Our Reading Period for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry is now OPEN until June 1, 2020.

Reading periods:  March 1 – June 1 and September 1 – December 1

Submissions from current print/digital subscribers to the magazine are accepted free year-round. [subscribe here starting at $12]

Dispatches are accepted year-round.


Please do...

  • Send one prose piece per submission (or up to 3 flash pieces). 
  • Send up to five poems per submission.
  • Send previously unpublished works in English, and translations for which the translator has secured the rights.
  • Include title, word count, and your contact details in your cover letter.
  • Send simultaneous submissions, as long as you withdraw them immediately if they are accepted elsewhere. Poets may use Submittable's message feature to withdraw individual poems.
  • Read The Common Online to get a feel for what we look for. Or check out these interviews with Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker.
  • Be patient with us while we carefully consider your work. Our typical reading time is 4 months, but this varies widely. At least three readers review your work before an editor makes a final decision, so it takes time.


Please don't...

  • List any identifying information on your submission. 
  • Submit more than one submission per genre at a time. Wait for a response before submitting again. We will not read or consider multiple submissions, and Submittable cannot refund submission fees. 
  • Submit a piece over 10,000 words. Pieces over the word count will be withdrawn.
  • Query about the status of your piece. Your Submittable account allows you to check the status yourself; if it does not show a decision, we are still considering it. Our typical reading time is 4 months, but that varies. Three readers review your work before an editor makes a decision, so we appreciate your patience while we consider carefully.
  • Let financial hardship stop you from submitting. Email info@thecommononline.org if the submission fee presents a difficulty for you.
  • Submit as a subscriber if you aren't a current subscriber. The submission will be withdrawn.


Payment & Publication

The Common charges a processing fee of $3 for essays, fiction, and poetry submissions. Dispatches are currently free to submit. Want to skip the fee? Subscribers submit for free year-round. Subscriptions start at only $12, and you can either subscribe here or or add-on a subscription through Submittable!

If you have a subscription or choose the add-on, make sure to submit to the Subscriber Submission category below, or you'll still be charged the $3 fee.

Fiction will be considered for print and online publication. $100 honorarium per story, print or online.

Nonfiction will be considered for both print and online publication, including the online column Long Reads, which publishes longer form essays. $100 honorarium per essay, print or online.

Poetry will be considered for both print and online publication. $20 honorarium per poem in print, $100 per online poetry feature (split among contributing poets).

Dispatches are notes, news, and impressions from around the world. Both prose and verse accepted, but must be nonfiction. Length: up to 800 words. They are accepted year-round and are published online only. $50 honorarium per dispatch.


About The Common

The Common seeks stories, essays, poems, and dispatches that embody a strong sense of place: pieces in which the setting is crucial to character, narrative, mood, and language. We receive many submissions about traveling in foreign countries and discourage writers from submitting conventional travelogues in which narrators report on experiences abroad without reflecting on larger themes. 

These interviews with Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker discuss The Common's editorial vision. Read more at www.thecommononline.org.

Ends on $3.00
$3.00

Word limit: 10,000 words. Longer submissions will be automatically withdrawn. Submit only once per genre until you hear back. A submission is 1 prose piece, 3 short flash pieces, or 5 poems. Anything more will be discarded.

Poetry and prose will be considered for both print and online publication.
Include the title, your name, email address, genre, word count and information about the translation in your cover letter. Please no identifying information on your submission. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions before submitting.

Please submit only once and wait for a response before submitting more.

Ends on $3.00
$3.00

Word limit: 10,000 words. Longer submissions will be automatically withdrawn. Please no identifying information on your submission. 


All nonfiction will be considered for both print and online publication, including the online column Long Reads, which publishes longer form essays, and the online column Dispatches, which publishes much shorter pieces.

Please submit only once per reading period, until you hear back on your submission.

Ends on $3.00
$3.00

Word limit: 10,000 words. Longer submissions will be automatically withdrawn. Please no identifying information on your submission. 


Shorter fiction will be considered for both print and online publication. Longer fiction will only be considered for print.


Please submit only once and wait for a response before submitting more.


Ends on $3.00
$3.00

Submit up to 5 poems.


Include the title, your name, email address, genre, and word count of the piece in your cover letter. Please no identifying information on your submission. 


Please submit only once per reading period.


Dispatches are notes, news, and impressions from around the world. Both prose (nonfiction only) and verse accepted. Length: up to 800 words. 

Include the title, piece location, and word count of the piece on the first page of your submission.

Dispatches are accepted year round and are published online only.

$50 honorarium paid upon acceptance.

Print and digital subscribers to The Common may submit year round in any genre for free. Your current subscription will be verified before the submission is considered. If you are not a subscriber, you may still submit through this option by adding on a subscription to this submission, from the options below. If you would like to see more subscription options, visit us at thecommononline.org/subscribe.

Word limit: 10,000 words. Longer submissions will be automatically withdrawn.

If you are a subscriber through Amazon, please include your purchase confirmation number, or send your online purchase receipt to info@thecommononline.org.


Please SPECIFY THE GENRE of your piece in the title AND in the description! All genres will be considered for both print and online publication.


Include the title, your name, email address, genre, and word count in your cover letter. Please no identifying information on your submission. 


Calling all Gulfie kids!

Did you grow up in the GCC countries? If so, The Common wants your work for its Fall 2021 Issue, which will feature a portfolio on migration, disorientation, and complicated relationships to “place” in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. 

What little literature is available about the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) tends to stereotype the harsh working conditions of migrant laborers, such as construction workers or house maids, and while these are realities that require immediate examination for their social-ethical urgency alone, what are often left out are the experiences of middle class itinerancy and upward social mobility that living in the Gulf makes possible. The Gulf is a transient place where fresh blood is forever flooding in and slipping out and yet, for newcomers, the leap from migrant to citizen is never made. You are likely to move and keep moving.

Rather than being divided in the classic diasporic model, caught between two distinct cultures and equally marginalized in each, the GCC countries have birthed an entire generation of third-culture kids with roaming lifestyles. The Common’s Fall 2021 Gulf portfolio will examine these themes of millennial nomadism, civic detachment, pliable identities, and other themes, as made possible by the Gulf. While this issue will focus on migrants to the region, we are also accepting pieces that speak to local and indigenous perspectives. All submissions will be considered both for the special portfolio and for the magazine more broadly.*

If this speaks to you, speak to us! We’re looking for fiction, poetry, and essays in English. Submissions will be open from July 1–November 30, 2020.

In collaboration with guest co-editor Noor Naga.

Please SPECIFY THE GENRE of your piece in the description.
 

PLEASE SUBMIT ONLY ONE SUBMISSION per genre. Submissions over 10,000 words will not be read or refunded. One prose piece per submission (or up to 3 flash pieces), up to five poems per submission.


We are not able to answer queries about the status of your submission. Your Submittable account allows you to check the status yourself; if it does not show a decision, we are still considering it.


*If you are interested in Arabic literature in translation from the MENA region, we urge you to peruse our country-specific portfolios published every spring.

The Common