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 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.

Vol. V: "Act/Break"


Act is action. Movement, process, the firing gun for life. It can remind us of courage, the power to ignite change, or it can represent performance. An act can pinpoint where characters are on their journey. Are we in Act I or the bottom of Act II—the inciting incident, or the “all is lost” moment? Act requires a start.


Break is disruption. It’s a division, but not always a loss. It can be an object crushed or a new day forming. Characters can break free from adversity or break apart because of it. Break requires a stop.


When creating a short story, poem, play, or even journal issue, we set about meticulously putting pieces together to create a body from many parts: the beginning, the end, and the spaces in between. We build, splinter, and reconnect. We pause to consider what’s worth keeping and when change should happen.

That exploration is what we want to read. We want writers and artists that choose their beginnings, middles, and ends with purpose. We want characters who are authentic—who start and stop and question themselves. We want hybrid forms that challenge the way we experience work. Most importantly—we want you, writers and artists—your perspective, your experiences for Vol. V: “Act/Break”. Interpret this theme in any direction you find inspiring.

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

*Deadline Extended!*

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. 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). Brief (1-3 paragraph) artist’s statement or statement about the work preferred. 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.

Author receives $35.00 USD for accepted work.  All submissions received by November 1st will have 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.

Our June 2020 Flash 405 contest will be judged by Dave Gregory. The theme: 

International Travel

From Dave: 

“Some say, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” They’re wrong–a book is one, an education is another–but in this time when international travel has come to a standstill and many are sheltering in place, I want to read a story set in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, or a campsite in the shadow of Uluru; a nonfiction tale about haggling with vendors in Machu Picchu and Istanbul, or that time you got lost in the streets of Taipei; a poem you were inspired to write after visiting the Sistine chapel, or getting a particularly bad sunburn in St. Lucia; a one act play about a youth hostel fire in Viet Nam; or a hybrid photo-video essay about your trip to a Guatemalan orphanage, or even the screenshots of texts you sent your mom when you’d run out of money in Sicily or Thailand.

Whether you travel by bus, train, plane, or boat–or from the comfort of your armchair–take me to a foreign land, I want to see the world through your words.”

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