We’re looking for work that confronts people with the human condition. A piece about a woman’s struggle to navigate male supremacy can confront us as effectively as a piece about solitary confinement. Our goal is to promote creative works that build bridges over walls, connecting diverse people, cultures, and connecting the world people live in today to the world they want to live in tomorrow.


Guidelines for All Genres

As of January 2019, Submissions are temporarily closed. Work sent during this time will be catalogued for future review, but no editorial decisions will be made until submissions reopen. Thank you for your patience as we grow and train new staff and branch out into fresh projects. Rest assured, our love for your work will remain the backbone of our mission. We will spread the news widely once we’re re-open to journal submissions.

We accept previously published work, but please let us know at the time of submission who to cite for prior publication so that we can give appropriate credit.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Works must not include names or other identifying information of any actual persons who are the victims of or guilty of a crime, apart from the author.

Please format your submission as a Microsoft .doc, .docx, or .rtf and send as an attachment to to prisonrenaissance at gmail dot com. We prefer standard manuscript format. The Subject Line should read: Submission: [Title] by [Name]. Your cover letter should include  the submission category and word count (if literature) of your piece, a brief bio, and your submission category ( current/formerly incarcerated, participating in criminal justice or prison reform, or a reader responding to Prison Renaissance content). If you are responding to newsletters or featured work, please specify the piece(s) to which you are responding.

You are welcome to submit again after hearing a decision from our editors.

Guidelines for Fiction

We prefer flash fiction (under 1,000 words) and short stories, but we will accept excerpts, as well, so long as the piece can stand alone.

Pieces between 500 and 2000 words are preferred, but we will read pieces up to 5,000 words. Please submit one piece at a time.

Guidelines for Non-Fiction

We accept personal essays, articles, book reviews, interviews, opinion pieces, research essays, and humor.

Pieces between 500 and 2000 words are preferred, but we will read pieces up to 5,000 words. Please submit one piece at a time.

Guidelines for Poetry

We accept all types of poetry, including formal, free-verse, experimental, and prose. Please submit 3 to 5 poems for which the total page count does not exceed 10 pages. The longer your poem is, the more concise it should be.

Guidelines for Visual Media

We accept digital artwork and photo essays.

Please submit 1 to 3 pieces, including title, medium, and date of each submission. For visual media, we will accept .pdf and .jpg images.

Who Can Submit?

We are currently  interested in submissions from three groups:

  1. Submissions from currently or formerly incarcerated people

  2. Submissions from anyone involved in criminal justice or prison reform

  3. Submissions from readers who compose pieces in response to newsletters or featured works

Special submissions calls and contests will be announced here on our website and through our newsletter, which you can sign up for here.

How Do I Submit?

Submissions of original works or responses can be emailed to prisonrenaissance at gmail dot com.

We now accept postal submissions. Please send to:

Camille Griep/Prison Renaissance
P.O. Box 2711
Lynnwood, WA 98036

We do not charge a fee to submit to Prison Renaissance. As a volunteer organization, we are unable to offer payment for your work at this time. All rights revert to the author upon publication.

Please allow 8 weeks for responses to electronic submissions and 12 weeks for responses to postal submissions before sending inquiries. We strive to respond as quickly as possible.