Twelve Literary Arts is an inter-generational teaching, learning, and professional development incubator for poets, writers, and performance artists who seek a safe space to write in the middle of Cleveland's inner city. Our 501(c)(3) organization supports, develops, and creates a community of writers and performers who share the desire to create literary works with an emphasis on imagination and social justice. The youth and adults of Twelve Literary Arts are inspired to bring poetry and writing to the people.

The mission of Twelve Literary Arts is to bring performance poetry to public spaces, while supporting poets and writers of all ages with programming, professional development, and brave spaces to dream, write, and teach into reality a world of social justice and equity.   

Dust off that manuscript in a drawer. Un-wrinkle that poem in your pocket. Cleveland Drafts is back and we need you! We are seeking writers from across Northeast Ohio to perform their fresh, unpublished works at our one-day literary crawl on Saturday, October 12th, 2019. Writers will perform at reading events throughout the day and should be prepared to talk briefly about their drafts and process. Writers who perform at the Cleveland Drafts Literary Festival are selected by a committee comprised of our partners 

If you are interested in participating, please submit a sample of your best work via the guidelines below. Writers reading will be notified in August and reading schedules will be determined at that time. Please note that priority consideration will be given to writers who have not yet performed at Cleveland Drafts. To submit, please follow the guidelines below.


Submissions open at 12:01 am on April 24, 2019. Early submissions are encouraged!

Submissions close at midnight on June 24, 2019. 

Selections will be announced by August 15, 2019.

Guidelines for Submission:

Submissions to Cleveland Drafts are open to writers living in Northeast Ohio or from Northeast Ohio originally. Writers should submit to the category for which they qualify: 

Student = Youth and student writers

Emerging = early-career writers who have published at least 1 individual story, piece or poem, or produced a 10 minute or one-act play, but not a full-length work. 

Professional = writers who have professionally published at least 1 full-length work or produced a full-length play. 

To submit your creative work for consideration:

Your name should not appear anywhere in your manuscript! Complete the Submittable form including:

  • Title
  • The category you are applying in (Student, Emerging, or Professional)
  • Genre you plan to read (Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction, or Playwriting)
  • A brief author bio 
  • A publishing history including any public readings, workshops, or other presentations

Attach a copy of your work. Manuscripts should be submitted as PDF or Docx files. Do not include your name or contact information on your attachment file. Please submit work you feel is your best work and representative of who you are as a writer. Your submission to Drafts does not have to be the work you read at the event, but it should be in the genre you plan to read. 

If submitting a play, include an introductory page with a brief (up to 200-word) synopsis, cast breakdown, and setting. Send a One Act, a ten-minute play, or a 10-page excerpt. 

If submitting poetry, send 5 poems or 5-10 pages of poetry

If submitting prose submit 1 short story or essay, or 1 chapter of an excerpt.‚Äč

Selections will be announced by email and posted on our website and Facebook page. We read each submission enthusiastically and make selections with our partner organizations. Because our process is highly collaborative, we will not be able to offer updates during our reading period.

Questions? Email

Twelve Literary Arts