Empty Mirror is an online literary magazine publishing non-fiction, poetry, and art. We publish new work every Friday and accept submissions year-round.
Empty Mirror is committed to diversity and inclusiveness.
Contributor submissions guidelines
For all categories:
- It’s always free to submit. There are no fees.
- For your best chances of acceptance, browse Empty Mirror to get a feel for what we’re about.
- Most work is published within 2-16 weeks of acceptance.
- Any length is fine.
- Please submit 3-6 poems together in one document.
- Please don’t double-space your poems unless they must be presented that way when published.
- Please send previously unpublished poems.
- In most cases, you can expect to have a decision within 1-12 weeks. (I’m working hard to reduce response times.)
Nonfiction: essays, reviews, articles, features, interviews, personal essays
- Length is very open. Here are some general guidelines:
–essays, articles, and features 1,000-20,000 words
–interviews up to 10,000 words
–book reviews 500-5,000 words
–book excerpt 1,000-5,000 words
That said, we’re pretty flexible and aren’t particularly hung up on length. If you have questions, please contact Denise.
- We prefer work which hasn’t been previously published (especially online). Exceptions are occasionally made for essays and interviews particularly well-suited to EM.
- We don’t accept previously-published personal essays, book reviews or art criticism.
- If your work has been published elsewhere, please tell us when and where.
- You’re welcome to include images with your written work.
- Please attribute your sources when appropriate, using endnotes rather than footnotes.
- As is standard practice on the web, we insert space between paragraphs rather than using indentation. If your work uses paragraph indents, they’ll be removed before publication.
- Work may be copy edited. And, if there are no images with your work we’ll add at least one.
- EM’s style guide conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style, with a few minor exceptions.
- If you’d like us to publish a book review that you’ve written, please see the non-fiction guidelines.
- Book reviews should be 300-5,000 words.
- If you’d like us to consider reviewing your book, please see our book review policy and guidelines, then send us an email.
- Please submit 3-12 images.
- We’d like to see work united by a common theme or style.
- Your artist’s statement, introductory note, or other text is optional but very welcome.
- Images should be submitted as individual files rather than embedded in a document.
- Images should be at least 750 pixels at their longest dimension.
- Please name each image with its title or include a caption. Untitled work is fine, too.
- In most cases, you can expect to have a decision within 1-4 weeks.
- We’re not currently accepting fiction submissions.
Please contact the editor, Denise Enck.
For our contributors
EM doesn’t currently offer payment. (The small amount generated by ads each month is not quite enough to cover our web hosting costs.)
However, your work will be read, on a website that gets tens of thousands of visits per month. We want to help you get the word out about your work. (That’s why we started Empty Mirror in the first place.)
Here’s what we’ll do for you:
- Newly published work is usually featured on the Empty Mirror homepage for a week or more.
- Your work will be featured in EM’s weekly newsletter, which is sent to hundreds of subscribers.
- Your bio will be included on every piece you contribute to Empty Mirror as well as on your author page. (We’re happy to include links to your websites, social media, and sales pages in order to encourage readers to learn more about your work.)
- Your work will be shared multiple times on Twitter (where we have over 22,000 followers) and will also be posted on Empty Mirror’s Facebook page.
- If you’re on Twitter, please let us know so we can follow you and add you to our list of contributors there.
- New pages on Empty Mirror are indexed almost instantly by Google.
- When you have news to share — perhaps a new book or an exhibition — please email the details. They’ll be shared on our news page and in our weekly newsletter.
Please note: All rights to published work remain with the author. You always keep your copyright.
Wondering what the process is from submission to publication? Read a description of EM’s editorial workflow.