PLEASE READ CAREFULLY & TO THE END

 

NSJ is written by and for our readers. 

Therefore, it makes sense to understand our mission and reader base. 

We're interested in altered states of consciousness (ASC), particularly from a phenomenological viewpoint (blog post: What is phenomenology?"). 

NSJ is open to interpretation in terms of defining what constitutes an ASC.  Everything from ritual dance, wireheading, hyperbolic geometry, meditation, plant-based hallucinogens, lucid dreaming, stories by Nasrudin, sleep deprivation, mediation, astral travel, optical illusions, ancient rites, spiritual epiphanies, vintage champagne, immersive art, VR - as long as no sentient beings aren't harmed, we're game!

Note: It need not be "your" ASC that you describe. We'd love, for example, to hear from researchers at Hopkins studying the medicinal benefits of psilocybin for depression, sharing their personal perspective about how their work has impacted them. 

Each issue will have a question and submissions and you should incorporate your answer into your piece.  

Though we're driven by the scientific method, we recognize its limitations. Our commitment to epistemic pluralism (blog post: What is epistemological pluralism?) and care are what make us unique. Nothing against Joe Rogan or other current podcasts that address these topics, but the vibe here at NSJ is earthier and more nurturing. 

 

We realize that many psychonauts do their work in isolation without the benefit of a supportive community. This is why we encourage deeply personal life-affirming writing that celebrates any theoretical viewpoints you espouse (e.g., feminist, post-positivist, praxiological, anarchist, etc). You certainly don't need a theoretical perspective, but if you have one, let us know. Help us understand why you think and feel the way you do. 

On that note: we are NOT looking for the kinds of "reporting posts" found on Psychonaut Wiki or Erowid's Experience Vaults, though both are excellent sites. Ours is an artistic, humorous, and healing aesthetic; we seek to facilitate thought-provoking dialogue and deploy healing moments. Our axiology is aligned with the work/style/philosophies of Terence McKenna, Alan Watts, the Shulgins, the writings of Charles Baudelaire, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Lewis Carroll, Douglas Hofstadter, James Hillman, 

If these ideas resonate with you, we encourage you to submit your work. Even if you've never been published before, even if you've gotten more rejections than you can shake a stick at, send us your wayward darlings. At NSJ, it's always happy hour at the Tavern of Ruin. 

In addition to ASCs, we crave: 

 

  • Rich, thick descriptions that make readers smile or laugh

  • Ecological insight

  • New and intersectional perspectives

  • Posthumanist  and more-than-human sensitivities

  • Vulnerability and acknowledgement of foibles

  • A celebration of wonder

  • Integration of scientific and philosophical traditions

  • Anything part-serious, part-absurdcore

And last but not least: 

  • Beautiful writing

We are excited to receive ALL submissions and we especially welcome writers of color, writers who are queer, transgender, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, indigenous perspectives, and anyone who feels that it has been difficult for their work to find a "home."

 

Certain perspectives are underrepresented in certain arenas in the ASC space (psychedelics to name one), so if you're female/female-identifying and your work touches this, send them our way. The NSJ team is predominantly female and 100% open-minded and loving. 

Technical Stuff: 

Submit to: thenightskyjournal@gmail.com

Title line: SUBMISSION <Title of your work>, <Category: Essay, Poems, Story, Art, Other>

Include your work in the body of the email (we won't open attachments)

Please submit to only one category at a time. For poems, up to five at a time is lovely.  NSJ only publishes original material, i.e., first-ever publication. Do not send work that has appeared on the web or elsewhere in print. We have no set maximum length or minimum length. Simultaneous submissions are fine so long as you inform us if your work becomes no longer available. 

 

Please include a cover letter (feel free to address it to "The NJS Team") stating the inspiration for your work and why you feel like it would be a good fit for NSJ. Feel free to include a third person bio detailing where your work has been published before (if applicable). Please only submit work written in English or French (that's all we can read, though we are working on our Italian). Please let us know if you'd like to use a pseudonym, fine with us. We aim to respond to all work within 30-45 days of receipt. If you don't hear back from us within 24 hours saying that we've received your submission and that it is under review, please reach out because it means your submission hightailed it into another dimension. We may make light edits to your work. We will run these by you before publication and get your OK. 

Current Honoraria: 

We pay via PayPal or Venmo, your choice. 

Poems: $3/poem

Essays: $15

Stories: $15

Art work: $15

Other: $15

We hope to be able to pay more in the future as our subscriber base grows. 

We purchase one-time rights. All other rights revert to you upon publication.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Now send us your best work!