5×5 is an online literary journal that publishes poetry and prose of 500 words or less. We also feature photography. We publish twice a year (Winter & Summer). Submissions are welcome year-round through Submittable, per the following schedule (which might vary):

  • Winter issue (2016): Now thru November 30th, 2016
    • Poetry submissions closed until January, 2017
  • Summer issue (2017): December 15th, 2015 thru May 15th, 2017
    • Poetry submissions will open in January, 2017

Response time depends on volume of submissions we receive. In most cases, however, you should hear from us within six to eight weeks. Because we have a small editorial staff, response time might be as long as six months (occasionally longer). If you don’t hear from us within six months, please don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to . Please include the following information in the cover letter box available through Submittable: a short bio (no longer than forty words), your e-mail address, and any other information you feel we should know about your submission.

Formatting Preferences:

  • Times New Roman (or something similar) 12-point font
  • Double-spaced (for prose)
  • Name and page number in bottom right-hand corner


We’re looking for your very best poems. That said, since this is a journal of concise writing, please let your work be no more than one page in length. Please also beware of page size and customize line breaks accordingly.

We are open to all kinds of poems in their myriad forms. We cleave to poems that carry both music and clarity no matter how strange the places they lead us or how surprising their leaps.

Please submit no more than five poems. All poems should be submitted in a single document, single-spaced. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please let us know when your work has been accepted elsewhere immediately. Wait for response to your submission before submitting again, feel free to inquire about the status of your work after 6 months. (We are a very small editorial crew).


We’re looking for nonfiction of all varieties, including but not limited to (short) memoir, personal essays, profile/portrait essays, lyric essays, meditative essays, and journalism.

Generally speaking, we want submissions that demonstrate an awareness of the connections between individual experience and that of the human condition at large. Borrowing from poet Richard Hugo and one of his students, Kim Barnes, when it comes to short nonfiction the challenge a writer faces is the battle between music and meaning. Hugo said neither music nor meaning should ever win but that if one has to win in poetry music should win. Barnes argues, however, and the editors of 5×5 tend to agree, that, in prose, the battle between music and meaning should tip instead in favor of meaning, as in  5×5, or I hear you perfectly.

Your submission should engage with the chosen theme (when relevant), but feel free to interpret each theme loosely. Be creative. Surprise us!

You’re welcome to submit up to two essays per issue.

Finally, please note that if your work is accepted for an issue, an editing process will ensue. During this process, the nonfiction editor might suggest revisions/changes to the submission that she feels will make the submission even stronger. If you have no interested in engaging in such a process, please reconsider submitting.


We’re looking for your very best fiction that works within our chosen theme (when relevant). Just as there isn’t one simple definition of “good writing,” there isn’t one element we look for in each submission. In short, we are looking for your best work in 500 words and less. Show us what you can accomplish with the short-short form.

Like what you’ve read? Submit Now.