Welcome to Electric Literature's submissions hub! 

We have a number of categories, including Essays and Recommended Reading. Please scroll down for information and guidelines on the category you are interested in.

Novel Gazing — Open

October 31–November 15, 2017

Novel Gazing is Electric Literature’s personal essay series on the way that stories and reading shape our lives.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been saturated with horror stories about the physical and psychological burdens influential, compassionless men can visit on the people they think they control. I’m not going to ask you for more of those. Instead, let’s talk about the books that helped you see a better way. What stories made you realize that something was wrong with this culture’s attitude towards gender, or beauty, or sexual entitlement? What stories showed you how to name the injustice, and how to fight?

These could be explicitly feminist books, but it’s probably more interesting if they aren’t. (And as always, they don’t need to be books at all; film, television, and even games will do, as long as they’re narrative media.) Feel free to write about your first encounter with Judith Butler, if you can do it with wit and heart that will travel beyond the ivory tower — but even more than that, I want to hear about your experiences with Jessica Fletcher or Honoria Glossop or Susie Derkins. If you’d like inspiration, try this beautiful essay Electric Literature recently published about Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch,” or maybe this Tumblr post about Susan Pevensie that reliably makes me ugly-cry.

Essays should not be longer than 4,000 words or shorter than 800, and payment is $60 per piece. And because I know someone’s going to ask me, of course non-women are welcome to submit their work.

Translated Fiction for Recommended Reading—Open

We’d like to have a round, of sorts, for all the translators out there. So, for two weeks, from November 15th through 29th, we’re opening a special period of submissions for our weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, exclusively for translated work. If you’re in the business of language conversion, check out the guidelines and notes below.

  • Translators can submit either a sample, or a fully translated story that has not been published before. For full stories, per our usual length parameters we will consider pieces between 1,500 and 10,000 words.
  • In cover letters, submitters should detail who is the rights holder — themselves or the original author — as we will need to clear these for publication.
  • Upon a story’s acceptance, we will pay $100 to the translator and $100 to the original author or rights holder.
  • Note that we are looking for stories translated to English.

This period is just a special window for underrepresented work — we happily accept translated stories during any submissions opening, and if you’re a member, year-round! Check out our membership benefits here to find out more!


Recommended Reading General FictionClosed 

Submissions to Recommended Reading are closed, but members of Electric Literature can submit year-round. Join today!

Recommended Reading is the weekly fiction magazine of Electric Literature, and with over 92,000 subscribers in just five years, it’s the fastest growing literary magazine around. Every week, the magazine publishes one story, each chosen by today’s best authors and editors. 

The best way to get a sense of the kind of stories we’re looking for is to read the Recommended Reading archives, especially the stories recommended by Electric Literature, in which we showcase original fiction. We can only consider one story by an author at any given time. Submit your never-before-published stories in the range of 2,000 to 10,000 words; if selected, we can offer a payment of $300.

Recommended Reading launched in May 2012 and has since published 230 issues, including original work by Sheila Heti, A. Igoni Barrett, A.M. Homes, Helen DeWitt, Jim Shepard, Ben Marcus, Etgar Keret, Cesear Aria, Ottessa Moshfegh, Kelly Link, and Mary Gaitskill. We also pride ourselves in championing new voices, and have been early supporters of writers such as Helen Phillips, Sharma Shields, Rebecca Schiff, Diane Cook, and Matt Sumell.

Become a member and get access to year-round submissions!

Recommended Reading is digital-only, available for free online and for $0.99 per issue on Kindle. 


Essays—Closed

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. 

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 apocalypsethe metafictional elements of Dungeons & Dragonswhy 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.

Please title your submission in a way that highlights its connection to the world of literature, the role of narrative in our lives, or the power of storytelling. Essays that do not reflect directly on the world of literature, books, or the role of narrative in our lives cannot be considered. 


Electric Scholarships—Closed

Electric Literature's mission is to amplify the power of storytelling and maintain literature's place in pop culture by embracing new technologies, supporting writers, and building community. Now more than ever, it is important to support writers across economic strata to ensure that literature remains vital and inclusive. In that spirit, Electric Literature is proud to offer full scholarships for 6 to 12 week writing workshops and weekend masterclasses co-presented with the innovative publisher Catapult.

Eligibility: We are able to provide these scholarships thanks to the generosity of Catapult and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and as such, this is an New York City-specific opportunity, and all applicants must reside in New York City. There are no other requirements to apply. Also, these scholarships cannot be applied toward online courses.

Evaluation: Scholarships will be awards on the basis of need and merit, and recipients will be assigned to courses based on their stated preferences and availability. All scholarships must be used between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.

The Scholarship application portal is open from November 15 to December 15.

To apply please upload the following as three separate documents:

(1) Cover letter consisting of:

  • Your name and address

  • A biographical statement, including previous workshop experience

  • A ranking of three courses instructors you’d like to work with. See class schedule here: https://catapult.co/classes

  • A list of workshop categories you are interested in (See list below--include as many as you want).

  • Any availability restrictions such as planned travel or weekly commitments. All workshops take place on weekday evenings. Master classes and bootcamps are held on Saturday from 1-5pm.

(2) 2,000 word writing sample. (If you are applying for the novel generator course, please submit up to 25 pages of the first chapter of your novel-in-progress.)

(3) Statement of financial need (max 1,000 words).

Workshops are available in the following categories:

Fiction
Nonfiction
Publishing
Graphic Novel/Memoir
Online Media (Writing for the Web)
Novel Generator -  applicants must be prepared to workshop the first 25-100 pages of their novel-in-progress by the time class begins
Short Story
Flash Fiction
Travel Writing

Okey-Panky

Submissions to Okey-Panky are here: https://okeypanky.submittable.com/

Translated fiction for Recommended Reading — Open until November 29

Beginning November 15th for two weeks, we’re accepting submissions for newly translated fiction

As if broadening our reading horizons beyond our native tongue wasn’t enough, great translators do so much more. They go further than the meaning of a text, give us access to the melody and feeling of literature from different worlds. And yet, for their almost magical service to global readers, they are often under-acknowledged.

We’d like to have a round for all the translators out there. So, for two weeks, from November 15th through 29th, we’re opening a special period of submissions for our weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, exclusively for translated work. If you’re in the business of language conversion, check out the guidelines and notes below.

  • Translators can submit either a sample, or a fully translated story that has not been published before. For full stories, per our usual length parameters we will consider pieces between 1,500 and 10,000 words.
  • In cover letters, submitters should detail who is the rights holder — themselves or the original author — as we will need to clear these for publication.
  • Upon a story’s acceptance, we will pay $100 to the translator and $100 to the original author or rights holder.
  • Note that we are looking for stories translated to English.

This period is just a special window for underrepresented work — we happily accept translated stories during any submissions opening, and if you’re a member, year-round! Check out our membership benefits here to find out more!