How to Submit

What do editors of The Worcester Review want to read?

"I want rhythm, pace, and cadence in a poem." -- Carle Johnson
In poetry, we seek arresting and original imagery, sound-play, and meaningful line breaks. We want poetry that is not only personal, but also touches something bigger than the individual life of the poet; in other words, not cathartic poetry or diary-entries-with-line-breaks, but poetry that speaks to the human condition. 
In prose, we seek stories that are not merely competently written, but that elicit an emotional response. We receive many stories that are  well-written, but if they do not also have resonance, they are not yet ready for publication.

Open Submissions Periods:

April 1 - June 30
October 1 - December 15

April 1 - May 31
October 1 - November 30

What you can submit:

POETRY: Up to 3 poems. Please submit only once per reading period.

FICTION: Short stories up to 5,000 words. Submit no more than one story per reading period.

For advice about formatting and preferred styles, please read this page. While some of the advice here is specific to us at TWR, there is also good information about typical typesetting rules and grammar that can be beneficial for writers.

The Worcester Review reserves First Publication Rights for all submissions chosen for publication. Payment will be two copies upon publication and (when budget allows) a small honorarium. Because we are slow to respond, we encourage simultaneous submissions. Please promptly withdraw any submissions that find homes elsewhere.

Click here to continue to our Submittable page.

Why does The Worcester Review charge a fee to submit?

In an effort to improve response times and foster good relationships with our submitters, we began using online submissions in 2013. To best organize submissions, we use an online submission system, as handling the volume of submissions we receive via Email is impractical. Unfortunately, the most functional, user-friendly submission systems are not free. In order to defray the cost of Submittable, we have instituted a $3.00 administrative fee. We feel this administrative fee is less than you would spend to send us a snail mail submission (paper, ink, envelopes, postage, and SASE) and we hope it is not an undue burden. We assure you, it is not our desire to profit from your submission; we are simply do what must be done for us to keep the lights on.

Additionally, each contributor of poetry or fiction will receive a token of our gratitude in the form of a small honorarium and two contributor copies, valued at $18.00 each. We are only able to offer small payment for your hard work, but we feel that paying artists is important, even as an all-volunteer nonprofit with an annual budget of merely $5,000 per year. As our endowment and readership grows, we hope to increase our honorarium.

To support The Worcester Review, you can become a member of The Worcester County Poetry association or make a donation directly to our endowment. Donations can be made through the WCPA office (1 Ekman Street, Worcester, MA 01607) or directly with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation (370 Main Street, Suite 650, Worcester, MA 01608-1738).

We appreciate your support.