The fall semester is back in session and that means we are opening back up for business to receive your submissions. From now until the holidays we will once again be accepting pieces of fiction and poetry in addition to non-fiction submissions. 

About Us

  • Switchback is an online publication of the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. We have recently changed our publication schedule from producing two issues a year to releasing new material throughout all twelve months. Submissions will remain open!
General Guidelines

  1. We only consider previously unpublished works. No exceptions. Thank you.
  2. We do not accept submissions via email or postal service. You can submit your work to us through Submittable. If you run into any technical difficulties in uploading your submission, please contact us at
  3. We do accept simultaneous submissions; however, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere. If you’re exclusively submitting work to us, we appreciate the thought.
  4. If you’re submitting prose, please limit your submission to one story or essay at a time. Stories and essays should be no more than 4,500 words, but we prefer pieces closer to 3,500 words. We won't consider any prose pieces that go over the word count. Period. Sorry, but dem's the breaks.
  5. If you’re submitting poetry, please submit to us no more than three poems. We like things in threes: Olympic medals, wishes, Cerberus heads, jazz ensembles. We don’t like things in fours, except when it comes to lists of things in threes.
  6. Before submitting, please read some of our back issues to familiarize yourself with the content we choose to publish. It's all readily available on our Web site (completely free and immediate), so there's really no reason not to.
Ends on November 29, 2017
We welcome stories of all genres and subject matter. We simply want your best work—stories that you’ve devoted a lot of time and care to. We don’t want to see your first drafts, and probably not your second drafts, either. Likewise, we don’t want stories riddled with clichés, tired tropes, melodrama, or flowery language. We appreciate precision, attention to craft, and language that surprises and inspires us.
Ends on December 29, 2017
How can we push poetry forward? How can we make poetry lively and interesting? How can we evolve this lovely and resilient art-form through this relatively new millennium, and on? We want your best work, your most original work, we want your strangest work. We love it when you take risks. We want work that is exciting, poems which know the joy of words and celebrate it with every phrase. We want to praise you, but only if you earn it. We love good writing just as much as you do, and we want to publish your best writing. Send us your best, your weirdest, your most inspired. Well-done weirdness, in particular, is always a plus. Send us your sick, your dying...leave some soul and blood and maybe a little love on the (digital) page. We want music, we need it, just as much as you please, do us the honor of sending us your best songs. We are here to make sure others hear them.
Ends on December 29, 2017
Please submit completed nonfiction essays on any topic. We'll read any true story.