Exposition Review is an independent, multi-genre literary journal that publishes narratives by new, emerging, and established writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, stage & screen, experimental narratives, art & photography, and comics (see guidelines below). 

Wondering what to submit to us? We like to be surprised; we like writing that transports us with strong voices and a sense of place. We like work that’s thoughtful and cathartic, work that embraces conflict and isn’t afraid to take risks. We love pieces that blur the boundaries of genre. To get a better idea of what we look for in submissions, please read our previous issues. You can also follow the Expo blog to get news about latest submission and contest openings.  


Every issue has a theme from which writers and artists can draw inspiration. We encourage those who submit to think outside the box; we look for stories that fit the theme yet make us think about it in different ways; we want work that satisfies and challenges traditional forms of storytelling.

Submissions for Vol. IIII will be open from September–December 2018.

All work is read and given fair consideration by our editorial staff. Guidelines for individual genres are as follows:

  • Fiction. Short stories and stand-alone novel excerpts up to 5,000 words, or up to three pieces of flash fiction, 750 words or fewer.
  • Nonfiction. Memoir, personal essays, and creative nonfiction up to 5,000 words. 
  • Poetry. Up to three poems of any form and in traditional or experimental styles.
  • Stage & Screen. One-act plays, scenes, or short film and screenplay excerpts up to 15 pages. 
  • Experimental Narratives. We love narratives in all forms. Whether it's digital poetics, a video, or a transmedia, genre-bending piece, if it tells a good story, creates compelling characters, and/or tickles our literary senses, we want it. Consider the limits in our other categories and our online platform for length guidelines.
  • Visual Art & Comics. Five pieces of art and/or photography per submission with appropriate credit lines. Comics should be self-contained, up to three pages per piece, with no more than three pieces per submission.


Our Flash 405 competitions accept short from work in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and stage & screen. Contests are judged by members of Expo's editorial team as well as guest judges. Each contest has a theme and winners are awarded cash prizes and online publication. For more information visit the Flash 405 page on our website.

Ends on July 5, 2018$5.00

Flash 405 is Exposition Review's multi-genre, short form writing competition, awarding cash prizes and online publication to the winners. It accepts entries every other month from January-August.

Our next round is open from June 4 – July 5, 2018 and judged by Expo's Art and Experimental Narratives Editor Brianna J.L. Smyk. The theme is "Nature".


About Brianna J.L. Smyk: Brianna J.L. Smyk is the Art and Experimental Narratives Editor of Exposition Review as well as a multi-genre writer, a communication consultant, an art historian, and a yogi. She holds master’s degrees in art history from SDSU and in professional writing from USC. Her short fiction and nonfiction has been published or is forthcoming in The Human Touch JournalDrunk MonkeysFORTH, and Burnt Pine Magazine. Find out more about Brianna on Twitter: @briannasmyk.

A note on "Nature" from Brianna: Nature is inherent to us. We say ‘it’s in our nature,’ speaking of that thing that shapes us. Yet in nature versus nurture we argue whether we were born the way Mother Nature—and generations of ancestors’ genes—made us or if external experiences in our lives dominate our decisions.

We can immerse ourselves in nature, get lost in the sensations and awesomeness of the wilderness here on Mother Earth as well as in the vast expanses and intricate patterns of the infinite universe(s): the macro of the cosmos and the micro of molecules; the seen, unseen, and parallel.

And though the laws of nature are immutable—permanent explanations of behavior—that doesn’t mean we can’t disprove hypotheses and even amend the occasional theory.

By way of an art-y digression, in Italian, natura morta (literally ‘dead nature’) is the term for the still life genre of painting—a fun fact I know because it’s also part of the title of one of my favorite Tom Robbins books (Still Life with Woodpecker/Natura Morta con Picchio) and because I’m interested in all things art (hint, hint).

But I don’t want any ‘dead natures,’ unless they are a spin on the literal, Italian kind (or you get creative enough to prove to me that I do). So send me vibrant pieces that dissect all the meanings of nature. I look forward to reading your work. Good luck!

We accept:

  • Fiction. A complete story, no more than 405 words (Get it?).
  • Nonfiction. A complete story, no more than 405 words.
  • Poetry. One poem, no longer than 5 lines.
  • Stage & Screen. A complete scene, no longer than 4 pages. Please format according to the standard unpublished playwriting or screenwriting format.
  • Experimental. A complete short form narrative utilizing innovative techniques and/or hybrid forms. Consider the spirit of flash as well as the limits of other categories for length guidelines.

Multiple entries are allowed. Simultaneous submissions and previously published works are not. One piece per entry.

Include a short, third-person bio in the cover letter.

The judge will choose a 1st and 2nd place winner, along with up to 3 Honorable Mentions. All will receive publication on the website. 1st and 2nd place will also receive a cash prize--and here's the fun part. There's no limit to how much you could win! Here's a breakdown: 

  • 1st prize: Online publication + 40% of all entry fees.
  • 2nd prize: Online publication + 20% of all entry fees.
  • Honorable Mention: Online publication. 

Once you submit, be sure to share with your friends! The more entries we receive, the larger the prize!

Blind submissions:
All submissions are judged blind. Please save and submit your work as [TITLE]_[GENRE] and remove all identifying qualities from the final document. Note, we still require your name and a brief bio with your Submittable submission form/cover letter.