Art Guidelines
For the Carolina Prize and County Lines

Considerations for cover and interior art submissions.

All About High-Quality Images

the baseline technical requirements for consideration

When submitting artwork either for competition during the submissions window for the Carolina Prize (mid-January to mid-March) or during the County Lines: A Literary Journal general submissions window (mid-March to mid-August), we accept or reject artwork based on the quality of the work itself, but also based on an image's fitness for publication from a technical perspective.

The Guidelines, the short-and-sweet version

The Guidelines, in detail

The Carolina Prize is a cover art competition

The winner of the Carolina Prize art competition will be used as the cover for the next issue of County Lines. The cover is approximately 6 x 9 inches (width x height, portrait). Therefore, the ideal image you send us will need to be roughly 1800 x 2700 pixels or larger. Give or take. That's the equivalent of a 300 dpi image at 6 x 9 inches. If you overshoot, that is just fine. If you undershoot, depending on the nature of the image, the quality will be impacted, and it's less likely we can use it.

The winner of the Carolina Prize will grace the cover of the next issue of the journal. Honorable mentions may be selected to be included as interior artwork. In that case, they will converted to grayscale. Images with a higher contrast tend to present better on the page in grayscale.

County Lines art submissions (during open submissions) are only for interior art

The guidelines remain the same, but again, if the image does not render well in grayscale, it is unlikely to be accepted. If you are able, consider converting the image to grayscale before sending it to us.

So, how do I achieve (or surpass) the minimum recommendation?

If creating or manipulating the work in GIMP, Photoshop, Inkscape, or Illustrator:

If photographing the work with your phone camera:

Good Luck!