paperplates magazine

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“My phone vibrated in my pocket. If I'd had time to check it, I would have seen the text message from my brother that read: 'Shots were just fired in the school, two people are injured and there's a fire by the field. I'm terrified right now.'” – Andrew Walker, Miles to minutes “I could sense the fans' anticipation growing, and as the house lights dimmed and the intro music began, it became a collective euphoria.” – Guy Tremblay, Mac Hall “This heavy sky – // it's too cold, too dry / to snow ... .” – Karen Jones, Winter “We go out searching / He with his nose, / me with my eyes. / He smells what I can't see ... .” – Alison Hicks, Walking the dog (1) “He'd once lived in a cardboard box. It was at the Thither Henceforth Gallery for five minutes. After receiving a few coins and a push out the door, he got a paper cut, which inspired an 11-minute wafting close-up of his nicked digit.” – Stacey Resnikoff, No sensation “On nights when it rains, she is oddly comforted by the view of the football field. She can see it from where she usually sits. She watches the field and picks over her ribs. She repents ... .” – Cecilia Stuart, Every Sunday she watches Vatican mass online “Intent follows the kiss and the bullet. / I remember too much, though not everything ... .” – Robert Boates, Mayday “Gritty / iron filings / swirl in the magnetized tunnel / of my sleep ... .” – Mark Belair, Filings “Saint Christopher the Dog-Headed // (even if an Eastern misunderstanding / of Canineus for Cananeus ) // protect me with your sharp teeth, / claws/paws, and impassioned bark ... .” – John Zedolik, Traveller's prayer “I never imagined I'd have a stalker, not that it's something you aspire to. And it wasn't scary, or, I should say, he wasn't scary. It was just that, all of a sudden, he was everywhere I went.” – Margaret Watson, Stalking “My brother Jack emails me this story / from The New Yorker / about a woman with a mysterious itch. / One night she picked through her skull / to her brain ... .” – Margaret C. Hughes, Itch “Looking for the expired / passport I come upon // a sprig of grey hairs / pulled from the drain to / blot a birthday-party napkin ... .” – Dan Wiencek, Loose ends “Layla Rosenberg, our Customer Experience representative who sasses you when she likes you, greets a woman in a wool cap fixated on a photo of our Jewish CEO.” – Trevor Abes, New directions in essays “In the world he left, the walkway / wasn't matted by lichen. Crows atop / the powerline couldn't speak in psalms ... .” – Jack Freeman, Outlier “The smell of stale cigarettes / When it is stuffy and humid inside / Reminds me of a cold winter / Spent away from home / In the northeast ... .” – Sofia Vedechkina, Ceremonial   ... and much more ...

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Stand-alone shorts ...

Sized for cellphone reading

Our series paperbytes is a collection of stories submitted to the magazine that we thought deserved to be published all on their own – and (incidentally) in a format suitable for the smaller screen.

Contributors so far have included Richard Brown, Michael Bryson, Myles Chilton, Mary Frances Coady, Jon Fried, Dave Hazzan, Ellen Jaffe, Adrian Kelly, Lisa Lebedovich, Catharine Leggett, Robert Lindsey, Bill MacDonald, Steve Owad, Uday Prakash, Li Robbins, Ben Woestenburg, A.C. Wright, and Brent Yamamoto.


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  1. We publish one issue a year. Online.
  2. We don't (though we wish we could) pay contributors.
  3. To make sure you know what we publish and the lengths allowed, have a look at a few of our recent issues.
  4. Submit or query by e-mail. Not by post.
  5. No attachments, please. Paste into the body of your e-mail the first 300 words of one prose piece or the entire text of up to five poems.
  6. We have a waiting period of 6 months. Therefore ...
  7. Simultaneous submissions are fine. But ...
  8. Previously published material is not.

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