Submission Guidelines

We publish poetry, personal essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, scripts, and photography (B&W only). We prefer work that is odd, experimental, genre-bending, and unconventional. All submissions must be original work. We accept previously published work.


We pay $10 per published work. We know it’s not much, but as a brand-new journal funded out of pocket, it’s what we can afford. As we grow, we hope to be able to pay more.

Before you submit, make sure you have read About Us, which includes critical information about the kind of content we are looking for.

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.

Sensitivity & Trigger Warnings

We don’t have an explicit formulation for the marking of sensitive content, or the use of trigger warnings. However, we seek to be receptive to potentially sensitive content, while at the same time being responsible to our contributors and readers. In the event that submitted work is deemed by us to be potentially triggering, we will enter into conversation with the contributor to determine if the use of a “sensitive content,” or “trigger warning” label is warranted for the work in question. We reserve the right to reject any work that we deem to be potentially harmful in the absence of such warning.


Any style. Maximum length is 500 words. Due to the limitations of html, poetry that requires special formatting may be submitted as docx, pdf, jpg, or png. Assistance with formatting is available after work has been accepted.

You may submit up to three (4) individual poems.

Personal Essays, Fiction & CNF

Maximum length is 1300 words. Emphasis on personal stories, whether autobiographical or not. Make sure you have read About Us.

You may submit only one (1) item in any of these three categories or if your work is a hybrid or defies categorization.

Theatre & Performance

Written works only. Stage plays, monologues, dialogues, or short films. We do not publish videos or animation (at this time). Maximum length is 1300 words. No special formatting is required.

You may submit only one (1) script.

B&W Photography

We’re looking for art that tells a story. Here are some hints about the kind of work we are looking for:

  • personal, cultural, mythological
  • experimental, hybrid, surreal
  • casual, informal, home-made
  • defiant, confrontational, genre-busting
  • sensual, theatrical, performance-related
  • masking & identity
  • gender-non-conforming & non-binary
  • no porn, horror, or violence

We want work rooted in the self, in your self, your dreams, your challenges, your desires, your struggles. Erotica is fine, but nothing explicit. For inspiration, we have a page showing some of the artwork of our muses, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore.

All images should be 72 dpi and JPG or PNG. (Artwork will be published as JPG.) Please submit art with a MINIMUM long side of 1024 pixels. File size should not exceed 2 MB for art and 5 MB for video. Assistance with sizing and formatting is available after work has been accepted.

About video: keep them short! Maximum length is one (1) minute. Standard format 480p-720p, any aspect ratio.

You may submit up to two (4) individual artworks (including animated GIFs) or one (1) video.


Political content is fine as long as it’s part of a personal story. We are not seeking works that are purely political or ideological. See About Us.

No hate, racism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, torture, gratuitous violence, or anything that aspires to cause harm. Let us know if you think we missed something on that list.

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