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!

Click on this link to use our online submission system. 

Note about fees: Under our Submittable plan, we are allowed 800 non-fee submissions per month. If we exceed this, our regular submissions will change to a $2 fee so that we may continue to receive work. You may notice this happening at the end of a given month. At the beginning of the following month, we will revert to free submissions.

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 .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.

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.

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 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, Diana Clarke, at

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

We’re looking for a wide-ranging diversity of style, content, and vision. Send us stories grand in conception and exacting in execution, written with lush yet precise language; stories that matter, that linger, that challenge assumptions and say something new. – Robert Powers and Gabriela Garcia, Fiction Editors

Our Poetry Aesthetic

I’m seeking poems that complicate, deepen, and disrupt their own predicaments—poems that take us rigorously towards tension and unknowing, little acts of discovery. In that, my reading is beholden to no aesthetic boundaries. If its mechanisms labor to move the poem towards its true stakes, I’m 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 me right to that point where the foot breaks through the floorboard.  – Noah Baldino, 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, Non-Fiction Editor