Submission Guidelines

Exposition Review’Flash 405 writing competition is OPEN through September 5, 2017. Enter our final 2017 contest with the theme “Blue,” guest-judged by Angels Flight • literary west co-founders and editors David Lott and Michele Raphael. Find inspiration in the winners of Laura Rensing’s June: “Nemesis” theme here, and check out the winners from our past contest here.

Our annual issue is currently CLOSED for submissions. We will reopen in September 2017, but in the meantime, we suggest getting a feel for what we publish here.

Wondering what to submit to us? We like to be surprised; we like writing that transports us with strong voices and a sense of place. We like work that’s thoughtful and cathartic, work that embraces conflict and isn’t afraid to take risks. We love pieces that blur the boundaries of genre.

Annual Issue Submissions:

Every issue has a theme from which writers and artists can draw inspiration. We encourage those who submit to think outside the box; we look for stories that fit the theme yet make us think about it in different ways; we want work that satisfies and challenges traditional forms of storytelling.

All work is read and given fair consideration by our editorial staff. Our submission period runs from September–December each year.

The theme for our 2017 annual issue is “Surface.”

“Surface.” We love stories that evoke a sensory response. When we think of surface, we think of texture, even synesthesia: multiple meanings packed into a single word. A surface can be a reflection, a witness to the superficial or an unveiling of something new. A surface also changes with your perspective; it’s a liminal space between the above and below. One can emerge from the depths, or dive under the surface to discover what greater iceberg lurks bellow. And then there’s surface tension: a delicate thing, and once disturbed, the ripples can spread farther than ever imagined.

So tell us a story about surface. We want stories that transport us, take us through the looking glass. We want fiction and fact and combinations of the two. Tell them in your favorite genre, or bend boundaries and invent a whole new way to tell a story—then submit them to us, for consideration in Vol. II: “Surface.” 

We encourage new, emerging, and established writers to submit their work, as long it fits within the following guidelines.

We accept:

  • Fiction. Short stories and stand-alone novel excerpts not in excess of 5,000 words, or up to three pieces of flash fiction, 750 words or fewer. Pieces that exceed this limit will NOT be read.
  • Nonfiction. Memoir, personal essays, and creative nonfiction, again not to exceed the 5,000 word limit.
  • Poetry. Up to three poems of any form and in traditional or experimental styles.
  • Stage & Screen. One-act plays, scenes, or short film and screenplay excerpts not in excess of 10 pages. Please format according to the standard unpublished playwriting or screenwriting format.
  • Experimental Narratives. We love narratives in all forms. Whether it’s digital poetics, a video, or a transmedia, genre-bending piece, if it tells a good story, creates compelling characters, and/or tickles our literary senses, we want it. Consider the limits in our other categories and our online platform for length guidelines.
  • Art & Photography. Up to five pieces per submission with appropriate credit lines.
  • Comics. We are looking for complete short comics, no more than two pages per piece, with up to three pieces per submission.

Additional information:

  • As of 2015, Exposition Review will ONLY accept online submissions through our Submittable.
  • Please submit ONLY previously unpublished work. Previously published work will not be considered, including work that has been published online.
  • Cover letters should contain all relevant contact information and a brief bio.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but make note of this in your cover letter and notify us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • Do not send more than one piece of any genre at one time.
  • Please wait until we have responded to your first piece before sending another.

Author retains copyright, but is asked to cite appearance in Exposition Review if the work is republished elsewhere.