Please pay attention to the following guidelines when submitting work. 

  • For fiction and CNF, we accept pieces up to 3,000 words in length, but shorter pieces are strongly preferred.
  • For poetry, we accept 1-3 poems, with a page limit of five pages.
  • Submissions should be in proper manuscript format (standard font type, 12-point, double spaced), in a Microsoft Word docx. or doc. file (rtf format is acceptable as well). 
  • We accept one submission per writer per category during each submission cycle. (i.e. you may submit a fiction short story, a nonfiction essay, and some poems for the same issue, but you may not submit three fiction pieces for the same issue.)
  • If your work is rejected, do not resubmit it unless it has undergone substantial revision (see our FAQ page for clarification).
  • We only accept previously unpublished work.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your piece is picked up elsewhere.
  • While strong language/expletive content is allowed, it must be extremely justified; we do not accept pieces that include vulgar content for shock value.
  • If your piece contains material that may be triggering (sexual assault, suicide, etc.) please place a content warning at the start of your submission. (NOTE: This will not dissuade us from accepting your work, but we like to know what to expect.)
  • Any work that seeks to silence or undermine underrepresented voices or capitalize on current world issues for personal gain will be automatically rejected.

    The editors of The Opal acknowledge authors retain full copyright to their original work, and ask the submitting authors allow first publication privileges to The Opal. While simultaneous submissions are allowed, we ask for notification and a prompt withdrawal of your submission if accepted elsewhere.