We accept submissions for fiction and poetry between August 1 and March 31. 

Colorado Review purchases First North American Serial rights and pays $300 for short stories and nonfiction pieces. We pay $100 for poetry. Payment for cover art is $100. Published writers/artists also receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears, as well as a one-year subscription.

Nonfiction manuscripts, book reviews, and cover art are considered year-round. Please do not submit fiction or poetry to the nonfiction or cover art categories during the summer.

The fee for online submissions is $3. We do not charge for book review or cover art submissions.

Please include a brief cover letter.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted; writers must notify us immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.

We consider only previously unpublished work.

We accept translations of previously published or unpublished work. Please upload proof of permission to translate with your submission document.

We strongly encourage writers to be familiar with our magazine before submitting to it. Examples of work published in Colorado Review are posted on our website; sample print copies are also available for $10 (issues before Spring 2020) or $12 (issues from Spring 2020 on), including postage. Digital copies (as PDFs) are available for $5 each. Visit our website to order.

It is not necessary to query us first.

If Colorado Review has published your work in the last two years, please refrain from submitting so that we may continue to feature new voices.

Note: By submitting, you agree to let us occasionally e-mail you relevant announcements. But the last thing we want to do is annoy you; there will always be an easy way to opt out in every e-mail.

We are currently accepting photography submissions to be considered as cover artwork for Colorado Review. We pay $100 for one-time use of images (images may, however, appear in marketing materials as representations of the published magazine issues).

Image requirements:

  • Art must be approximately 3600 x 2700 pixels with at least 300 dpi. 
  • Art must be submitted as a PNG or JPEG.
  • Art may not be an AI image or be manipulated by AI. Digital editing and photo manipulation, however, are welcome.
  • The medium must be photography. 
  • We do not use black-and-white photos.
  • The image orientation should be landscape.

What we are and are not looking for:

  • The images we use for our covers wrap around the front and back of the magazine. 
  • There must be space within the image on the front for our logo and the names of contributors. There must be space on the back as well for more contributor names (we split them between the front and back cover). You do not need to include our logo in your artwork. Simply submit a photograph.
  • We welcome fine art photography, still life, architecture, abstractions--or surprise us! We want a photo that can tell a story, even in its simplicity. 
  • We are generally not interested in portraits of people. Animals might be considered, but not sought out. 

Some of our past covers (front and back) as inspiration:

Three Colorado Review covers 


Colorado Review pays $300 for nonfiction.

We read nonfiction year-round.

Between May 1 and August 1, we read only nonfiction. Please do not submit short stories or poems to this category. Fiction and poetry submissions received in this nonfiction category will be declined.

We are interested in creative nonfiction (memoir and personal essay) with contemporary themes. Our website has several examples of nonfiction we have published.

Please query us first before submitting book reviews or interviews.

Please do not submit literary criticism.

There is no specific word or page count; generally, however, Colorado Review is most interested essays that are somewhere between 20 and 25 manuscript pages, though we have published both shorter and longer pieces of nonfiction.

File types accepted: Word (DOC and DOCX), PDF, and RTF.



The primary function of Colorado Review’s book reviews is to bring attention to works that might not otherwise be noticed by the mainstream press. To that end, we’re interested in reviews of books from small, independent publishers and university presses, and books from new and emerging writers. We accept previously unpublished reviews of poetry and short story collections, novels, and literary nonfiction that, generally, have come out within the last year. We do not review work that has been self-published. All book reviews are featured here on our website. We strongly encourage you to read several before submitting.

Simultaneous submissions are fine.

Reviewers are compensated with a one-year subscription to Colorado Review. 

Aim for 750 to 1,000 words in your review.

While there is certainly a space for negative book reviews, Colorado Review is not that space. This is not to say you should refrain from offering criticism, simply that we wish to recommend the books we choose for review.

The review should offer a well-crafted blend of summary and analysis, and avoid scholarly criticism. If you’re unfamiliar with the distinction, please look to such popular publications as Rain Taxi or the review section of the New York Times to get an idea of what we’re looking for. The review should provide a sense of what the book is about and should be accessible to any reader of literature. If your review is rife with academic jargon, it’s probably not what we’re looking for.

Please don’t send us a review of your friend’s/colleague’s/professor’s/student’s book. While you may have met the author at a conference or are perhaps even an acquaintance, you should not have a relationship with the author that will compromise your ability to praise and/or criticize the work objectively.

Complete guidelines and formatting instructions are available here for poetry and here for fiction and nonfiction.


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Colorado Review