TW's Editorial Calendar

Talking Writing solicits themed work for each issue.

Submit all work and queries at


Schedule of Upcoming Themes

TW's annual editorial calendar, updated every fall, appears below. Each issue has a theme, and we solicit related essays and other features on fixed deadlines. The schedule also lists our reading periods for fiction and poetry.


“Pano photography shows limit to DSLRs”  © See-ming Lee; Creative Commons license

Spring 2017: Borders

TW's annual poetry issue will spotlight poems about borders—borders between people, between places, between cultures, between time periods, between species, between the individual and the group, between genres. It's a theme that can be interpreted in a variety of forms and voices. Hybrid work is fine, but no essays or stories, please.

Submissions closed.


"(Once Upon a Time...)" © David Jubert; Creative Commons licenseGeneral Fiction Reading Period:
January–February 2017

Talking Writing publishes short stories or flash fiction in some issues. For flash fiction, include no more than three stories, each no longer than 1,000 words, in one document. Length: Short stories up to 8,000 words; flash fiction up to 1,000 words.

Submissions open from January 1 to March 6, 2017.


General Poetry Reading Period: June 2017

In addition to the spring spotlight issue, Talking Writing publishes poetry in other issues. Featured poets generally publish more than one poem in a given issue. Submit three to five poems in one document, but no more than five pages in all.

Submissions open from June 1 to June 30, 2017.


"Mixed Emotions" © Michael Summers; Creative Commons licenseFall 2017: Truth-telling

Our Fall 2017 nonfiction issue will take on the need for truth in all that we say, write, and do. We're looking for a mix of different features highlighting constructive communication across political and cultural divides:

  • How to Talk to Each Other: personal essays, advice, listicles, even visual memes that address our national failure to communicate. Word count: 800 to 1,200.
  • Observing the World: short first-person reports on the world around us. Whether it's a verbal snapshot of a neighborhood, an event, a specific cultural site, or the natural world, we invite writers to record, accurately convey, and interpret what they observe. Word count: 200 to 800.
  • Talking to the Enemy: open letters to a famous person (alive or dead), a neighbor, a colleague, or anybody with whom you strongly disagree. The goal is to figure out better ways to explain differences of opinion—no ranting, please. Word count: 500 to 1,200.

Feel free to query us first about the subject/format of your feature.

Extended Deadline: June 12, 2017.


"Faith" © Jenny Downing; Creative Commons license

Contest 2017: Writing and Faith

How do you tackle life's Big Questions? This year's Talking Writing Prize for Personal Essay will spotlight our annual holiday theme. Essay writers are welcome to explore a wide range of issues—mortality, belief, culture of origin, atheism—as part of a personal meditation about soul searching through words.

Contest open March 1 to October 16, 2017.


From June through August, TW is on hiatus. We accept submissions over the summer, but our response time will be slower.


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 Submit all work and queries at