Em Dash Literary Magazine is a quarterly online magazine that seeks stunning, original prose, as well as artwork and photography.
It is our goal to publish vibrant writing with an emotional impact and vivid imagery. We want to be wowed by your voice, in awe of your superior craft, but most of all, we want to feel something while reading your work or viewing your art.
We accept original, creative writing in the form of poetry, fiction (including flash/micro-fiction), and non-fiction prose. We also accept artwork and photography. More specific information is noted below.
Please read ALL guidelines before submitting. Note: Failure to read the guidelines thoroughly could result in your submission being automatically rejected, without notification.
What we accept:
- Poetry: Up to 40 lines.
- Flash fiction: 1000 words or less.
- Fiction: 1000 words to 3000 words.
- Non-fiction: 3000 words or less.
- Artwork: Digital (Think Deviant Art) and print (Sketches, paintings, mixed media, etc.) No art with text or meme-type artwork, unless it is part of the art itself.
- Photography: Digitally enhanced photos are welcomed. No full-frontal nudes, please.
You may submit up to 2 pieces in each category per reading period (i.e., 2 poems, 2 flash pieces, 2 fiction pieces, 2 non-fiction, 2 pieces of artwork, and 2 photographs).
What we like:
- Language that surprises and inspires.
- Narratives that strive toward something other than the obvious.
- Pieces that add up to something, that carry with it an emotional resonance.
- Honest work that feels as if it has a purpose greater than itself.
- Vivid imagery (through words or art) that stuns with its brilliance.
- Evocative visuals (both ocular and literary) that leave us breathless and in awe.
Preferences and other rules:
- We accept all genres. We are more interested in gorgeous writing than reading a certain type of writing.
- We prefer previously unpublished work. We will consider reprints, provided you have the rights and the work is not currently available online.
- Authors retain rights. Please credit us if your work is republished.
- We will print under pen names, provided they are not vulgar or offensive. Real names must be disclosed in your submission email, and use of pen name must be requested.
- Our reading periods vary and are posted via a blog post when we open for submissions. Response time also varies, 2-8 weeks. If you haven’t heard from us after 8 weeks, feel free to send us an email.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed. (Please be courteous enough to notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere prior to a response from us.
- Themes for each issue are strictly as a guideline. However, those submissions that fall under the issue’s theme have a better chance of being accepted.
- Electronic submissions only.
Artists and photographers: We love the idea of showcasing new and up-and-coming talent as “accompanying art” to our submissions. If you have a portfolio or website, please send us a link, and we might call on you to provide additional art or photography for an issue, including having your artwork/photos grace the cover of an issue.
Publication dates (subject to change without notice):
- Fall issues to be published in October/November
- Winter issues to be published in January/February
- Spring issues to be published April/May
- Summer issues to be published July/August
Please note: These dates are tentative and subject to change without notification. While we want to publish your amazing work as soon as possible, we also want to publish a lit mag that is as beautiful visually as the writing and art contained within. That means we don’t rush.
How to submit
Send all submissions to submissions@EmDashLiteraryMagazine.com.
Please send a separate email for each piece you are submitting (include bio, pic, and info in your first email). Each submission should be in a separate document/file. DO NOT put them in the body of the email or bundle them all in one document. They will be deleted automatically. This ensures that we do not miss any submissions, as well as eliminating wasted time culling and/or separating submissions from emails.
The subject line of your email should be formatted as: “Genre” Submission/“Title” (Genre would be: poetry, flash fiction, fiction, non-fiction, art, photography). For example, if you are Edgar Allen Poe, the subject of your email might be: Poetry Submission/The Raven. Failure to use the correct format could result in automatic deletion of your submission.
Please send a short bio (100 words or less) and photo (optional) of yourself, as well as a link to your website (or Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.). This may be included on the website, as well as in the actual issue.
All submissions MUST HAVE A TITLE. We will not accept “Untitled” as a title.
Submissions should be formatted using a 12 pt font (Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) and be single-spaced. Titles go at the top, followed by your name (left-justified or centered). The only thing your file should contain is the title, your name, and the actual submission. NO HEADERS OR FOOTERS. NO fancy formatting/fonts.
Your submission should be an attachment. Accepted file formats are .doc and .docx, .rtf, .txt, .jpg/.jpeg, and .png. Photos (submissions as well as bio pics) and artwork should be in .jpg or .png format only. NO PDFs. Files that are too large may not come through. Any other formats will be deleted automatically.
Please paste your bio and other pertinent information (a statement of copyright ownership for artwork and/or written works previously published), including a link to your website, into the body of the email. If you’re using a pen name, please let us know.
**We realize this might seem like a lot to go through, but it is only fair that if we are to read each submission (several times), edit, format, and design each accepted piece, and/or email each and every entrant, then it’s only fair that you make it as easy as possible for us to do so. Also, we believe it is worth it, both for you and for us.**
Response time varies. Please allow 2-8 weeks for acceptance letters/emails to arrive. If you haven’t heard from us by then, please feel free to inquire about your submission. Submissions that are not accepted will also be notified within 2-8 weeks.
Your submission(s) will be rejected if you do not follow these guidelines. They could also be rejected for several other reasons: if it is full of errors (including formatting errors), if it is in any other format besides those listed above, and/or the typical varied reasons based on opinions and tastes of the editors (that’s us).
Once your submission is accepted, you will be notified by email right away. When a mockup of the magazine is ready, we will send you a copy and ask you to double check your submission to make sure there are no errors. We reserve the right to change fonts and do minor editing (only to correct, not to change) to ready your submission for publication, without notifying you. Any major changes beyond those for correction and readability and/or formatting will be brought to your attention.
Please also note: Once accepted, formatting and design of your submission is chosen solely at our discretion.
If you must withdraw your submission for any reason, please DO NOT respond to the auto-response email that is sent to you upon submission. You must send a new email (at submissions@EmDashLiteraryMagazine.com) with “Submission withdrawal” in the title. Otherwise, we might not receive your withdrawal.
We are not a paying market. At the moment, we can only pay in compliments, such as: awesome, brilliant, gorgeous, breathtaking, vivid, talented, heartwrenchingly good, awe-inspiring, etc.
We’re rich in gratitude, but poor in monies.
Our currency to you, accepted submitter, will be a beautiful publication that houses only the most amazing writing and art.
These guidelines are subject to change without notice. And for the exceptional, we are willing to make exceptions to some of these guidelines.