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.

The Recommended Reading Commuter—Closed

The Recommended Reading Commuter is our new home for poetry, flash, graphic, and experimental narratives. It publishes every other week, and has already showcased the likes of Noy Holland, Lulu Miller, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Shelly Oria and Nelly Reifler, and more. Below are the categories in which we’re looking for work, and submission guidelines. Please note that, while the Commuter publishes poetry and graphic narrative, this submission period is for prose only. Submission periods for other forms will open in May and June.

  • Flash fiction up to 1,500 words. Writers can submit up to 3 pieces that can be a series or standalone works, but the total word count of the submission should not exceed 1,500 words.
  • We will consider fiction as well as experimental narratives that are difficult to classify and take on unusual forms or formats. 
  • Please submit text in .doc, .docx
  • If your work is selected, we can offer a payment of $100.

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.


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. 

  • Payment for essays is $50. 
  • Length is up to you, but we suggest aiming for 1,500–4,000 words.
  • To see what kind of essays we have published, visit our site

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. 

Recommended Reading General FictionClosed 

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

  • Recommended Reading publishes fiction between 2,000 and 10,000 words. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please notify us immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.
  • Upon acceptance, we can offer authors $300 for publishing rights.
  • Writers may submit one piece per general opening period. (This does not apply to year-round submitting members. For more information on members submissions, please visit the members hub.)

Novel Gazing—Opening January 12

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

  • Essays should not be longer than 4,000 words or shorter than 800
  • Payment is $60 per piece. 
  • Non-women are welcome to submit their work.
  • Read more about our vision for this series here and here.

Translated Fiction for Recommended Reading—CLOSED

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:

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

For the new Novel Gazing, Electric Lit’s personal essay series about the way stories shape our lives, we’re asking: What’s a book you misunderstood?

If you’re a reader, you learn so much about the world from books, especially about aspects of life (like, say, animal husbandry) you might never encounter off the page. This means it’s perilously easy for one inaccuracy, overgeneralization, or misapprehension to upset not only your understanding of the book, but your understanding of the world.

Tell us about a book you thought you understood, or something you thought you learned from a book—and what happened when you discovered you’d been wrong all along. Maybe you modeled yourself on a hero who you didn’t realize was actually the villain. Maybe you didn’t realize your upbringing was weird until you found out that the realistic family saga you loved was supposed to be a gothic horror. Or maybe you just internalized a “fact” that you never thought to question until it was too late.

You may want to read some earlier Novel Gazing essays to get a feel for the series. Some recent favorites include essays about falling in love with language through the work of Francesca Lia Block, about reading the Song of the Lioness series as a closeted young gay man, and about losing faith in Mormonism while reading a Jon Krakauer book.

Essays should not be longer than 4,000 words or shorter than 800, and payment is $60 per piece. Submissions will remain open through June 1.