Thank you for your interest in publishing with Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things.

We are launching a special summer submission call from June 1 to July 1, 2023.

See Also:

Writers may submit up to 1 piece of prose and 3 pieces of poetry at a time. Each piece of writing must be submitted separately. If there are multiple poems in a submission, we will withdraw the piece.

Please ensure your writing is typed in a readable font for comprehension purposes. If a piece is handwritten and ineligible, we will withdraw the submission.

We will not consider any work generated by AI. Ignoring this rule will result in your current submission and any future submissions being automatically declined.

We are proud to offer feedback from our readers on all submitted pieces. If you do not wish to receive feedback, please click the “No Feedback” option when submitting your writing on Submittable.

Because we do offer feedback, our response rate is usually 5 months after submitting. Please do not email us requesting updates on the status of your submission until after that wait period.

We ask that writers refrain from re-submitting a revised version of their piece until 6 months after an initial decision is made on our part. This is to ensure that our feedback is digested and work is critically re-evaluated and revised, rather than hastily edited.

We do accept simultaneous submissions, however if your piece is accepted elsewhere, we ask that you withdraw your submission.

We do not accept previously published pieces. We consider writing published on blogs, social media, and/ or other literary magazines as previously published. If your writing is available or purchasable online, we will withdraw the submission. This is to ensure we use our readers’ time and author payments fairly.

We accept around 3% of all submissions received.


Ember is a journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for all age groups; however, submissions for and by readers aged 10 to 18 are strongly encouraged. Please ensure you correctly state your age on the submission form so we can keep an accurate track of the submissions by young writers.

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.

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] and ask that your students include your name in their cover letter.


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. You must include the word count in your file. 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. Please be aware that we do not publish chapters of larger pieces or picture books.
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. Please be aware we do not publish essays.

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.

Ready to Submit?


121 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?

    1. We certainly encourage writers to accept payment for their pieces as we feel they should get compensation for all the hard work put into their craft.

  3. Hello! I’m 14, and may submit a short story (Aprox. 5,000 words)
    It does, however, have sword fighting and blood… it isn’t not too graphic though. Would I still be able to submit this?

    1. Hi Hailey! Your story sounds like it fits our submission guidelines. Feel free to submit to us once our submissions reopen!

    1. Hi Lucas! Our submissions are currently closed, but we will keep the website updated when we reopen them.

    1. Hi Parthvi. Currently, our submissions are closed. When we reopen our submissions, the link will be provided at the bottom of this page. Please check back to this page for updates.

    1. We do not accept submissions via email. Please refer to the “How to Submit” section of this page.

  4. When do submissions close? And is there a submission limit? For example, could we submit both a poem and a short story?

    1. We don’t have a set schedule for closing submissions, but we do close as needed from time to time. Aside from that, there is no submission deadline.

      You may submit one story and up to three poems at a time.

      Thanks for your interest!

  5. Do you accept simultaneous submissions? And if my story fits your content guidelines, would it be alright to publish it both here and on my school’s literary website?

    1. Yes, we do accept simultaneous submissions. If your submission is accepted elsewhere (congratulations!), you’ll be able to withdraw from Ember using the submission manager link, optionally adding a note to let us know where it will be published.

      When we accept a piece for publication, we do ask for an “exclusive” period where we’re the first and only publisher. Once that period has expired, though, we’re delighted for pieces we loved to be reprinted/republished other places, including your school website.

      If a work has already been published somewhere in print or online (like a school website), we aren’t very likely to accept it.

  6. Hello,

    Do you allow simultaneous submissions? If so, how do I let you know if the story has been accepted elsewhere?


    1. Yes, we do accept simultaneous submissions. If your submission is accepted elsewhere (congratulations!), you’ll be able to withdraw from Ember using the submission manager link, optionally adding a note to let us know where it will be published.

    1. We hit our cap and it’s not even halfway through the month! We will reopen the first of April.

      Thank you for being patient!

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