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). 

Submissions for our 2018 issue will open September 2017. While you wait for the release of for Vol. II: "Surface," read our previous issues

Our Flash 405 writing competition accepts submissions every other month outside our annual issue submission period of September–December. We are currently OPEN for Flash 405 submissions from June 4–July 5, 2017 (see below). Check our blog to get news about latest submission and contest openings.  

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. 


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 see the category below (when available), visit the Flash 405 page on our website, and read the 2016 winners and themes in our Flash 405: 2016 Issue


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.

All work is read and given fair consideration by our editorial staff. 

The theme for our 2017 annual issue was "Surface."

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.
  • Art & Photography. Five pieces per submission with appropriate credit lines.
  • Comics. We are looking for short, self-contained comics up to three pages per piece, with no more than three pieces per submission.

The deadline to submit our 2017 annual issue was December 31, 2016. All submissions included a brief bio (250-words or less) in the cover letter.

Ends on July 5, 2017$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.

To continue our 2017 season, our June round with the theme "Nemesis" is open from June 4–July 5, 2017 and judged by Expo editor Laura Rensing

A note on the "Nemesis" theme from Laura:

"Everyone’s got one. Whether it’s a brilliant supervillain with a maniacal laugh, or the malfunctioning fax machine at the office, the struggle between a hero and his/her nemesis is at the center of the most recognizable stories of our time. Where would Luke Skywalker be without Darth Vader? The Titanic without an iceberg? Donald Trump without Twitter? A nemesis is the opposite of a soul mate—someone or something who balances a character’s strengths so completely that one can completely destroy the other.

I love seeing unique interpretations on the theme, so send me your twists, your satire, your unreliable narrators, your unexpectedly poignant narratives, and don’t be afraid to break conventions. Think Mr. Glass from Unbreakable or the printer from Office Space. If all else fails, it’s really easy to make me laugh. Like, really, really easy.

I’ve included a few definitions (and an image) below that got my brain juices flowing; maybe they’ll help yours!

    1. A downfall caused by an inescapable agent
    2. Something that a person cannot conquer or achieve"

About Laura Rensing:

Laura Rensing is a writer and performer who occasionally has difficulty distinguishing fact from her pet fire-breathing dragon. A UC Irvine graduate with dual degrees in drama and comparative literature, Laura has spent her time after college delving into the Southern California publishing community by working at a literary agency, an independent poetry press, and an academic publishing company.

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

Include a short bio (250-words or less) in the cover letter.

The judge will choose a 1st and 2nd place winner, along with up to Honorable Mentions, which will be announced by the end of May. 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!