Mission Statement

Cleaver is a Philadelphia-based online magazine that provides a platform for writers and artists producing work of the highest quality.
Cleaver exists to:

  • elevate emerging voices, including young adults, alongside established writers.
  • showcase Philadelphia literary voices among national and international literary artists.
  • develop the editorial skills of young writers through our selective internship program.
  • present balanced, insightful book reviews promoting work published by small presses as well as often-overlooked works in translation.
  • represent the fullest diversity of literary art for all genres and content, advancing emerging contemporary literary forms.

Cleaver offers access to the public free of charge. Our literary quarterly is published in March, June, September, and December.

We are independent and self-funded and are grateful for support, in part, from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

About our name: “cleave” is a Janus word, also known as an “auto-antonym”, meaning both itself and its opposite. To “cleave” is both to stick tight and to fall away. A cleaver is the most broad-edged and brutally efficient kitchen knife, designed to be swung like a hammer for the most effective channel of force. “Cleave” also means to come together with strong attachment.

 “…There’s lots to love here, and the editors make it easy by not only selecting great work but also by presenting it in a desirable manner with accompanying images with each piece, artists’ statements with the visual work, contributor bios, and easy navigation. I look forward to following Cleaver along with the many issues I’m sure are to come.”—Kirsten McIlvenna, NEW PAGES.

“Despite its name, the new online journal Cleaver Magazine is neither a venue for the latest Hannibal Lecter fan fiction nor one for decidedly more sane foodies to wax poetic about their favorite cuts of meat. Instead, Philadelphia-based Cleaver is a slick and inviting site that takes full advantage of its online environment to enhance both the written and visual work it publishes.”—Emily Hoffman, THE REVIEW REVIEW.

“I can certainly see why CLEAVER has put forward a preview issue; with a solid design and an already established style with crisp writing, it has me licking my lips in anticipation for the first full issue (due out next month).”—Kirsten McIlvenna, NEW PAGES.

WRITERS: To submit fiction, flash, poetry, or essays to Cleaver, visit our Submissions Page. If you are interested in writing book reviews, craft essays, or travel essays for Cleaver, contact the editors directly.

PUBLICISTS: Query the editors for book reviews of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction.

INTERNSHIPS & STAFF OPPORTUNITIES: Apply using the “Editorial Internship Application” on our Submissions Page.


ISSN 2330-2828

All rights revert back to the author upon publication in Cleaver.