American Literary Review

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The American Literary Review welcomes submissions of previously unpublished poems, short stories, and creative non-fiction. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if noted in your cover letter. Please note that all submissions from now on will be considered for the online only issue. For any questions not covered in this section, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

  • Our reading period extends from October 1 to May 1
  • Our annual contest extends from June 1 to Oct 1
  • Submissions can be sent to us through our online Submission Manager for a fee of $3 (see details below for contest submissions).
  • 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. Hopefully, $3 is no more than you would spend on paper, ink, envelopes and postage. We also think you'll appreciate the convenience of being able to upload your submission and track its progress from your own computer.

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.


Submit only one story at a time. American Literary Review seeks distinctive, character-driven stories. 


Submit no more than 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. 


Submit only one work at a time. We welcome submissions in personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, and experimental nonfiction. We prefer submissions shorter than 6,500 words.


We do not publish unsolicited book reviews at this time.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.


General Guidelines for the 2015 American Literary Review Awards

  • Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in the Spring 2016 online issue of the American Literary Review will be given for a poem, a short story, and an essay. 
  • Please submit your work using our online Submission Manager. We do not accept submissions via snail mail or email.
  • Contest entries must be submitted between June 1 and October 1, 2015.
  • There is a $15.00 reading fee. Multiple entries are acceptable, but each entry must be accompanied by a reading fee. Entries without a reading fee will not be read or considered.
  • Please do not put any identifying information in the file itself; include the author’s name, title(s), address, e-mail address, and phone number in the boxes provided on Submittable. 

Genre-Specific Guidelines

  • Short Fiction: One work of fiction per entry ($15), limit 8,000 words per work
  • Creative Nonfiction: One work per entry fee ($15), limit 6,500 words per work.
  • Poetry: Entry fee covers up to three poems (i.e. one to three poems would require an entry fee of $15; four to six poems would be $30, and so on).