101 Main St.

Anytown ME 04000

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Mon - Fri 9.00 - 5.00

Sat & Sun CLOSED

1001 Mark Boulevard St.

New York, NY, US.

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Mon - Sat 8.00 - 18.00

Sunday CLOSED

Sales department

+01 2345 6789

Submission Guidelines

What we’re looking for:

Send us your writing that you’re most excited about. Send us your work that took courage to begin and tenacity to complete. Send us your proudest personal essay, your classic short story, your reboot of the villanelle, or your weirdest experimental text. Send us your flash fiction or nonfiction. Send your epistle, erasure, hybrid, prose poem, or micro memoir. Send us the story of your life lived in your body. Whatever you send our way, make sure you’ve read (and reread) both your own work and our submission guidelines with meticulous care.

What we’re NOT looking for:

We will not publish work that glorifies xenophobia, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, sexism, religious prejudice, ableism, or that normalizes hatred of any marginalized group or individual, though submitted work may thoughtfully consider subjects of discrimination.

General Guidelines:

We accept submissions only through Submittable. Submissions must be previously unpublished in print and on the Internet. We encourage simultaneous submissions but ask that you withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. If part of a submission must be withdrawn, please notify the genre editor by making a note on your submission in Submittable. We nominate for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and other awards.

We encourage submissions from writers of all backgrounds, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+ writers, writers of color, women writers, previously unpublished writers, writers with disabilities, and international writers.

We read all submissions blind; no personal information (such as name, email, social media handles, etc.) should appear on your submission, in the title field, or file name on Submittable. Submissions with identifying personal information will be returned unread. We understand that nonfiction submissions sometimes contain the writer’s name and ask that you use your best judgement in these circumstances. A placeholder, such as “[Writer’s Name]” is acceptable.

We enjoy cover letters and ask that you submit yours addressed to the appropriate genre editor/s and reader group. Please submit only once per submission period. If your work is accepted for publication, please do not submit again during the calendar year your work was accepted.

Submissions that do not adhere to our guidelines may be returned unread.

Submission Schedule:

We are open for nonfiction, fiction, and poetry submissions during three periods annually, unless otherwise noted in Submittable: September 1-November 30; January 1-March 3; and May 1-July 31. We publish issues tri-annually in September, January, and May.

Life in a Body Submissions are open year-round and are published weekly.

All accepted work will be available online, no digital subscription required, and will be maintained in our archives.

We try to respond to all submissions within three months, but occasionally fall behind. We ask that you wait a minimum of three months before querying about your submission. Thank you for your patience.

Submission Fees:

We are a nonprofit organization and ask writers to pay a $3 fee per submission, of which we receive $1.86. This fee directly supports our authors, editors, and programs, and we are grateful for your contribution. However, economic hardship should never pose a barrier to publication for any writer. If the submission fee is a burden, please email us at managingeditor@mainereview.com for a fee-waived submission.

Writer Payment:

Fiction and Nonfiction writers will receive a $60 honorarium per published piece.
Poets will receive a $25 honorarium per published poem.

Currently we are unable to pay contributors to our weekly Life in a Body feature, however, contributors will be eligible to receive a $500 Editor’s Choice Award, a $200 Runner-up Award, or a $50 Honorable Mention, to be given annually.

Formatting Guidelines:

Fiction and Nonfiction Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 3,000 words, or 3 flash pieces of maximum 1,000 words each

Poetry Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Single-spaced (or as you would like your poem to appear online)
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 3 poems, no more than 5 pages total

Life in a Body Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 1,000 words

Genre Guidelines:

From the Nonfiction Editor:

Send us your essays, stand-alone memoir excerpts, and works that defy categorization. We’re looking for art that surprises the heart, stimulates the mind and delights the senses. What does that mean? It means that language and form are primary and that the piece transcends reportage and pursues insight. Some examples of pieces we love? “A Thousand Drops” by Bernard Cooper, “The Pain Scale” by Eula Biss, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, “Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl” by Dan Barry, “Leap” by Brian Doyle, “A Chapter on Red” by Jericho Parms. We seek various approaches and perspectives that make us see the world anew while connecting us to the common human core. We look forward to reading your writing.

From the Fiction Editor:

For tone, we’re looking for work that reflects your unique perspective. Show us what you see. We like our truth with a dash of humor. Empathy is essential. We prefer stories that come in under 3,000 words but will occasionally publish longer works—though as its length increases, so too must the story’s quality. Thank you for trusting us with your work. We look forward to reading it.

From the Poetry Editor:

The Maine Review’s poetry team seeks work with musicality & fierceness, craft & cunning. We want lines that gut-punch, or caress, but always return to haunt. Authenticity & urgency are valued here. Hateful, phobic language is not. Some of the poets that quicken our blood—Lynda Hull, Claudia Rankine, Robert Lowell, Sharon Olds, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Franny Choi, Jericho Brown, Joseph O. Legaspi, Kaveh Akbar, Danez Smith, Anne Sexton, Ilya Kaminsky, Heather McHugh, Joy Harjo, & Valzhyna Mort. We look forward to reading your poems.

From the Life in a Body (LIAB) Editors:

Our weekly feature, “Life in a Body,” is a home for writing about the grueling, exhilarating, essential business of finding peace (or not) with the bodies we inhabit, considering age, sexuality, race, ability, gender identity, size, athleticism, addiction, illness, and the experience of occupying unfamiliar / hostile/wonderful spaces.

Tell us about edging backwards towards the end of the springboard for your first competitive dive. Tell us about the first time you climbed higher in a tree than your sibling. Tell us about the blinding pain of a migraine headache and the dull ache of a pinched nerve. Tell us about grasping your significant other’s hand in public for the first time. Tell us about pulling your hand free and avoiding your loved one’s gaze. Tell us about when you ran for your life. Tell us about your first pat down, about reflexively assuming the position while the nape of your shirt is braced in a stranger’s grip. Tell us how it feels to be the one doing the bracing. Tell us about the first time your infant latched on to your nipple. Tell us about the day when you finally saw your mastectomy scars in a mirror. Tell us about when you first knew you didn’t belong in the body you were born into. Tell us about walking the world in a body that feels right. Tell us about wearing a cape and mask. Tell us about wearing all leather. Tell us about your first night as an incarcerated person. Tell us about your last night as one. Tell us about holding a loved one’s hand after it grows cold.

Tell us about life in your body – both the stories of which you’re most proud and the ones you wish you could forget.