Submission Guidelines

Submissions for our landmark tenth issue—Issue 10, Spring/Summer 2017—will open November 1, 2016 and close January 10, 2017.

Please read the full submissions guidelines before submitting.

General notes for submitting authors

We are only accepting submissions from writers and poets with a connection to Queens—either those currently living here or those who have lived here in the past.

Queens is home to one of the most diverse communities of people in New York, and Newtown Literary strives to be a literary forum reflecting our borough. We welcome work from writers and poets of all gender identities and expressions, racial and ethnic backgrounds, social classes, sexual orientations, citizenship and immigration statuses, ages, and belief systems, as well as those with different abilities and disabilities. Writers of all types will find a home in Newtown Literary, and we are especially interested in making space for writing from those who are marginalized elsewhere. We are a group of volunteers committed to representing the many voices of Queens into the journal.

We also hope to reflect the linguistic variety of Queens and will continue our tradition of publishing work that includes languages other than English.

Additionally, we seek to represent the entirety of the geographic space of Queens and welcome pieces from Far Rockaway to Astoria, Bayside to Ridgewood.

In addition to regular (free!) submissions for poetry and prose, you can opt to pay a $15 fee with your submission and receive either one page of constructive feedback from a Newtown editor or a print copy of the journal. These submission categories will not affect the review process as reviewers do not have access to this information.

We strongly encourage you to buy a copy of the journal for two reasons: (1) to understand what kind of work we accept and (2) to support the work of your local Queens literary journal.

Please note that anyone submitting to the journal will be automatically added to our mailing list, where you’ll find out about future submission opportunities and our community events. You will be able to unsubscribe if you wish.

Who can submit?

  • As of issue #7, we only accept work from poets and writers with a connection to Queens, as defined by currently living here or having lived here previously.
  • In your cover letter, be sure to include the connection you have to Queens, NY (i.e., where in Queens you currently live and/or where you lived in Queens previously), as well as any previous publications (also not a requirement for acceptance).
  • If you’ve submitted before and weren’t selected, we strongly encourage you to submit again. Non-acceptance isn’t always a reflection on the quality of the work.
  • If we’ve published your work before, please wait one year before submitting again.  Even then, please realize that our mission is to support and promote the work of all writers and poets in Queens, and preference will be given to those we haven’t published before.

Guidelines for all submissions

  • We do accept simultaneous submissions, but if your work is accepted elsewhere, please tell us ASAP.
  • Only previously unpublished works will be considered. This includes works published on an author’s website.
  • Do not include your name or any other identifier anywhere in the document with your work.
  • We only accept submissions through our online submissions service, which allows you to track your submission. You can submit your work here.  There is no required fee for submissions.
  • We do not accept submissions via email or postal mail service.  All submissions received through these methods will be discarded.
  • Please limit your submissions to one per category (prose or poetry) per reading period (see below guidelines for each category).

Guidelines for prose submissions

  • For prose submissions (fiction or nonfiction) there is no strict word limit, but we won’t be able to consider anything much longer than 10,000 words.
  • One flash prose submission may contain up to five flash-fiction or short-short prose pieces, submitted in one document, totaling less than 1,000 words.

Guidelines for poetry submissions

  • One poetry submission may contain up to five poems, submitted in one document.

Rights, usage, and payment

  • Upon acceptance, we retain First North American Serial Rights, including serial electronic rights.  All rights are reverted back to the contributor upon publication.
  • If you use any copyrighted materials in your work (e.g., a quote from another story, a line from another poem), you are responsible for seeking permissions from the copyright holder before Please confirm that you have received permission in your cover letter.
  • We are currently seeking grants to pay contributors to this issue, but we cannot guarantee payment at this time.  Contributors will be given one contributor’s copy when the issue is published. Local writers may also be invited to read their work at the launch of the issue in which it was published, as well as other readings throughout the year.

Questions about submissions should be directed to associateeditor@newtownliterary.org. (Please do not send submissions to this address; any submissions sent to this address will be deleted.)

Submit your work here.