General Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in District Lit. We publish poetry, prose, and art on a rolling basis. Founded in 2011, our mission is publishing the best work from new and emerging writers, complemented by interviews with diverse visual artists. Our vision is an online community in which we present the stories that writers want to tell and that readers want to read. We are here to publish writing that smashes down the borders we use to district our lives, and we hope you find something that changes your world.

We do not accept e-mail submissions; all work must be submitted through Submittable. Submissions that are emailed to any of our editors will not be read. We’re excited about your work!

Please note: Our general guideline for short stories is that they must be under 4,000 words.

Simultaneous Submissions

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Those wishing to remove individual pieces but not entire submissions should let us know through a note on Submittable; you can leave a note by clicking on your submission and clicking “Activity.”

We try to respond to submissions efficiently. Please wait thirty days to query us at

Previously Published Work

We do not accept previously published works, including those published on the Internet. Upon publication, all rights revert to the author or artist.

Waiting Period for Re-submission

Please wait at least six months after your submission to submit again. If you submit your work before the six-month waiting period has elapsed, we will not read the submission and we are unable to refund "Tip Jar" fees for submissions that do not follow this guideline.


We currently use Submittable for processing submissions because it helps with metrics. However, if you use a screen-reader and Submittable is not possible for you, please email to query about submitting to us. We can then arrange for a direct submission for those using screen-readers.

District Lit seeks work on the theme of "how to" do anything, literally or figuratively.  

As we face the global threat of COVID-19, many of us are quarantining in our homes to slow the spread of this deadly virus.  Let's learn new skills together. Do you know how to dance with joy? How to love another? How to break your own heart? Write it and share it with us. We want to learn.

Recommended reading:

"How to Read Billy Collins" by Jeff Worley

"What to Do When You're In Love" by Tatiana Ryckman

"How to Feel Beautiful" by Marlena Chertock

"The Heart as a Torn Muscle" by Randon Billings Noble

"Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Art Taylor

"How to Apologize" by Nicole Tong

"Body Wash: Instructions on Surviving Homelessness" by Dorothy Bendel

"How to Get Crushed" by Cara Dempsey

"To Preserve November" by Sarah Ann Winn

"Sweet and Sour Christmas: A Recipe" by Tara Campbell

POETRY: Send up to 3 poems, 1 page or less each, up to 3 pages total, in a single file

FICTION: Send up to 3 flash fiction stories up to 750 words each, in a single file

NONFICTON: Send one nonfiction piece up to 2,000 words

Reading fees will be donated to the CDC Foundation.

District Lit