mug and pencils

Dear Writers and Readers, 

We are currently closed for submissions. Given the extenuating circumstances and the impact of Covid-19 on institutions of higher education, we do not have a timeline for reopening submissions.




Welcome to TLR. Whether you are a first-time submitter, a returning submitter, or a TLR alum, we are honored to have you here and honored by your interest in our project. We are now open for submissions. Here are some guidelines.

What are you looking for?

As with any magazine or journal that you’re submitting to, or considering submitting to, the best way to know you’re submitting your work to the right place is to read the magazine and love what you’ve read. When you read TLR, you’ll find that we love courageous fiction, bold nonfiction, new work in translation, poetry that compels and challenges, and all those in-between-y forms—as long as they are excellent to read.

What’s our response time?

Then, also know that here at TLR we take very seriously our responsibility for your writing. No fewer than two readers consider every submission. That means we take our time with your work, but also respect that you are waiting for a response. Our goal is to not take too much time. We aim to reply in three to six months. 

Do you take simultaneous submissions?

We do, but please do let us know as soon as possible if your fine work is accepted elsewhere.

Do you accept work from debut writers?

Absolutely, yes.

Do you consider excerpts?

TLR is committed to short form—stories, poems, essays, flash. We only consider excerpts that are self-contained pieces.

How long are you open for submissions?

During our last open reading period, we had many, many more submissions than we were expecting, and although we were pleased with such an outpouring of interest, we were pushed far beyond our capacity and were not able to respond to your work in a timely manner. For that reason, we are capping our reading period—we will stay open as long as the number of submissions does not exceed our ability to respond in three to six months. We appreciate that it might be frustrating not to know how long our submission period will be open, but we know that everyone will appreciate more the dignity of shorter reading times! 

So, if you know you want to submit, don’t delay. If you miss the window, we’ll be open again soon. 

Do you pay your contributors?

Since 2017, thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and then subsequently to an Amazon Literary Partnership, we have been able to pay our contributors an honorarium.

Do you charge a reading fee?

No, we do not charge a fee to read your submission. However, we ask our submitters to be subscribers. Our magazine is one part of a vibrant literary community: as much as your work needs a home, our writers need readers. Subscriptions support every aspect of our work.

TLR comes out twice a year. If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can buy a print subscription here for $25 ($5 off newsstand), or an electronic subscription here for $10. You can also subscribe through submittable when you submit. Your new subscription will start with the Fall 2019 Issue: Granary. 

Submissions without subscriptions will not be considered.

I want to know more about the other side of this process. How can I become a reader for TLR?

If you would like to find out more about becoming a TLR reader, please contact us at info [at] theliterararyreview [dot] org. Let us know what genres you are interested in reading, if you’ve had any previous or related experience, and be sure to let us know your three favorite pieces from recent issues. Readers on our masthead receive complimentary subscriptions. Direct your inquiries to Lisa Grgas, Supervising Editor.