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The Light Ekphrastic seeks artists and writers interested in collaboration resulting in the creation of new works inspired by the old. Those chosen will be paired with another artist (a poet with a painter, for instance), and each will create a new piece based on their partner’s previous work. The old and new works will be presented together on TLE.

To be considered for a future issue, writers and visual artists should submit three to five previous works you don’t mind sharing with another artist, or having posted on TLE. We highly recommend you take a look at the format of a previous issue of TLE before submitting so you understand the commitment involved.

What We Accept

We will consider pretty much any type of visual art, as well as video and music. For writing, we will consider poetry and very short fiction. While we previously accepted published writing, we now do not, simply due to the volume of writing submissions we receive overall. Please note that we receive many more writing submissions than art, so while we try to make room for as many people as possible to participate, we are limited in that way.

In order to be considered, you must use our online submissions tool. Click here to submit to The Light Ekphrastic. Please do not try to submit via email.

When to Submit

The Light Ekphrastic publishes online four times a year, in February, May, August, and November — usually around the middle of the month.

We accept rolling submissions for whatever the next issue happens to be. For best consideration, follow this general guide for when submissions cut off for each upcoming issue:

  • Submissions for the February issue cut off on the last day of the previous December
  • Submissions for the May issue cut off on the last day of March
  • Submissions for the August issue cut off on the last day of June
  • Submissions for the November issue cut off on the last day of September

Process for Accepted Participants

If you are chosen to participate, you will be:

  1. Paired with another artist (if you are a writer, you will be paired with a visual artist…and vice versa)
  2. Sent three to five previous works created by your partner artist
  3. Expected to create a completely new work inspired by one of your partner’s previous artworks or writings. You will have approximately six weeks to complete the new work.

Questions? E-mail the editor at

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Keith L. Shaffer permalink
    February 9, 2010 10:16 pm

    A retired English Teacher and Drama Coach, I am now focusing on the writing I didn’t have time for during the last 30 years.

  2. Michael Forss permalink
    May 4, 2010 2:05 am

    I’m interested in this. Please contact me and allow me to get in touch with a real person…I’m kinda old school about things like that…I write poetry and short stories…am working on a novel and a screenplay…the idea of working with an artist never occurred to me…sounds like something I could really enjoy doing…thanks, Michael

  3. May 4, 2010 3:51 pm

    Hi Michael, I’ll be in touch with you via e-mail. – Jenny

  4. May 25, 2011 3:12 am

    Hello Light Ekphrastic! We were terrifically encouraged to run into your site/journal and to find others on this earth exploring ekphrasis! We’d love for you to browse our site (if you’re interested and/or have time) and see what we’re working in/on – please let us know if you’re interested or would like to link – we’re currently preparing submissions toward you. (Watching Yo-Yo Ma’s “Inspired by Bach” with our children – who knew! Ekphrasis everywhere)… Hope to hear from you – love what we’ve seen so far!

  5. December 18, 2012 4:52 am

    I love this idea and am very interested in participating. I had a couple of questions, though. Ideally, how long should the old stories we submit be? And can, or rather should they have been previously published elsewhere?
    This is a great idea and I love cross-pollination of mediums.

  6. October 4, 2013 2:35 pm

    ee yi yi I found so many sites for Nathan! I came across this one.I’m interested. I’m having fun with emily’s journey of a photograph right now and thought it would be fun to do another one. What a great way to grow or improve upon your own work!


  7. Erika permalink
    March 3, 2014 8:51 pm

    I missed – love this idea ! When will poetry submissions open for the next issue ? Thanks in advance for your time.

  8. May 17, 2014 12:28 am

    This really interests me. I’ve done ekphrastics before, and they’re one of my favourite poetic forms. Several years ago I was matched with a painter here (in Edmonton) and one of my poems was used as part of an art display, along with two dozen other artists and poets, to raise money for charity. Then, in 2013, 2 of my poems were selected for Kind of a Hurricane Press’s, “In Gilded Frame” ekphrastic edition. Like I say, it is really a form I like. So, should I just forward some poems to you that I hope will fit the bill? (I have perused some of your back issues. Is there anything further I should do?)

  9. November 29, 2014 12:13 pm

    Will you accept previously published poems for the initial submission? Also, the latest edition is beautiful! What a fabulous way to encourage collaboration.

    • March 18, 2015 8:25 pm

      Oh dear, I’m sorry I’m just seeing this. Yes, I do accept previously published poems for the initial submission.

      • March 18, 2015 9:03 pm

        No problem. I went ahead and submitted, although I have not heard back yet. Are you still reviewing submissions?

  10. March 18, 2015 9:07 pm

    Are you Trish? I’ll be sending you an email shortly, actually. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. March 24, 2015 6:21 am

    Hi – This is a very interesting concept, I just found your site this morning – Perhaps my work is a fit –
    I have for many years been posting words and pictures related to various spiritual themes. Taking a spiritual thought, finding a (famous) notable quote (my collaborator so to speak) and then writing a short, simple languaged poem related to the teaching of that quote (simple languaged for all ages especially children) and I also paint an original painting which represetns some portion of the vignette. I have been using my Shih Tzu puppy as a muse in my work to engage children and families and create a character) – Although geared for parents and children to be able to discuss these topics, many adults find my work to be meditative and inspirational. I have published 3 books and have an app for mobile devices – my website is – go to the blog page for examples of posts.
    I am on facebook as rich okun and Linked in as well .
    I invite you to take a look and see if my work might interest you and your readership.
    Thank you for your kind consideration.
    Very truly yours
    Rich Okun (and Maya of course).

    • March 25, 2015 4:23 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Rich! Feel free to submit for a future issue. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Elizabeth Alford permalink
    June 2, 2015 12:51 pm

    I’m a poet and I’d love to find an artist to work with. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m also very new to ekphrastics (and this site in particular) so I’m little nervous. Trish, I was wondering if there’s anything specific I should address in my cover letter, and also whether my submissions should have my name and/or contact info on them.

    • Elizabeth Alford permalink
      June 2, 2015 1:12 pm

      Actually, is it cover letter or letters? Do I need to submit my poems individually or all together? Sorry for all the questions.

      • June 2, 2015 2:45 pm

        No need to be nervous, Elizabeth! We’re pretty easy going. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just tell us about why you’re interested, and send some bio info if you want. No need to put your name and contact info on the submission itself…we’ll see that in your submission record separately. Thanks! – Jenny

      • Elizabeth Alford permalink
        June 3, 2015 8:02 pm

        Thank you, Jenny! I am still wondering about whether I send the submissions separately or in a single document (and thusly, whether I need to submit one cover letter or more).

  13. June 4, 2015 10:43 am

    Oooh, now I get it. Once you log on to Submittable, you’ll see there’s a space where you can cut and paste your cover letter, so there’s no need to send it separately. Hope that makes sense now. – jo’g

  14. Elizabeth Alford permalink
    June 4, 2015 4:20 pm

    Sorry, my question is whether I should put all of my poems together in a single document or submit each poem as a separate entry. I can upload only one attachment at a time.

  15. January 15, 2019 5:41 am

    Hi there, are simultaneous submissions welcome?

    • January 18, 2019 8:35 am

      Yes! We just ask that you keep us posted if anything is accepted elsewhere.

  16. June 30, 2020 11:41 am

    The Light Ekphrastic paired me up with New England photographer Karen Klinedinst years ago. Last year Karen contacted me again, out of the blue, and the result was a summer-long exposition of another poem alongside Karenโ€™s art at Lafayette City Center in downtown Boston. Thanks LTE!

    Richard Manly Heiman


  1. Two poems published in The Light Ekphrastic–open for submissions until June 5, 2015 | Trish Hopkinson

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