Wabash Prize

Submissions for the annual Wabash Prize in poetry or fiction are currently only accepted online. If you would like to submit for the prize, please see the separate guidelines on our contest page.

Reading Period

September 1 – March 31. Submissions sent at other times will go unread. However, during contest periods we do not accept standard submissions in the contest genre. For example, during our fiction and poetry contest that runs from Oct. 1 – Nov. 15, we do not accept standard fiction or poetry submissions. Nonfiction submissions are welcomed, but those poets and fiction writers wishing to be considered for publication during this time should submit to the contest!

Click on this link to use our online submission system

General Guidelines

Sycamore Review is looking for original poetry, fiction, non-fiction and art (scroll down for our genre editors’ Aesthetic Statements). We accept unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Please query for art and book reviews.

At this time we are not able to accept outside interviews, previously published works (except for translations) or genre pieces (conventional science fiction, romance, horror, etc.). Unless explicitly asked by an editor, submit no more than twice per year.

As of August 15 2010, Sycamore Review accepts ONLY online submissions. Mailed submissions will be discarded. In our online submissions system, follow the instructions for creating an account (if this is your first time submitting to SR), and upload your piece.

Submissions are limited to one work at a time for fiction and non-fiction, and no more than five poems, which should be included in a single document. Please submit a .doc or .rtf file only and include a cover letter in the comments section. We’d like to know a little bit about you and your work.

We do accept simultaneous submissions, but request prompt notification if the work is accepted elsewhere. Please note simultaneous submissions in your cover letter.

Sycamore Review does not publish creative work by any student currently attending Purdue University. Former students should wait one calendar year before submitting.

POETRY manuscripts should be typed single-spaced, one poem to a page. Please submit no more than twice per reading period.

PROSE should be typed double-spaced, with numbered pages and the author’s name and title of the work easily visible on each page. Wait until you have received a response to submit again. Please submit no more than twice per reading period.

NONFICTION should be literary memoir or creative personal essay. Sycamore Review does not publish scholarly articles or journalistic pieces, though we do publish experiential journalism with a memoir bent. We are interested in originality, brevity, significance, strong dialogue, and vivid detail. There is no maximum page count, but remember that the longer the piece is, the more compelling each page must be. Wait until you have received a response to submit again.

ART Artists interested in submitting visual art for our print issue should send a 10-piece portfolio or link to an online portfolio, as well as an attached cover letter, to sycamart@purdue.edu.

In most cases, submissions should be withdrawn through our submission manager. For partial poetry withdraws or genre-specific queries, please contact the appropriate editor:

Poetry: sycamorepoetry@purdue.edu

Fiction: sycamorefiction@purdue.edu

Nonfiction: sycamorenf@purdue.edu

Art: sycamart@purdue.edu

For general questions, please email us at sycamore@purdue.edu or write via post to Sycamore Review, Purdue University, Department of English, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Book Reviews

If you are interested in having your recently-published or forthcoming book reviewed either on the website or in the journal, or if you have written a review of a forthcoming book, please contact Book Review Editor, Rebecca McKanna, at rmckanna@purdue.edu.

Rights & Payment

Purdue University acquires first-time North American rights, including electronic rights, for work published in Sycamore Review. After publication, all rights revert to the author.  For unsolicited printed work, Sycamore Review pays each contributor two copies, and $50 per short story or non-fiction piece, or $25 per poem.

Aesthetic Statements

Sycamore Review does not have a permanent aesthetic statement because of the nature of our editorship. That said, our genre editors do have preferences that you, as a potential submitter, might be curious about. Please remember, however, that we are constantly surprised by the pieces we end up liking the most. This, we believe, is one of the great pleasures of literature — its ability to undermine our presuppositions, to open our eyes, to stretch our hearts and minds.

Our Fiction Aesthetic 

I look for stories that startle and delight, for fascinating characters drawn with empathy, for the world on the page to be fully realized, and for an ending that sticks to the ribs like oatmeal.   Any story that pops on the sentence level is welcome, including speculative fiction.                                             – Wendy Wallace, Fiction Editor

Our Poetry Aesthetic

I’m looking for poems that I can sink my eyes and teeth into.  Poems with an emotional core, poems that open up or fold in, poems that yield new meaning upon looking.  Form and not form.  Music and mystery.  Hybrid and prose poetry welcome.  — Rachel Reynolds, Poetry Editor

Our Creative Non-Fiction Aesthetic 

I’m looking for CNF essays that are heart-wrenching and/or hilarious but that, at the same time, are a treat to read because of their brilliant language. The best CNF rides the wave of fiction plot lines on a raft of poetic language straight into the reader’s heart and mind because, ultimately, it’s all true.                                                   – Samantha Atkins, Creative Non-Fiction Editor