In Layman's Terms

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Current Theme: Water. Tell us about climate change and water scarcity. About Puerto Rico and Flint. Send us your memories of drinking from the hose and building community. Show us ice and steam and pressure. Teach us about ocean acidification and microplastics and especially, what can be done about them. Inspire us with whales and seabirds, but remind us about the little guys too--the anglerfish, mussels, and tube worms.

General Guidelines

In Layman's Terms is an online literary journal intent on building bridges between extremes in knowledge. We want writing that inspires an appreciation and curiosity of science and the natural world. 

Key Points:

  • While a research component is encouraged, please keep in mind the goal of accessibility and readability–we are not looking for academic-style writing, but rather an interpretation of data into art. 

  • Submissions should tie back to the theme of the issue in some way. This can be a broad interpretation or a precise one. 

  • You should familiarize yourself with our about and "inspirations" pages prior to submitting.

  • Pay attention to the additional instructions and text fields on the submissions form, please! 

  • Do not submit more than once per issue/reading period. If you must update your piece, please let us know via submittable or email rather than withdrawing. If you would like to send us more than one submission per reading period, please consider the tip jar submission categories.

  • Tip jar submissions are not given special priority, however, your contribution is appreciated and helps us keep this journal going. 

  • We accept only previously unpublished written work (we do not consider private blogs or websites in which a login is required for viewing to be previously published). Previously published photography or visual art will be considered, but please inform us ahead of time. All work must be your own. 

  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, so long as you let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

  • There is no fee to submit. We offer payment by way of publishing accepted work. 

  • You should expect to hear back from us within a month of the submission deadline or sooner. The status of your submission can always be seen through Submittable. 

  • We ask for first internet serial rights to publish your submitted work online. The author retains all other rights.

Thank you for sharing your work with In Layman's Terms!

In Layman's Terms