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.
The Commuter Prose, Poetry, and Graphic Narrative Submissions
Members of Electric Literature can submit year-round. Join today!
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.
- Work previously published in any form cannot be considered.
- Please include your email address.
- If your work is selected, we offer a total payment of $100.
- Writers with a submission pending with 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
Members of Electric Literature can submit year-round. Join today!
- 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. Work previously published in any form cannot be considered.
- Response time is six to eight months.
- Upon acceptance, we can offer authors $300 for publishing rights.
- During the general submissions periods, writers may submit one piece per 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.
- Please do not submit a story already previously rejected by Electric Literature, even if the story has been revised (unless you've been invited to do so by an EL editor).
For candid advice from our editors on how to polish your first pages and revise your work, check out our "Submission Roulette II" event and our video "How to Get Published in Recommended Reading."
Cultural Criticism Essays — Pitches for essays of cultural criticism may be submitted year-round via email
- For greater accessibility, Electric Literature does not require full drafts for submissions of cultural criticism. Instead, please send a detailed pitch to email@example.com.
- Pitches should describe the subject matter of the essay and give a sense of the argument you plan to make or the story you plan to tell. For more information watch our salon on how to pitch Electric Lit
- Subject matter should be linked to cultural property, such as: books, writing, narrative media (e.g., TV or film), fashion, food, music, or visual art
- We welcome thoughtful considerations of new releases, overlooked classics, and childhood favorites
- Essays of cultural criticism may braid personal narrative with analysis or critique
- Requests for Electric Literature to cover your book or your client’s book are not considered pitches
- If your pitch is time-sensitive or news-responsive, please indicate it in your subject line
- Please wait at least two weeks to send a follow-up email
General Nonfiction Essays — CLOSED for new submissions. We reached our submission cap of 500 submissions in 36 hours!
Members of Electric Literature can submit year-round. Join today!
- Submissions must be full drafts of personal essays submitted via Submittable
- While there are no restrictions on form or subject matter, submissions should center narrative and consider what it means to essay; in other words, write to interrogate, investigate, adventure, and introspect
- Submissions must be between 2,000 and 6,500 words in length
- Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if a submission is accepted elsewhere
- Previously published work will not be considered
- Response time is two to four months
- Writers may submit once per submission period, but writers can have active submissions across other EL categories. (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 member, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Upon acceptance, we can offer authors $100 for publishing rights, with 90-day exclusivity
- For more information on what we’re looking for, please watch our salon on EL’s General Nonfiction Program
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.
Electric Literature internships introduce undergraduate and graduate students, emerging writers, and aspiring publishing professionals to literary digital publishing. Because we are a small, not-for-profit publisher, we provide unique opportunities for professional development and resume-building.
- Write book lists and news items for electricliterature.com
- Provide feedback on pitches and submissions with written responses, and in editorial meetings
- Select images to pair with articles and brainstorm headlines
- Format, copy edit, and draft articles in Wordpress
- Perform administrative tasks as needed
- Draft and schedule social media posts
- Experience using Wordpress, Canva, and Submittable is preferred but not required
- An enthusiastic, informed, and unique perspective on literature and culture
- Strong copy editing skills, and a 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
- Undergraduate applicants should be in their junior or senior year, and should preferably have off-campus work or internship experience
- 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 Electric Literature’s 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 (15 hours/week) with a $250 per month stipend. 10–12 hours per week will be spent in the virtual office, with 3–5 hours per week spent reading submissions (~10 submissions per week, fiction and nonfiction). Candidates must be able to work at least 2 days per week (Monday–Thursday) during East Coast business hours (9am–6pm ET). We ask that interns make a minimum 3-month commitment, with the opportunity to extend the internship up to 8 months.
How to Apply
To apply, please submit the following via Submittable at your earliest convenience. We are looking to fill the position immediately and applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
- A cover letter and resume. (Current EL readers need only send an updated resume; a cover letter and reading list sample are not required.)
- Write the headline and 2 to 3 paragraph introduction for a reading list (you can look at the Reading Lists 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 readers! Electric Literature is always accepting applications for volunteer readers to join our editorial team in one of three capacities:
- Recommended Reading, EL’s weekly fiction magazine, publishes one story a week: a mix of original work, forgotten classics, and forthcoming excerpts, each with a personal foreword by today’s best writers. Readers must commit to reading ten stories per week, ranging in length from 2,000 to 8,000 words.
- The Commuter, EL’s weekly magazine of flash fiction, poetry, and graphic narratives, publishes one piece of original work per week, as well as occasional forthcoming excerpts. Readers must commit to reading ten pieces of flash prose or poetry per week.
- EL publishes a selection of original creative nonfiction nearly every day of the week on wide-ranging topics, including but not limited to culture, literature, industry, craft, and personal narrative. Readers must commit to reading ten essays per week, running in length from 2,000 to 5,000 words.
Electric Literature receives a large volume of submissions in all categories, and a committed corps of volunteer readers is essential to helping the editors find new, unknown, and/or overlooked talent.
All reader positions are volunteer and require a commitment to complete reading assignments on a weekly basis for approximately six months. 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 work for consideration in the category they are reading in.
- Reading ten pieces per week, ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 words for Recommended Reading and 2,000 to 5,000 words for essays. Submissions for The Commuter vary in length, but a poetry submission typically contains three poems or two to three pieces of flash fiction.
- Providing concise but thorough responses (one to two paragraphs) for each submission, 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
- A proactive and responsive communicator
- Self-motivated and able to meet deadlines
- Able to express themself clearly in writing
- A regular reader of the category who is familiar with its back catalogue
- An educational background in literature and/or professional experience in literary criticism, editing, and creative writing is a plus, but not required
- An active participant in their local literary scene, and an avid reader of contemporary writing
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 work for consideration in the category they are reading in. Discussion of submissions outside Electric Literature is strictly prohibited, and will result in immediate termination.
For a sense of the kind of submissions you’ll be reading, visit our website and take a look at literary magazines and essays.
If you are interested in reading for Recommended Reading, please submit your resume 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.
If you are interested in reading for The Commuter, please submit your resume and a one-paragraph response/critique of a piece of flash fiction or poetry published in The Commuter.
If you are interested in reading nonfiction essays, please submit your resume and a two-paragraph response/critique of an essay published on our website. If your resume is selected, the application process will also include a reading test.
Applications will be accepted year-round, and we will review and take on new readers as needed.
As a part of your Electric Literature membership, you have exclusive access to this Recommended Reading submissions portal. By using this portal, you may submit at any time, up to four stories per year, and receive a response within 3 months. That's right, no need to wait for our twice-yearly open submissions period. It's our way of thanking you for supporting the great writing at Electric Literature and Recommended Reading.
Recommended Reading, a magazine by Electric Literature, publishes one story a week, each chosen by today’s best authors and editors. Though Recommended Reading features original fiction as well as reprints, we will only consider previously unpublished stories during our open submission period.
Before submitting, please take some time to read Recommended Reading, especially those recommended by Electric Literature, in which we showcase original fiction. Recommended Reading publishes fiction ranging in length from 2,000 to 10,000 words, and pays each contributor $300. We accept simultaneous submissions, but if your story is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw it immediately through the Submittable system. Recommended Reading can only consider one story by an author at any given time, so please wait to receive a response before submitting again. You may submit in multiple categories at once, e.g. you may submit to Recommended Reading and also The Commuter.