Open Submissions

We want to hear your story.

COALESCE welcomes submissions that share your personal human story through creative non-fiction, poetry, and photo essays

Stories help us better understand each other and ourselves, and in doing so, bring us together. It takes courage to share your story and we want to encourage and empower you to do so. 

Submission Instructions

Following the seasons, we publish a collection of new stories every solstice and equinox. The submission window for our Fall Equinox 2022 Collection is open until September 1st. For submissions, please submit via our Submittable page.

Creative non-fiction: Please submit only one story per submission window, and single story submissions should be no more than 2,500 words. Please do not submit excerpts from larger books or memoirs unless they can stand alone as an individual piece.

Poetry: You can submit up to three (3) poems per submission.

Photo essay: Up to 15 photos maximum with required commentary/written essay content for each image or set of images.

As for the nitty gritty details:

  • Please use 12-point font
  • Use a standard readable typeface such as Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial, etc.
  • Submit your story as a Word document
  • If submitting a photo essay, please submit a Word document with the commentary assigned to each photo, and your photos as .jpeg, .jpg, or .png

We select the stories that we publish based on their creative style, quality of writing, coherence, and engagement of your story and message. If yours is not selected, it does not by any means diminish the importance or value of your personal experience and story. Please feel free to revise and resubmit your story if it is not accepted the first time. While we cannot publish every story we read, we appreciate the opportunity to read your story, and honor it.

By submitting to COALESCE, you agree to grant us first serial rights, but there is no exclusivity timeframe, so if you submit to us and we accept it, you can submit and publish elsewhere as soon as you’d like once we publish our collection. Please just acknowledge that it was first published with COALECSE. Upon our publication, we retain non-exclusive rights to publish your submission in any future digital and print issues or anthologies and retain non-exclusive electronic archival rights.

Reviewer Feedback

General submissions without reviewer feedback are always free to submit up to our submission cap of 75. Submissions received after this cap will be $2 to help support our small team of volunteers and keep COALESCE running.

If you want reviewer feedback on your submitted piece, we are happy to provide it! We know it can be helpful to have your work go through several sets of eyes. It does take our reviewers more time and energy to provide thoughtful feedback, so there is a small fee for this extra service. There are three types of reviewer feedback that we offer.

Line Edit Review ($10) – We will provide track change line edits, focused on wording, grammatical suggestions, sentence structure and organization, and related comments. This feedback costs $10 per reviewer. You can request more than one reviewer to provide feedback.

Big Picture Review ($15) – We will provide comments and suggestions around larger ideas of your story: sections that could be expanded, questions to get you thinking differently about how to engage the reader more effectively, comments around the flow of your story and cohesiveness, and so on. This will include in-text comments where necessary, as well as up to one (1) page of single-spaced written feedback.

Full Review ($30) – We will provide track change line edits, in-text comments, and a 1-2 single-spaced paragraph summary (or up to a page) of our feedback. This feedback costs $30 per reviewer. You can let us know if you’d like more than one of our reviewers to provide feedback.

Expedited 5-Day Response ($5) – If you wish, we offer Expedited Responses. A small fee of $5 will grant you a response within 5 days. If you submit within five days prior to a holiday, we will respond after the holiday.

If requesting reviewer feedback, we will automatically consider your piece for acceptance and publication in our upcoming collection, but there are no guarantees. You are encouraged, if not accepted, to revise and resubmit your story again for that same collection or future ones. Your story is important, and at COALESCE, we want people’s stories to be heard and those who read them to be touched and transformed.

If you believe in what we are doing and want to help us grow this community and continue to share beautiful and impactful stories like yours, please consider leaving a tip.

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Thank you for helping us connect one another through our stories.

Thank you for helping us connect one another through our stories.

Thank you for helping us connect one another through our stories.

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