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About The Parliament Literary Journal

Welcome to The Parliament Literary Journal,

​a literary gathering building its nest in Highland Park, New Jersey.  In its mission, The Parliament Literary Journal aims, quite simply, to be a place for those who share a love in writing of all genres to gather, discuss, and inspire one another.

Below, please find some answers to questions we anticipate you might have.

Why is your literary site called The Parliament?
The mascot of the Highland Park High School, and the symbol that those of us who have been raised in the town often identify with, is the owl.  And so we wanted the owl to be equally representative of our literary site.  (What wiser, more elegant symbol could there be?!)  A group of owls is called a parliament.  This term  - wonderfully and appropriately enough - comes, itself, directly from a literary source.  In the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, owls gather together in meeting in a chapter called "A Parliament of Owls".  The Parliament Literary Journal, then, is by our design, a place for all of us 'owls' - whether you are from Highland Park or elsewhere! - to gather.

Do you take submissions?
As we are growing our site, we are beginning slowly and will only be accepting submissions for specific contests and themes that we call for.  Submissions will only be accepted through the Submittable link provided.  Please -- at least until we can get ourselves set up confidently enough --  do not send unsolicited materials.
However, please note that not all submissions will be accepted for publication on our site.  An assembled team of reviewers and editors will collectively make the decision about the works we want representative of our literary site based  on the judged quality of the work and its adherence to submission guidelines.

What genres do you accept? Are there restrictions?
We want to see the diversity of talents that surround us!  While certain contests and submission periods may revolve around a certain theme, we don't intend to limit your work to a particular genre.  We'd love to see your prose, flash and micro fiction, poetry, essay, creative non-fiction, photography, ekphrastics, and more!  Surprise us!  Be creative! Bend and blend genres!  We will accept work with profanity and/or sex so long as it is utilized in an appropriate and artful way.
We will NOT accept works that are heavily pornographic or works that promote racism, homophobia, or intolerance of any kind.

Okay, I'm IN; ready to share my work. How should I format and how should I send?

All submissions should be sent through the Submittable link provided next to each theme or contest listing as a .doc or .docx.  (No .pdfs please. They're too cumbersome to format when we do layout work.) When we review your submissions, we'd like to do so blindly -- meaning we DO NOT want your name or any identifying information about you on your story. This simply helps to remove any bias from the process. To submit through Submittable, you'll need to create an account there -- but no worries! -- it's an established site used by most literary journals and it's free to join.

Now, about the formatting of your work...

Please type up your work using an 11-or 12- point standard, clean font (Times New Roman is an unwavering classic we stand firmly behind). Keep it traditional. We would hate to reject quality work because it was in a scripted font that gave us a headache or in Comic Sans which is just a little silly looking. (All that being said, if you are writing a poem and formatting and font are integral to your expression, (an ode to Comic Sans, perhaps?), than feel free to send it as intended.  

Submitted art and photographs should be in the highest resolution possible. We may, unfortunately, have to reject work if clarity is an issue. JPG, PNG, and TIFs file formats are appreciated classics.

I know an excellent writer but they're not from Highland Park?  Can they still participate?
YES!  The Parliament Literary Journal is simply rooted in Highland Park, but we'd love to see submissions come in from across the state, across the country, and across the world even!

Do I retain my rights to my work?
Absolutely yes. Your work is your own. By submitting to The Parliament Literary Journal, you are simply giving us permission to publish your work on our site.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

Yes, we do, but please do us the courtesy of contacting us if your work is placed elsewhere first. You can do this via email or through Submittable where you can withdraw your submission. 

My work was rejected and I disagree with the decision!  What now?
In creating this literary site, we take full ownership of its contents and the complete rights to determining its design and content. We wish you luck at placing your work elsewhere where editors might find it to be more fitting to their needs.  We, however, assert our rights as the owners of this site to create it as we see fit. 

Do I get paid?
The short answer to this question is, as it stands currently, no.  As our literary site is still in its inception phase ,we are observing the response and interest.  We do hope that for future contests, perhaps using an entry fee, we can award a prize to winners.  For themed submissions, however, this won't be a possibility for a while.  We hope this doesn't dissuade you from wanting to share your talents.

But who ARE you really? How do I know this is legit?

We get it. You want names, right?  You want to know that the art that you are sending in -- that you have invested in, poured your heart into -- is going to a legitimate place and people that will show it the respect it deserves. Nikki Gonzalez, a lifetime resident of Highland Park, New Jersey (for now anyway) is the creator of The Parliament Literary Journal and oversees the content selection and the presentation/layout of the final product. However, this doesn't mean you can accost her at the local Stop & Shop to plead your case with your story or art. Nikki has assembled a crack team of (currently) seven members diverse in their backgrounds and reading tastes. This team -- of college professors, English teachers, and avid readers and writers--  will be responsible for reading/reviewing submissions and making the ultimate decisions about what goes into The Parliament Literary Journal.

To add to our legitimacy as a literary site, The Parliament Literary Journal is a member of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses.

I have other questions that were not addressed here.  How do I get answers?
Send us an email at and we'll do our best to respond promptly and thoroughly.

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