member of the River Song writer’s group.

    Blue Jays in CA_Craig

    Blue Jays in California
    Robert Craig

    Robert Craig has been writing emails since email was invented. (He’s written a lot of emails.) These days, if he’s not writing an email (and he’s not drawing in the dirt with a stick), you might find him paddling his kayak somewhere among the calm inland reaches of California’s currently-shrinking waterways.

    A test of faith_H

    A Test of Faith

    Michelle H.

    Two years ago my world came tumbling down. I tried desperately to cling to anything that made sense. Until I finally let go. And began working on me. My cards began to align in a way that I can only explain as fate. Today, I am happier than I have ever been - living in a city I've always talked about moving to, working in a career that literally could have been taken from my dreams, surrounded by people who love me for me. These are personal journal entries showing my lows and highs. Live your dreams. Share your passion.

     

    Read more of Michelle's writing at her blog, and follow her on Twitter.

    Pecking Order_Houser

    Pecking Order
    Christine Houser

    Christine Houser reads, writes, studies, and teaches flash-length creative nonfiction in Seattle. Her stories have been published in a variety of anthologies and journals, and she writes a how-to blog at www.flashmemoirs.com. For story fodder, Chris travels near & far and can often be found eavesdropping on the San Juan Islands ferries. Find her on Twitter @flashmemoirs and #cnf (creative nonfiction).

    1501 Days_Litchfield

    1,501 Days

    Corinne Litchfield

    From November 20, 2013:

     

    Momcat would have been 71 today. In thinking about the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, a defining moment in the history of the United States, I considered the concept of time and how its shape is undefinable, yet we are always attempting to give it form and substance. This essay is my attempt to define what time means as it relates to the loss of the woman who inspired Paper Bag Writers.

     

    - Ed.

    The Great Coat_Simpson

    The Great Coat
    Jonathan Simpson

    Jonathan Simpson prefers the company of extraordinary books over ordinary people. Always available, never judging and seldom disappointing, they wait for their turn patiently in piles by his bedside. With BFF’s John Irving, Joan Didion, Carson McCullers, Harper Lee and David Sedaris, who really needs friends? A collection of his many short autobiographical narratives promises to emerge.

    Read more of Jonathan's work at his website.

    How to Be an Artist_Soule

    How to Be An Artist

    Leslie D. Soule

    Leslie D. Soule is the author of the Fallenwood Chronicles, a 4-part fantasy series from Melange Books. She occasionally writes poetry and dabbles in other genres as well, and she can be found online at www.lesliesoule.com or at her blog, titled The Dusty Rose

  • Poetry

    In from Out of the Cold_Aveningo

    "In From Out of the Cold"
    Shawn Aveningo

    Shawn Aveningo is an internationally published, multi-award-winning poet who hosts the Verse on the Vine™ poetry show. She’s performed in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Sausalito, Sacramento and St. Louis. Her work has been published in over 50 anthologies, literary journals and e-zines, including Pirene’s Fountain, Nazar Look: Metric Conversions, Nefarious Ballerina, Convergence, Poetry Now, Tule Review, From the Four Chambered Heart: Tribute to Anais Nin and Haunted Waters Press Quarterly. She’s a Show-Me girl from Missouri, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from University of Maryland and a very proud mother of three. And she absolutely loves shoes – especially red ones! (www.RedShoePoet.com)

    Miss Kate_Bevins

    "Miss Kate"

    C.S. “Sue” Bevins

    Sue has been a driver, a drummer and a drugstore clerk, but always a writer, and considers it an honor. She was born and raised in central California, but her family’s deep southern roots often inform her writing in mysterious ways. In the past year, Sue successfully completed a NaNoWriMo contest (writing 50,000 words in a month) and completed a draft for her first novel, Pitiful Circle. Sue writes poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction, and is a proud member of the River Song writer’s group.

    Ode to Peanut Butter_Collins

    “Ode to Peanut Butter”

    Linda Jackson Collins

    Linda Jackson Collins writes poems, runs and bicycles, but not all at the same time. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Sacramento Poetry Center’s journal, Tule Review. Her own poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cape Rock, Late Peaches, Walrus, American River Review, The Poeming Pigeon and elsewhere. On weekends, she can be found pedaling up the hills of El Dorado.

    June 26, 2015_Easterly

    “June 26, 2015”

    Christine Easterly

    Christine Easterly is a poet living in Sacramento, California where she can also be found swimming with her local Masters team and haunting the neighborhood library. Christine has been published in Sacramento Voices and Soul of the Narrator.

    Drift Wood_Gardner

    "Drift Wood"

    Julie Gardner

    Julie Gardner worked and published in the early childhood education and counseling fields for over 40 years. During the last decade she returned to writing and studying the art and craft. Daily, she writes as a spiritual practice. Less frequently, when she's not lured away by wandering in the city or Olympic/Cascade Mountains, she works on a book from her Seattle home. As an Amherst Writers and Artists Affiliate she leads writing groups and retreats. Julie loves leading weekly writing with homeless/formerly homeless women at Mary’s Place, a day shelter which helps women to reclaim their lives. 

     

    Find Julie at WritersGathering, as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn.

    Ode to a Paper Bag_Haag

    "Ode to a Paper Bag"

    Jan Haag

    Jan Haag is a poet and novelist who teaches English and journalism at Sacramento City College. She is the author of a book of poetry, Companion Spirit, as well as a young adult novel, Ocean Falls, and a new novel set in Sacramento. She is affiliated with Amherst Writers & Artists and leads writing workshops in the Sacramento area using the AWA method. Visit her website at www.janishaag.com.

    Natural History of Desire_Humphreys

    "A Natural History of Desire"

    Bethanie Humphreys

    Bethanie Humphreys’ poetry has appeared in the Sacramento Poetry Center’s anthology Late Peaches, Tule Review, American River Review, The Gap Toothed Madness, and a persona poem of hers was performed in River City Anthology at the Wilkerson Theater in October 2013. She also integrates poems and other explorations into mixed media visual art. Currently her work can be seen in Wax On at Davis Arts Center (Davis, California) Aug 6-Sept 5, 2014. Her studio (chosen as curator’s pick!) will be open to the public for Sacramento Studio Tours Sept 20-21, 2014. See more at kitchentangents.com, and facebook.com/BethanieHumphreysmixedmediaarts.

    Untitled poem_Kelly

    "Untitled Poem"

    Shannon M. Kelly

    Shannon M. Kelly has been writing poetry from a young age, inspired by the world around her and the requisite teen angst. The inspiration for this untitled poem came via a Paper Bag Writers prompt to write a piece that included at least 3 of the following words: supermarket, verisimilitude, jellybean and leaping. A lover of cats and nature hikes, Shannon resides on the eastern shore of the United States.

    Grateful_Magi

    "Grateful"
    Cindy Magi

    Just trying to make a living in Spokane, Cindy Magi writes, draws, quilts and knits when she isn't at work as a hospice nurse. Recognizing a need to increase comfort with dying, Cindy has started a blog which can be seen and responded to at http://deathdignity.com/

    The First Kiss_Martin

    "The First Kiss..."

    Laura Martin

    Laura Martin is an Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) affiliate and has been leading the Sacramento Thursday Night Writers group since the fall of 2011. She is also a member of the “Team Haag” writing group led by fellow AWA leader Jan Haag in Sacramento. In 2012, Laura won the grand prize in the Second Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest and was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. Laura also fronts The Soft Offs - a spoken word/jazz/blues/beer band that takes the written word from page to stage in the hopes of converting those who hate poetry into lovers of MOETRY!

    Dreamscape_Orosco

    “Dreamscape”

    Dawn Orosco

    Dawn Orosco is a 3rd grade teacher whose love affair with creative writing began in elementary school. She spent many mornings of her childhood plugging away on an old electric typewriter in hopes of dazzling her teacher and classmates with her latest short story. She has traded the typewriter for a MacBook Pro, but still finds she does her best writing when she is working against a deadline. Her work will appear in the upcoming issue of The Poeming Pigeon.

    Confederate Flag_Carolyn Ralston

    "Confederate Flag"

    Carolyn Ralston

    Carolyn Ralston writes poetry and creative nonfiction with AWA groups in Sacramento. Her work has been published in Tule Review, Sacramento Voices, and Susurrus. She has a special interest in Poetry of Witness.

    The Mystery of Synchronicity_Spector

    "The Mystery of Synchronicity"

    Pia Sieroty Spector

    Pia is a writer and poet living in Northern California. She is a Los Angeles transplant that has grown to love the beauty of this valley and its proximity to the mountains and lakes and wineries and everything else that calls for adventuring in the San Francisco Bay area. She has two grown daughters who are pursuing their dreams, so she is too. Pia facilitates a number of writing groups; you can find out more about joining her to write what needs to be written and read her blog at PiaSierotySpector.com.

    Untitled_Stromberger

    "Untitled"
    Martha Stromberger

    Martha Stromberger is a poet, musician, and visual artist living in Sacramento. She is currently putting together a portfolio for submission to MFA poetry programs, as well as an all-female metal band. Ms. Stromberger received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University. Her poetry blog is located at arhavalkyr.blogspot.com. Music and a smattering of visual art may be discovered on her Facebook profile.

    Green Love Note_anon

    "A Green Love Note"

    Anonymous

  • Photo by Adam Dillon

    Why Paper Bags?

    Many years ago, my parents went on a trip and left me at home. While they were on the plane, my mother grabbed an air sickness bag and wrote me a letter. Well, it was more like a to-do list, but she did mail it to me, so that counts as a letter.

     

    She took a few more trips, and with each one that involved air travel, she wrote me more air sickness bag letters. While it was truly quirky in the way that only my mother, “Momcat”, was quirky, it was also the beginning of a fun tradition. I started writing her letters on air sickness bags whenever I flew somewhere. Writing that letter was the first thing I did once I got settled in my seat: I’d pull out the air sickness bag, grab a pen from my purse (Sharpies are perfect for this), lower the tray table, and dash off a quick letter before the plane even took off.

     

    When Momcat died in October 2009, that first flight back home was unbearable. I felt as if that air sickness bag was taunting me. If I could have mustered up the courage, I would have asked the flight attendant to remove all the bags from the plane.

     

    It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided it was time to reclaim the bags. I was writing with a group that used the Amherst Writers and Artists writing method, which is mostly prompt-driven, and I thought, What if I found a prompt using the in-flight magazine and wrote a story on the bag? Sounded kind of fun, actually. So that’s what I did. And writing that first bit of flash fiction was so cathartic, I kept going. I now have a stack of air sickness bag stories - and poems, too.

     

    My personal experience got me thinking: would other people find it fun to write a story - or poem, or essay - on a bag? Would they feel limited by the space constraints, or liberated? I talked to a few writer friends about the idea and they loved it, as my writer friends often do when it comes to crazy, creative ideas.

     

    Which brings us to Paper Bag Writers, the website. Sometimes we provide the bag - a standard size lunch bag - and the prompt. Sometimes you provide the bag. In either case, you provide the story - or poem, or essay - on the bag. You send us the bag and, if your bag meets our criteria, we put your piece on the site.

     

    This October it will be seven years since Momcat died. I’d like to think she’d find Paper Bag Writers amusing, but it’s also likely she’d sigh and say, “I really should have just gotten out my notepad.” But what would have been the fun in that?

     

    Corinne Litchfield

    Editor-in-Chief and Founder

    PaperBagWriters.net

     

    October 1, 2013

    Updated August 3, 2016

  • Quick, Think Omaha

    This story, which begins with a tag line taken from an advertisement in Southwest Airline's in-flight magazine, was originally written on an air sickness bag (see image) and was the inspiration for starting Paper Bag Writers.

    Quick, Think Omaha

    Quick, think Omaha. The town you left at 18 when it seemed as if the world beyond your father's fields of corn and soybeans was much more promising than you ever could imagine, full of light and glitz and movie stars, all the wifi you could use and the best caramel lattes ever. Because to believe otherwise means you have to accept that Omaha is all there ever will be for you, and all you can ever hope to achieve is an office job at your brother's insurance firm, pushing papers back and forth day in, day out, watching the analog clock at your desk with the bull logo tick down to five o'clock. But you refuse to think that; you refuse all the trappings of that life and instead you buy a one-way ticket to Las Vegas and fill a beat up duffel bag with all your clothes that still fit and a new pair of bright purple stilettos. Because you're going to go there and make a name for yourself, you're going to be somebody. Otherwise it's back to Omaha and Daddy's corn field and you never wanted to be the heiress to a soybean fortune, anyway.

    - C. Litchfield

     

  • Mailing List Sign Up

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  • Official Paper Bag Writers Swag Available for Purchase!

    Visit our CafePress store to purchase t-shirts, totebags, mugs, journals and more!

     

     

  • FAQ

    Fall 2016 Submissions

    Why ghost stories?

    A few reasons. 1) Halloween is coming up and we love Halloween; 2) this year marks the 200th anniversary of writer and poet Lord Byron's challenge to his friends Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Polidori to write a ghost story, and the subsequent birth of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein; 3) PBW is now located near Baltimore, the final resting place of writer Edgar Allan Poe, who was a master of terror and suspense.

     

    Does my piece have to include a ghost?

    No. We're using the term loosely here to describe a scary story. You can use monsters, vampires, zombies, Cthulhu, the Chupacabra, Demogorgon, or something that takes on scary qualities. Just no torture porn, graphic violence or sex, animal abuse or cruelty. We think it's possible to write scary stories without getting into graphic detail.

     

    So I don't have to write my piece on a bag this time?

    Nope! But you do have to include mention of a paper bag in your story, poem or essay if you want to be considered for publication on the site. We do have to live up to our name in some fashion, after all.

     

    Can I add drawings or do a cartoon?

    No.

     

    Is this a contest?

    We're still figuring that part out. If we can get prizes donated that are in keeping with the ghost story theme, then we'll post an update here and on our social media accounts about the contest portion.

     

    Is there a submission fee?

    No, but we ask that when you submit, to please consider donating $5 to PBW to help us keep the site going.

     

    How soon will I find out if my bag has been accepted for publication?

    Our plan is to respond within 6-8 weeks of receipt. If we get overloaded with submissions, it may take a little longer. We'll post an update on our social media accounts if we are running behind schedule.

     

    When will you begin posting featured writers on the site?

    If all goes well, we'll start in January 2017 and continue through the spring.

     

    I have other questions.
    Send us an email. Please be patient - we get a lot of messages, so it can take us several days to respond.

     

    Open Submissions 2015

    I really need a writing prompt.

    We totally understand. You can follow/like us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to see daily prompts during the submission cycle. If you're not using any of those social media platforms, contact us and we'll send you a week's worth of writing prompts.

     

    How much will it cost me to mail my submission to you?

    Since we don't know where you're located, it's hard to say. Our experience during beta testing was that it cost approximately US $1.00 to mail a single brown paper lunch bag in a 9 x 12 manila envelope. Check with your local post office to be sure.

     

    How soon will I find out if my bag has been accepted for publication?

    Our plan is to respond within 6-8 weeks of receipt. If we get crazy busy with submissions, it may take a little longer. We'll post an update on our social media accounts if we are running behind schedule.

     

    When will you begin posting featured writers on the site?

    If all goes well, we'll start in early July and continue through the fall and winter.

     

    General Questions

     

    What's the point of this site?

    The simple answer: Paper Bag Writers exists to showcase how people are tapping into their creativity by using a familiar object in a new way.

     

    If this all started because of air sickness bags, why aren’t you using those?
    Because it is so much easier to find brown paper lunch bags. For our open submissions cycle starting March 2015, you'll be able to submit original stories, poems and essays written on air sickness bags.

     

    Did other passengers think you were weird for writing on air sickness bags?

    Probably. There was one instance where two young girls in my row asked me what I was doing, and admitted they thought I didn't know what the bag was for.

     

    Do you still write on air sickness bags?

    Yes. Once I get on the plane and settle into my seat, I pull out the air sickness bag and my trusty Sharpie, flip open to a random page in the in-flight magazine, set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes, and begin writing. I'm usually done before the flight attendants do their safety checks.

     

    Can I interview someone at Paper Bag Writers for an article I'm writing?

    Sure! Send us an email.

     

    Writing and Getting Published on PBW

    Writing

    What should I write on the bag?
    Whatever you feel moved to write. A short story, a poem, a personal essay, creative nonfiction. We do ask that you refrain from erotica or graphic violence.

    How many words fit on the bag?

    Approximately 500 handwritten words fit on the bag - that’s 250 words per side.

    What if I make a spelling mistake on the bag?
    To avoid mistakes, we highly recommend writing your first draft on a sheet of paper or in a word processing program, then transcribe it onto the bag. Just keep in mind that it's approximately 500 words.

    Can I add artwork to my bag?
    Yes, within reason. What’s acceptable: A line drawing that supports your story/poem/essay; word art. What’s not acceptable: decoupage, stickers, origami, paper mache. No crafty nonsense. This is about writing.

    Can I do a cartoon?
    No. We may solicit those eventually, but for now, we’re focusing on word-centric pieces.

    Can I transcribe something I already wrote onto the bag?
    Yes, as long as it hasn’t been published elsewhere.

    What kind of pen should I use?
    Felt-tipped pens work well. Ultra fine point Sharpie permanent markers are also great. Black or blue ink only, please.

    I really prefer to write in pencil.
    That’s fine, but in order to ensure that your bag scans clearly, the letters need to be crisp and dark - pencil tends to smear easily. You can always type out your piece first, then transcribe it onto the bag with a black or blue ink felt-tipped pen or a permanent marker.

    My handwriting is terrible. Can I have someone else handwrite it on the bag for me?
    Yes, but it’s up to you to double-check their work and it still needs to be YOUR original work on the bag.

    Will you transcribe my bag?
    No.

    Will my bag be returned to me?
    No. We recommend you keep a scan or copy of the bag for your files.

     

     

    Getting Published on PBW

    What will you do with my bag once you receive it?
    We read your submission and determine whether or not it’s a good fit for our site. If we decide we’d like to publish it, we send an email to let you know it’s been approved for publication. If you want it to be published, we send you a contract for publication for your signature, along with an image file of your bag as it will appear on the site. We also request a 50-100 word bio, how you want to be attributed on the site, and any links to a website, blog, or other online resource where people can read your work.

    Do you post every bag you receive?
    During the beta phase, nearly all the bags we’ve received have appeared on the site. As we move into the first open submissions round, we reserve the right to select only those bags we feel best represent what Paper Bag Writers is about.

    What’s the screening process for the featured writers?
    Our screening process is pretty straightforward: Is the writing legible? Is it erotica or full of graphic violence? Is it heavier on art than on text? Is it an original work? Does the bag scan well? Did the writer provide a bio or other attribution when asked?

    Will I get paid for being a featured writer on the site?
    No.

    I got approved for publication on the site and received a contract for publication. Why do I need to sign and return the contract?
    First of all, congratulations! The contract protects you and Paper Bag Writers in the event of plagiarism or copyright infringement, and it outlines your rights as the author of the work. Contracts for publication are standard in the publishing industry.

     

    Troubleshooting and Other Issues

     

    I sent in my bag and it was approved for publication, but it hasn’t been posted to the site yet.

    We queue our posts for the site based on the order we receive the bags and when we receive the signed contract, bio, links and attribution information from the writer. To ensure your bag gets posted in a timely manner, make sure to respond to any emails from the editorial team requesting a bio or other information.

     

    I have other questions.
    Send us an email. Please be patient - we get a lot of messages, so it can take us several days to respond.

     

  • Contact PBW

    Have a question for Paper Bag Writers? Drop us a line!

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