NOTE: The reading period for Thread is currently on hiatus. Background below. 


2019 was a big one for Thread.

It marked five years of publication. Fourteen issues. Eighty-four essays. A sold-out anniversary storytelling event. A third notable in Best American Essays.

And, in what may probably sound to you as a counter-intuitive development, a temporary hiatus.

 Yep. I’m going to step away from this beautiful thing for a while. This magnificent chorus of writerly voices that has given me, and many others, enormous pleasure.

I’m going to take a breather from Thread so that I can oxygenate some new projects.

In the short spaces between editing Thread and Stitch, teaching writing workshops and coaching writers, I’ve been working on a memoir. I’m revising and in search of the right publishing partner now. I’m also working on brand new content and teaching venues for my writing workshops. These endeavors need more of my time and attention.

It wasn’t an easy decision. I hemmed and hawed; stepped on the brakes and then put them in reverse.

When I turned 60 in June, I felt a shift. It was partly practical: I became more aware of the precious nature of time. And it was partly personal: It’s time to grow. Now or never!

In the months that followed, I realized that I needed to give myself over to this.

To keep Thread spinning, I will be posting published Thread and Stitch essays on social media through the year. So stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for links so you can escape into something powerful or poignant, searing or soothing. Art made from words.

Setting this publishing project aside is a risk, I know. Writers may stop submitting. You may stop reading. But I’m hoping this won’t be the case. Because the hardest-best decisions I’ve made in my life have come from listening to my heart and trusting my gut.

I’m holding the words of author Gail Sheehy close, who wrote, “Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.”

January 2020



Thread publishes personal essays by established and emerging writers of 1500 words or less.

Stitch features a 100-word piece on the first of every month.

Thread/Stitch accepts personal narrative pieces which includes personal essays, narrative nonfiction and short memoir only.  Please note that Thread/Stitch do not publish fiction, short stories, poetry, journalistic features or academic essays. The publications are highlight stories written from a writer’s life experience.

There are no submission fees. Contributors  – and your editor  – offer their work for the love of the art and the joy of publication. Every essay accepted in Thread or Stitch receives a careful edit in which I work closely with the writer.

Though Thread does not pay writers, each published essay is featured on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and contributors’ books are promoted on the site in the New Work by Thread Writers section. Essays in Thread have been acknowledged as notables in Best American Essays in 2016, 2018 and 2019. Writer bios and head shots are featured on a separate Contributors page.

Thread and Stitch cover a variety of themes relating to human experience across the decades; thoughtful, poignant and humorous stories from the lives of a diverse range of people.

To submit your work for review:

  1. Send your piece IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL to, indicating whether it is a submission to Thread or Stitch with the name of your essay in the subject line.

  2. PLEASE DO NOT SEND WORD DOCUMENT ATTACHMENTS OR PDFs. I am aware that this can throw off formatting, but that’s okay.

  3. Feel free to send ONE ESSAY PER SUBMISSION for Thread and UP TO TWO for Stitch.

  4. INDICATE IF YOUR PIECE IS A SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSION.  Let me know if the piece is accepted elsewhere.

Thread publishes original material, not been previously published. I’ll let you know by email if your piece is a fit, usually within four-to-six weeks.

Keep updated on Facebook. Click on the Live Lit tab for the next scheduled event.  Subscribe to my blog about craft, creativity and the writing life at EBB & Flow. 

Thread has earned two spots on the Best American Essays Notable list. Kudos to Tom McGohey for “Cicero’s Hands” (Fall 2018), Richard Holinger’s essay “The Art of Passivity” (Fall 2017) and Randy Osborne for his essay, “Seaside Bohemia” (Fall 2015) for its well-deserved praise! Thread has also received a four-star review in The Review Review and features in The Chicago Tribune, Brevity Blog and New Pages.

Ellen Blum Barish

Editor, THREAD

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Thread?

An online literary publication featuring short personal essay, memoir, creative nonfiction and original photography.

Who edits the publication?

Ellen Blum Barish. For more about me, click on the About page.

Is Thread affiliated with a university or other organization?

No. Thread is the creation of volunteer writers and a solo editor-photographer.

Who are the contributors?

Emerging and established writers. See Contributors page.

When do you read submissions?

Every day of the year, but I take rest months from time to time. Send your pieces to me at

In what form should I send pieces?

See the guidelines above.

Does Thread and Stitch pay writers?

No but Thread does promote writers on social media, the Contributors page and features writers creative work on the site as well.

Can you submit photographs or art?

Not at this time.