Past issues have included such writers as Dan Albergotti, Dorothy Allison, Ellen Bass, Richard Bausch, Katherine Boo, Maud Casey, May-lee Chai, Peter Ho Davies, Timothy Donnelly, Denise Duhamel, Tom Franklin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Joy Harjo, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Hicok, T.R. Hummer, Adam Johnson, Fady Joudah, Dorianne Laux, Dorothea Lasky, Dana Levin, Julia B. Levine, Lisa Lewis, Thomas Lynch, Khaled Mattawa, Joseph Millar, Ander Monson, Danielle Pafunda, Ron Rash, Hilda Raz, Maggie Smith, Maura Stanton, Michael Steinberg, Virgil Suárez, Julie Marie Wade, William Wenthe, and many others.
We read between May 15th and August 15th. Please note that we do not accept snail mail submissions. Please do not mix genres in the same submission. For each genre, please wait until we have responded to your current submission before submitting another. We do not consider previously published work. We discourage the submission of multiple drafts of the same work during a submission period unless a revision was requested by an editor. We do not consider work from those currently or recently affiliated with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as we are immediately notified if the piece has been accepted elsewhere. While we can’t always personally respond to each withdrawal or partial withdrawal notice, rest assured that the information has been entered into the system.
Our submission fee (waived for subscribers) is $4 for three to five poems, for one work of fiction up to 7,000 words, or for one work of non-fiction up to 7,000 words (in all of our prose categories, we are also open to considering flash pieces as long as they are submitted in one document and do not total over 7000 words). The bulk of our reading fee goes to paying our writers; the rest covers our Submittable fees and a portion of our publishing costs, which helps us to make a high-quality home for a wide variety of the best national and international creative and literary work available to us. We hope that you will regard this fee as an investment in you, the writers who keep us going, while also serving as a sign of your support for the literary art we all value so much.
Average response time is 2-4 months. If you have not received a response after four months, send a query email to your genre’s editor; contact information is on our About page.
Submissions will be considered for publication in either the print issue or Grist Online. Payment is $10 per poem or 1 cent per word for prose (up to $50), as well as a contributor copy. Additional copies are also available at a reduced price for contributors.
To submit your work to the journal, please read our guidelines below and then submit via our online submissions manager, Submittable. To pitch ideas or submit reviews, craft essays, or interviews to our blog, The Writing Life, please read below. To submit to our annual ProForma contest, please see our Contest page.
Craft Essay: Submit one craft essay up to 7,000 words. Times New Roman, size 12 font.
Fiction: Submit one story up to 7,000 words. Times New Roman, size 12 font.
Poetry: Submit 3-5 poems. Times New Roman, size 12 font.
Non-fiction: Submit one essay up to 7,000 words. Times New Roman, size 12 font.
The Writing Life: To pitch an idea for a craft essay, interview, or other piece you think would be a great fit for our blog, please contact our Managing Editor for Online Content, Elizabeth Cooley: ecooley2 AT utk.edu
Reviews: Grist seeks reviews of books published by small and independent presses in the genres of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays on craft, and books about the creative process as it relates to all artistic mediums, including visual art. While most reviews follow the standard model, experimentation with the review form is also welcome, with the understanding that clarity is always a virtue.
We focus on small, independent, and university presses because we think there are already plenty of other outlets for books by major publishers. And while we believe that all books deserve serious, critical commentary, we don’t see much value in wasting our time (or our readers’!) on a review of a book we don’t recommend. So: as a reviewer, we want you to be honest, but we also want you to highlight the books you’re excited about, and leave aside the others.
We look for approximately 700 words, are happy to request books for you, and will work with you on establishing a timeline that works for you (although we usually ask reviews be completed in 4-8 weeks).
If you have an interest in reviewing for Grist, book suggestions, or any questions, please contact our Reviews Editor, Sarah Yancy firstname.lastname@example.org