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.
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:
- Herselman Hattingh’s The Recorder (2018)
- Gina Balibrera’s Álvaro (2017)
- 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)
Interns at Boston Review work on a variety of editorial and promotional projects and have an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of editing, producing, and marketing a publication for serious and demanding readers.
Prior work experience in publishing is less important than the applicant’s knowledge of Boston Review and the level of commitment and creativity that he or she can bring to the magazine. All interns are unpaid volunteers, but students may be able to obtain college credit according to the policies of their college or university. Candidates are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with Boston Review before applying. Interns may work full-time or part-time. Part-timers should have two or three full days available each week for this on-site position.
Editorial interns are closely involved in the nuts and bolts of the publication process, proofreading and fact-checking articles for print and Web, helping with art research and permissions, reading submissions, and helping with writing contests. While most of an intern’s time is spent on end-stage editorial work, interns sometimes provide input in the development stage. There are also administrative duties.
The editorial internship is not a structured learning program, but rather a substantive work experience that provides an introduction to entry-level employment in magazine editing and production. Occasionally there is downtime, but interns typically have responsibilities that matter, not endless busywork. The skills accrued are essential to any job application, and the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of this rewarding and challenging occupation is invaluable.
The cover letter is by far the most important element of your application. It is your opportunity to explain why an internship at Boston Review is important to you and to demonstrate your abilities as a writer, which are the foundation of an editorial career.
Please submit the following materials in a single file:
1) A cover letter, no more than one page. Be sure to specify whether you are seeking a full- or part-time position.
2) Your CV
3) The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two references. Please specify their relationships to you. We prefer, but do not require, that at least one reference be a past or current employer.
4) A list of five of your favorite books and a brief statement explaining why you like two of them.
5) A list of five publications you read regularly.