An allusion is a [figure of speech in prose or poetry that makes a] brief, often implicit and indirect, reference within a literary text to something outside the text, whether another text (e.g., the Bible, a myth, another literary work, a painting, or a piece of music) or any imaginary or historical person, place, or thing. (The Norton Anthology of World Literature)

It seeks, by tapping the knowledge and memory of the reader, to secure a resonant emotional effect from the association already in the reader’s mind. (A Handbook to Literature)

QuillAllusion Writing Exercise

Choose a scene or section from a work you’ve already written. This can be as small as a paragraph or a full chapter. Start a new document and rewrite the scene or section, including an allusion to a single work. This can be a famous novel, essay, song, painting…. One rule, do not name the title of the work.

Submit to Eckleburg

We accept previously unpublished and polished prose up to 8,000 words year round, unless announced otherwise.  We are always looking for tightly woven short works under 2,000 words and short-shorts around 500 words. No multiple submissions but simultaneous is fine as long as you withdraw the submission asap through the submissions system. During the summer and winter months, we run our Writers Are Readers, Too, fundraiser when submissions are open only to subscribers. During the fall and spring, we open submissions for regular unsolicited submissions.

Note: We consider fiction, poetry and essays that have appeared in print, online magazines, public forums, and public access blogs as already being published. Rarely do we accept anything already published and then only by solicitation. We ask that work published at Eckleburg not appear elsewhere online, and if republished in print, original publication credit is given to The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. One rare exception is our annual Gertrude Stein Award, which allows for submissions of previously published work, both online and print. Submit your work.

Eckleburg Workshops

Take advantage of our $5 work-at-your-own-pace writing workshops where you can create new work as well as fine tune work you’ve already written. Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and more, Eckleburg Workshops offer writing prompts and craft techniques that will take your work to the next level. 

Work with a Reedsy Editor for Individualized Attention

Submit your work for developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, editorial assessment and more at, where hundreds of experienced, awarded writers and editors are ready to read your work and help you make it the best it can be.


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