Submit

We are currently accepting submissions through our online submission form.

Our reading periods are May 1 to September 1 for Fall and October 1 to January 1 for Spring. Please submit only one work of fiction and up to four poems during any reading period. 

We accept fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions only through our online web form.

Fiction

We are looking for thoughtful, earnest fiction. We like stories that make the ordinary unfamiliar, that introduce us to new ways of seeing and being in the world, stories that move us without aiming for stock reactions. We’re interested in the inner lives of characters: their intimate challenges and relationships, and whatever these struggles might say about larger issues or ideas.

  • Submissions should be short fiction or novel excerpts between 2,000 to 9,000 words.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Submissions should be in .RTF format.
  • Please be sure to provide your name and email address on the first page.

Because we’re confident that more good fiction is being written today than is being published, we especially encourage submissions from emerging and previously unpublished writers.

Sorry, but we’re not interested in erotica, horror, romance, inspirational, or other genre fiction. That said, literary fiction that plays with generic conventions is welcome.

Sometimes, people ask us for the names of writers we like. Here are some (in no particular order): Maile Meloy, Miranda July, George Saunders, Mary Gaitskill, David Foster Wallace, Wells Tower, Joshua Ferris, ZZ Packer, Gary Shteyngart, Jim Shepard, Margaret Atwood, Tom Perrotta, Alice Munro, Gish Jen, William Trevor, Anton Chekhov.

Visual Art

We are currently accepting submissions of painting and photography. If you would like your work to be considered, please email a link to portfolio of your work to arts@pdrjournal.org.

Poetry

We welcome submissions in a broad range of poetic modes, from traditional to experimental, narrative to lyric. That said, we tend to prefer poetry that is written in common language but that elevates the language used. We are looking for poems that elicit something visceral in the reader, poems that leave us, as Dickinson wrote, with the tops of our heads taken off. Here is a not-quite-exhaustive list of poets that have had such an effect on us: John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, John Berryman, Anne Carson, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Elliot, Naomi Shihab Nye, Louise Glück, Matthea Harvey, Larry Levis, Bernadette Mayer, Jack Spicer, James Tate, C.D. Wright, Dean Young, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Wright, Mark Strand, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Simic.

Please submit no more than five (5) poems, with a maximum length of five (5) pages per submission. If you send in a five page poem, please understand that we can only accept one poem of that length per poet.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Submissions should be in .RTF format, with all poems in a single file. The name of the file should include your last name. Please be sure to provide your name and e-mail address on every page of your submission.

Nonfiction

We are looking for creative nonfiction pieces that introduce readers to new perspectives and ideas, works that challenge the reader’s assumptions about the world, either through unique ways of looking at the ordinary, or through introductions to the unfamiliar and extraordinary.

We like prose that communicates complex ideas in nuanced and accessible ways, but discourage the submission of formal, academic pieces; think The Believer or N+1 rather than PMLA or Critical Inquiry. Memoir, essay, profile, book excerpts and creative journalism are all of interest.

  • Submissions should generally be between 2,000 to 9,000 words.
  • We do not accept simultaneous submissions of nonfiction.
  • Submissions should be in .RTF format; please be sure to provide your name and email address on the first page

You may wish to contact us (nonfiction@pdrjournal.org) with a query before beginning work on a nonfiction piece intended for the magazine.