paperplates magazine

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“When I asked my mother where this hospital was and how we might ‘send’ Sally there, she replied that all we needed to do was wrap her up in newspaper, place her in a box, and ship her via parcel post.” – Patricia Heim, Child's work “In my short ballet career I remember being a rose, a sunflower, a bunny rabbit with white ears and tail, and finally a ballerina.” – Alison Colvin, Pale pink “I took out plant shears, but then got frightened by how close the three helicopters were circling, circling, circling. Were they circling because I‘d watered past my time allotment the day before?” – Marilee Robin Burton, Naked pink ladies “The lesson to me was clear: students wanted to be heard. They needed to be heard. Without a listener, the student‘s voice had no chance of developing.” – Ryan William McCarthy, Do you know our names? “How any of this happens, or can happen at all, is a mystery. Kudo and I rehearse diligently, but nothing is ever planned except to maintain a meticulous absence of planning.” – Michael Pestel, Stray birds “What words obscure, concordance celebrates. / In duple meter or 3-quarter time, / how eloquently it accelerates / the pulse with neither metaphor nor rhyme.” – Frank De Canio, A musical offering “The hen sat up front beside / the farmer‘s dog, a venerable geezer, / an odd couple that got along / in a curious unison cocking / their heads at passing sights ... .” – David Sapp, The hen “He pokes her Jello and it wobbles. He taps the lunch tray and it sounds off a beat. He eases down in the visitor‘s chair and it exhales a brap with pressure on its air pocket.” – Megan Lynch, Even in February “(Listen, this is a serious poem! For God‘s sake, pay attention!)” – Richard Brancato, Before “It was still light out when she woke. The house was thick with silence. She padded up to the kitchen, turned on the kettle, and sat down. An envelope was propped against the pumpkin spice candle in the centre of the table.” – Tracy O'Brien, Space “Three ways to start a poem, I tell my morning students: / an image, word, or an abstract idea.” – Lee Slonimsky, A walk long after class “Krikri appeared for a while, hopping around as though on a bed of coals, opening and closing his long coat in feigned attempts to take flight.” – Reed Stirling, Magalee's cloak of darkness   ... and much more ...

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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.


Click to open | Cave canem


  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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