What we’re looking for: Send us writing that you’re most excited about. Send us work that took courage to begin and tenacity to complete. Send us your proudest personal essay, your classic short story, your reboot of the villanelle, or your weirdest experimental text. Send us your flash fiction or nonfiction. Send your epistle, erasure, hybrid, prose poem, or micro memoir. Send us the story of your life lived in your body. Whatever you send our way, be sure you’ve read your work and our guidelines with care. Submissions that do not adhere to our guidelines may be returned unread. 

What we’re NOT looking for:
We will not publish work that glorifies xenophobia, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, sexism, religious prejudice, ableism, or that normalizes hatred of any marginalized group or individual, though submitted work may thoughtfully consider subjects of discrimination.

We do not publish academic papers or newswriting. 

General Guidelines:
We accept submissions only through Submittable. Submissions must be previously unpublished in print and on the Internet. We encourage simultaneous submissions but ask that you withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. If part of a submission must be withdrawn, please notify the genre editor by making a note on your submission in Submittable. 

We nominate for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and other awards.

Please submit only once per submission period. We do not accept multiple submissions. If your work is accepted for publication, please wait until the following calendar year to submit again. 

We encourage submissions from writers of all backgrounds, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+ writers, writers of color, women writers, previously unpublished writers, writers with disabilities, and international writers.

We read all submissions anonymously. No personal information (such as name, email, social media handles, etc.) should appear on your submission, in the title field, or file name. Submissions with identifying personal information will be returned unread. We understand that nonfiction submissions sometimes contain the writer’s name and ask that you use your best judgment in these circumstances. A placeholder, such as “[Writer’s Name]” is acceptable. 

We enjoy cover letters and ask that you submit yours addressed to the appropriate genre editor/s and reader group. 

Submission that do not follow our guidelines may be returned unread.

Submission Schedule:

Submissions to Embody, our weekly feature, are open year-round. 

We are open for nonfiction, fiction, and poetry submissions during three periods annually unless otherwise noted in Submittable: January 1-March 31; May 1-July 31; September 1-November 30. 

We publish issues triannually in January, May, and September. 

We aim to respond to all submissions within three months but occasionally fall behind. We ask that you wait a minimum of four months before querying. Thank you for your patience.

Submission Fees:
We are a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and ask writers to pay a $3 fee per submission, of which we receive $1.86. This fee directly supports our authors, editors, and programs, and we are grateful for your contribution. However, economic hardship should never pose a barrier to publication for any writer. If the submission fee is a barrier, please email us at info@mainereview.com for a fee-waived submission. 

Writer Payment:
Fiction and Nonfiction writers will receive a $25 honorarium per published flash (1,000 words or fewer) and a $50 honorarium for work 1,001 words or more. 

Poets will receive a $25 honorarium per published poem. 

All Embody contributors will be eligible to receive a $500 Editor’s Choice Award, a $200 Runner-up Award, or $50 Honorable Mention, to be given annually. Currently we are unable to pay all contributors to our weekly Embody feature, but we're working on it!

Embody Formatting Guidelines:

  • Creative Nonfiction prose
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 1,000 words 

Fiction and Nonfiction Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 3,000 words, or 3 flash pieces of maximum 1,000 words each. Occasionally we will accept work up to 5,000 words. 

Poetry Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Single-spaced (or as you would like your poem to appear online)
  • Pages numbered 
  • Maximum 3 poems, no more than 5 pages total


From Embody Co-Editors Elizabeth Bedell and Dewaine Farria:

Our weekly feature, Embody, is a home for nonfiction prose writing about the grueling, exhilarating, essential business of finding peace (or not) with the bodies we inhabit, considering age, sexuality, race, ability, gender identity, size, athleticism, addiction, illness, and the experience of occupying unfamiliar/hostile/wonderful spaces. 

Tell us about edging backwards towards the end of the springboard for your first competitive dive. Tell us about the first time you climbed higher in a tree than your sibling. Tell us about the blinding pain of a migraine headache and the dull ache of a pinched nerve. Tell us about grasping your significant other’s hand in public for the first time. Tell us about pulling your hand free and avoiding your loved one’s gaze. Tell us about when you ran for your life. Tell us about your first pat-down, about reflexively assuming the position while the nape of your shirt is braced in a stranger’s grip. Tell us how it feels to be the one doing the bracing. Tell us about the first time your infant latched on to your nipple. Tell us about the day when you finally saw your mastectomy scars in a mirror. Tell us about when you first knew you didn’t belong in the body you were born into. Tell us about walking the world in a body that feels right. Tell us about wearing a cape and mask. Tell us about wearing all leather. Tell us about your first night as an incarcerated person. Tell us about your last night as one. Tell us about holding a loved one’s hand after it grows cold. 

Tell us about life in your body—both the stories of which you’re most proud and the ones you wish you could forget.       

From Nonfiction Editor Emily W. Blacker:

Send us your essays, stand-alone memoir excerpts, and works that defy categorization. We’re looking for art that surprises the heart, stimulates the mind and delights the senses. What does that mean? It means that language and form are primary and that the piece transcends reportage and pursues insight. Some examples of pieces we love? “A Thousand Drops” by Bernard Cooper, “The Pain Scale” by Eula Biss, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, “Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl” by Dan Barry, “Leap” by Brian Doyle, “A Chapter on Red” by Jericho Parms. We seek various approaches and perspectives that make us see the world anew while connecting us to the common human core. We look forward to reading your writing. 

From Fiction Editor Brett Willis:

For tone, we’re looking for work that reflects your unique perspective. Show us what you see. We like our truth with a dash of humor. Empathy is essential. We prefer stories that come in under 3,000 words but will occasionally publish longer works—though as its length increases, so too must the story’s quality. Thank you for trusting us with your work. We look forward to reading it.

From Poetry Editor Rebecca Irene:

The Maine Review’s poetry team seeks work with musicality & fierceness, craft & cunning. We want lines that gut-punch, or caress, but always return to haunt. Authenticity & urgency are valued here. Hateful, phobic language is not. Some of the poets that quicken our blood—Lynda Hull, Claudia Rankine, Robert Lowell, Sharon Olds, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Franny Choi, Jericho Brown, Joseph O. Legaspi, Kaveh Akbar, Danez Smith, Anne Sexton, Ilya Kaminsky, Heather McHugh, Joy Harjo, & Valzhyna Mort. We look forward to reading your poems. 

The Maine Review is seeking readers for Embody, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Compensation & Time Commitment:

Reading is a voluntary position. While we are currently seeking opportunities to pay readers, we are not yet able to offer compensation. However, we strive to support and promote our readers in every way we can: 

  • All readers will be interviewed and highlighted on our social media platforms and acknowledged in issues they’ve read for. 
  • Readers who volunteer for 12+ months will be profiled for our website masthead, including a headshot, short bio, and links to social media or author websites. 
  • We're happy to offer letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, residencies, retreats, and other writing or publishing opportunities. 

Time commitment varies based on genre, personal reading speeds, and review processes. 

Embody is our weekly feature and “home for writing about the grueling, exhilarating, essential business of finding peace (or not) with the bodies we inhabit, considering age, sexuality, race, ability, gender identity, size, athleticism, addiction, illness, and the experience of occupying unfamiliar/hostile/wonderful spaces.” Embody readers may be assigned 2-6 submissions per week of a maximum 1,000 words each.

For Nonfiction and Fiction readers, we generally assign 5-6 pieces per week. Our maximum word count is 3,000 per submission, or roughly 6 pages. 

Poetry readers are assigned 10-15 submissions per week. We accept up to 3 poems in a submission, no more than 5 pages maximum. 

Many of our submissions fall below these maximum guidelines. 

Who We Are:

The Maine Review is a triannual online literary journal that publishes culturally significant and innovative writing by writers living in Maine, across the country, and around the world. Maine Review Publications is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to making contemporary literature accessible to readers and writers of all backgrounds, religions, abilities, and incomes. 

How to Apply:

  1. Send a brief personal statement. Describe yourself as a writer and reader. Tell us: Why do you want to read? Why The Maine Review? What do you believe is an ethical approach for reviewing contemporary literary work?
  2. Share a brief sample of your work. Prose writers: no more than 3,000 words. Poets: maximum 3 poems, 5 pages total. Hybrid writers: use your best judgment. 
  3. Upload your CV. 

A Note from Embody Co-Editors, Elizabeth Bedell and Dewaine Farria:

Our weekly feature, Embody, is a home for writing about the grueling, exhilarating, essential business of finding peace (or not) with the bodies we inhabit, considering age, sexuality, race, ability, gender identity, size, athleticism, addiction, illness, and the experience of occupying unfamiliar/hostile/wonderful spaces. 

Tell us about edging backwards towards the end of the springboard for your first competitive dive. Tell us about the first time you climbed higher in a tree than your sibling. Tell us about the blinding pain of a migraine headache and the dull ache of a pinched nerve. Tell us about grasping your significant other’s hand in public for the first time. Tell us about pulling your hand free and avoiding your loved one’s gaze. Tell us about when you ran for your life. Tell us about your first pat-down, about reflexively assuming the position while the nape of your shirt is braced in a stranger’s grip. Tell us how it feels to be the one doing the bracing. Tell us about the first time your infant latched on to your nipple. Tell us about the day when you finally saw your mastectomy scars in a mirror. Tell us about when you first knew you didn’t belong in the body you were born into. Tell us about walking the world in a body that feels right. Tell us about wearing a cape and mask. Tell us about wearing all leather. Tell us about your first night as an incarcerated person. Tell us about your last night as one. Tell us about holding a loved one’s hand after it grows cold. 

Tell us about life in your body—both the stories of which you’re most proud and the ones you wish you could forget.       

*Please read our General Guidelines before submitting.* We do not accept multiple submissions.*

Embody Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 1,000 words 

Payment: All contributors will be eligible to receive a $500 Editor’s Choice Award, a $200 Runner-up Award, or $50 Honorable Mention, to be given annually. Currently, we are unable to pay each contributor to our weekly Embody feature, but we're working to get there!

A Note from Poetry Editor Rebecca Irene:

The Maine Review’s poetry team seeks work with musicality & fierceness, craft & cunning. We want lines that gut-punch, or caress, but always return to haunt. Authenticity & urgency are valued here. Hateful, phobic language is not. Some of the poets that quicken our blood—Lynda Hull, Claudia Rankine, Robert Lowell, Sharon Olds, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Franny Choi, Jericho Brown, Joseph O. Legaspi, Kaveh Akbar, Danez Smith, Anne Sexton, Ilya Kaminsky, Heather McHugh, Joy Harjo, & Valzhyna Mort. We look forward to reading your poems.

*Please read our General Guidelines before submitting.* We do not accept multiple submissions.*

Poetry Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Single-spaced (or as you would like your poem to appear online)
  • Pages numbered 
  • Maximum 3 poems, no more than 5 pages in total

Payment:Poets will receive a $25 honorarium per published poem.   

A Note from Nonfiction Editor, Emily W. Blacker:

Send us your essays, stand-alone memoir excerpts, and works that defy categorization. We’re looking for art that surprises the heart, stimulates the mind and delights the senses. What does that mean? It means that language and form are primary and that the piece transcends reportage and pursues insight. Some examples of pieces we love? “A Thousand Drops” by Bernard Cooper, “The Pain Scale” by Eula Biss, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, “Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl” by Dan Barry, “Leap” by Brian Doyle, “A Chapter on Red” by Jericho Parms. We seek various approaches and perspectives that make us see the world anew while connecting us to the common human core. We look forward to reading your writing. 

*Please read our General Guidelines before submitting.* We do not accept multiple submissions.*

Nonfiction Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 3,000 words, or 3 flash pieces of maximum 1,000 words each. Occasionally we will accept work up to 5,000 words. 

Payment:

Nonfiction writers will receive a $25 honorarium per flash (1,000 words or fewer) and a $50 honorarium for work 1,001 words or more. 

A Note from Fiction Editor Brett Willis:

For tone, we’re looking for work that reflects your unique perspective. Show us what you see. We like our truth with a dash of humor. Empathy is essential. We prefer stories that come in under 3,000 words but will occasionally publish longer works—though as its length increases, so too must the story’s quality. Thank you for trusting us with your work. We look forward to reading it.

*Please read our general guidelines before submitting.* We do not accept multiple submissions.*

Fiction Formatting Guidelines:

  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • 1” margins
  • Pages numbered
  • Maximum 3,000 words, or 3 flash pieces of 1,000 or fewer words each in one document. 
  • *Occasionally we will accept work up to 5,000 words. 

Payment:

Fiction writers will receive a $25 honorarium per flash (1,000 words or fewer) and a $50 honorarium for work 1,001 words or more. 

The Maine Review