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Audience

Ember is a semiannual journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for all age groups. Submissions for and by readers aged 10 to 18 are strongly encouraged.

How to Submit

Submissions are managed through our Submission Manager, powered by Submittable . If you submit by e-mail, we will direct you to use our Submission Manager instead. A link to the submission manager can be found at the bottom of this page, after you have read through the submission guidelines.

Important Note to teachers:

If you are thinking of submitting several pieces of work to us as part of a class project, or are instructing a group of students to do so individually, we would be grateful if you could check this first with our Editor-in-Chief, Brian Lewis: [email protected]

Also, please be aware that we do not publish essays!

Formats

Poetry
Most forms are considered, both metered and unmetered, traditional and experimental. Poems from 3 to 100 lines have the best chance of acceptance. You may submit up to three poems at a time, but a separate submission form must be completed for each poem.
Short Stories
Short Stories up to 12,000 words will be considered. However, more important than word count is the quality of your work: we are looking for excellent, polished writing that pulls us into an engaging story.
Flash Fiction
The ideal length for Flash Fiction submissions is about 500 to 750 words, but pieces up to 1500 words may be submitted in this category. Remember that Flash Fiction is not the same as “vignette;” even very short works should still present an interesting and compelling story.
Creative Non-Fiction
Creative Non-Fiction is the beautiful union of exposition and literature. Tell us a true story, and tell it well. Word count limits are the same as for Short Stories.

Content Tips & Suggestions

Profanity, Vulgarity, Sex, and Violence
As an all-ages publication, our refusal to print profanity/vulgarity is based on an understanding of our audience, not on censorship. Similarly, while allusions to the occurrence of love and sex, anger and violence may be integral to some stories, we tend to err on the side of making Ember accessible to middle-grade readers. Submissions with graphic and/or explicit descriptions of sex or violence will be rejected without comment.
Prose: Great Stories, Compelling Characters
Ember is looking for great writing that tells a compelling story, regardless of length. Even very short pieces, like flash fiction, should tell a story, though there will certainly be fewer dramatic elements developed than we’d see in a longer piece or novel. The presence of “story” is what distinguishes flash fiction from “vignette.”
Poetry: Paint With Language
For poetry, we also look for a story, but the story may be implied. Of course, there is a lot more flexibility for poetry, and some styles tend to emphasize descriptive language over storytelling. We’ve also seen some poetry submissions which go too far, focusing so much on story that they are little more than prose stories with poem-style line breaks. So, for poetry, we tend to use the very subjective measure of accepting poems which make us say, “Wow!”
Be Accessible, Not Condescending
We believe that even our younger readers are smart and capable of advanced reasoning and interpretation. However, not every accepted piece will be appropriate for or of interest to ten-year-olds, who are the youngest readers in our target audience. Many readers will simply skip over stories and poems which exceed their developmental maturity. Submissions with the best chance of acceptance will be meaningful on some level to both older and younger readers without being condescending. We also consider works which require some maturity for full comprehension, so long as the content is not inappropriate for younger readers who might choose to explore the more advanced pieces.

Rights & Rates

We pay 2 cents per word or $20 per work, whichever is more, for worldwide first publication rights in English. You retain all other rights (including other languages, audio, and reprint rights), but we ask that you not reprint the work in another publication for six months after it first appears in Ember. See our Rights & Rates page for details.
submittable-submit-button-poetrysubmittable-submit-button-prose

93 thoughts on “Submission Guidelines

  1. Hi,

    I just want to let you know an error has occurred in my submission, and my cover letter is the wrong one. Is there any chance of me changing that, and still being considered for publication?

  2. I have a few questions.
    You accept any work that fits your standards?
    Can I write under a pen name?
    Lastly, is there a limit on how much you can submit?

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