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. IV 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 September 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 final 2018 round is open from August 4 – September 5, 2018 and guest judged by none other than Glen David Gold. The theme is "Mystery".


About Glen David Gold: Glen David Gold is the author of the bestselling novels Sunnyside and Carter Beats the Devil, which has been translated into fourteen languages. His essays, memoir, journalism, and short fiction have appeared in McSweeney’s, Playboy, Tin House, Wired, Zyzzyva, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Guardian UK and London Independent. He has written The Spirit for DC comics and The Escapist for Dark Horse. His essays on the artist Jack Kirby accompanied the landmark Masters of American Comics and Comic Book Apocalypse museum shows. Recently he has co-written episodes of The Thrilling Adventure House and Welcome to Nightvale. His three-part memoir I Will Be Complete is available June 26, 2018.

A note on "Mystery" from Glen David Gold: Right after my girlfriend and I moved to Los Angeles, a location scout for the reboot of a 1980s detective show wanted to use the arid-yet-mangrove-like tangle of succulents in our front yard as the backdrop for, as I recall, the scene where they find a gardener’s body.

There was money in it, so sure, why not.

It didn’t happen (rewrites? budget? the angle of light?) but while she was taking photos, she asked, “is that your kitten?”

It was hard to see what she meant, but then, in the shadows, it was clear: there was a tuxedoed little kitten in the safari orange agave and the barrel cacti. Suspicious but also curious about us. Maybe four or five months old. We’d lived there for a while and had never seen him. How long had he been there? How had he avoided the coyotes? What was he eating?

When we took him to the vet to check him out, it turned out he was chipped, with a name, address, and two phone numbers. The name was of someone who does not exist, according to the internet. The address was twenty miles away. The first phone number belonged to a woman seventy five miles away who convincingly said she’d never had a cat, and the second number, according to Verizon, belonged a block of numbers belonging to SWIFT, the banking system that governs the routing numbers on your checks. There the trail went cold, which was fine with us.

We kept him. In a way, his origin doesn’t matter because he’s just a fact, but also he’s a mystery, and every day he refuses to tell us anything further.

Mystery is your prompt.

There is an elegance in solving a mystery and a whole different kind of elegance in not solving one. Either way, have at it. Give us a mystery that’s upcoming in the headlights or one that’s already passed by, rear-view.

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.

Exposition Review