Retrospect is expired clarity. It’s that final scene in The Sixth Sense. It’s the past outrunning the present, barging into the room and saying, “Let’s see what you’ve done with the place.” In retrospect, we think about things differently. Sometimes with humor. Sometimes horror. Sometimes regret, or relief. We merge what was with what is, and for a moment, they are one.

Caustic Frolic is seeking fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music, and digital media related to the theme Retrospect for our Spring 2021 issue. We encourage those submitting to interpret the term liberally and experimentally, drawing from the past, the present, and the ways they collide in any way you see fit. We want your work to challenge what we’ve seen before, what we’ve interpreted before, what we thought to be true.

Submission Requirements:

  • The deadline for submissions is March 13, 2021 at 11:59PM EST.
  • Please include a cover page with your name, telephone number, email address, and a short bio (up to 150 words), as well as social media handles you would like to include. The cover page should be attached as a separate document from your submission(s).
  • Please do not include any identifying information in the body of your submission(s). All submissions are evaluated anonymously, so identifying information should only appear on your cover page.
  • Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words.
  • Essays should be formatted to follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; please use endnotes, double-spaced, on a separate page following the body of the text.
  • All fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions must be in .doc or .docx file format.
  • All art submissions must be in high-resolution digital format (PSD or PNG files) and provide dimensions of the piece as well as materials/medium employed.
  • Digital submissions, which will be published solely on the website, should also be in high-res PSD or PNG for images, while video content should be sent in either AVI, FLV, WMV, MP4, and/or MOV formats. MP3 or links to Spotify/Soundcloud players are acceptable for music submissions. For genre nonconforming submissions: submit whatever format makes sense to you and we will work out the details on a case-by-case basis. Please feel free to contact Caustic Frolic with any questions.
  • We accept submissions in any language, but an English translation must accompany all non-English texts. Non-English submissions will only be published online.
  • We accept multiple submissions (up to 5 pieces per author), but we ask that each submission be attached individually.

All submissions should be sent to