Submissions Guidelines & Offshoots14 Style Sheet

We invite you to interpret the theme—Fragile States—in terms of political or personal life, temporary or permanent states of mind and/or body, “states” as part of an ongoing process, and/or the natural environment. We welcome the full range of your creativity, including humor and strength, and are particularly interested in writing that achieves universal insights. Anguish-driven memoir or confessional poetry are unlikely to be chosen for this issue of Offshoots.

Editor-in-Chief: Patti M. Marxsen    Editorial Committee: Jenny Bew Orr and Bashir Sakhawarz

Design and Production: Sue Niewiarowski    Photo Essay: Alistair Scott

Eligibility: 1) You must be a member of the Geneva Writers’ Group at the time of submission. 2) Work submitted must be original and previously unpublished. 3) All submissions must be in English and adhere to the Offshoots14 Style Sheet.

Genres: We will accept fiction (short stories, flash fiction), creative non-fiction (essays, memoir, travel, flash non-fiction), and poetry. Writers may submit up to two pieces of prose or poetry with a maximum TOTAL word count of 1,200. Individual poems are limited to 40 lines each in order to present well on our page size.

Deadline: Please feel free to send your work as early as December 1, 2016, but not before. The CLOSING DEADLINE is January 14, 2017, at midnight. Work received after the deadline will not be read.

How to Submit:

  • Email Only to Patti Marxsen at with “OFFSHOOTS SUBMISSION” in subject line.
  • Your submission will be acknowledged as soon as possible. Note: This may be delayed by December holidays.
  • Attach each submission as a separate Word document (.docx is preferred).
  • Your email should not involve a cover letter or any introduction or explanation of your work.
  • Your email simply needs to include your name as you wish it to appear, should your work be selected, and the title of each work with genre listed next to each title.
  • The email address from which your submission is sent will be the one we use to contact you.


Manuscript Preparation: BASICS listed here. Also, please download the OFFSHOOTS14 STYLE SHEET

  • Your name should not appear anywhere on your submission.
  • Titles not to exceed 70 characters, including spaces. (This is the maximum length to fit on one line of our page.)
  • Prose: 12pt Times New Roman with ALL elements double-spaced and ALL text justified Left, leaving a ragged edge on the Right. – Poetry: 12pt Times New Roman. For spacing issues please see Style Sheet.
  • Center page numbers at bottom of page, using the page numbering function on your computer.
  • Type two pieces of information in upper right corner of first page:
  • 1) Word Count for prose submission; line length for each poetry
  • 2) “American English” OR “British English”
  • Submissions that do not follow these requirements as well as the Offshoots14 Style Sheet may be returned with a short deadline for revision at the discretion of the editor-in-chief.


  • The Editorial Committee will read all submissions anonymously and determine selections with the Editor.
  • We cannot engage in personal discussions or third-party appeals for your work during this process.
  • Authors will be informed of final decisions via email at the end of March 2017.
  • Offshoots will be published in the summer of 2017 and launched in the fall.
  • © Copyright reverts to the author following publication.
Please, in case you haven't done yet, download the OFFSHOOTS14 STYLE SHEET
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