E&GJ Little Press is the publishing arm of the Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things 

Closed to new submissions until March 1, 2023.

View submission guidelines for Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things.

Closed to new submissions until June 23, 2023.

View submission guidelines for Spark: A Creative Anthology.

Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry 

Closed to new submissions until June 23, 2023.

View submission guidelines for Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry.

A Journal of Luminous Things



Most forms are considered, both metered and unmetered, traditional and experimental. Poems from 3 to 100 lines have the best chance of acceptance. Please follow William Shunn's Proper Manuscript Format for poetry, omitting the header information. (Note that Shunn's example includes multiple poems; however, for Ember a separate submission form must be completed for each poem.)


Short Stories up to 12,000 words are considered. However, “twelve thousand” is not a goal or a challenge, it's an upper limit. More important than word count is the quality of your work: we are looking for excellent, polished writing that pulls us into an engaging story. Please follow William Shunn's Proper Manuscript Format for prose, omitting the header information.

  • A note on “Flash Fiction”
    Flash Fiction is not the same as “vignette;” even very short works of 500 to 1500 words should still present an interesting and compelling story.
  • A note on “Creative Non-Fiction”
    Creative Non-Fiction is the beautiful union of exposition and literature. Tell us a true story, and tell it well.

We do not publish chapters of larger works, essays, journalism, or news articles.

For more information on our submission policies, please refer to our submission guidelines page. 

Content Tips & Suggestions

Profanity, Vulgarity, Sex, and Violence

As an all-ages publication, our refusal to print profanity/vulgarity is based on an understanding of our audience, not on censorship. Similarly, while allusions to the occurrence of love and sex, anger and violence may be integral to some stories, we tend to err on the side of making Ember accessible to middle-grade readers. Submissions with graphic and/or explicit descriptions of sex or violence will be rejected without comment.

Prose: Great Stories, Compelling Characters

Ember is looking for great writing that tells a compelling story, regardless of length. Even very short pieces, like flash fiction, should tell a story, though there will certainly be fewer dramatic elements developed than we’d see in a longer piece or novel. The presence of “story” is what distinguishes flash fiction from “vignette.”

Poetry: Paint With Language

For poetry, we also look for a story, but the story may be implied. Of course, there is a lot more flexibility for poetry, and some styles tend to emphasize descriptive language over storytelling. We’ve also seen some poetry submissions which go too far, focusing so much on story that they are little more than prose stories with poem-style line breaks. So, for poetry, we tend to use the very subjective measure of accepting poems which make us say, “Wow!”

Be Accessible, Not Condescending

We believe that even our younger readers are smart and capable of advanced reasoning and interpretation. However, not every accepted piece will be appropriate for (or of interest to) ten-year-olds, who are the youngest readers in our target audience. Many readers will simply skip over stories and poems which exceed their developmental maturity. Submissions with the best chance of acceptance will be meaningful on some level to both older and younger readers without being condescending. We also consider works which require some maturity for full comprehension, so long as the content is not inappropriate for younger readers who might choose to explore the more advanced pieces.

Feedback on Submitted Work

As Ember is a non-profit market (see "About the Press" below) dedicated to supporting young or emerging authors and poets, one of the hallmarks of our activities is reader notes on each piece we decline. It's something that defines us; it's what we have always done. The notes are not always flowery, but they provide you with insight into the effect your work had on our staff. Many submitters find this information invaluable, even when it is not a positive response.

Of course, the process of making and compiling notes takes time. If you would strongly prefer to receive a quick yes/no decision with no feedback, you may check the No Feedback option.

Please note that previously-published work is ineligible for feedback whether the No Feedback option is selected or not.

About the Press

Ember is published and managed by E&GJ Press, a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers—including those who tirelessly read and make notes on every submission as part of our core goal to provide feedback and support to writers of all experience levels.

We do not charge submission fees.

However, you may make an optional donation to help offset operating costs or contribute to our author payment fund.

  • Operating costs include software purchases and subscriptions, website and data hosting fees, reimbursement of certain volunteer expenses, and more.
  • Our author payment fund enables us to maintain a semi-pro rate of $0.02 per word, with a minimum payment of $20 per published work. Our goal is to increase our per-word rate once the author payment fund is no longer operating at a deficit. (As of today, any shortfall is met by personal donation from our editor-in-chief.)

Donations are only seen by account administrators. Neither the choice to make (or not make) a donation nor the donation amount has any effect on our review process; your selections are completely concealed from readers. However, if you would like to ensure that your donation selections are disconnected from your submission, you should use our separate donation form here.

The recommended donation amount, if you choose to make one, is $3.

E&GJ Press, a part of the non-profit Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation, is an all-volunteer organization. From the readers who review submissions to the organizers who share our updates on social media—and even our editor-in-chief—E&GJ Press is staffed entirely by goodwill.

To ensure that our volunteers feel their contributions are meaningful, and to help us effectively accept the time and talents they offer, we rely on the crucial support of the Volunteer Coordinator team.

As a member of the Volunteer Coordinator team, you will:

  • Communicate with current volunteers to encourage engagement, to answer questions (or to find the person who can answer them),  and to demonstrate that we value them and their time
  • Maintain a list of roles, activities, and tasks performed by volunteers at E&GJ Press and keep track of which volunteers perform them
  • Post role descriptions like this for open opportunities or areas we need more help with—this may include listings at colleges and universities, since students can receive internship credit for their work at E&GJ Press
  • Review volunteer applications and participate in the acceptance process—not every volunteer who applies is brought on board; we do review qualifications and ask accepted applicants to sign a volunteer agreement
  • Welcome new volunteers to E&GJ Press, introduce them to everyone, and help them find the tools and websites we use to enable a fully-remote team to work from anywhere in the world
  • Perform technical tasks of adding new user accounts for volunteers and configuring access permissions—or quickly bring on a new volunteer who can help with the technical side of this

Minimum Qualifications

  • Must be willing to commit to 6 months minimum in this volunteer role
  • Must have a stable internet connection and a modern web browser
  • Must be age 18 or older—college degree or work experience preferred

To help us keep up with the positive response to our publications and process submissions in a timely manner, we maintain a staff of volunteer readers to review and take notes on submitted manuscripts. This is an unpaid, volunteer position, but it may be listed on your resume/C.V. In many cases, this volunteer position also qualifies for college internship credit.


  • All staff receive access to free digital copies of E&GJ publications and a discount on print copies.
  • Readers have a unique opportunity to see trends in poetry and short prose and enjoy early access to work from established and emerging writers.
  • Authors and poets have consistently reported that spending time in the "slush pile" of any magazine has improved their own writing, and this has been confirmed by E&GJ Press volunteers, too.


  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Must have regular access to the Internet.
  • Must have regular access to e-mail, and check it at least once per day.
  • Must be able to work independently and commit to at least 5-10 hours per week.
  • Must be willing to accept Non-Disclosure Agreement and abide by U.S. and International copyright laws.
  • Must be fluent in English. Fluency includes a reasonably solid grasp of spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Must be willing to read any genre of work and judge it objectively.
  • Must be willing to read and comment on both poetry and prose.

Preferred skills

These are not required, but candidates who have these skills will be selected over those who do not. 

  • Previous experience on the staff of any publication
  • Previous experience with Submittable submission manager
  • An understanding of traditional and modern poetry forms, meters, and rhyming schemes
  • An understanding of the differences in spelling and punctuation standards around the English-speaking world


  • Read up to twenty submitted works per week
  • Vote "Yes" or "No" on each work read
  • Write a brief note explaining your reaction to each work read


Once your application is reviewed and provisionally approved, you'll familiarize yourself with our feedback style and standards by reading our "Getting Started"  documents and have access to senior staff members for mentoring and to ask questions. During your initial period as a new staff member, you'll have an opportunity to make sure we're a good fit for you, and we'll be able to see that you're a good fit for us, too. 


Because all tasks are completed online, there are no location requirements. We have staff members around the world, and we welcome international applicants. 

E&GJ Press