About The Prompt

The prompt literary magazine is a biannual online magazine that publishes creative work that reflects experimental and traditional work based on writing prompts and exercises.

We here at the prompt are not soulless machines. We at the prompt are creative individuals just as you are. As such, our goal is to foster a community of writers, and to provide a place for work that often has no place in a traditional literary magazine because of its form or function.

As writers and instructors of writing, we have all found ourselves with work that came from workshops, random exercises, and desperate attempts to find our voices. Some of this is pretty darned good, too. Unfortunately, anything that looks too much like it came from an exercise, prompt, or other such “mechanical” source gets relegated by editors to that pile with a sticky note on top that says “too workshoppy.”

And that is why we created the prompt. The prompt is the place for all levels of writers to have an opportunity to publish, as well as for a community of writers to find new ways to expand creative writing horizons.

We at the prompt understand the effort you put into what you write, as well as the gumption it takes to send it out into the outside world. That being said, we can't publish everything that shows up in our inbox, but as creative people we understand how to reject submissions in a way that won't make you feel like you wasted your time.

That doesn't mean we can, or would, put too much sugar in the medicine, because as creative people you don't want your ego massaged for no reason, but we also won't offer those 'oh so helpful' little critiques and suggestions on any rejections that make the aspiring writer want to snap all their pencils in half.

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Submission Guidelines

The prompt literary magazine is a annual online magazine that publishes creative work that reflects experimental and traditional work based on writing prompts and exercises.
Each submission MUST be accompanied by the writing exercise or prompt that inspired it.

Traditional writing

Please submit no more than 5 poems during one reading period (including flash-based poetry), one work of prose, which may be fiction or creative non fiction, or up to 5 short, non-traditional selections (i.e. scenes, character profiles, “snapshots” etc based on a prompt. This includes flash fiction/flash non-fiction).

Non-traditional "writing"

The prompt encourages submissions that would not conform to guidelines for a traditional literary magazine. We encourage submissions of spoken word poetry, multimedia, performance art, and other forms that might be of interest.

  • 01 Fiction / prose / essays should be no longer than 5,000 words.
  • 02 Please include a brief (no more than 150 words) biography with your submission.
  • 03 All genres and experimentation welcome. We only accept submissions via our online submission manager
  • 04 No previously published work is accepted. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but remember to withdraw them if your work is accepted elsewhere, via the submission manager.
  • 05 Submissions for regular issues are accepted year round. Response times may vary some during different times of the year.
  • 06 Calls for submissions for special issues may have a different response time and a shorter acceptance window. Always check the call for submission carefully to be sure not to miss your chance to submit.

Response and Publication

Response time is 4-6 months.

If your work is accepted, you will be notified via email. If you haven’t heard from us within 12 weeks, it means we are seriously considering your work. Do not despair!

If your work is not accepted, expect to be notified within the response time. While we use a standard rejection notice, occasionally, if an editor is touched by your work but sees a glaring flaw, at his or her discretion, a note may be sent. It’s sole function is to help you, as a writer, better understand what we are looking for and to increase the likelihood that your work will be accepted. We will never denigrate your work. Remember, our goal is to encourage writing, not to be an elitist publication. So if you aren’t chosen this time, write something else and try again!

We also are accepting ideas for writing exercises at this time. All writing prompts should be sent via submission manager under the category of writing prompts. Traditional writing prompts should be original. Photo prompts must not be copyrighted material and should be your own work (or, in the case of old family photos should credit the original photographer as well as the submitter. ) Audio and video prompts also must be original, uncopyrighted materials. Audio and video prompts should range between 15 and 30 seconds in length, although up to a minute is acceptable, if The prompt is particularly engaging. Materials obtained through the public domain may be used, but creativity is always going to win points with us.

Credit will be given for all prompts used on our site!

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Issue #5 is now available!

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