Please read our submission guidelines carefully. We do not accept work that has been previously published in print or other online literary journals. We will consider work that has appeared on a personal blog or website, but ask that any content submitted to Black Elephant is removed prior to your submission. Our tastes are eclectic. We recommend reading our print issues and web previews to get a better idea of what we like before submitting. Feel free to submit to more than one category.


Note: Submissions for our Color Issue have been extended until 10/31/2016 for film, photography, and visual art only. 

Please follow us on Instagram for updates via @blackelephantlit.


Please submit up to, but no more than, five poems at a time.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions in this category. 








Fiction & Creative Non-Fiction

Please submit stories  between 2000 and 5000 words. 

We accept simultaneous submissions in this category, but please contact us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere.









Submit essays under 2000 words. 

We do accept simultaneous submissions in this category.  








Spoken Word   

Submit your audio file under four minutes in length. IMPORTANT: We can only accept MP3 files. 

We do not accept simultaneous submissions in this category. 


Submit up to five black and white photos.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions in this category. 

Short Film  

We accept short films under ten minutes in length. We are looking for compelling/sumptuous/challenging visuals covering any subject matter in a variety of styles/forms including stop-motion and animation. Note: We can allow for some flexibility if you have a ten minute short but the credits take the TRT over this limit.

We do accept simultaneous submissions in this category.

Visual Art                                       

For regular issues please submit up to five high resolution photos of your black and white art for consideration.

If you're submitting for our color issue please indicate that in your cover letter. Please submit up to five high resolution photos of your full color artworks. 
JPG files only.

Color Issue 2016

Theme: Upstream Color

For Issue Four, expected to arrive in October/November, we are asking for SPECULATIVE works across genres. We want this issue to feel like an experience. Send us your weird, intangible, bizarre, surreal, and most bewildering forays into the creative spheres. In turn we will curate the issue as a conceptual art piece that pops and fizzles. Let's challenge and reorder our senses. Let's explore instances of synergy and symbiosis. Let's examine parasitic psychosis, transferable memory, and the cooperative delusion we sometimes refer to as l-o-v-e




Spring/Summer 2016 Chapbook Contest:

Please submit 15 to 40 pages of poetry. Submissions will run 2/22/2016 - 5/2/2016. Please use rich text format when submitting your manuscript. Must include a cover letter and full bio. Winner will be awarded $100 dollars and five author copies. The selected chapbook will be made available to the general public under our imprint. Pricing will be set forth in the terms and conditions of our author agreement when the winner is selected. Winner will be announced on or about 6/1/2016. There is a ten dollar reading fee. Due the number editors available versus the number of submissions we receive, we cannot provide personalized feedback on manuscripts that we do not accept. 



When will I hear from Black Elephant about my submission? - Please allow 8-12 weeks for us to respond. 

Will I be paid if my work is selected? - No. As a small publication we do not have the resources to offer compensation beyond that of having your work published at this time.   

I love what you're doing, how can I support Black Elephant and its mission to bring attention to new literary voices? - If you love what we're doing and would like to support us, you can do so by donating via our support page, by purchasing the print issue when it becomes available, and by telling your friends about us. 



Ready To Submit? 

Please submit electronically via our submission link.