Reading Periods: 

  • Jan 1-March 31: reading for Summer Issue (July release)         
  • April 1-June 30: reading for Autumn Issue (October release)
  • July 1-Sept 30: reading for Winter Issue (January release)    
  • Oct 1-Dec 31: reading for Spring Issue (April release)

 

General Information

  • Unpublished work only. We only accept unpublished work that has not appeared in any publicly-accessible form previously, including online. NOTE: art and photography submissions may have previously been presented online, but are eligible for publication if they have not been featured in another magazine, website, or venue besides an artist's portfolio or webpage. Work that is contracted to be published is considered published. Do not submit work from a volume that has been contracted with a publisher.
  • Language: English. We welcome written works that engage culture through languages other than English if the majority of the piece is in English. We do not publish translations in any form. Epigraphs in other languages are fine as long as the piece provides a translation or sufficient context to appreciate the text.
  • Simultaneous submissions are encouraged provided you message us on Submittable if you need to withdraw a piece.
  • One active submission per category at a time. We’re excited to read your work, but please let us consider each piece in turn. As long as you have received a reply to your previous submission, you may submit again as often as you wish.
  • No re-submissions. Writing is a process, but if we’ve already read and declined a piece, please don’t send us revisions for reconsideration unless directly requested.
  • Submitting after publication. We ask that artists wait two years from their appearance in the magazine to submit again. This only applies to the magazine; published artists may to submit to any of our contests at any time.
  • Genre. If you have work that doesn’t fit neatly into the below categories, that doesn’t mean we won’t want to see it. Choose the most appropriate and include a note—we’ll figure it out.
  • Titles. Please note that we do not have a title field for submissions and that the system will auto-number your submission. This is no cause for concern.

Our Process

  • 30-day turn-around. We notify all artists of their status within 30 days. If it takes longer, we will refund your submission fee (but still consider your work). Feedback fees are not eligible for refund.
  • Shortlisting: we occasionally shortlist pieces while we make final decisions on an issue's composition. The following policies apply:
    • We will respond with a shortlist request within 30 days.
    • If the writer paid a submission fee and is shortlisted, we will refund the submission fee.
    • If the writer paid for feedback, we will deliver that feedback within 30 days, regardless of shortlist status.

Legal Stuff 

  • Minimum Age. All those who submit work must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Rights and Payment. We purchase First North American Serial, First Anthology rights (for the annual print anthology), and Audio rights. Payment is US $120 per piece, delivered on publication. We only issue payments via Paypal. 
  • We will not publish work that seems to us offensive or which exhibits hatred directed towards a particular gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual identity, socioeconomic class, or other status, regardless of whether it is protected by law.
  • We never solicit written submissions—all come through Submittable. Please do not email us submissions; they will go unread. We do occasionally solicit art submissions, primarily from DeviantArt. 
  • No staff submissions. No past or present staff member of CHESTNUT REVIEW may have their work appear in the magazine.

Poetry: Length and format are open. Poems should be single-spaced and all in one document. Begin each poem on a new page, and clearly indicate when a poem extends beyond one page. There are no absolute length limits, but remember that the longer a poem, the better it has to be.

Formatting: our print/online page width is about 55 characters. Poem lines longer than this will need to be reformatted. You do not need to reformat until after acceptance.

Free Submissions: Submit 1-3 poems.

Paid Submissions: Submit up to 6 poems (see below for fee).

Authors who have appeared in the magazine must wait two years before resubmitting in any genre category.

$5.00
$5.00

For all prose categories, submit a single piece of up to 5000 words.

Fiction: Submit one piece of no more than 5000 words, single-spaced throughout. Include word count in header. Fiction works should stand alone and not be excerpts of a longer work. 

Essay: We are interested in pieces that examine the state of art (defined broadly) and culture in the world today as well as the past. Craft essays are also welcome. Please submit one piece of no more than 5000 words, single-spaced throughout. Include word count in header. No academic essays, please.

Memoir, Creative Nonfiction: Submit one piece of no more than 5000 words, single-spaced throughout. Include word count in header. Nonfiction works should stand alone and not be excerpts of a longer work.

Authors who have appeared in the magazine must wait two years before resubmitting in any genre category.

Flash: Submit one piece of up to 1000 words, single-spaced throughout. Include word count(s) in header. Writers may only have one active submission in this category at a time.

Authors who have appeared in the magazine must wait two years before resubmitting in any genre category.

Visual Art/Photography: Submit up to twenty images, which must be of publishable quality. We encourage, but do not require, illustrative titles to contextualize submitted media. If you work in poetic hybrid forms of image + text, please use this category to submit. 

Because we publish in 6x9" format, images in portrait orientation are more easily compatible with our layout as single pages; otherwise, a double page spread is preferred. This decision is solely an editorial one. We do print our yearly anthology in full color.

Art and photography submissions may have previously been presented online, but are eligible for publication if they have not been featured in another magazine, website, or venue besides an artist's portfolio or webpage. 

Authors who have appeared in the magazine must wait two years before resubmitting in any genre category.

We are looking for smart, daring manuscripts that overtake us, break us, and rebuild us with beautiful language. We welcome all forms of prose manuscripts: fiction, CNF, or hybrid. Hit us with one powerful story, or delight us with a series of flash. Blur genres or stay true to form. Surprise us. Challenge us. Manuscripts with more than one piece should feel cohesive and coherent. This contest is directed by our Prose Editor, Maria S. Picone.

Prize Details

  • The winner will receive $600 USD and 20 copies of their chapbook in hard-copy.
  • Chapbooks will be published through Chestnut Review via a print-on-demand provider. The winner earns 30% royalties, distributed annually on all copies sold.
  • The winning chapbook will be advertised in Chestnut Review and on social media, and will be featured for sale on Amazon.com and via our website.
  • The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the Summer 2022 issue of Chestnut Review.
  • Mutually agreeable cover art is to be selected from either Chestnut Review’s rights-free source or an image the winner has rights to and provides.

Timeline

  • Submissions will be open from June 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021.
  • The winner will be announced in February 2022 for publication in 2022.

Manuscript Details

  • Chapbooks may be on any theme or subject although Chestnut Review reserves the right not to publish material it deems abusive or offensive.
  • Chapbooks should be original and unpublished. Individual pieces may be previously published as long as all previously published material does not make up more than 50% of the whole chapbook. Please note previously published work on an acknowledgments page.
  • Length. Between 5000-8000 words total.
  • You may include a dedication and/or acknowledgements page. These do not count toward total word count.
  • Include page numbers and Table of Contents.
  • Times New Roman 12 point font. Docx format. Double-spaced (unless you are specifically using special formatting)
  • Please start each new piece on a different page.
  • No images of any kind can be accepted as part of the manuscript.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us immediately if the chapbook is accepted elsewhere.
  • This contest is not read blind. You may include a cover letter if you wish.
  • Neither past or present staff of Chestnut Review nor their family members are eligible to participate in this contest.


Editorial Feedback

If you elect to pay for feedback, you will receive a 300 to 500-word (approximately 1-2 pages) response to the work from a prose editor that highlights the chapbook’s strengths and weaknesses. This response will include significant craft-based suggestions, and, for works that consist of multiple stories, will also address how those stories fit together as a whole, as well as which ones seem the most and least successful, either in terms of their coherence to the overall work or on a craft level. Feedback is separate from the competition and has no bearing on the judging of the manuscript. Feedback will be provided to the writer by February 2022 when the winner is announced, or sooner as finalists are identified.

Chestnut Review