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Manuscript Consultations

The editorial staff of Electric Literature is pleased to announce that we will be offering in-house manuscript consultations! 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. 

Electric Literature is a nonprofit dedicated to making literature exciting, relevant, and inclusive. With our online literary magazine and educational opportunities, EL champions and cultivates talented and diverse early-career writers, challenging the outdated gatekeeping of the literary establishment. In 2022, EL won the Whiting Digital Literary Magazine Prize in recognition of these efforts. Everything EL publishes is free to read online, and all writers are compensated. Work published by EL has been honored with the highest industry accolades, including the Best American series and the O. Henry Prize anthology.

Unlike literary magazines of comparative stature, the more EL grows, the more inviting we are to new writers. Rather than seeking out authors with name recognition, or publishing from within an exclusive circle, 73% of the work published sitewide comes from unsolicited pitches and submissions. We consider thousands of submissions and pitches per year, and do not charge submission fees for our regular submission periods. As a result of our rigorous and transparent editorial processes, the magazine has championed countless writers who did not yet have institutional support, including many from underrepresented backgrounds and marginalized communities. 

Previously, Electric Literature has only offered editorial feedback for accepted work. We are excited to extend the opportunity to receive in-depth, comprehensive edits from our talented editorial team to a small group of writers of all experience levels.

Instructions, Requirements, and Details

  • Manuscript consultations are available for short fiction and essays up to 6,000 words.
  • 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.
  • Other than word count and formatting, there are no application requirements. However, in order to get the most out of your consultation, we strongly encourage you to revise your manuscript independently and submit as polished a draft as possible. 
  • We reserve the right to decline to review work for any reason, without explanation, at our editors’ discretion. If your manuscript is declined, a full refund will be issued.
  • Enrollment begins via our online store 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. Please be advised that we expect this opportunity to sell out quickly, and we do not have sufficient staff capacity to offer additional slots at this time.
  • Once you have purchased a manuscript consultation, your slot is secured, and you have until August 31 to submit your manuscript.
  • Each manuscript will be assigned to an Electric Literature editor from the roster below. We are not able to accommodate requests to be paired with a specific editor.
  • Each writer will receive detailed marginal notes, and a 30-minute video or phone call with their editor.
  • Writers will receive written feedback by September 30, 2023, and consultation calls will take place before the end of October.
  • Writers who receive manuscript consultations will not be given preferential treatment for future submissions to Electric Literature, and are required to adhere to our regular submission guidelines. 
  • The fee for a manuscript consultation is $300.
  • After you purchase the manuscript consultation in our store, we will send you a private Submittable link 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.
  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced in 12 pt Times New Roman font, and should include the author’s name and email address at the top. Please number your pages.
  • In lieu of a cover letter and author bio, please include a paragraph or two about yourself to help us to get to know you, and your progress with the submitted work. Where are you in the revision process? Is there anything specific you would like help with? Please also note whether your submission is an essay or a short story.

In partnership with Lambda Literary, Electric Literature is pleased to offer free manuscript consultations to five fellows of their Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.

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

Editor Bios

Kelly Luce, Editor of The Commuter

Kelly Luce has fifteen years of experience editing both fiction and non-fiction. Former positions include editor-in-chief of Bat City Review and editorial assistant for the O. Henry Prize anthology, where she read every short story published in 2014-15. She served as Electric Literature’s essays editor from 2015-2018. In 2018, she became editor-in-chief of The Commuter, where she acquired and edited Vanessa Chan’s “The Ugliest Babies in the World,” which later became the title story of Chan’s forthcoming story collection in a major two book deal. Pieces Luce has edited have appeared in the New York Times, Best American Essays, Best American Fantasy, the O. Henry Prize anthology, Wigleaf Top 50, Best Small Fictions, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and won a SAJA Award. She has taught novel writing at Writing Workshops Dallas since 2018. 

Kelly is also the author of the story collection Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail and the novel Pull Me Under, a Book of the Month Club selection and one of Elle’s Best Books of 2017. A first-generation college student, she earned her BA from Northwestern University, an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers, and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her fiction has been supported by the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Ucross Foundation, Art Omi, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and appeared in The Sun, Chicago Tribune, Salon, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2023 Wachtmeister Award from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Halimah Marcus, Executive Director and Editor of Recommended Reading

Halimah Marcus has been a fiction editor since 2012, when she co-founded Electric Literature’s weekly fiction series, Recommended Reading. Over the last decade, she has worked with hundreds of writers, including A.M. Homes, Weike Wang, Sheila Heti, Helen DeWitt, James Hannaham, Laura Van Berg, Charles Yu, Etgar Keret, Ben Marcus, Maggie Shipstead, Nathan Harris, Catherine Lacey, as well as many other established and emerging writers. Stories she has edited have gone on to be included in Best American Stories, Best American Mysteries and Suspense, Best Australian Stories, the O’Henry Prize Anthology, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. 

Halimah is also the editor of Horse Girls (Harper Perennial, 2021), an essay anthology that reclaims and recasts the horse girl stereotype, which was a New York Times “New and Noteworthy” pick. Her own short stories have appeared in Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, One Story, BOMB, The Literary Review and elsewhere. Andrew Sean Greer selected her short story, “The Party Goers,” from the The Southampton Review as a distinguished story in Best American Short Stories 2022. Halimah has an MFA from Brooklyn College, and lives in Kingston, New York.

Wynter K Miller, Associate Editor

Wynter K Miller began her editing career in academic publishing with a focus on narrative medicine and bioethics. She was a Senior Editor for the UC Davis Law Review, where she acquired and edited scholarly manuscripts for print publication. During her tenure, her own writing was recognized with four Witkin Awards for Best Essay, as well as an honorable mention for the Hopkin’s Award, awarded annually for publication of the most accomplished work. Her writing appears in Washington & Lee Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, and UC Davis Law Review, among others. Wynter also worked for several years developing and editing manuscripts now published in top-tier academic and medical journals, including the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Bioethics. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in the Department of Bioethics where she edited manuscripts, provided developmental editing for works in progress, and published her own work. 

Wynter now applies her editorial expertise to fiction and creative nonfiction. She was the managing editor of Forum Literary Magazine and in that capacity worked with fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Wynter has worked at Electric Literature since 2021 and previously served as a contributing editor and Interim Books Editor. She is currently the Associate Editor, working on both Recommended Reading and EL’s Creative Nonfiction Program, where she acquires and edits fiction and nonfiction. Her editorial focus is on finding and elevating work submitted via open submission; recent pieces include “One-Hundred Percent Humidity” by Michelle Lyn King, “The Last Unmapped Places” by Rebecca Turkewitz. Wynter has a JD from the UC Davis School of Law and lives in San Francisco.

Denne Michele Norris, Editor-in-Chief

Denne Michele Norris was previously the fiction editor of Apogee Journal. In 2017, she acquired and edited “Eula,” the first published story in Deesha Philyaw’s award-winning collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, and “An Almanac of Bones”, the first published story in Dantiel W. Moniz’s acclaimed collection, Milk Blood Heat. In 2018 she became the fiction editor at The Rumpus, where multiple stories she edited were awarded the PEN Robert J. Dau Prize for debut short fiction, and she worked with writers such as Alejandro Varela, Hilary Leichter, Tyrese Coleman, Zak Salih, and Jade R. Jones. In 2021, Denne Michele was named editor-in-chief of Electric Literature where she spearheaded Both/And, a groundbreaking series of fifteen essays written by trans and gender nonconforming writers of color, all edited by a trans woman of color. As Electric Literature’s editor in chief, Denne Michele is the first Black, openly trans woman to helm a major literary publication.

Denne Michele’s writing has been supported by MacDowell, Tin House, VCCA, VONA, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. Her short stories appear in McSweeney’s, American Short Fiction, SmokeLong Quarterly, and ZORA, and in the anthologies Everyday People: The Color of Life, published by Atria Books, and Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her short story, “Where Every Boy Is Known and Loved” was a finalist for the 2018 Best Small Fictions Prize. Her debut novel, When The Harvest Comes, is forthcoming from Random House.    

Deesha Philyaw, Board Member

As a freelance editor, Deesha Philyaw has worked with dozens of fiction and nonfiction writers one-on-one over the last eighteen years. Additionally, along with Very Smart Brothas co-founder Damon Young, she edited 1839, a Pittsburgh-based digital publication celebrating Black culture. In 2017, Deesha edited and co-published, along with multidisciplinary artist vanessa german, an anthology of prose, poetry, and visual art by Black women and femmes titled TENDER a literary anthology and book of spells: evidence.

Deesha’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha’s publication credits include The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Food & Wine, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Brevity, Oxford American, Harvard Review, McSweeney’s, Apogee Journal, Aster(i)x Journal, Columbia Journal Split Lip, fractured lit, Smokelong Quarterly, Gravy,  and more. Deesha is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and was the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is an empty-nester and currently calls Oakland, California home.

Alyssa Songsiridej, Managing Editor

Alyssa Songsiridej is the managing editor at Electric Literature and has been editing fiction since 2016. Before EL, she was the editor-in-chief of Storyscape Journal. The first story she acquired and edited for Electric Literature, Azareen van der Vliet Oloomi’s “It is What It is,” was selected by Min Jin Lee for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2023. 

She is a 2022 National Book Award 5 under 35 honoree and the author of Little Rabbit, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the Edmund B. White award. Little Rabbit was also selected as one of the best books of 2022 by The New Yorker. Her short stories have been published in StoryQuarterly and The Indiana Review, and she has received support from institutions such as the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and Lighthouse Works. She has an MFA from Temple University, and lives in Philadelphia.