Submission Guidelines and FAQs

Edith Zimmerman
Dec 8, 2017 · 3 min read
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Update (May 5, 2020): Spiralbound is no longer accepting submissions at this time.

Update (March 29, 2020): Unfortunately, Spiralbound is no longer offering paid commissions at this time.

Spiralbound is a comics, art, and illustration section on Medium. We publish original stories a couple times a week or so, and we’re always looking for new artists — if you’re interested in contributing, please get in touch (with me, Edith, the editor, at

Please read on for submission guidelines and FAQs.

How do I submit?

The two best ways to submit a story to Spiralbound are to:

  1. Send me an email with an outline of the story you’d like to contribute. This can be just text (with additional links to or examples of your drawing style), or as a series of thumbnails (text with sketches). Or as something else that includes the gist of the story and an idea of what it might eventually look like.
  2. Create a Medium profile, upload your story as a draft, and email me a link to the (unpublished) draft for consideration.

What kinds of stories are you looking for?

The short answer is: anything. But we’re looking mostly for original nonfiction comics that aren’t too closely connected to current events. (Although sometimes fiction fits, too.) First-person is a plus but not required. We like to run both long (20 panels or more) and shorter comics.

Are contributions paid?

We have a modest budget, the bulk of which is reserved for original work from artists we’re talking to proactively. However, we do have some flexibility there and are eager to work with contributors who are enrolled in Medium’s Partner Program — sign up here (for free) and email us a pitch or draft, and we can discuss rate from there.

How do I support Spiralbound?

If you’re a Medium member, you already do! But please be sure to read and applaud for your favorite stories so we can continue to reward the artists you love.

If you’re not a Medium subscriber, memberships cost $5 a month and support all kinds of projects, writers, and publications (including this one). Your monthly contribution also helps keep Medium ad-free, which means members decide what gets funded — not brands or advertisers.

What are the specifications? Black and white, color? What kind of resolution?

Black-and-white and color are both great. The Medium platform allows for images to be a maximum of 2500 pixels/inch and 25MB.

Ideally, each panel of a given comic will be uploaded as its own JPG. (One, two, or three JPGs can then be arranged into a single row on the page, for desktop.) Each panel being its own JPG optimizes readability for users on mobile, as comics automatically reformat on mobile devices into a stacked column of single JPGs (meaning that multi-panel JPGs would be more challenging to read). This makes a little more sense if you create a Medium draft and upload some images to drag around.

Are you looking for excerpts from books?

Yes — especially if the book is coming out now (or soon, or within the past few months). Or if it’s older but looking for a new audience. Let me know what you’re thinking and hopefully we can figure something out.

Can I submit something that’s been published elsewhere?

Yes! (As long as there’s no conflict with the place where it originally appeared.)

If you have any other questions, please drop me a line. Thanks for your interest!


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