Submission Guidelines

American Literary Review welcomes submissions of previously unpublished poems, short stories, and essays. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if noted in your cover letter. Please note that all submissions will be considered for online publication only.

  • Our 2022 CONTESTS are open for submissions from June 1-October 1. We accept contest entries in poetry, fiction, and essays. (Visit Submittable for complete guidelines.)
  • Our REGULAR SUBMISSIONS are currently closed. We will reopen in September 2022. The reading period for our Spring 2022 issue was January 1-May 1.
  • Submissions can be sent to us through our online Submission Manager for a fee of $3.
  • Why the $3 fee? Our $3.00 fee is not a reading fee, but simply meant to cover the administrative and IT costs associated with our online submissions system.

We do not accept submissions via email or via postal mail. We also do not accept any previously published work, including online publication and “revised” or altered versions of stories, poems, or essays. Unsolicited manuscripts received outside the reading period will be returned unread.

Please note that all current students and students who have graduated within three years from the University of North Texas are ineligible to submit to ALR.

To withdraw single poems, please send a note via Submittable.

We respond to submissions in approximately three to six months. Please do not query about the status of your submission until six months have passed.

To request a submission fee waiver, email


Submit only one story at a time. American Literary Review seeks distinctive, character-driven stories. We have no set maximum for length, but stories under 8,000 words have the best chance of publication. We generally avoid novel excerpts unless they can stand alone as stories.

Short fiction submitted for publication in the American Literary Review must:

  • be double-spaced
  • have the author’s name, address, and phone number on the first page


Submit up to five poems at a time. Poetry selections are made by a widely-read group with eclectic tastes who look for the best poems, regardless of form or subject matter.

Poetry submitted for publication in the American Literary Review must:

  • be accompanied by a cover letter with the author’s name, address, and phone number


Submit only one work at a time. We welcome essays in all forms, including flash, and we are interested in both traditional essays and ones that push the boundaries of the genre. We prefer submissions shorter than 4,000 words.

Essays submitted for publication in the American Literary Review must:

  • be accompanied with a brief cover letter including the essay’s word count


We do not publish unsolicited book reviews at this time. The editors and their associates regularly prepare a section of short book evaluations, selectively treating recent publications.