ELJ Publications Implementing New Strategies Going Forward

Effective immediately, ELJ Publications will now be implementing the following strategies going forward to keep the press both running continuously and successfully for years to come:
  • Due to lack of interest in our most recent competitions, ELJ Publications will no longer host contests in the future. This will allow us to focus on unsolicited submissions received during our open reading period.
  • We will now host a brief reading window annually from February 1st-March 31st. As such, we will close to submissions this year on March 31st. All current reading fees will remain the same. We may still, depending on our workloads, open up for random 48-hour windows throughout the year. If applicable, we will announce these windows via this newsletter.
  • Though our acceptance ratio for manuscripts already falls well below 1%, beginning in 2016, we will now be limiting our number of published titles to approximately 15 titles or less annually going forward. These titles will be accepted during our open reading period(s) only. We will still read manuscripts for our Afternoon Shorts (ebook) series, but will limit acceptances to 3 titles or less per year. Our goal is to devote more individual attention to each published title.
  • We will continue to accept unsolicited novel submissions year round for an $8 reading fee. However, please note we are still looking to only accept one novel manuscript per year.
  • Wild Horses submissions will be read from September 1st-November 1st annually. All contributors will receive (1) copy of the issue. We will continue to pay $5  per contributor up to 20 contributors. Reprints acceptable.
  • Turn : Turn : Turn submissions will still be read continuously throughout the year, as it is a quarterly journal of flash fiction. Requirements for this journal have changed. We will be publishing 3 stories per contributor going forward in lieu of 7 for a total of 30 contributors per issue. All contributors will receive (1) copy of the issue. 100% reprint acceptable.
  • Wood Becomes Bone will remain open continuously until the issue is full. Reprints for the collection are OK. All 5 contributors will receive (1) copy of the issue and $20.
  • scissors & spackle, The J.J. Outré Review, Emerge Literary Journal, and Amethyst Arsenic will follow their current guidelines and reading periods.
Thank you for your continued support of the press. We hope these changes will not only strengthen the viability of the press but also its reputation and longevity.

ELJ Seeking Additional Staff…

ELJ Publications is growing. Our submissions are growing faster.

ELJ is committed to providing fee free, quick, personal responses to every submission. We accept simultaneous and multiple submissions. We also read BLIND.

We’re looking to adding two Assistant Editors and two Editorial Assistants to help us grow. These are UNPAID positions. All editors receive free books and all the experience s/he can handle. Now’s your chance to be a part of the Masthead of a growing, innovative small press.

Ideally, the perfect candidate(s):

  • Are English majors, either BA, MA or MFA;
  • Are not currently readers or editors for another press/journal;
  • Are writers themselves;
  • Are committed to reading submissions daily;
  • Are committed to partnering with ELJ for at least a year.

Our new Assistant Editors would both read, comment and refer potential work/manuscripts to our Executive Editor, Samantha Duncan, who handles all things acquisition, up to 10 submissions daily. Assistant Editors would read both poetry and prose, both manuscripts and serial submissions. As an Assistant Editor, you will delve into the “other side” of Submittable, read submissions by your peers, evaluate them based upon the press aesthetic, and be part of the decision making process.

Our new Editorial Assistants would take all comments made by a combination of all the editors and put them together a thoughtful, well-crafted personal response to all declined submissions, up to 10 declinations daily. As Editorial Assistant, you will also delve into the “other side” of Submittable, review, absorb and convey editorial comments in a professional response to your peers with an occasional opportunity to weigh in on a decision.

Either of these positions offer the ability to grow into a greater role in the press as we grow.

If you’re interested, please reach out to us at eljpublications@gmail.com with a very personable history of yourself. Please no resumes. Tell us who you are, why you love everything literary and why you’d like to join us. Please feel free to spread the word!

Happy Trails,

Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Founder



The Benefits of Giving Personal Feedback…

Well, looks like our submission declination response is being well-received. We are giving very personal, constructive remarks with both strengths and weaknesses for every submission we receive.

We’ve received tremendous feedback. (No identifying information included. If you recognize your response, please know ELJ is ever so grateful you’ve appreciated our feedback.)

“Thank you for your comments. Although it is never easy to get a REJECTION! you did so with courtesy and thoughtfulness, and I do appreciate that, as well as the comments….Again, thanks for your generous comments.”

“Thanks for the suggestions anyway. It’s always better to at least know somebody at least read it.”

“Please pass on my most sincere thanks to the editor who provided some feedback and thank you for including it in your email.”

“Thank you for the good and helpful comments. So many editors are unwilling to take time for this important exchange. I appreciate your willingness to do so.”

“Thank you so much for your feedback….my writing is very much in a state of development and growth, and your insight has definitely encouraged me to rework the pieces I submitted. I appreciate the time that was taken to look over my work, and I hope you all continue to thrive over at ELJ.”

“Thanks so much for your time, generosity and feedback! I’ll look forward to submitting again!”

“Thank you for taking the time to respond to my essay. I especially appreciate the comments. They do resonate: I know that I have a tendency to over-explain…”

We’ve also gotten some interesting comments about our automatic response and acceptance letters. We like having fun, even if it is via Submittable.

New Submittable Category

This category is for General Queries for emerging writers only. That is, if you have never published a book of any genre or length before, we ask you submit under this category.

By submitting under this category, please understand that you are attesting you have never published a book before. We have created this category to try and work with authors and manuscripts that have tremendous potential and where one or more of our editors may feel the manuscript may benefit from revisions/edits, working with the author until the manuscript is ready for publication.

However, if the submission is declined with an offer to workshop one on one with the editor that has offered, the author must understand he/she needs to be completely open to having the manuscript perhaps radically revised. The author has to be prepared for a workshop type atmosphere where the editor will be, at times, brutally honest, but only to the extent the manuscript would benefit from it.

Also, the author must understand the final revised manuscript would be subject to approval from both Associate Editors and the Editor-in-Chief, so there is no guarantee for publication.

If you submit under this category and do not wish to have the opportunity for a one on one workshop with an editor should an editor choose to work on a re-write with you, please indicate you are not open to any potential re-write opportunities on the first page of your manuscript.

Finally, submitting under this category does not guarantee an editor will choose your manuscript to work one on one with you to revise your manuscript. You may either be accepted or declined without an offer for revision.

If you’re game, please read on…

Please query what you’ve got…your pet projects, labors of love. We’ll read novels (keep it under 300 6 X 9 Tradeback pages), Novellas, Novelettes, Memoirs, Full-Length Poetry, Story Collections, Chaps…whatever you like. I’ll consider any genre (please no slash em up or tie em for the sake of shock).

In the query, send us a bit about yourself (without ever telling us your name or your publication history), why you write, what your project is and why you had it in your heart to write it. We care not about pedigree. We don’t want your resume or a list of awards. Be humble. Be real. That’s the kind of author we love.

Please send the entire manuscript with the except of works over 100 pages. Please only submit the first 20 pages of works over 100 pages. Please do not save your file with your name as part of the file name. Please indicate genre of submission, i.e. poetry, prose, creative non-fiction, memoir, etc. in the submission title.

Please be prepared for personal responses. The editor is a real person, not someone sitting in an office with stacks of paper. Feel free to talk to one of our current authors to understand what I’m talking about.