• Poetry - A maximum of 500 words for each poetry submission. No limits on form or content. If submitting multiple pieces, please submit each individually.
  • Fiction - A maximum of 1,500 words for each fiction submission. If submitting multiple pieces, please submit each individually.
  • Non-fiction - A maximum of 1,500 words for each non-fiction submission. If submitting multiple pieces, please submit each individually.
  • Hybrid Literature - A maximum of 500 words for each hybrid submission. If submitting multiple pieces, please submit each individually.
  • Art - Please submit each artwork separately. Submissions should be in the highest resolution possible, minimum 200 dpi. Submissions must also include the art medium and date of production.
  • Reviews - Book, film, television, and media reviews of works released in the last 12 months are welcome. Works being reviewed must be recent. Reviews should be between 600-900 words long and should be in MLA format. No works cited pages should be necessary in your review (see past examples of acceptable reviews). Please contact our reviews editor, Essence Saunders esaunders@csustan.edu to inquire further about reviews or send a review proposal. A review proposal is required. Include the title of the work you wish to review, a 1-2 sentence summary, and a short author bio or CV.
    - Reviews word count should be between 600 to 900 words
    - Reviews must end with a sign off of the submitter’s name and academic affiliation
    - Reviews must be of recent works (within the last year)
    - Review proposals are required, please send proposals or questions to the reviews editor, Essence Saunders esaunders@csustan.edu

  • Each person can submit no more than 2 submissions total (for example, 1 art and 1 fiction OR 2 fiction OR 1 hybrid and 1 poetry). Failure to comply with this guideline will result in a rejection of all pieces submitted for the issue.
  • Each piece must be in a separate document/submission to be considered.
  • Word count for fiction/non-fiction is 1200 words
  • Poetry pieces can be no more than 500 words
  • Written documents need to be submitted as Word Docs: NO PDF files will be accepted
  • Art pieces must be sent as jpeg images, minimum 200 dpi resolution; we will request your highest resolution if selected.
  • Titles must appear the same way in all parts of the submission (submission file, doc title, etc.) to prevent confusion.
  • We require specific content warnings in the actual submission as well as in the published work to protect our staff as well as our readers. If selected, this warning will be included in the final print (this is necessary for our other publications as well). Warnings must accurately reflect the content in submitted work (i.e. drug use, domestic violence, etc.)
  • Once accepted, submitters cannot withdraw their pieces. All submissions are evaluated AFTER the submission period has closed. If your piece is accepted in another publication after we have accepted your piece, the secondary publication must attribute Penumbra as the original publisher.
  • All submitted works must be original and unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.
  • No images depicting bodily harm, including the harm of animals; it can result in a ban from both Penumbra and Penumbraonline.org
  • No racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, islamophobic, or ableist content or language (etc.) Nothing that furthers hate or oppressive rhetoric and practices; submitting work containing these topics can result in a ban from Penumbra, Penumbra Online, Penumbra Press, and any other Penumbra programming.

  1. Compose an email to penumbra@csustan.edu
  2. State the medium of your submission: Poetry, Short Story, Art, Hybrid, or Review.
  3. Upload your work, as well as a brief artist bio and cover letter for your work.
  4. Confirm that what you're sending is original and send it!

Submissions are only accepted through email (penumbra@csustan.edu). There is no fee for submitting. Please contact the following editors for any questions regarding guidelines or general information:

Faculty Advisor, Dr. John Wittman – jwittman@csustan.edu
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Wagner – awagner4@csustan.edu
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Autumn Andersen – aandersen1@csustan.edu
Reviews Editor, Essence Saunders – esaunders@csustan.edu

Updated: April 19, 2023