Our Reading Period for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry is now CLOSED until September 1, 2018.
Dispatches and submissions from current print/digital subscribers to the magazine are accepted year-round. [subscribe here]
PLEASE ONLY ONE SUBMISSION PER READING PERIOD PER GENRE. We will not read or consider subsequent submissions, or refund your submission fee.
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.
The Common is a print and online literary magazine based at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. We seek 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.
Hear more about The Common's editorial vision in these interviews with Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker.
Works must be published in English and previously unpublished. We happily accept translations for which the translator has secured the rights.
Simultaneous submissions are allowed; please notify us if the work is accepted elsewhere. Submit only one story or essay per reading period, or up to 5 poems. Please submit only once per reading period. Our typical reading time is around 4 months, but can vary greatly. We are not able to answer queries about the status of your submission; you may check the status yourself in your Submittable account.
All fiction will be considered for print publication. Shorter fiction may also be considered for online publication.
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.
Dispatches are notes, news, and impressions from around the world. Both prose and verse accepted. Length: up to 800 words. They are accepted year round and are published online only. There is no reading fee for dispatches.
At this time, The Common provides PDF contributor copies of the current print issue to online contributors. For material accepted, we pay contributors $100 per story, essay, or image portfolio, and $20 per poem.
The Common charges a reading fee of $3.00 for Essays, Fiction, and Poetry submissions. If this fee is a financial hardship that prevents you from submitting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Print and digital subscribers to The Common may submit year-round in any genre for free. Please choose the Subscriber Submission option, and specify the genre of your piece in the description. Your current subscription will be verified before the submission in considered. Please note: if you are a subscriber through Amazon, please include your purchase confirmation number in the Description of your submission, or email your receipt/confirmation number to email@example.com.
September 1 – December 1
March 1 – June 1
Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based fiction and nonfiction.
Volume I launches on July 1, 2018. Sign-up closes June 30.
Each week you will receive:
- Three writing prompts appropriate for both beginning and advanced writers. Two of these prompts will focus on generating new material and the third will guide you through the process of writing one longer short story.
- Examples that accompany the prompts, which were directly inspired by content from our magazine.
- Weekly writing advice from our editors and insights into what they’re looking for when selecting work for The Common.
After the completion of this program, you’ll have three months to send us your work for free, and we'll send you a decision within one month. We look forward to reading what you produce.
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, your name, email address, genre, and word count of the piece on the first page of your submission.
accepted year round and are published online only.
No reading fee.
If you are a subscriber through Amazon, please include your purchase confirmation number, or send your online purchase receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please SPECIFY THE GENRE of your piece in the description! Nonfiction will be considered for both online and print publication; fiction will be considered for print, and shorter fiction may also be considered for online publication.
Include the title, your name, email address, genre, and word count of the piece on the first page of your submission.