Send all submissions to Lorette C. Luzajic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put "Ekphrastic Submission" in subject line.
Please add a brief third person bio and include your website if you wish. If your work is chosen, your bio will be published with your writing.
We want nothing less than to grow and expand the art form of literary writing inspired or prompted by visual art.
It's an ancient practice, but its potential has barely been tapped. We want to change that, and challenge writers to new and deeper ways of thinking and seeing. Learning to look at art in new ways can make us better writers.
The Ekphrastic Review will consider any kind of poetry, micro, flash, and shorter fiction, and interesting reflections, essays, and other prose about or inspired by art. Think creative nonfiction or literary prose and not academic or industry theory or criticism.
The piece can be an in-depth experience of the art work, or it can use the art as a starting point for expression. The connection to the artwork or artist can be subtle, a flight of fancy triggered by another work of creative imagination. Or it can be the backbone of the piece, central in every way.
We use the term "ekphrastic" loosely. For us, it's an intersection of creativity, not legal terminology.
Please include a link to the art, if applicable.
A question we wrestle with: If "ekphrasis" means "writing about art" then what distinguishes it from art criticism, theory, artist interviews, how-to, etc. from any art magazine?
The answer depends on who you ask. Some consider only thoroughly descriptive poetry and fiction as "ekphrasis." Others say yes, any writing about art goes.
We want more nonfiction prose about art!
We aren't looking for tedious, pretentious curatorial theory.
We are instead hoping to encourage a wide variety of introspection and reflection. We want smart, intelligent, insightful, and creative pieces that don't parade the tired, indecipherable jargon that strokes elite egos and alienates audiences from art.
We want interesting and literary pieces, works that question, illuminate, wrestle, and provoke. We want to be moved, not pushed away.
Meditations, reflections, contemplations, inquiries into art. Beautiful writing. Fresh perspective.
We would love to see more prose. We love the calibre of the poetry that has poured into our inbox! We aren't getting as many submissions of prose, either short fiction or creative nonfiction.
Brief is best. This is the Internet. We want readers to stay engaged. We will consider long works, but are more likely to publish short ones. If you can say it all in under 1800 words, terrific. Under 1000? Under 500? Even better!
The best way to find out if we like it is to show us. If your piece is well-written, interesting, unusual, and doesn't quite seem to work for another publication, your odds are probably good.
What to avoid at all costs:
"Ours is a response to an exigent disparity in critical discourse evident in the putative designation of form as subaltern to content and the posturing of the referent and iconological as the cardinal gateway for all understanding when it comes to contemporary art..." (Quoted as a bad example in the outstanding book, How To Write About Contemporary Art by Gilda Williams)
Most of art history was based on literature- classical mythology, or Biblical stories.
Artwork based on or inspired by any work of literature (or cinema, music, etc) will be considered. (For the record, by "literature" we mean poetry, Biblical and other religious and mythology narratives, short stories, classic literature from Tolstoy to Hemingway, pulp fiction, mass market and genre writing, short stories by famous and unheard of authors, children's stories, oral/folk/storytelling in the traditions and lore of various cultures.)
The connection can be explicit- a scene from Shakespeare or a Murakami short story or a poem in the Bible-or casual inspiration.
Our interest is in inspiration and expansion and exploration of the intersection of art and writing. This includes not just paintings that literally show a scenario from a story, but any art that features text or the act of reading or any other connection to writing, such as portraits of a writer or asemic writing or calligraphy. We are very interested in works based on or featuring typography.
Art about art is a related interest as well. Art featuring the act of creating art is most welcome.
If an explanation is required, go ahead and share a little bit about the piece and how it is connected to its story/text/reading.
The Fine Print
Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
Previously published work is fine, assuming rights have reverted to you. We would like to credit previous publishers, so please let us know.
You can use your own work elsewhere at any time, as often as you like, before, during, or after publication with us: we don't believe in holding writers' and artists' work captive in any way. It would be nice to mention us so that more people can find us.
We do our best to respond within four weeks.
Sending up to five works at a time seems like a reasonable number. We don't mind if that number moves a bit higher or lower but it's a good guideline for a standard submission.
At this time there is no way to pay contributors. Or the editor.
A NOTE ON REJECTION
Despite what some editors or outlets will tell you, the editorial process is a highly subjective one and also something of a lottery.
We strive to publish quality writing in a variety of voices and styles, but cannot possibly publish all the worthy work submitted.
We hate sending rejections, and as the volume of submissions has increased exponentially, this horrid task becomes more frequent!
Please understand that editors receive thousands of works. We love reading your work but simply cannot post them all. Thanks for understanding.