Submission Guidelines

Submissions are now closed for Issue 9, Fall/Winter 2016. We will reopen for submissions in November 2016. Thanks to a grant from Queens Council on the Arts, all contributors to Issue 9 will be paid.

Please read the full submissions guidelines before submitting.

New from the Fall/Winter 2015 issue: 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.

Guidelines for all submissions:

  • 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.
  • 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  • Only previously unpublished works will be considered.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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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. Everyone who submits will be automatically added to our mailing list to be informed of future events and submissions windows, from which you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • Please limit your submissions to one per category (prose or poetry) per reading period.
    • PROSE:
      – For regular prose submissions (fiction or nonfiction) there is no strict word limit.
      – One flash-fiction prose submission may contain up to five flash-fiction or short-short prose pieces totaling less than 1,000 words.
    • POETRY:
      – One poetry submission may contain up to five poems.
  • We do not accept submissions via email.  We no longer accept submissions through the postal mail service.  All submissions received through these methods will be discarded.
  • 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 submitting. Please confirm that you have received permission in your cover letter.
  • Thanks to a grant from Queens Council on the Arts, we are proud to offer a small payment to our contributors; it’s not much, but it is our first step to professionalizing the literary arts in Queens. Contributors will also 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 (Please do not send submissions to this address; any submissions sent to this address will be deleted.)

Submit your work here.