Submissions are Open for Personal and Critical Essays

From today until January 16, send us your true stories about reading, writing, and storytelling

Electric Literature is opening submissions of personal and critical essays starting today, January 2. We’re particularly interested in pieces that examine the intersection of the literary experience and other creative endeavors: film, fine art, music, video games, science, tech, architecture. Submissions will close January 16.

Some of our favorite recent personal essays include pieces about what it’s like to live without a mind’s eye, about a writer’s journey out of her father’s house and into feminist rage, and about why men have to stop telling women to read David Foster Wallace. Has a book changed your life, or has your life changed how you read a book? Do you have a personal story about your favorite story? Bring us your sad, thoughtful, funny, illuminating experiences.

Critical essays may cover a single book, multiple books, a whole genre, or non-book pop culture like TV, music, and games. In the past, we’ve been interested in why we need dystopian stories without apocalypse; the metafictional elements of Dungeons & Dragons; why people are so critical of “I Love Dick”; and why we should all have imaginary friends. Some essays may be both personal and critical, like a meditation on how angry female heroes helped a writer with her depression.

Payment for essays is $50. Length is up to you, but we suggest aiming for 1,500–4,000 words.

Submissions will be accepted on our submittable account here.


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