The Cincinnati Review welcomes submissions from writers at any point in their careers. We read between September 1 and March 1.
We accept online submissions here. (Sorry, we no longer accept submissions through regular mail.) Our typical response time is six months, though we may take longer on occasion. Please don’t query until after a year: Our submission manager system keeps the process reliable, so if it says your piece is “received,” it is still under consideration.
Current and former students, faculty, and staff of the University of Cincinnati or their families are ineligible to submit unless they are more than two years removed from their affiliation with the university.
We cannot consider previously published works, including those posted online, but we do accept simultaneous submissions (please contact us if individual poems are accepted elsewhere; please withdraw any prose pieces taken by another journal).
From June 1 through July 15 of each summer, we consider stories, poems, and literary nonfiction for the Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose.
For our weekly online flash feature, please submit up to three pieces in a single file. For fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid works, each piece should be 500 words maximum. For poetry, submit poems 32 lines or less. Please include your name and contact information in the document. You may withdraw individual pieces from a batch of submissions by contacting us at editors [at] cincinnatireview [dot] com or using the contact form on this website.
Please submit up to five poems, which should total no more than ten manuscript pages, at a time. Poet’s name and contact information should appear at the top of every poem. You may withdraw individual poems from a batch of submissions by contacting us at editors [at] cincinnatireview [dot] com or using the contact form on this website.
Submissions should be no more than forty double-spaced pages. Include name and contact information at the beginning of the work.
We’re interested mostly in pieces of nonfiction less than twenty double-spaced pages, though you can try us for longer pieces if you think they’ll knock our socks off. Include name and contact information at the beginning of the essay.
If you’d like to be considered for our stable of reviewers, feel free to send a sample review of a book of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. We encourage longer, single-book reviews of around fifteen hundred words.
Please submit up to five poems, which should total no more than ten manuscript pages, at a time. Poet’s name, translator’s name, and translator’s contact information should appear at the top of every poem. Please include a brief (150-200 word) introduction to the poet whose work you have translated. We do not publish the originals. Translators should secure rights to translate before submitting. You may withdraw individual poems from a batch of submissions by contacting us at editors [at] cincinnatireview [dot] com or using the contact form on this website.
(PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines have changed—we won’t be including a longer translation feature in each issue but rather highlighting individual strong poems in translation.)
Due to the nature of our Plays-in-Progress series (including the collaborative element with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), we aren’t accepting full submissions at this time. If you’d like to send us a query, please do so in our submission manager (link above). Upload one document that includes both a one-page query letter with project description and author bio, and a sample of the play or screenplay, no more than ten pages.
The Cincinnati Review is looking for portfolios of artwork to feature in upcoming issues. We consider all forms of art and ask that artists submit twenty low-res. images for our perusal. Please send these images or a link to email@example.com.
We usually feature a single artist in each issue with one work appearing on the cover and eight additional images in an interior portfolio printed in full color on a high gloss stock. Upon publication we pay a small honorarium and ten contributor copies, with additional copies available at a discount.
Payment / Terms
$25/page for prose in journal
$30/page for poetry in journal
Free digital issue for miCRo feature authors
The Cincinnati Review acquires first North American serial rights, including electronic rights; all rights revert to author upon publication.
A Few Words from the Editors
John Updike once said of Vladimir Nabokov, “Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.” That’s the kind of fiction I’m looking to publish in Cincinnati Review. I know what you’re thinking: “Write like Nabokov,” not very helpful as far as helpful hints go. But what I mean is I’m looking for work that has energy, that has complication (which is different than obfuscation or confusion); I’m looking for work that, whether it’s realistic or surrealistic, is rich in language and plot and structure. Work that stands out. Work that’s not just ecstatic, but that makes its reader feel ecstatic, too.
The Cincinnati Review seeks factually accurate literary nonfiction that is deeply engaged in literary craft; that is, writing where style and form matter just as much as the subject, and where the work engages character, story, and emotion just as well as the most compelling novel or short story. We encourage submissions in the essay, memoir, literary journalism, travel writing, and other subgenres, as well as hybrid forms that experiment with genre, structure, and voice. Susan Sontag defined a writer as someone who pays attention to the world. Take that idea a step further and consider Joan Didion’s words: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” We are looking for literary nonfiction that explores a line of inquiry into the real world through the eye and mind of the writer. More specifically, we seek work that speaks to the heart and stays with us long after we’ve reached the last page.