By purchasing a print subscription:

+ You reserve 2 limited print editions of American Chordata each year (delivered straight to your door!)
You support an independent, unfunded, ad-free, and non-profit magazine

We’ll love you for it. A lot.


Photo: Nick Ballon
Design: Adly Elewa



An essay by Jerelle Kraus

Fiction by Amir Adam, Jekwu Anyaegbuna, and Olivia Parkes

Poems by Michael Brown Jr., Xava Nitzan De Cordova, Caitlin Dube, Tim Lavis, Maria Rosa Mills, Bryan Narendorf, Dennis O’Connell, Tim Robbins, Emily Sklar, Kevin Wood, Diana Woodcock, and Thomas Young

Art and photography by Kent Andreasen, Brian Arnold, Nathan Bajar, Nick Ballon, Elvert Barnes, Steven Beckly, Nick Boso, Parker Day, Maurice Van Es, McNair Evans, Jason Falchook, Nikita Gale, Jackie Gendel, Nicholas Gerber, Sandra Gramm, Harry Griffin, Harry Gould Harvey IV, Sarah Haug, Claudia Imbert, Zisis Kardianos, Cheryl Kelley, Arseni Khamzin, Adam Kremer, Jessica Labatte, Matthew C. Lange, Adam J Long, Charles Ludeke, Olaf Martens, Julian Master, Katie Vetter Miller, Nik Mirus, Aso Mohammadi, Sam Nixon, Tim Parchikov, Lucius Pax, John Francis Peters, Piotr Pietrus, Mimi Plumb, Annie Powers, Andrew Querner, Fabrizio Raschetti, Alexander Rotondo, Stephane Salvi, Lina Scheynius, Heather Sten, Hagihara Takuya, Camille Vivier, Carolin Walch, and Alba Yruela

Limited print edition.
Full color.
5.5 x 8.5 in. 224 pages.
ISSN 2378-2560 (print)
ISSN 2378-2579 (online)


Photo: Matthew Bradley
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Jason Fulford
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Rick Erfmann
Design: Adly Elewa


American Chordata is a biannual magazine of bright voices in fiction, nonfiction essay, and poetry, as well as art and photography. We are founded on the belief that a good literary magazine can celebrate sophisticated design and earnest expression on the same page. We seek to publish work that is brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed.

Each issue of American Chordata is published simultaneously online and in print. While we hope you’ll support the magazine by purchasing a print edition or yearly subscription, the online editions (PDFs) are, and will always be, free to read, download, print, and share.

ISSN 2378-2560 (print)
ISSN 2378-2579 (online)


Ben Yarling

 Alison Lewis



Bobby Doherty


Alison Lewis
Zach Fruit
Ryan Harrington
Matthew Hitchman
Rebecca Shaughnessy
Liza Sweeney


Zach Fruit
Rebecca Shaughnessy
Rachel Stuart



Justin Cahill
Emma Berry
Quynh Do
Melanie Tortoroli


Adly Elewa




Alice Rha


Stack Awards for Independent Magazines

Winner of “Best Original Fiction”
Special Commendation for “Launch of the Year”

Special Commendation for “Best Original Fiction”
Special Commendation for “Best Original Nonfiction”

“If you asked the American Chordata team why on Earth they started a literary magazine, I’m sure the answer would be clear. They have a precise vision, one that encompasses words as well as visuals, and a light aesthetic unlike that you usually find in dense, text-heavy publications.”

“The crème de la crème of new printed matter . . . It wasn’t so long ago that people were writing off the literary magazine as a form . . .This is a charming new example . . . a coherent and satisfying whole.”

“A brilliantly designed literary magazine that sidesteps smug melodrama.”
—It’s Nice That

“A new mag defined by a vision of transparency and clarity of expression.”

“A literary magazine everyone should read . . . Fantastically exciting . . . made an immediate impact with its fresh, entertaining writing . . . . the words and pictures are allowed to collide carefully on the page, each element helping to change the tone of the other.”
—Stack Magazines

“Flipping through American Chordata is really a breath of fresh air. So much great photography and paintings in a layout that really lets the imagery shine next to the text content <3.”

“Impressive . . . An earnest, attractive intelligence pervades the offering, from the directness of the journal’s mission (‘Deliberate respect for the plurality of human experience’) to the colorful art and bold pull quotes.”
—Poets & Writers

“Five stars. Impeccably curated. . . . a virtually unique publication, indeed, a carefully and beautifully crafted product.”
—The Review Review

“Easily the best (and best looking) new literary mag on the stand.”
—AIGA Eye on Design

“A WHOLE OTHER level of necessary reading.”

“A Brooklyn-based newcomer that has fast made a name for itself, literary magazine American Chordata publishes fantastic new writers alongside sophisticated design and intriguing visuals.”

“This New York-based startup thrills not only with an individual visual language, but also has a substantive, suspenseful editorial organization that creates a potent conversation between the design and the content.”
—Zimmerman Editorial, Reviews



American Chordata seeks short works of original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We have no formal word limits or stylistic constraints but look for work that is brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed.

We also welcome art and photography submissions.

We’re always open for submissions, but response times will be rather slow when we’re not in an active reading period. We hope you’ll forgive us for that!

We are currently accepting submissions for Issue Five. The deadline to be considered for Spring 2017 publication is January 15, 2017.

For more information about how to submit, see our submission guidelines below.

Please read these guidelines closely.

Submission Guidelines

Please send us only finished work that you really believe in.

In the effort to shorten our response times, we are now accepting submissions through Submittable.
Please include a short autobiographical note with your submission.

At this time we are only accepting online submissions. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions must be in .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt formats. We welcome art and photography submissions in the form of low-resolution jpegs or links at which we can find the work online.

Please submit no more than 2 works of prose at a time, and no more than 5 works of poetry, art, or photography (3 if the poems are longish).

We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can, but allow up to 12 weeks for a response during reading periods.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but we hope you’ll let us know if your work has been accepted for publication elsewhere.

If accepted for publication, we ask for first serial rights to publish and distribute your story, essay, or poem(s) in the English language, in print and electronic formats, throughout the world. You will receive a gratis copy of the issue in which you are published.

We are a small, independent magazine and regret that we cannot offer compensation for publication at this time.

Interested in stocking American Chordata in your bookstore, newsstand, or shop?

We make it simple to become an official stockist by offering resale bundles of 5, 10, or 25 copies at deeply discounted prices.

American Chordata is a biannual magazine of bright voices in fiction, nonfiction essay, and poetry, as well as art and photography. We are founded on the belief that a good literary magazine can celebrate sophisticated design and earnest expression on the same 5.5 by 8.5 page. We offer a venue for work that’s brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed. You can read more about us on magCulture and Stack, or in a good ‘ol search engine.

American Chordata is currently available from the following beloved retailers:

New York

Book Thug Nation
100 North 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249


Human Relations
1067 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237


McNally Jackson
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012


Bouwerie Iconic Magazine
215 Bowery
New York, NY 10002



Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122



Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum
Spui 14-16
1012 XA



magCulture Shop
270 St John Street
London EC1V 4PE




22a Broad Street
Bath BA1 5LN
Somerset, England



La Biblioteka
70 Pinstone St.
Sheffield S1 2HP, UK

American Chordata is seeking an Spring 2017 Outreach Intern to help us get the word out about our magazine to potential readers, stockists, and subscribers. This is a part-time, remote position; if you are in the New York City area you’re welcome to attend AC meetings in person (otherwise, we are happy to Skype you in). The internship will begin in late February/early March and will end in early June 2017, when we will publish Issue Five of American Chordata. Our ideal candidate is passionate about literature and the arts, writes clearly, and is a self-starter who can prioritize and balance tasks in an entrepreneurial environment. If you’re an American Chordata super-fan, that’s a big plus.
The fine print: this is a volunteer-basis internship with American Chordata Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit educational institution whose primary mission is to promote the development of creative individuals as writers and artists and fostering public appreciation of excellence in the literary and graphic arts by publishing, owning, operating, and maintaining a magazine containing fiction, poetry, essays, artworks, and photography. Because we’re an unfunded nonprofit, we regretfully are unable to offer compensation or benefits for the internship. The internship will offer meaningful experience to someone looking to break into the publishing industry.