Submission Guidelines

The Reed is currently accepting submissions for the Spring 2024 Edition, with a deadline of January 31, 2024

The Reed is an undergraduate journal about existentialism published each spring by students at St. Olaf College that accepts submissions from undergraduates at any university. We accept essays, short stories, poetry, and visual art. We define “existentialism” broadly, and will review anything that addresses canonical existentialist thinkers or themes commonly associated with the movement (e.g. absurdity, alienation, subjectivity, paradox, truth as metaphor, life as suffering etc.). While Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, and de Beauvoir are frequently counted among the most influential existentialists, we have previously published submissions addressing the writings of Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Foucault, Dostoevsky, and more. We encourage unusual subjects! Feel free to contact us at if you have any questions about the journal or submission details.

Guidelines for Submission:

Please read the submission requirements carefully. We cannot guarantee that your work will be considered if you do not follow them.

  • Written submissions must be sent as a Word document or a Google Doc attached to an email to
  • Art submissions must be sent as either a Word document (in the case of poetry, non-academic writing, etc.) or a high-resolution image file (in the case of painting, sculpture, etc.)
  • Written submissions must be in twelve point Times New Roman and no more than 20 pages double-spaced (essays must not exceed 6000 words).
  • All citation information must be in the Chicago style with endnotes.
  • Non-academic written works such as creative writing, literary criticism, psychological analysis, philosophical and religious discourse, and poetry are acceptable for review.
  • For visual art, the inclusion of a title and short description of your work are encouraged.
  • Author contact information should be included in the body of your email. You should include your name, the institution where you are an undergraduate, your expected year of graduation, and your email. Please do not include author information on the individual pages of the submitted paper.
  • All academic submissions will automatically be considered for the Hong Memorial Essay Prize which awards $100 to the best submitted academic essay.
  • Multiple Submissions: Authors may submit no more than 2 pieces of written work that exceed 1 page (essay, short story, etc). For art submissions and written submissions shorter than 1 page (for instance a short poem), authors may submit up to 4 works. We would like to remind you that even though you have the opportunity to submit multiple works, it is important to only submit those works that are publication ready.
  • Finally, the editors of The Reed may request minimal changes to written work if chosen for publication. However, the work should be ready for publication when it is submitted.

Acceptance notifications will be sent by March, 2024.

Review Process:

The Reed is an undergraduate journal in that it is made, written, and edited by undergraduates at St. Olaf College through a double-blind review process.. Every piece of written work will be read by at least three editors who will each fill out a review. Unfortunately, we can not provide feedback on individual submissions. After the initial readings, the editing team will make final selections from the essays with the most positive reviews. Art and poetry submissions will be reviewed by specialized editors, though these selections will be reviewed by the whole board before final decisions are made. Submissions undergo a revision process, during which the editorial board reserves the right to a final decision on the acceptance of the work. Our editing team looks forward to reviewing your submissions!