General 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!
Note about fees: As of September 1, 2018, Sycamore Review charges a $3 submission fee for all submissions except Art. After much consideration, we have added this small fee to help cover the cost of Submittable, to ensure that each of our contributors is paid and that future contributors will be paid, and to help our staff stay on top of submissions. In the 2017-2018 submission year, Sycamore Review received nearly three times the number of submissions we normally do. We are really excited about new opportunities this will provide and appreciate your support. –Charles Nutter Peck, Editor in Chief
To help clear our backlog, fiction submissions will remain closed until November 15, when the submission period for the Wabash Prize for Fiction has ended.
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 .docx, .doc, or .rtf file 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 withdraw your submission through Submittable if this is the case. If you wish to withdraw a single poem, please let us know which poem or poems are unavailable using the note feature on Submittable.
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, up to five poems. Please submit no more than twice per reading period.
FICTION & NONFICTION 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. Although we do not have a specific word count limit, it is rare for us to accept stories over 6,000 words.
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.
TRANSLATION Please submit no more than one story, essay, novel excerpt, or up to five poems. Please submit a .docx, .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. Additionally, if the submission is a prose piece, please designate the genre between fiction, non-fiction, or prose poetry/hybrid genre in the cover letter. Translators will be asked to provide a version of any accepted pieces in the source language. Both the translator and the original author will be paid at the standard rate when applicable.
ART Sycamore Review is currently seeking artists for both the magazine’s cover and features artwork inside the issue. Interested artists should follow the instructions under the Art category on Submittable. You may attach 10-15 images or simply a link to an online portfolio. Cover letter is optional. All media and mediums welcome.
In most cases, submissions should be withdrawn through our submission manager. For genre-specific queries, please contact the appropriate editor:
For general questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write via post to Sycamore Review, Purdue University, Department of English, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
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, Diana Clarke, at email@example.com.
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.
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
We’re looking for a wide-ranging diversity of style, content, and vision. Strike us with the complexity of the mundane. Enchant us with the unreal made real. We equally enjoy realist and speculative work. The most important thing is to tell us a story that matters, that haunts or lingers, that reveals us in a new light.
– Tamara Jerée & Andy Nellis, Fiction Editors
Our Poetry Aesthetic
We’re seeking poems that honor, complicate, and disrupt their own predicaments—work that takes us rigorously towards tension and unknowing, little acts of discovery where the poems know more than the writer. In that, our reading is beholden to no aesthetic boundaries. If its mechanisms labor to move the poem towards its true stakes, we’re in. Emily Dickinson might have said all this best: “And then a Plank in Reason, broke.” Any plank will do, but your poem needs to bring us right to that point where the foot breaks through the floorboard.
– Steven Dawson & Javan DeHaven, Poetry Editors
Our Creative Non-Fiction Aesthetic
Rather than adhering to particular aesthetic style or approach, we seek to publish thoughtful work that pushes into the unknown with an aim toward surprise and discovery for writer and reader alike.
– Javan DeHaven, Non-Fiction Editor