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Electric Literature periodically accepts submissions of short stories, essays, poetry, and comics during designated submission periods through Submittable. General information for these categories are below, and specific information on submission period dates can be found on our Submittable page.

For detailed guidelines and to submit, visit our Submittable page: electricliterature.submittable.com.

We announce open submission periods one to two weeks in advance. The best way to find out about upcoming submissions windows is to subscribe to our eNewsletter, and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Please familiarize yourself with the work we publish before submitting.

Member Submissions  – All Categories, Year Round

Never wait for an open submission period again! Members of Electric Literature who make a monthly contribution of $5 or more a month get access to year-round submissions in any genre, with a guaranteed response time of under three months. Become a member and submit your work today!

Member-exclusive submission links for essays, The Commuter and Recommended Reading can be found in the welcome email you received upon subscribing. If you can’t find the email or did not receive one, please contact Alyssa Songsiridej: alyssa@electricliterature.com.

Recommended Reading - Fiction

Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, publishing short stories and novel excerpts by today's most dynamic voices every Monday, recommended by your favorite writers.

Accepts previously unpublished fiction of 2,000 to 10,000 words.

Two one-week submissions periods per year, usually in Spring and Fall.

Response time: 6 to 8 months

Pay: $300

For candid advice from our editors on how to make your stories stand out, watch our video "How to Get Published in Recommended Reading."

The Commuter - Flash Prose, Poetry, Graphic Narrative

The Commuter is OPEN for submissions July 17 to July 23, or until the submission of 375 is met for prose and poetry (no cap for graphic narrative).

Electric Literature’s second weekly magazine, publishing strange and diverting poetry, flash prose, and graphic narratives every Wednesday.

Accepts previously unpublished flash prose, poetry, and graphic narrative under 1,500 words.

2-3 one-week submissions periods per year.

Response time: 3-6 months

Pay: $100

For candid advice from our editors on how to make your poems, flash, graphic, and experimental narratives stand out, watch our video "How to Get Published in The Commuter."

Essays - Cultural Criticism

Pitches for essays of cultural criticism may be submitted year-round via email.

For greater accessibility, Electric Literature does not require full drafts for submissions of cultural criticism. Instead, please send a detailed pitch to editors@electricliterature.com. Pitches should describe the subject matter of the essay and give a sense of the argument you plan to make or the story you plan to tell. Subject matter should be linked to cultural property, such as: books, writing, narrative media (e.g., TV or film), fashion, food, music, or visual art. We welcome thoughtful considerations of new releases, overlooked classics, and childhood favorites. Essays of cultural criticism may braid personal narrative with analysis or critique.

Requests for Electric Literature to cover your book or your client’s book are not considered pitches.

If your pitch is time-sensitive or news-responsive, please indicate it in your subject line. Please wait at least two weeks before sending a follow-up email.

Pay: $100

For candid advice from our editors on how to make your pitches stand out, watch our video "How to Pitch Electric Lit [Updated]" and "How to Pitch Electric Lit."

Essays - General Nonfiction

Submissions of general nonfiction must be full drafts of personal essays submitted via Submittable. While there are no restrictions on form or subject matter, submissions should center narrative and consider what it means to essay; in other words, write to interrogate, investigate, adventure, and introspect. Submissions must be between 2,000 and 6,500 words in length, and previously published work will not be considered. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if a submission is accepted elsewhere.

Writers may submit one essay per submission period, but may have active submissions across other EL categories. (This does not apply to year-round submitting members. For more information on member submissions, please refer to the welcome email you received when you signed up as a member, or email alyssa@electricliterature.com.)

Upon acceptance, we can offer authors $100 for publishing rights, with 90-day exclusivity. Our response time is two to four months.
For more information on what we’re looking for, please watch our salon on EL’s General Nonfiction Program.


Send pitches for interviews to jo@electricliterature.com with the subject line "Interview Pitch: [Book] By [Author, Pub Date, Publishing House]." The ideal time to pitch is 2–4 months before the book’s publication date. We're looking for literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literature in translation; we're not looking for self-published books, YA, personal development, self-help, cookbooks, romance, crime or mass-market mystery, or children's literature. We welcome pitches about books from independent/small presses. We're looking for interview pitches with strong angles that focus on the themes of the book. We're generally not looking for craft-based interviews about the writing/publishing/editorial process, but will make exceptions for certain titles. Please include information about yourself and relevant clips, the book, whether you're in touch with the author or publisher already (it's okay if you're not), and what you'd like to talk to the author about. Pitch should include a general idea of what questions you're planning to ask the authors, what the interview will be about, and what themes of the book you're interested in. Please wait at least a week to follow up.

Pay: $75

For candid advice from our writers on how to pitch and interview authors, watch our video "The Secrets of Successful Author Interviews."

Manuscript Consultations - OPEN at 7 AM PST August 1 until midnight PST August 31, or until the submission cap of 50 is met

For the first time, up to 50 writers may enroll to receive a comprehensive manuscript review, with detailed notes, and a video call with an EL editor. Please review the full description of the manuscript consultation, as well as our roster of editors here.

We have 50 available slots,  with 10 slots reserved for EL members at a 5% discount. The remaining 40 slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about becoming an EL member here

Enrollment begins at 7 AM PST on August 1, 2023 and closes at midnight PST on August 31, 2023, or when the 50 slots have been filled.

After you purchase the manuscript consultation here, we will send you a private Submittable link to submit your manuscript.

Once you have purchased a manuscript consultation, your slot is secured, and you have until August 31 to submit your manuscript.

To purchase a manuscript consultation as a gift, simply forward the confirmation email that contains the submission link to the gift recipient.  

This opportunity will also serve as an important fundraiser for Electric Lit, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Proceeds will be used to pay staff salaries, writer fees, and help us continue to edit, nurture, and publish over 500 writers annually.

Please send any questions to editors@electricliterature.com.


Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is an annual writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts. The winning work will be performed and recorded live at a Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space, and published on Electric Literature. The winning writer will receive $1000 and a free 10-week course with Gotham Writers. The 2023 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize will be judged by Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land, All the Light We Cannot See). Submissions closed for 2023. Read more about the competition here.