Call for Submissions: Special Issue on UPRISING

“I recognize no dichotomy between art and protest.” —Ralph Ellison

We understand art-making as a kind of uprising—an uprising of spirit, an uprising against limits, an uprising of new ways to think about and perceive the world around us. How do we imagine the polity in our art, to paraphrase Robert Hass, and how does that energize our politics? 

We are interested in how political uprisings influence art, and vice versa. From labor strikes to popular revolts to national revolutions, what lessons can we learn from historical and contemporary liberation movements, and the art movements accompanying them? In the US, we are faced with racist violence against Black people, a police force that protects property over people, inhumane border control, rising economic inequality, LGBTQ+ discrimination, a ruthless military-industrial complex, and climate catastrophe that disproportionately impacts indigenous communities and people of color. How can art keep conversations and actions around such issues alive? 

The Columbia Journal Online team is seeking poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and translations that explore the ideas and feelings, the personal stories and shared histories, that keep us up at night—and conversely, that get us out of bed in the morning. We want to hear and share your anger, your hope, your activation. 

UPRISING is an opportunity for us all, readers and writers alike, to address the conditions of oppression and imagine a radically different world through art and activism. 

NOTICE: We have extended the deadline to submit to this issue through August 5th.

Submission Guidelines

Fiction: We accept short or flash fiction of up to 1,000 words.

Nonfiction: We accept personal essays, narrative nonfiction and memoir of up to 1,000 words.

Poetry: Up to two poems of up to three pages total.

Art: Up to two images of any form of fine art (sculpture, painting, mixed-media, photography, etc.) in JPG or PNG formats.

Translation: We accept English translations of poetry, fiction and nonfiction (submission guidelines apply for each genre).

  • All work must be original and previously unpublished in any form.
  • If your submission spans genres, we recommend you submit to the genre that you would most like to see your work considered.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Use 12-point font sizes with double-spacing for prose, or single space for poetry, unless you are breaking form.
  • We welcome submissions from all over the world. However, if you have studied or taught at the Columbia University Writing Program at any time in the past five years, you are ineligible to submit.
  • Submission is free.
  • All selected work will be published in Columbia Journal online.
  • All work must be submitted through Submittable (we will not accept mailed submissions)
  • DEADLINE for submissions is Wednesday, August 5th, at 11:59 P.M.


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

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