We accept submissions for fiction and poetry between August 1 and April 30. Nonfiction manuscripts and book reviews are read year-round. Please do not submit fiction or poetry to the nonfiction category during the summer.

The fee for online submissions is $3.

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We consider only previously unpublished work.

We accept translations of previously published or unpublished work.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.

Colorado Review purchases First North American Serial rights and pays $10/page for poetry, with a $30 minimum. Payment for short stories and essays is $200. Published writers also receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears, as well as a one-year subscription.

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 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.

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.

Colorado Review