Welcome to Electric Literature's submissions hub!
We have a number of categories, including Essays, Recommended Reading, and The Commuter. Please scroll down for information and guidelines on the category you are interested in.
Looking for member submissions? You received an email with the members only submission links when you joined. If you can't find that email or believe you never received it, please email email@example.com. Please include the full name associated with your membership so we can confirm your subscription.
Both/And Essay Series Submissions—Open Monday, July 18 2022 (12:00am) through Wednesday, August 31 2022 (11:59pm)
Electric Literature is seeking pitches for Both/And, a new limited essay series focused on personal narratives from trans and gender non-conforming writers of color. Historically, trans people have been forced to imagine, or conjure, representation of ourselves into existing narratives that never sought to include us, often using the stories and fictional lives of canonically cishet characters as foundations for possible trans stories. As people of color, we’re often asked by cishet folks to minimize our queer selves in favor of emphasizing another pressing concern: the matter of racial equity. Both/And is an essay series that seeks to elevate the stories of those at the forefront of the fight for racial and transgender equality. We want to hear from, and work with trans writers of color, so we can uplift those most targeted by the larger cultural obsession with transness, but whose voices are rarely centered in it.
As the only major literary publication helmed by a Black, openly transgender woman, Denne Michele Norris, Electric Literature offers the unique opportunity for trans and gender non-conforming writers of color to be edited and published by a fellow trans writer of color. Though new and established voices are welcome, we want to emphasize that previous publication is not necessary for consideration. Pitches should center personal narrative and engage with any of the following themes and questions:
- Imagination as liberation
- Coming to light, being seen
- Balancing and/or integrating multiple, and sometimes conflicting identities
- Trans lives and voices as transgressive
- Heightened visibility and/or heightened invisibility
- Trans joy, euphoria, or freedom
- Trans anger, rage, or revenge
Additional ideas are welcome as befitting the spirit and themes of the series. We are looking to publish 12 essays, all of which should fall between 2k words and 5k words in length. We will consider pitches on a rolling basis beginning July 18th until August 31st, and begin publishing from the series in September. We’ve completed a dedicated fundraising campaign in order to pay Both/And contributors a higher rate than our standard fee, and are offering $500 per essay—5x our standard rate.
Pitches should be no more than 2-3 paragraphs in length, and can be addressed directly to Denne Michele Norris. For additional information about how to write a pitch, please watch our video, “How to Pitch Electric Lit.” Those planning to submit to the series can use the code bothand2022 to watch the video for free.
The Commuter—Open for PROSE, POETRY, and GRAPHIC NARRATIVE submissions Monday, August 22 (12:00am) through Sunday, August 28 (11:59pm)
The Commuter is our home for poetry, flash, graphic, and experimental narratives. It publishes weekly on Monday morning, and has showcased the likes of Caroline Hadilaksono, Aleksandar Hemon, Jonathan Lethem, Lindsay Hunter, Tahirah Alexander Green, and Julia Wertz.
Please keep the following guidelines in mind:
- For Prose, submit one or more pieces, either standalone or connected, in a single document. The total word count should not exceed 1500 words. We encourage writers to push the boundaries of what is considered fiction.
- For Poetry, submit 4–6 poems in a single document, and please limit the page count to 8. Keep in mind that due to our digital platform, not all poems may render exactly as they appear in a PDF.
- For Graphic Narrative, we are interested in both traditional and non-traditional forms of visual storytelling. Submit up to 3 pieces of narrative illustration, comics, mixed media narrative, or genre-negative oddments. For comics, each piece should contain a minimum of 3 panels. The total page count of your submission should not exceed 20 pages.
- Please submit all genres in .doc, .docx, or PDF.
- Please submit only once per category.
- Please include your email address.
- If your work is selected, we offer a total payment of $100.
- Writers with a submission pending Recommended Reading may still submit to The Commuter
All submissions will be accepted through our Submittable page. For a sense of the kind of work we publish, check out recent issues of The Commuter, our 280-character contest winners, and Recommended Reading’s 300th issue.
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."
Recommended Reading General Fiction Submissions—Open Monday, September 26 2022 (12:00am) through Sunday, October 2 (11:59pm)
- Recommended Reading publishes fiction between 2,000 and 10,000 words. (For fiction shorter than 2,000 words, check for open submission periods to The Commuter.)
- Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please notify us immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.
- Response time is three to eight months.
- Upon acceptance, we can offer authors $300 for publishing rights.
- During the general submissions periods, writers may submit one piece per opening period. (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 reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Writers with a submission pending with The Commuter can still submit to Recommended Reading.
Electric Literature's essays examine books and culture through a personal and critical lens. For greater accessibility, Electric Lit does not require full submissions on spec. Instead, email a detailed pitch to email@example.com. Pitches should describe the subject matter of the essay (which must be about books, writing, or narrative media like movies, games, and TV) and give a sense of the argument you plan to make or the story you plan to tell. We welcome thoughtful considerations of new releases, overlooked classics, childhood favorites—anything that can illuminate or be illuminated by the human experience. Requests for Electric Literature to cover your book or your client's book are not considered pitches. If your story is immediately time-sensitive or news-responsive, indicate this in your subject line; otherwise, please wait at least a week to follow up.
For candid advice from our editors on how to make your pitches stand out, watch our video "How to Pitch Electric Lit."
UPDATE 9/25/2022: Due to the overwhelming number of qualified applications submitted for the Aug 15, 2022 deadline, we will not be considering new applications until the spring. You are still welcome to submit you materials in the meantime and we will get back you in early May.
Electric Literature accepts internship applications with deadlines three times a year: Aug 15 for the fall semester, Dec 15 for spring, and April 15 for summer. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated after each deadline.
Our internships introduce undergraduate and graduate students, emerging writers, and aspiring publishing professionals to digital publishing and the New York literary scene. Because we are a small, not-for-profit publisher, we provide unique opportunities for professional development and resume-building.
As an Electric Literature intern, you are encouraged to become involved in any aspect of our work that interests you. You’ll check email and Slack, but you’ll also have the opportunity to contribute to editorial decisions, and write for the site. Our interns have gone on to work for places like Publishers Weekly, Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House, and… Electric Literature.
- Write book lists and news items for electricliterature.com
- Provide feedback on pitches and submissions
- Proofread and prepare drafts for publication on WordPress
- Select images to pair with articles and brainstorm headlines
- Attend and participate in weekly editorial meetings
- Keep track of upcoming titles and literary news for potential coverage
- Provide research support
- Transcribe interviews
- Perform administrative tasks as needed
- Experience using Wordpress is preferred but not required
- Excellent writing skills and a unique point of view
- Basic understanding of Photoshop and inDesign
- Firm grasp of grammar and spelling
- Organized and fastidious
The ideal candidate
- Has an educational background in journalism, literature, or creative writing
- Has prior internship or entry-level job experience at another publishing, media, or non-profit organization
- Regularly reads new book releases as well as literary magazines and literary websites (including but not limited to Recommended Reading, The Commuter, and electricliterature.com)
- Believes strongly in the Electric Literature mission: to make literature more relevant, exciting, and inclusive
- Is hard working, pays attention to detail, and can work independently
- Writes clearly and with personality
- Has an eye for design and knows what images will grab a reader’s attention
This is a part-time, remote internship (10–20 hours/week) with a $200 per month stipend. Candidates must be able to work at least two days per week during East Coast business hours. We are happy to work with universities and graduate programs to provide course credit, though you do not need to be a student to apply. This three-month internship starts ASAP, exact dates are flexible, and there may be an opportunity to extend the internship through the winter.
How to apply
Please upload the following documents to the application portal:
- A cover letter and resume
- The headline and 2–3 paragraph introduction for a reading list (you can look at the lists section on our site for inspiration). Include 5–7 book titles that you would include on the list, and a short capsule description of one of those books.
Calling all fiction lovers! Electric Literature is looking for new manuscript readers to join our editorial team. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed as need.
Recommended Reading is the weekly fiction magazine of Electric Literature, an organization dedicated to making literature more relevant, exciting, and inclusive. Recommended Reading publishes one story per week: a mix of original work, forgotten classics, and forthcoming excerpts, each with a personal foreword by today’s best writers.
Because Recommended Reading receives a large volume of submissions, a committed corps of volunteer readers is essential to helping the editors find new, unknown, and/or overlooked talent.
- Reading ten manuscripts per week, ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 words each.
- Providing concise but thorough responses (one to two paragraphs) to these manuscripts, with a clear YES or NO recommendation for each.
- Meeting weekly reading deadlines, and clearly communicating with editorial staff when scheduling conflicts arise.
The ideal applicant is:
- An avid and attentive reader.
- Self-motivated and able to meet deadlines.
- Able to express herself clearly in writing.
- A regular reader of Recommended Reading who is familiar with its back catalogue.
- An educational background in literature and/or professional experience in literary criticism, editing, and fiction writing is a plus, but not required.
- An active participant in their local literary scene, and an avid reader of contemporary literature.
This is a volunteer position that requires a commitment of approximately six hours a week for six months, with an opportunity to renew. Readers will work remotely and on their own schedules (as long as they meet the weekly deadline).
Current readers are not allowed to submit their own fiction for consideration in Recommended Reading. Discussion of submissions outside of Recommended Reading is strictly prohibited, and will result in immediate termination.
For a sense of the kind of stories you’ll be reading, visit the Recommended Reading homepage here.
Please submit your résumé and a two-paragraph response/critique of a story published in Recommended Reading. If your resume is selected, the application process will also include a reading test and interview (in-person or video call.)
Applications will be accepted year-round, and we will review and take on new readers as needed.