We are reading!
Submissions are open from August 1 through October 15.
And a big, big announcement: We are taking our issues virtual. After our summer 2023 issue, TLR will appear online only. Acceptances from this reading period will appear in our first all-online issue, coming out in the spring of 2024.
With the change to online publication our guidelines and acceptance terms are not changing significantly. Our pay scale remains the same. We look forward to seeing your work!
To get a sense of what we are looking for, our Excerpts blog has samples of accepted work and you can hear contributors reading their work on our Soundcloud channel. Single copies of our magazine and subscriptions are available on our website.
Here are our guidelines:
One submission per writer per reading period.
Payment: $55 for flash prose and short poems; $135 for longer prose and poems. For us "flash" is up to 1500 words, longer prose is 1,500 to 6,000 words. For poetry, "long" is seven manuscript pages or more. We pay on publication.
Complimentary Submissions: We offer free submissions to authors and poets from historically marginalized groups. There's a limited number of these submissions available each reading period so plan to submit early (see the category list below)
Submission fees: With each submission we provide a download of our latest issue. Standard submission fees for poetry and flash prose are $4; for longer prose the fee is $5.
Our Transparency in Publishing page shows how submission fees help us pay our contributors and support team.
Submission expectations: Our standard response time is up to twelve weeks from submission. Previous contributors to Tahoma Literary Review should wait one full reading period before submitting again.
- Word or PDF files only. If we accept a file in PDF, we will subsequently need a Word (or compatible) version.
- Prose submissions should be in standard manuscript format (Double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12-point type, one-inch margins, author name and contact information on the first page).
- Poetry submissions may include up to six poems in one manuscript.
- All submissions should be made via Submittable. If this limitation presents an accessibility issue, please contact the editors for alternatives.
- We do not accept previously published material. This includes publication in any public venue, including print, web, and personal blogs.
- We are not currently reading plays, screenplays, translations, reviews, works that include images, novel excerpts, or children’s/young adult literature.
Expedited Response: For an extra $3, we will respond within two weeks of submission (our standard response is twelve weeks). Expedited submissions do not guarantee acceptance.
Critiques and Feedback: We can provide detailed editorial feedback specific to your work. An experienced reader from our staff will read your work in depth and comment on it. See the submission categories for critiques and for feedback for details and pricing. Critiques are available year-round.
Rights: We ask for first North American serial rights and will post accepted work online as part of a complete issue. We intend to leave accepted works online indefinitely; otherwise all rights revert to the author upon publication.
Please do not resubmit revised work unless we have requested it specifically.
Simultaneous submissions Please inform us if a work is accepted elsewhere. You can use Submittable’s Withdraw feature to withdraw a submission fully. For flash prose or poetry use Submittable's Message feature to withdraw one of the selections and leave any others for our consideration.
What we’re looking for in Fiction
- We like stories that offer imaginative premises, unusual or marginalized characters, and high stakes.
- Show us characters driven by lifetimes of experience and complex motivations.
- Experimental writing is also welcome.
- We are not reading children’s or YA literature.
- Word limit for fiction is 1,500 to 6,000 words.
For a full critique of your story, see our Critique - Fiction category.
What we're looking for in Nonfiction
- Be brave. Send us the stuff you never thought would get published anywhere. Send us the thing you have to take a deep breath over before submitting or running by your critique group.
- We are always interested in hearing different viewpoints from different sectors of society, and work in different forms, too: we'll read lyrical essays; experimental essays; and narrative nonfiction.
- Be professional. Polish your work; make sure it’s clean. Your word limit is 6,000 words. (It’s okay to swear in your work, though. That’s not the kind of “clean” we mean.) We won’t accept anything remotely misogynistic or bigoted.
- Be concise. Ranting, raving, or emotive logorrhea are never good ways to get important ideas across, so leave those on the cutting-room floor. We believe in brevity, so if you have flash nonfiction, we are happy to read that, too.
- We're not looking for: Book reviews, academic work, cultural criticism, or writing about writing.
Select the "Feedback" option for specific commentary from an editor.
- Tahoma Literary Review welcomes poetry submissions from diverse perspectives, particularly those underrepresented in the literary world. We adhere to no particular aesthetic; simply send your best work.
- Alongside free verse, works that are formal, prose, or long form poems are also welcome.
- Send up to 6 poems per submission, in one file; no more than one poem longer than 7 pages. If a poem is ten pages or longer, please submit as a single poem.
In flash, we are looking for pieces that combine the lyricism of poetry with the impact of short prose to surprise, challenge, and move the reader.
You may submit 1 or 2 pieces of flash prose in one file, with a total word count of 1,500.
Please submit prose poems as Poetry.
For a critique of your flash fiction, please see our Critique - Fiction category
The Full Critique, but without submitting
Sign up for a full critique of your work from a qualified reader. We vet our readers carefully, and have chosen those who are gifted at and enthusiastic about the critique process.
With a full critique you will receive an editorial letter that details your story or essay's strengths and potential next steps. This category is for a detailed analysis of your work. If you would like to submit your work for publication, please use the Fiction or Flash categories above.
If your story is:
- 1-1,499 words (i.e., flash fiction), the price for a full critique is $46.
- 1,500 to 4,999 words, the price for a full critique is $55.
- 5,000 to 6,000 words, the price for a full critique is $65.
- 6,000+ words: We can consider longer pieces depending on workload. Please contact us for specific pricing and authorization before selecting.
Response time will be between four and eight weeks, depending on workload.
Here’s what submitters who chose the full critique had to say:
- “Your comments inspired me to roll my sleeves back up and get to work. I didn’t realize this until now, but on some level I’ve been worrying about the very thing you pointed out.”
- “Thank you for this incredibly helpful review of my work. You have helped me see how to pare down the content and pursue the central theme.”
- “Thank you so much for your comprehensive and thoughtful critique of my story. You've given me much to think about. I appreciate your directness and candor and am eager to take on the challenges you've laid out.”
To receive a full critique, please select the appropriate category from the dropdown menu.