Our Reading Period for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry is now CLOSED until Sept. 1, 2019.

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  • Send previously unpublished works in English, and translations for which the translator has secured the rights.
  • 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...

  • 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 Pieces over the word count will be withdrawn.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 The submission will be withdrawn.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. The processing fee for dispatches is $2. 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.

In fall 2020, The Common, in partnership with the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, will publish a portfolio from the Lusosphere: Portugal and its colonial and linguistic diaspora. We hope to include writers from and works about the many countries and communities that make up this diverse diaspora. Writers need not speak Portuguese or live in a Portuguese-speaking country to submit.

We seek pieces in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid works. Pieces may be written originally in English or Portuguese. If written originally in Portuguese, please provide an English-language sample of at least 30% of the piece. 

Submissions open July 1 and close on November 15, 2019. Early submissions are very much encouraged, as we will accept pieces until the portfolio is full.


Word limit: 10,000 words

Work must be previously unpublished in English. Translations for which the translator has secured the rights are welcome.

Please SPECIFY THE GENRE of your piece in the title of the submission. Please also note in the cover letter if the submission is a translation, or if you have been invited to submit by an editor.

$2.00
$2.00

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.

Dispatches are accepted year round and are published online only.

$2 reading fee, with a $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 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.


Welcome, Harvard Summer School Writers!


Please SPECIFY THE GENRE of your piece in the title of the submission. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will all be considered for both online and print publication; please note in your cover letter if you are only interested in print publication.


Include the title, your name, email address, genre, and word count of the piece on the first page of your submission.


The Common