Do you return hard copy manuscripts?
No. Because we receive a high volume of submissions we cannot return manuscripts.
Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes. We ask that if a submitted piece is accepted elsewhere you withdraw it from the Submission Manager or notify Memoir Journal staff.
What file types can I submit?
We accept doc, docx, jpg, pdf, rtf, and txt files.
Do you accept excerpts from longer works?
We accept excerpts that can stand on their own, without additional information necessary to complete the story.
Can I resubmit a piece that was not accepted during an earlier submission period?
When do you announce winners?
For our May to August submission periods we announce winners in March. For our November to February submission periods we announce winners in September.
Can I submit via email?
No. You can create a free Memoir Journal Account through our Submission Manager to submit online, or submit to P.O. Box 10, Aptos, CA 95001. Include an SASE or email address to learn the status of your hard-copy submission.
Can I submit material in more than one genre?
We only accept submissions in one genre per writer during a submission period (prose, poetry, narrative photography, or graphic memoir). However, you may submit different genres during different submission periods.
Can photos accompany my prose or poetry submission?
Yes, if they are relevant to the piece. Please embed photos in the document.
What is a graphic memoir?
A graphic memoir is a personal narrative that tells a story with illustrations or photography and accompanying text. (Graphic refers to the use of images rather to explicit content. Refer to this article for more.)
What are your submission periods?
Our first submission period runs from May 1st through August 16th. Our second submission period runs from November 1st through February 16th. Both periods begin and end at 12:00 p.m. Pacific.
How often do you publish Memoir?
What makes a submission stand out?
An authentic perspective and a clear, and moving voice.
Do you plan issues around common themes?
We aim for each issue to represent as many unique perspectives and voices as possible, so we do not seek out themed materials.
What is your selection process?
Submissions are first distributed to our volunteer readers, who write brief summaries and responses and give introductory ratings. Editorial board members read and further respond to well-rated pieces and then identify top contenders for publication. These contenders are read by Editor in Chief, Claudia Sternbach, who also regularly reads through the general pool of submissions. Final publication decisions involve editorial board members, Claudia Sternbach, and founding editor emeritus Candida Lawrence.
What common mistakes do you see? Does anything lead to an automatic rejection?
We read and thoroughly review all pieces submitted according to guidelines. Memoir Journal editors are writers and artists who understand that submissions require audacity and deserve complete attention. However, we do not read material that arrives outside of the submission periods or does not otherwise correspond with submission guidelines.
Who is Memoir Journal’s audience?
We aim to reach any readers who respond to personal stories, and we hope that those readers are as diverse as our writers. We intend to have Memoir available in retail outlets throughout the US and Canada and as an e-book.
Some members of our audience are able to participate in our (In)Visible Memoirs project which includes workshops, public readings, and publication. This project offers a range of writing opportunities to communities who often have limited access to writing resources.
What are Memoir‘s plans for the future?
We are constantly working to publish the finest personal narratives in a diverse range of forms, to develop and maintain supportive relationships with our authors and artists, to increase Memoir‘s distribution, and to extend the reach of the (In)Visible Memoirs project.