The best way to get a sense of the kind of material Boston Review is looking for is to read the magazine. We do not consider previously published material. Simultaneous submissions are fine; just let us know right away if you need to withdraw something.
We are currently closed to general fiction and poetry submissions.
We strongly encourage online submission. However, if you prefer postal mail, you can send (with a self-addressed, stamped envelope) to Boston Review, PO Box 425786, Cambridge, MA 02142. We do not accept emailed submissions. Payment varies.
We receive and read thousands of submissions each year, so the process can be lengthy. For poetry, fiction, and contests, we will send a formal response within a year. For nonfiction submissions, due to volume we can only respond to pieces we are interested in pursuing. If you need to withdraw a piece, please do so through Submittable. If you are withdrawing only one poem from a poetry submission, please do so by adding a note in Submittable to the submission.
Each year, Boston Review runs competitions in poetry and fiction.
We strongly encourage online submissions; however, contestants also may submit entries via postal mail but will not receive acknowledgement of successful submission. Email submissions are not accepted. All contest entry payments are non-refundable and previously published work may not be submitted to any contest. All winners are announced publicly and informed prior to that announcement. Please do not contact us to ask whether you have won a contest.
Contest entry forms will be available during the submissions periods. If a contest entry form is not visible, the contest is currently closed for submissions.
We also partner with the Unterberg Poetry Center/92nd Street Y to publish the winner of the annual “Discovery”/Boston Review poetry contest. Go here for more information on "Discovery"/92Y contest rules and submission periods. We do not host the submission process for the "Discovery" contest.
Judge: Mary Jo Bang
First Prize: $1,500 and publication
The winning poet will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published online by Boston Review. Submit up to five unpublished poems, no more than 10 pages total. Any poet writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge. Mailed manuscripts must be submitted in duplicate, with a cover note listing the author’s name, address, email, and phone number. No cover note is necessary for online submissions. Name and other identifying information must not appear anywhere in the submission itself. Simultaneous submissions (i.e., when the same poems are simultaneously submitted to other magazines) are not permitted, submissions will not be returned, and submissions may not be modified after entry. Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in your submission being disqualified. A non-refundable $20 entry fee, payable to Boston Review in the form of a check or money order or by credit card, must accompany all submissions. All submitters receive a complimentary copy of Boston Review's 2018 special literary supplement, Evil Empire. Mailed submissions must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2018.
The winner will be announced in the fall on the Boston Review website. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication in Boston Review.
Online submissions are strongly preferred; however, submissions can also be mailed to:
Poetry Contest, Boston Review
PO Box 425786
Cambridge, MA 02142
Read winning poems from past years:
Mia Kang (2017)
Cori A. Winrock (2016)
Safiya Sinclair (2015)
francine j. harris (2014)
Scott Coffel (2013)
Sarah Crossland (2012)
Heather Tone (2011)
Anthony Caleshu (2010)
John Gallaher (2009)
Sarah Arvio (2008)
Elizabeth Willis (2007)
Marc Gaba (2006)
Mike Perrow (2005)
Michael Tod Edgerton (2004)
Susan Wheeler (2003)
Max Winter (2002)
D. A. Powell (2001)
Christopher Edgar (2000)
Stephanie Strickland (1999)
Daniel Bosch (1998)
Deadline: October 1, 2018
Judge: Alexander Chee
Aura Estrada (1977–2007) was a promising young Mexican writer and student, and the wife of Francisco Goldman. This prize is meant to honor her memory by supporting other burgeoning writers. Aura's writing, and more about her life, can be found here.
The winning author will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published online on Boston Review's Web site. Runners up may also be published. Stories should not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. Mailed manuscripts should be double-spaced and submitted with a cover note listing the author’s name, address, and phone number. No cover note is necessary for online submission. Names should not appear on the stories themselves. Any author writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge. Simultaneous submissions are not permitted; if you submit your story to another publication, you must withdraw it from our submissions manager or inform us by email. Submissions will not be returned, and submissions may not be modified after entry. A non-refundable $20 entry fee, payable to Boston Review in the form of a check or money order or by credit card, must accompany each story entered. All submitters receive a complimentary copy of our special literary edition edited by Junot Díaz. Submissions must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2018. The winner will be notified in the spring of 2019 and publicly announced by July on the Boston Review Web site.
Online submissions are strongly preferred; however, they can also be mailed to:
Short Story Contest, Boston Review
PO Box 425786
Cambridge, MA 02142
Read winning stories from past years:
Mikayla Ávila Vilá's Trumpeteers (2016)
Barbara Hamby's Dole Girl (2015)
Leslee Becker's Severance (2014)
Kerry-Lee Powell’s There Are Two Pools You May Drink From (2013)
Alexandra Thom’s The Piano (2012)
Kalpana Narayanan’s Aviator on the Prowl (2011)
Adam Sturtevant’s How Do I explain? (2010)
Jessica Treglia’s Canceled (2009)
Patricia Engel’s Desaliento (2008)
Padma Viswanathan’s Transitory Cities (2007)
Tiphanie Yanique’s How to Escape from a Leper Colony (2006)
Lisa Chipongian’s Intramuros (2005)
D.S. Sulaitis’s If It’s Anywhere, It’s Behind Us (2004)
Gale Renee Walden’s Men I Don’t Talk to Anymore (2003)
Manini Nayar’s Home Fires (2002)
Kate Small’s One Night a Year (2001)
Girija Tropp’s The Pretty Ones Have Their Uses (2001)
Pauls Toutonghi’s Regeneration (2000)
Jacob M. Appel’s Shell Game with Organs (1999)
Kris Saknussemm’s Unpracticed Fingers Bungle Sadly Over Tiny Feathered Bodies (1998)
Kiki Delancey’s Jules Jr Michael Jules Jr (1997)
Mary Ann Jannazo’s No Runs, No Hits, No One Left on Base (1996)
Tom Paine’s The Milkman & I (1995)
Michael Dorris’s Layaway (1994)