Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing publishes two digital issues per year, in spring and fall. We publish work by both emerging and established writers.

Compose accepts:

  • fiction
  • poetry
  • creative nonfiction
  • articles on the craft of writing—both practical and inspirational
  • interviews with established writers, literary agents, editors, etc.
  • excerpts from traditionally published works
  • photography and artwork

Reading Periods

We read submissions year-round and accept work via Submittable only (except for features—see below).

Simultaneous Submissions

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please immediately withdraw your submission directly within Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. To withdraw one or more poems from a poetry submission, contact us with your name, the date of submission, and titles of the poems to be withdrawn.

Definition of Previously Unpublished

Our definition of “previously unpublished” is that the piece has not appeared anywhere in print or online, at any time. This includes blogs and publicly accessible forums. Excerpts from traditionally published books should not have been previously published online.

Republishing the Same Author

Our policy is to not publish work by the same author in consecutive issues. If you have been published in Compose, please refrain from submitting further work until at least one issue has passed since your piece was published.

Author Rights

In all cases, we ask for the right to display and archive work in multiple electronic formats such as on our website, and in PDF and .epub formats. All rights revert back to the author upon publication. If we are the first to publish your work, we very much appreciate any reprints acknowledging that the piece was first published in ComposeA Journal of Simply Good Writing.

For poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and features, we acquire First Rights to the work (i.e. the piece must not have been previously published in print or online).

For excerpts from traditionally published books, we acquire First Internet Rights (i.e. the excerpt in question has never before been published on the Internet.)

For artwork, we acquire Non-Exclusive Electronic Rights (i.e. the work may be previously published elsewhere, in print or online).

Response Times

We will respond to submissions as quickly as possible. If you don’t receive a response within sixteen weeks, please contact us.


At this time we are unable to pay our contributors. We are a free publication, we charge no submission fees, and all of our editors are volunteers.

Manuscript Guidelines

Our preferred manuscript format is as follows:

  • double-spaced (except for poetry)
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • name and contact information on the first page
  • word count on first page (except for poetry)
  • brief cover letter in the box provided in Submittable
  • attachments should be in .doc, .rtf or .odt formats


Please submit one previously unpublished piece of fiction, up to 4500 words in length, or up to three pieces of micro/flash fiction, all in one document. Submit fiction here.


Please submit up to six previously unpublished poems, all in one document. Submit poetry here. (Note: There are some limitations in formatting poetry for the Web. We may not be able to accommodate unusual formatting in some cases, but we will discuss this with you if we foresee a problem.)


Please submit one previously unpublished piece of nonfiction, up to 4500 words in length. Submit creative nonfiction here.


Please submit queries for interviews or articles directly to our managing editor, Suzannah Windsor, at [email protected]


Please submit excerpts from traditionally published books, and include the name of the publisher, the publication date, and any other important information. Excerpts must stand on their own as complete stories, essays, or poems. Submit excerpts here.


Please submit 3-5 high-resolution .jpg or .png files of artwork. Materials may have been previously published in print or online. Submit photography/artwork here.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Compose. We look forward to reading your work!

Submit to Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing