We are interested in quality fiction, poetry, nonfiction, photo essays, author interviews, and reviews of new books of poetry and prose. We impose no restrictions on category or type of submission for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us of this at the time of submission. We do not publish previously published work. Multiple submissions are not accepted and will not be read or responded to; please wait until you receive a response from us before submitting again. Please allow at least six months for a decision.
Recent contributors, please wait at least one year from when your work appears in The Journal before submitting again. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to offer monetary payment to our contributors.
In order to comply with federal, state, and local laws (including the Ohio Public Records Act), as well as Ohio State policies, communications with The Journal may be required to be disclosed publicly.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, The Journal is committed to celebrating the incredible work of Ohio writers and artists. From Toni Morrison to Hanif Abdurraqib, Ohio has long been home to some of the most groundbreaking American writers. The Journal is proud to exist within such a vibrant literary community, past and present, and it is our mission to help give a platform to the voices shaping Ohio's future.
While general submissions open during the Fall and Spring, we welcome submissions from Ohio-based writers and artists year round! In an effort to increase access and opportunities for Ohioans, we are committed to publishing local writers and artists in every issue. Thank you, in advance, for sharing your work with us, and building community together.
In the title of your submission, please indicate what genre you are submitting.
We are looking for fresh, surprising work that impresses us with its technique and technical control. We want poems with heart (emotional clarity and complication) and brains (theoretical engagement, logic and metaphors that stand up to further contemplation, mastery of syntax and diction). We are committed to publishing underrepresented voices, and we also appreciate work in which the author has a stake: poems that feel both true and necessary. Put simply, we are looking for poems that we would be happy to read over and over again, poems in which we could appreciate new meanings, details, and connections each time.
Please limit poetry submissions to 3 – 5 poems (up to 10 pages) grouped in a
single .doc or .pdf document.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us of this at the time of submission. We do not accept previously published work. Multiple submissions are not accepted and will not be read or responded to; please wait until you receive a response from us before submitting again.
Please withdraw submissions using the online submission system. For withdrawals of a single poem from a packet, there is no need to withdraw the entire submission; simply leave a comment on your submission via the submission manager.
We welcome literary fiction submissions of all forms, including those that incorporate experimental or genre elements. Though we generally do not publish straight genre fiction, we are always excited to read speculative work and frequently publish non-realist fiction. We encourage submissions from all marginalized people, including but not limited to people of color, LGBTIA and the gender non-conforming, and those with disabilities.
All fiction submissions should be double-spaced, Times New Roman. We are happy to consider self-contained excerpts of novels and long stories, but please note that historically it is unusual for us to publish stories longer than 8,000 words. If you are submitting flash fiction, you are welcome to submit up to three 1000-word stories in a single .doc or .pdf document.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us of this at the time of submission. Multiple submissions are not accepted and will not be read or responded to; please wait until you receive a response from us before submitting again.
Reading previous issues of The Journal is the best way to determine what the nonfiction editors look for. Generally, we are drawn to essays that are personal, lyric, and/or blended with cultural criticism. Hybridity and formal experimentation excite us. And while we are open to all aesthetic and stylistic approaches, we especially value voices that feel fresh and self-aware. We don't typically publish work over 6,000 words and often love a tight essay of 3-5,000, as well as much shorter flash pieces. Note: We are very unlikely to publish traditional memoir, straight reportage, or academic writing.
We try to respond to submissions within four months, though it sometimes takes longer. All nonfiction submissions should be double-spaced. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, we just ask that you notify us. Multiple submissions are not accepted and will not be read or responded to; please wait until you receive a response from us before submitting again.
We’re interested in visual art of all media. We are looking for a cohesive suite of work that demonstrates a clear point of view. Please send 6 – 10 pieces of art in high-quality PDF or TIFF files (at least 300 dpi) and include a short, third-person bio with your submission.
Title your submission with the title you want for the whole body of work. One option is to title it "Selections From..." and include the name of your series.
You may include an artist statement, but it is not required.
You can visit our online archives to preview the type of work we've accepted in the past.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us of this at the time of submission and withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.
We are NOT looking for visual poetry at this time - please direct your poetry submissions to the poetry section.
We do our best to offer you a response within six months of your submission. If you have not heard from us by that time window, please feel free to send us a check-in email at: email@example.com.
particularly interested in reviews of new books or prose or poetry that have been published within
the last two years.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us of
this at the time of submission.
Our current issue features fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork from: Stephanie Burt, Abigail Carlson, Victoria Chang, Jamaal May, Mandy Shunnarah, Lee Welch, & Rose Zinnia
The Journal will select one full-length manuscript of short prose for publication by The Ohio State University Press. In addition to publication under a standard book contract, the winning author receives a cash prize of $1,500.
Entries of original prose must be between 150-350 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. The submission deadline is March 15 and all submissions must include a $23.00 (or $11.50 for BIPOC writers) non-refundable handling fee. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to The Journal. See below for further guidelines:
Submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories or essays; two or more novellas or novella-length essays; a combination of one or more novellas/novella-length essays and short stories/essays; a combination of stories and essays. Novellas or novella-length nonfiction are only accepted as part of a larger work.
Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic or self-published) makes it ineligible. Individual stories, novellas or essays that have been previously published may be included in the manuscript, but these must be identified in the acknowledgments page. Translations are not eligible.
Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as one manuscript or a portion thereof does not duplicate material submitted in another manuscript and a separate entry fee is paid. If a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, it must be withdrawn from consideration. Anyone with a personal relationship to this year’s judge (Thao Thai) should refrain from submitting.
The Ohio State University employees, former employees, current OSU MFA students, and those who have been OSU MFA students within the last ten years are not eligible for the award. All manuscripts will be judged anonymously. The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
If it is a hardship to meet the submission fee, please contact our editor to discuss options for a fee waiver.
The winning entry, screened by the editorial staff of The Journal and chosen by Thao Thai, will be announced in the spring.