June 14, 2021

Announcing: Rulerless Literary Magazine

so many rules for a magazine that says it's rulerless

From Rulerless

Rulerless is a free-to-read online literary magazine that publishes quality radical and progressive poetry, fiction, and art three times a year. We were founded in February 2021 by Byron López Ellington, a high schooler from Austin, Texas, with a penchant for language, writing, and liberation. Committed to spreading anti-capitalist, anti-state, and intersectionally feminist ideas through the arts, we also hope to bring simple joy to our readers and to the world. Our first issue will be published in the summer of 2021.

Issue 1 submissions are now open!

Rulerless will rely on donations, and our Ko-fi account will open soon. We are also looking at Comradery as our recurring donations site of choice, but it has not yet been launched.

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General Guidelines

Basics

  • Summer 2021 (Issue 1) submissions will be open from April 1st to 30th. The review period for Issue 1 will be May 1st to June 30th. Please be patient.

  • Please query on June 23rd or later if you have not heard back by then.

  • A cover letter is appreciated but not absolutely necessary.

  • Please include a third-person author/artist bio of roughly 50 words or fewer.

  • Please note if you are a member of a disadvantaged community (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBT+/GSRM, neurodivergent, etc.), as we wish to amplify such voices.

  • We only accept original works. We trust your intellectual honesty, but will double-check before accepting.

  • We only accept previously unpublished works. We do not consider posts on blogs or social media to constitute publication, however.

  • If we accept your work, please do not publish it or (re)post it online before publication.

  • We encourage simultaneous submissions, but let us know as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere.

  • We do not currently accept submissions of translated non-original works, but we hope to eventually.

  • Please do not submit more than once per submission period.

  • You may submit up to the maximum of all types of submissions (short fiction, poetry, visual art).

Technical

  • All submissions must be emailed to [email protected].

  • All submissions must be sent in one email.

  • Please include the title of each submission in your email.

  • Written submissions must be pasted directly into the body of the email, not attached as a file or files.

  • For written submissions with special formatting other than left/right/center alignment on the page, please include a .PNG image alongside the plaintext version pasted into the email.

  • Your email subject line must be as follows: “[Type or types] Submission – [your name or pseudonym]” (e.g. “Poetry Submission – Byron López Ellington”).

  • Please format written submissions in a way that’s easy to read. Submissions that are too hard to read for any reason will be disregarded.

  • We pay $50 per contribution. Because of this high amount compared to most other literary magazines, we sign clearly written out, legally binding contracts with contributors. (Ironic for anarchists? Perhaps, perhaps not.) If you do not have access to either printing and scanning (to sign on paper; taking a photo of the signed contract and uploading it counts as scanning, so that part should be easier) or e-signing, please let us know in your submission, as not having that will make it much harder to sign with you.

    • If we sign with you, we will get First Worldwide Serial Rights, First Electronic Rights, and Nonexclusive Anthology Rights to the publication of your work, the latter being in case we ever go through with our plans to create a yearly collection. Furthermore, upon signing your work will be licensed under CC BY 4.0, so please take that into consideration when deciding whether to submit. If you aren’t okay with the idea of anyone being allowed to use your work so long as they credit you, then you will unfortunately not be able to be published in Rulerless.

Content

  • Though we are an anarchist magazine, we accept works from people of all non-bigoted ideologies so long as your work 1) does not express or defend bigoted views, or 2) does not advocate for the notion that states or corporations can be used to meaningfully further liberatory goals. (If you’re unsure whether or not your work violates #2, just submit it with a note about that and we’ll let you know what we think.) However, we will most likely favor works that are explicitly anarchist in nature.

  • We also do not accept works that are overly sexual or gruesome in nature. (Please keep in mind that our Editor and much of our readership are minors.)

  • We usually will not publish works advocating in favor of total or global primitivism, nor works that make it appear like the creator is trying to be a haughty moral authority on matters of consumption or existence under capitalism.

    • We are in full support of green anarchism and massively reducing production in order to save the planet. We distinguish this from anarcho-primitivism.

    • We also distinguish anti-civilization and post-civilization viewpoints from primitivism.

    • We are much more likely to accept works which advocate for people having the freedom to live and organize as anarcho-primitivists, rather than works which insist all people must live as so.

  • We do not accept works of nonfiction. For that we recommend submitting to the Fifth Estate or Sol.

Poetry-Specific Guidelines

Please submit a maximum of three poems. Each must be fewer than 50 lines long. We accept all kinds of poetry, including classical forms and free verse. Please note the line count and form of each individual piece in your submission.

Poetry submissions must be in either English, Spanish, or Toki Pona. Spanish and Toki Pona submissions must have an English translation provided. Words or phrases from other languages are allowed.

For the purposes of submissions, we categorize prose poetry under short fiction.

Fiction-Specific Guidelines

Please submit a maximum of 3 short stories with a maximum combined word count of 10,000.

We accept all genres, including non-genre fiction but excluding erotica and graphic horror.

Please note the word count of each individual piece in your submission.

Short story submissions must be in English. Words and phrases from other languages are allowed.

Art-Specific Guidelines

Please submit a maximum of three works of visual art. All art submissions must be .PNG files. Since we are operating completely online at the moment, there are no limitations on file size other than what we are able to handle on a laptop. However, please understand that your work may be compressed if we publish it.

Please note that if we accept and sign on your work of visual art, we will choose whether to associate it with a specific written contribution or to make it the issue’s cover art.

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What is Anarchism?

When you hear the word “anarchism,” you probably picture bombs, chaos, death and destruction, the rule of the mighty over the weak. This is what the people of the world have been taught about anarchism for over one hundred and fifty years… yet it is about as far away from the truth as possible.

Anarchy is not disorder, far from it.

Anarchy is order without power.

Anarchy is a societal condition in which there are no laws, police, prisons, or rulers, yes — and yes, without organization this would become chaos, and new, unchecked rulers would emerge. But anarchy is more than a lack of those things. Anarchist societies are organized so as to prevent the emergence of social power and hierarchy. Anarchy is a societal condition in which the people organize themselves on the local level, and organize on a wider scale through federations of local communities, and the potential reemergence of one human or group of humans having power over another is fought off vehemently on every level of social organization.

Anarchic societies (meaning those that are not necessarily anarchist, but are structured anarchistically) have existed in various forms throughout history and prehistory, from various hunter-gatherer peoples, to the Shinmin Prefecture of 1929–31, to the Zapatista municipalities today.

Anarchism is the belief that we should strive toward anarchy, and the people who agree with that are called anarchists.

The best way to learn about anarchism and anarchists is to read or watch theory. Below is a list of good classical and modern introductions to the theory of anarchism.

INtroductions to Anarchism

Disclaimer: Most of these introductory texts are by classical anarchists and may have parts that are outdated, use archaic language, or include some opinion or another that is not popular among anarchists today. For example, a line in “An Anarchist Programme” may be interpreted to mean that anarchists intend on abolishing religion, which is untrue as anarchism is completely compatible with religion — just not hierarchical churches. Another example is that early twentieth-century anarchist feminists like Goldman tended to not acknowledge LGBTQ+ issues.

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