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Submission Guidelines

For Submission Opening/Closing Dates please see our Editorial Calendar.

  • Please only submit original, works.
  • We accept work that has been previously published, but please let us know.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine.
  • If we publish original work, we ask you to acknowledge that the work was first published with Exist Otherwise, but we do not require this.
  • We prefer all work to be submitted through our Submission Form.

Our Interests


We are interested in works about identity, the self, and the personal. How do we, as unique individuals, navigate a world that doesn’t necessarily conform to us? What does it mean to be an individual in a society?

How many are you? Are you a single person with a single identity, or do you have the capacity to embody multiple personas? How do you present yourself to the world? To your friends? Co-workers? Lovers? Are you even you?


We are curious about gender. What is it? How can we move away from the restrictions inherent in gender duality? How important is gender to our sense of self? Is gender fixed, fluid, or subject to change? Why is gender important? Is it?

Trauma & Recovery

What hardships have you endured? How have they shaped you? In particular, how have they shaped your sense of self? What obstacles or challenges have you overcome? What obstacles stand in your way? How has society pushed you down, and how have you gotten back up? Have you gotten back up? If not, what do you seek or need to be whole?

If submitting potentially triggering content, feel free to include a warning. Please also read To Warn or Not to Warn.

Creative Expression

Why write? Why create art? Where does the artistic impulse come from? Does art have a purpose beyond its existence? Is it self-expression? If not, then what is it?

Intuition & Dreams

What are they? Where do they come from? Are these two phenomena related? Do they inform or influence you or your work? Are they integral to your survival as a human being?

Before You Submit

Theme & Prompt

Each issue of Exist Otherwise will have a theme and a prompt. The theme will be a quote from Claude Cahun, and the prompt will be a photograph, maybe from them, maybe not. Submissions that respond to a theme or prompt will be given some priority, but we will consider all submissions.

What to Submit


We accept any kind of written work: poetry, prose, essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, scripts, hybrid, experimental writing, whatever. The amount of work you may submit each month is determined by length. Maximum word count is 1000.

500 Words or Less: You may submit up to three (3) per issue.

500-1000 Words: You may submit up to one (1) per issue.


We accept any kind of visual art, but we are especially fond of creative photography.

You may submit up to three (3) art works per issue.

What Not to Submit

Don’t submit work that you do not have the rights to.

Erotica is fine, but nothing explicit.

We appreciate horror as a genre, but it’s not what we’re looking for.

No hate, racism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, torture, gratuitous violence, or anything that aspires to cause harm.

How to Submit

What follows are our requirements for submissions of work to us. We will not typically reject a submission if it doesn’t meet these requirements exactly. However, any contributor who consistently submits work that is sloppy or hard to understand, is less likely to receive a notice of acceptance.

We prefer submissions to come from our Submission Form. Please try that first. If you have any problems with the form, then you may submit your work by email to ex************

Writing Submissions Format

It is always safest to submit written work in PDF format, especially if the work requires any special formatting.

Written works submitted in plain text, .rtf, .doc, .docx, or any other format, do not always display properly when opened on computers they were not created on. We do accept these formats, in case you aren’t able to create PDFs.

It is possible to submit plain text work by typing or pasting the work into the appropriate field on the submission form. However, this should only be used if your work requires no special formatting of any kind.

Style Guide for Writing Submissions

Typeface – The only thing we care about is that we can read your work with relative ease and clarity. Serif and Sans Serif are both fine, but please use something common, such as Times or Helvetica.

Type size – Goldilocks! (Not too small, not too large.) 11-13 points is ideal.

Page Size – We don’t care, as long as the work is readable.

Margins – We don’t care, as long as the work is readable.

Line Spacing (Leading) – We don’t care, as long as the work is readable.

Type & Background Color – Black on white is preferred.

Special Situations – Some contemporary writing breaks conventions and incorporates elements of visual art and/or experimentation. This is wonderful. The use of specialized fonts, typefaces, or type sizing, mixed typefaces, special characters, etc. is all the more reason to submit work in PDF or JPG format. We reserve the right to treat some of these types of work as text-based, and some as visual art. But we can’t make any broad guidelines here. These kinds of works will necessarily involve conversations between author and publisher so that decisions can be made jointly.

Written work will be formatted and displayed according to our internal style guide. Any exceptions to this must be negotiated on an individual basis.

Art Submissions Format

Please don’t submit High Resolution artwork.

All submitted images should be 72-96 dpi and JPG. Please submit art with a long side of 1000 pixels. File size should not exceed 2 MB.

If your art is accepted for publication, you may be asked to submit a High Resolution version through our Art Details form.

Assistance with image formatting is available after acceptance.

Special Note About Visual Art: If your art is accepted, you will be REQUIRED to provide Alt Text for each image.

Assistance with sizing and formatting is available after work has been accepted.


We pay $15 per published work. Payment is issued within 1-3 days of publishing.

We can only guarantee payment through Paypal or Venmo. If you are unable to use either of those, let us know ahead of time and we’ll try to work something out.


Upon completion of the Contributor Agreement (sent by email with notice of acceptance), we reserve the right to publish your submitted work on this site, and in a downloadable PDF version of the issue. Both of these shall remain available here for a minimum of 60 days from the publish date.

Our right to publish your work is not exclusive. You may publish it elsewhere while it is published here.

After 60 days, you may request that your work be removed for any reason. Absent such request, your work will remain available on the web site and in a downloadable PDF for as long as this journal continues.

We retain no other rights to your work.