Columbia Journal seeks submissions of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, art, and translation, for both print and online. We’re in search of innovative, outward-looking voices, stories that break boundaries and language that lingers.

To get a sense of the kind of work we have published recently, we recommend reading the spring 2019 issue of the Journal, which you can order here.

Manuscripts should be typed and double-spaced, with numbered pages. Poetry may be single-spaced, but each poem should start on a new page. Please submit up to 5 pages of poetry or up to 5,000 words of prose at a time, and do not submit more than once per submissions cycle.

Submissions should be sent through our Submittable. Please do not submit to both print and online. Our editors will share submissions if they feel your submission is more suitable for the other medium. While we are committed to responding to each submission in a timely fashion, we are a small staff. You may follow up if you haven’t heard from us after six months.

We are currently open for submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and translation.


Simultaneous: We accept simultaneous submissions, but we ask that you please inform us as soon your work is accepted somewhere else. You can withdraw a submission within the Submittable platform. If you only want to withdraw one piece (or poem) from your overall submission, please email with the details of your request.

Electronic: Submittable is the primary way to submit work to us. Submission via email may be rejected unread. If you need to submit a physical version, please contact us first at

Print and Online: Submissions in multiple genres are okay. But please do not submit to the same genre for both print and online. Our editors work together and may share your submission and may consider your submission for both print and online.

Eligibility: If you have studied at or taught in the Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program at any time in the past five years, you are ineligible to submit.

Previously published materials: For the website: we rarely republish content online that has already been published. If you have rights to republish your work, and a compelling reason to do so, please email with a link to your work. As a matter of policy, unsolicited and already published submissions will be rejected if we have not first heard from you and agreed to review your work.

You may re-publish your work that appears on the site after 60 days, and we ask that you credit us in future publications.

The best way to get a sense for what kind of work we are interested in is to read recent fiction, poetry and nonfiction on and to read the most recent print issues of Columbia Journal, copies of which you can order online on our Subscribe page.

Please wait for a response to your first submission before submitting to us again.

Contest fee waivers

Submitting to the regular issue/s of the journal has no fee.

The Columbia Journal will consider waiving the submission fee for contest submissions for those currently enrolled in a college or university and/or who demonstrate financial need. 

You must fill out our Fee Waiver Request Form online here and provide one of the following sources of documentation:

— a letter verifying your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) signed by you and a financial aid officer at the institution you currently attend

— Student Aid Report (SAR) (available from the FAFSA website)

— a copy of your most recent US income tax return (Form 1040)

Completion of a fee waiver request form does not guarantee that your application fee will be waived. You will be notified via email when your request has been reviewed. If your request is not approved, you must pay the fee via credit card before your submission to be reviewed.


The Columbia Journal is an annual student-edited publication by the Columbia School of the Arts, with year-round web publishing. Our staff is comprised of current MFA students, and we raise our funding from journal sales and contest fees in order to compensate our judges and contest winners. Because we exist almost entirely financially independent from Columbia University and the School of the Arts, the Journal’s creative liberty remains entirely in the hands of our student editors. For this reason, outside of contests, the Columbia Journal Online cannot offer monetary compensation to its contributors.Thank you for supporting the journal, and feel free to reach out with any questions.

Terms of Use:
If we publish your work you are granting us the right to display your piece(s) in The Columbia Journal Online and to use them in our promotional materials (ads, communications, social media, etc.). You also grant us permission to make necessary edits to your work and to format it to our site’s style before its publication. Upon publication the contributor holds the right to have their piece taken off the site at any time. If a contributor takes their work off of the site we revoke all the above rights.

All content on Columbia Journal Online is copyrighted by the Journal and its respective authors and artists who have presented their work therein. All authors and artists who submit to Columbia Journal Online retain all copyrights to their work. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

We do not collect any more information than our contributors are willing to give us, and under no circumstances will we share their information without prior written consent.