Submissions Guidelines

The Dark Mountain Project is committed to publishing original writing and art which touches on the themes of our work. We are not interested in whether you are famous or unknown. We are particularly interested in new writers. We are looking for innovative, challenging, brave writing and art, which responds to the challenge that Dark Mountain lays down – to find new stories, and new ways of telling them. However – before you submit anything for one of our books, please read the guidelines below, so you know what we do and what we’re looking for.

PLEASE NOTE: We have a new submissions process so even if you have sent work to us before please read the below carefully:


1. Before submitting work to us, we strongly suggest that you read our manifesto and get your hands on a copy of one of our recent books. This will give you a feel for the range and the standard of work we are looking for. Make sure you like what you see, and you know what we do. Also please read the call out for the upcoming issue Dark Ocean to understand the frame in which this issue is set. We encourage you not to get bogged down by form. Challenge us.

2. We publish fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art and interviews, as well as work that is entirely non-categorisable.  

3.  All work must be your own. We rarely reprint work that has been published elsewhere – we are looking for original work – but if you do submit something for re-publication, please tell us where it appeared first.

4. We publish many styles and shapes of prose writing, from flash fiction to long-form essays. In terms of length, we are currently considering pieces up to 4,000 words – but when writing for us, please bear in mind that this is an upper limit, not a target length. We look for sharpness and originality, both in what you are saying and how you are saying it. When sending in your submission, please state the word count for prose or line count (including breaks) for poetry on the submissions form or in the accompanying email and submit no more than two pieces.

5. Please upload your written work to our form in a format that can be opened in Microsoft Word (e.g. .doc, .docx, .txt or .rtf). We cannot accept submissions sent in PDF format or in the body of an email. Please also name your file to include your full name followed by the name of the piece you are submitting ([YOUR NAME]_[TITLE OF PIECE]). We receive hundreds of submissions and this makes our lives very much easier.

6. If you are submitting artwork, we ask you to upload/send your submission as JPG or PNG files (max 2MB) in the first instance. Please send no more than two images as two separate submissions. Any accompanying captions/text should be uploaded/sent as a separate word file rather than in the body of an email, there is space on the form to upload this. Please name your images and additional text files in the same format as text files specified in point 6 ( [YOUR NAME]_[TITLE OF PIECE]).
If your image(s) are accepted, we will ask you to send them as larger files for publication. The full specifications for images for publication can be found here.

7. IMPORTANT: To submit your work please fill in and upload your submission on our online form which can be found here. If you cannot fill out our submissions form for any reason please send your work to [email protected], include the word count in the body of the email and make sure your piece is still titled in format specified above. We will not reply to submissions that are not formatted as we request. 

8. Please be patient! Depending on the time of year, it may take us a few months to get back to you, but we will reply to every submission we receive. If you have submitted a piece to Dark Mountain, please do not submit it for publication elsewhere until you have received a response from us.

9. If we do accept your work for publication, we may get back to you with some suggested changes or improvements. We often like to work with authors to get the best out of their work.

10. We are currently unable to pay for work that we publish – we hope this will change in future – but we do send you a copy of the book on publication, and we guarantee you a smart and growing audience for your work. All copyright remains with the authors, though we ask that you don’t republish accepted work elsewhere before the book is published.