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

Wondering what to submit to us? We like to be surprised; we like writing that is razor-sharp, immediately transporting us with a strong voice and 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.

The theme for our ninth annual issue is "POP!"

Read more about how to submit below!


Whether it’s a bang from a child squeezing a balloon too tightly, the disgusting ooze of a burst pimple, or a hit song that sets hips swaying, “POP!” demands a reaction.

It conjures sweet and bubbly memories, like popping beers and popcorn while rooting for pop flies at the ballpark—perhaps with your Pops. It describes music and art and culture, as well as colors and flavors and comic-book sound effects.

But “POP!” can also pack a punch. Balloons pop when the air pressure inside becomes stronger than the material containing it—a violent return to equilibrium when force is unevenly distributed.

For Vol. IX, we’re seeking that surprise inherent in a “POP!” and the conflict that arises from it, characters and ideas that burst off the page, in language that crackles and snaps.

Submissions for Vol. IX will be open September 15–December 31.

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.
  • Flash Fiction. Up to three pieces of flash or microfiction. Each piece should be no more than 1,000 words; there is no minimum word count. The shorter, the better!
  • 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. Translations are accepted as well.
  • Stage & Screen. One-act plays, scenes, or short film and screenplay excerpts up to 15 pages. Please format according to the standard unpublished playwriting or screenwriting format.
  • Experimental Narratives. We love narratives in all forms. Whether it’s digital poetics, a video, or a genre-bending transmedia piece, if it tells a good story, creates compelling characters, and/or tickles our literary senses, we want it. Consider the limits of other categories and our online platform for length guidelines.
  • Visual Art. Up to five pieces of art and/or photography per submission. If submitting more than one piece of art, please compile into one file (PDF or otherwise). Please include a brief artist’s statement or statement about the work (1–3 paragraphs), and include appropriate credit lines for all pieces (Artist Name, Title of Work, Year. Medium, Dimensions.)
  • Comics. Comics should be self-contained, up to three pages per piece, with no more than three pieces per submission.
  • Film. Short films in live-action narrative, documentary, or animation up to 15 minutes in length. Please include a brief summary and credits list in the cover letter of your submission.

Author receives $50.00 USD for accepted work.  All submissions received by October 31 will receive guaranteed feedback from editors.


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 $5.00

Our February 2024 Flash 405 Contest will be judged by Sam Burt

The Theme: Host

From Sam:

“A host might be many things. The presenter of a radio show or beauty pageant. A geographical entity. A biological organism harbouring another—parasitical?—lifeform. The person who owns the home you're standing in. But at its core, to host is to hold, to accommodate, to make space for, to include.

I'm excited to read stories that explore what it means to be a good host—or a bad one. Who makes the rules, and what are the consequences if they're broken? What happens when the expectations of a host and their guest are misaligned? How does the act of hosting alter the host, and the hosted? Does hosting imply displacement—is it about exclusion as well as inclusion—and if so, what gets lost along the way?”

The Guidelines

  • Fiction. A complete story, up to 405 words (get it?).
  • Nonfiction. A complete story, up to 405 words.
  • Poetry. One poem, up to 5 lines (including prose poems).
  • Stage & Screen. A complete scene, up to 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.

The Prizes

The winners will all receive publication on the website. Our first and second place winners will also receive a cash prize, but here’s the fun part—there’s no limit to how much you could win. The more entries we receive, the larger the prize! 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.

Concealed submissions

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