Incarcerated Writers Initiative

Incarcerated Writers Initiative

The Incarcerated Writers Initiative was started in 2016 by Heather Radke at the Columbia Journal as a way to open the student publishing platform to writers in prisons across the United States. This population has been traditionally overlooked, undervalued, and pushed to the margins. We believe the inclusion of their literary voices will enlarge and ultimately strengthen the artistic and scholarly community.

The submission period is now open. We accept submissions in the following categories:

Fiction (up to 5,000 words)
Nonfiction (up to 5,000 words)
Poetry (up to 5 pages)

All submissions are eligible for general print and online publication in the Columbia Journal, and may be entered into the journal’s Winter Contest. Submitted works are also eligible for publication in Exchange, a literary magazine published through Columbia Artists/Teachers that features work exclusively from incarcerated artists.

If possible, submit all work in the same envelope on standard size 8.5 x 11” paper. All work must be previously unpublished. Please note that only one submission per genre is accepted for review. We will not consider anything past the above page or word limit. Columbia Journal cannot return manuscripts. Do not send originals.  Please include this cover sheet with your work. Writers should send physical copies of their work to:

Heather Gluck – Coordinator, Incarcerated Writers Initiative
Columbia Artists/Teachers
415 Dodge Hall
Mail Code 1804
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
For more information, email Coordinator Heather Gluck ( with any questions you may have. All submissions will receive a response.
We look forward to reading your work!

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