OPEN: 

Journal of Arts & Letters


General submission guidelines and current calls for submissions

About Open: Journal of Arts & Letters

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters is a privately-owned publication that offers a range of contemporary aesthetic experiences made available through several media platforms. Open: Journal of Arts & Letters has as its primary ambition to gather, publish, and popularize notable contemporary writing and other fine arts and to promote the work of its contributors to a varied and discerning audience in the English-speaking world and beyond. Open: Journal of Arts & Letters offers its audience the opportunity to sample an array of artistic expressions presented in several media by both emerging and established contemporary artists, writers, musicians, and videographers from around the world. 

NOTE: By arrangement with Submittable, O:JA&L is eligible to  receive from submitters 100 free submissions per month. When this limit of submissions is reached,  all categories of free submissions close temporarily.  All categories reopen for free submissions on the first day of each month. For-fee categories are always open.

What to Submit: 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will consider submissions of previously unpublished original work in flash fiction, creative nonfiction as essay or memoir, poetry in all styles and genres, as well as submissions of prose, poetry, and drama as audio or video files.  Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will also consider queries for appropriate academic articles, long fiction suitable for serial publication, craft essays, book reviews, art/gallery reviews, music reviews, arts collaborations, and interviews with artists, musicians, photographers, poets, videographers, writers, and others.  

How to Submit: 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will accept submissions only through an electronic Submissions Manager. Send submissions for the categories listed or send an entry to any specific Contest. Submissions must be in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .mp3, .mp4, .mov, and .flv.

Rights and Permissions:

As a condition of publication, O:JA&L reserves for previously unpublished work First North American Rights and one-time worldwide Internet rights. O:JA&L also reserves the right to permanently archive work(s) online and to consider it/them for a print anthology release AND TO OFFER THEM IN NOMINATION FOR AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS THAT REQUIRE PERMISSION FOR THE AWARD-GRANTING AUTHORITY TO REPRINT. Thirty (30) days following publication, all other rights revert to the artist/writer. In the event new work(s) first appearing in O:JA&L  is/are reprinted elsewhere, O:JA&L should be credited as the first publisher. 

License to Publish:

The Contributor, or the authorized agent/agency who submits on behalf of the Contributor, in the act of submitting the Work to the Publisher for publication thereby agrees to grant to the Publisher a license to publish on its website or in its media vehicles the Work/s submitted to the Publisher by the Contributor, or by the authorized agent/agency who submits on behalf of the Contributor. It is understood by all parties that the submission of a Work to the Publisher is an offer to license the Publisher to publish the Work according to the terms and conditions of this agreement and that publication by the Publisher will be considered an acceptance of such an offer to publish.

The license granted by the Contributor who is a Writer, or the authorized agent/agency who submits on behalf of the Contributor, to the Publisher includes the following rights: 

·      to publish and use in perpetuity the Work on the Publisher’s O:JA&L website;

·      to include the Work in perpetuity in the Publisher’s online archive of published Work; 

·      and to reproduce, display, and distribute in perpetuity the Work in print or other medium on the condition that in any and every other use by the Publisher the Work is fully attributed to the Contributor and a link or links to the Contributor’s commercial sales site is included. 

The Publisher shall retain an exclusive license to publish the Work for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of its first publication. After thirty (30) days, all rights except those specified above revert to the Contributor.

The license granted by the Contributor who is an Artist, or the authorized agent/agency who submits on behalf of the Contributor, to the Publisher includes the following rights: 

·      to publish and use in perpetuity the Work on the Publisher’s O:JA&L website; 

·      to include the Work in perpetuity in its online archive of published Work; 

·      and to reproduce, place, display, and/or distribute in perpetuity the Work in print or other medium only on the condition that in any and every use directly controlled by the Publisher, the Work is fully attributed to the Contributor and that links to all the Contributor’s commercial sales site/s is/are available and included in a caption or other appropriate notation. 

The Publisher shall retain an exclusive license to publish the Work for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of its first publication. After thirty (30) days, all rights except those specified above revert to the Contributor. 

The licenses granted and representations made to the Publisher by the Contributor, or the authorized agent/agency who submits on behalf of the Contributor, will, however, continue for the term of any copyrights held by the Contributor.

Cover Letters: 

Submitters should include a short cover letter that references the submitter’s background, experience, and important publications and awards. The cover letter should include a third-person professional biography of up to 100 words.

Submissions Formatting: 

All submissions (including captions for images) should be set in 12-point Garamond type and should be formatted with one-inch margins and sequentially numbered pages (page numbers to appear as footers). Fiction and nonfiction should be double-spaced. Poetry, including prose poetry, should be single-spaced. The submitter’s name, address, telephone number, and email address should appear at the top of the first page. Subsequent pages should use the author’s name and email address as a header. Submitters should include a formal third-person biographical note (up to 50 words) for publication in the “Artists Index.” Submissions must be in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .mp3, .mp4, .mov, and .flv.

Reading Periods:  

Unsolicited submissions may be sent at any time, year-round. 

Simultaneous Submissions: 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters accepts simultaneous submissions. Submitters should immediately notify Open: Journal of Arts & Letters  through the Activity feature of the submission system if work under consideration by Open: Journal of Arts & Letters is accepted elsewhere. 

Response Times: 

Response times vary from one to twelve OR MORE weeks.

Submissions Fees: 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters considers 100 unsolicited fee-free submissions per month distributed across all fee-free categories. After 100 unsolicited fee-free submissions have been received, submissions close in all fee-free categories until the first day of the following month. These fee-free categories are the following:

  • Poetry, all forms and styles,
  • Prose submissions of 1000 words or less, 
  • Haibun, 
  • Studio Arts (all categories), and 
  • Sequential Art stories. 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will also open specific fee-free Calls for Submissions through social media on an irregular schedule.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters also offers a range of editing and evaluation services to writers. There are always professional fees associated with these services.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters also conducts contests for writers and artists. There are always entry fees associated with O:JA&L contests. Editors may nominate works for contests. Writers and artists nominated for O:JA&L contests by editors pay no fee.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters is a magazine with the ambition of popularizing good literary and artistic work. Open: Journal of Arts & Letters desires to connect our audience members to our artists. Open: Journal of Arts & Letters is committed to publishing debut and emerging writers and artists as well as those already established.

EXPEDITED EVALUATION OPTION: Expedited evaluation of unsolicited submissions is available for a fee of $5 USD. Expedited evaluation guarantees a 72-hour response by the O:JA&L editors. CAVEAT: O:JA&L publishes 1% of unsolicited submissions. NOTE: EXPEDITED EVALUATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: PROSE SUBMISSIONS OF 1001-10,000 WORDS, DRAMA SUBMISSIONS, AND SCREEN PLAYS.

Payments to submitters: 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters is strongly committed to promoting our artists’ works and maintains a varied, sustained, and powerful social media program to serve that end. At present, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters offers no payment to contributors.


Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will consider submissions of flash fiction and short fiction, and creative nonfiction as flash essay or memoir.

Submissions may contain up to three pieces, no piece containing more than 1,000 words, counting its title, byline and any epigraph. Each title should begin a new page. All titles in a submission should be contained in a single file.

To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Call for Submissions: Flash Discourse.”

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee. See submission form for details.

Submissions open January 1. Submissions close December 1.

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Mixed Forms

Haibun/Tanka Prose.

2021 theme: "Parable." Interpret the theme in its broadest sense.

35 prose lines maximum for each individual work.

Submit up to 5 separate pieces in one document file. Start each piece on a new page. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Haibun/Tanka Prose.”

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee.

Submissions open January 1.           Submissions close December 30.

O:JA&L will consider submissions of haibun and tanka prose.

Submit up to 5 separate pieces in one document file. Start each piece on a new page within the document. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. To make this content eligible for an O:JA&L YouTube event, mark the Affirmative Permission/Release box on the submission form. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Haibun/Tanka Prose.” 

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee. 


OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters Annual Call for Themed Submissions:
Dramatic Monologue in blank verse.

2021 theme: "Apology"
75 lines maximum, not including title and by-line.

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Submit up to 5 separate pieces in one document file. Start each piece on a new page. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography of up to 50 words. To make this content eligible for an O:JA&L YouTube event, mark the Affirmative Permission/Release box on the submission form. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Dramatic Monologue.”

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee.

Submissions open January 1.          Submissions close December 30.

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Elegy, 100 lines maximum

O:JA&L will consider fee-free submissions in the category Elegy, 100 lines maximum.  2021 theme: "Lost Cause."

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Personal, impersonal, and pastoral elegies in all forms and styles are welcome. Submit up to 5 separate pieces in one document file. Start each piece on a new page. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Elegy.”

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee.

Submissions accepted for publication in this category are eligible for processing as a YouTube event for the O:JA&L YouTube channel. Check the affirmative permission box if you want your submission to go to the O:JA&L readers-in-performance for processing as a YouTube event. 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) encourages performance art in this category. Submissions as audio or video must include only a single title and be approximately 5 minutes in length. A COMPLETE TEXT TRANSCRIPTION SHOULD ALSO BE PROVIDED AS PART OF THE COVER LETTER. Submissions should be made in one of the following formats: .mp3, .mp4, mp4a.

If accepted for publication, the text version will appear in the Journal proper with a link to the O:JA&L YouTube channel where your voice work or video will be presented.

Submissions open JAnuary 1. Submissions close DECEMBER 30. 

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Prose Poetry. 

2021 Theme “New Empire”

1000 words maximum, not including title and by-line. 

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Submit up to 3 separate pieces in one document file. Start each piece on a new page within the document. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Prose Poetry.” 

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee. 

Submissions open July 1.

Submissions close December 31.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will consider submissions of poetry in all forms, styles, and genres. Submissions may contain from one (1) to five (5) titles with a total line count of no more than 500 lines. The poems should be contained in a single document. Each title should begin a new page within the document. The submission should give a strong sense of the poet’s style and range. Submissions must be in the .docx file format. Works of less than 500 words accepted and published in this category are eligible for production as an O:JA&L YouTube event.

Include a cover letter which which contains a third-person professional biography in third person of up to 50 words.

Spoken-word performers and slam poets are encouraged to submit audio or video files. Such submissions must be in mp3 or MP4 file formats. Submissions accepted in this category are eligible for production as an O:JA&L YouTube event. To make this content eligible for O:JA&L's YouTube channel, mark the Affirmative Permission/Release box on the submission form. These videos will be linked to your content on the journal page. Accepted submitters in this mode should provide a text version of the performance pieces for simultaneous release on the O:JA&L website.

Expedited evaluation of your submission is available (see fee option below). Payment of this fee encourages a 72-hour response by the O:JA&L editors.

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Prose Discourse

Nonfiction: Memoir, CNF, or Personal Essay.

2021 theme: "1 of 24- The Story of an Hour"

3000 words minimum, 10000 words maximum, not including title and by-line.

Submissions should contain from 3000 up to 10,000 words, not counting the title, byline and any epigraph. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and includes a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Nonfiction: Memoir, CNF, or Personal Essay."

No reading fees apply. “Expedited” consideration is available for a fee.

Submissions open January 1.           Submissions close December 30.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will consider submissions of short fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir up to 10,000 words. Submissions may contain one title with a total word count of no more than 10,000 words, not counting its title, byline and any epigraph. Submissions must be in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .mp3, .mp4, .mov, and .flv.

Fiction or Nonfiction: Short Story/CNF/Memoir/Personal Essay. 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) will consider fee-free submissions of memoir, creative nonfiction, and personal essay. Submissions should contain from 1,0001 up to 10,000 words, not counting the title, byline and any epigraph.  Submissions may be in English or in Russian. Submissions in this category must be in the .docx file format. 

The cover letter should include a brief professional biography in third person of up to 50 words.

NOTE: EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THIS CATEGORY.

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will consider fee-free submissions of drama whose impact can be experienced either on the page or in production. 

Submit a file with up to 5000 lines, including title, byline, dramatis personae, and stage direction. 

O:JA&L will consider several formatting options for drama: 1) conventions of formatting published by Gordon State College, 2) suggestions for formatting published by The Dramatists Guild, or 3) play formats in specialized software programs for writers like Final Draft or Movie Magic. Submissions which deviate extravagantly from these conventions of form will be declined.

Submitters should include a cover letter. This cover letter should contain, in the manner of a screenplay, a HEADER for the work, a LOGLINE of up to 30 words, and a SYNOPSIS of the work (without spoilers) of up to 150 words. This cover letter should also include a third-person professional biography of the submitter in 100 words, more or less. 

Open: Journal of Arts & Letters will only consider plays that have never before been produced or published. Submissions must be made in PDF file format only.

NOTE: Expedited evaluation of your submission is now available in this category.

 

OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters will consider fee-free submissions of screen plays as Feature Film script, Concept Video, or Series Pilot script. O:JA&L will nominate a qualified screen play for the BLUECAT awards in each category. 

Submitters should include a cover letter. This cover letter should contain a HEADER for the script, a LOGLINE of up to 30 words, and a SYNOPSIS of the work (without spoilers) of up to 150 words. The cover letter should also supply a third-person professional biography of the submitter in 100 words, more or less, and a link to the submitter's IMDb page, if available. 

Format

O:JA&L has adopted the conventions of screenplay formatting as published by Storysense.com https://www.storysense.com/format.htm Submissions which do not adhere to these formatting requirements will be declined.

Length

·      Movie screenplay: 85-160 pages

·      Movie concept video: 2-15 minutes

·      Drama series pilot script: 50-70 pages

File Types

Text:·       

  • PDF: easy to format and easy for others to read and review

Video:

  • MP4 (preferred)
  • FLV

Language

English only.

Public Domain

No adaptations of works in the public domain. This applies to music, photos or other images. Even though the work is public domain in the US, it is not necessarily free of rights complications.

Expedited Evaluation

Expedited evaluation of your submission is now available in this category

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Studio Art

Digital Art

Asymmetrical image.
2021 theme: “Pilgrimage”

Images may be representational or abstract and may be the product of any digital process or technique.

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Images should be previously unpublished and not available to an image search on the internet. Artists should include a single representative image with the submission. Submission of additional images to be considered may be made available to O:JA&L through a link to an online portfolio or gallery. O:JA&L art editors will assume that images provided through the link meet other guidelines and that permission is granted by the submitter to select and publish any images from the linked portfolio/gallery. Images selected for publication must be provided to O:JA&L as a .jpg that can be reproduced at 1,650 pixels wide. Each image should specify title, series (if any), medium (creative software), size, and completion date. Links to commercial sites, if any, where images are available for purchase are welcome.

Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and include a professional biography of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Digital Art.”

Expedited evaluation of your submission is available for an optional fee.

Editors may nominate submissions accepted in this category for the annual O:JA&L Art Prize.

Category opens January 1, 2021.  Category closes December 30, 2021.

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Studio Art as Mixed Media Landscape image.
2021 theme: “Horizon”

Images may be representational or abstract and may be the product of any mixed media creative process or technique.  Each image should specify title, series (if any), medium, size, and completion date. To support our contributing artists, links to commercial sites where images are available for purchase are welcome.

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Images should be previously unpublished and not available to an image search on the internet. Artists should include a single representative image with the submission. Submission of additional images to be considered may be made available to O:JA&L through a link to an online portfolio or gallery. O:JA&L art editors will assume that images provided through the link meet other guidelines and that permission is granted by the submitter to select and publish any images from the linked portfolio/gallery. Images selected for publication must be provided to O:JA&L as a .jpg that can be reproduced at 1,650 pixels wide.

Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and include a professional biography of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Mixed Media art.”

Expedited evaluation of your submission is available for an optional fee.

Editors may nominate submissions accepted in this category for the annual O:JA&L Art Prize.

Category opens January 1. 

Category closes December 30.

Annual Call for Themed Submissions: Studio Art as oil, acrylic/other paintings on canvas/other.

Interior scene.
2021 Theme: “The Open Window”
Images may be representational or abstract and may be the product of any creative painting process or technique.

Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. Images should be previously unpublished and not available to an image search on the internet. Artists should include a single representative image with the submission. Submission of additional images to be considered may be made available to O:JA&L through a link to an online portfolio or gallery. O:JA&L art editors will assume that images provided through the link meet guidelines and that permission is granted by the submitter to select and publish any images from the linked portfolio/gallery. Each image should specify title, series (if any), medium, size, and completion date. Links to commercial site where images are available for purchase are welcome.

Follow other general guidelines that may apply. Use a cover letter that contains all contact information and include a professional biography of up to 50 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted with the understanding that notice to O:JA&L will be prompt if a piece is accepted elsewhere. To ensure processing by the correct editors, the subject line or cover letter should include the words “Annual Call for Submissions: Print-making.”

Expedited evaluation of your submission is available for an optional fee.

Editors may nominate submissions accepted in this category for the annual O:JA&L Art Prize.

Category opens January 1. Category closes December 31.

O:JA&L; Open: Journal of Arts & Letters