Please note that Aquifer is now accepting submissions! Submissions in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry will have separate submissions streams for TFR and Aquifer, whereas graphic narrative will remain all in one submissions stream so that we can assess work for its most apt publication location (depending on color, length, format, and so on). In addition, for Aquifer we will have a submissions category for digital stories. Our submission guidelines remain the same for both print and online submissions, but be careful when you select your submissions category in Submittable, as we have numerous categories. Submissions in our general categories will NOT be considered as contest submissions, even if the contest is referenced in your cover letter.
Please also note that our print Florida Review submissions are open year-round, whereas our Aquifer submissions will be open on an intermittent, rolling basis and may sometimes be closed.
After reviewing our submissions guidelines below, or on the appropriate contest page (Editors’ Awards or Leiby Chapbook Contest), go to Submit Your Work for the link to Submittable. And thanks for sharing your work with The Florida Review and Aquifer!
Fiction & Nonfiction
We look for stories and essays in which the mysteries emerge out of human personality and interaction. In other words, character-driven pieces that make us think about our lives in new ways. We like sophisticated humor and dark irony.
We do not consider typical genre fiction (sci-fi, romance, action, or fantasy), though that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy magic and mayhem and futuristic visions when they are fully imagined in a non-stereotypical, character-driven, and beautiful way. What we look for is insight into the human condition and richness of perspective. We tend toward the maximal rather than the minimal in our preferences, but also firmly believe that each story has to find its own form and style, and that the minute we state a firm preference we’ll find the perfect story that will upend our claims.
In the realm of nonfiction, we publish mainly memoirs and personal essays, but also welcome submissions of literary journalism, especially if based in experience. We also encourage creative nonfiction submissions that inhabit borderlands between fact and fiction and that experiment with form. We do not publish scholarly essays at this time.
There is no word or page limit, though we prefer prose that is between 3 and 25 manuscript pages (750 to 6,500 words). Do understand how difficult it is for us to commit the pages or online space for longer work, and the therefore increased excellence demanded of it. We are one of fewer and fewer magazines that consider this longer work, and it takes a lot out of us to read long submissions that haven’t been through enough revisions. Please make sure that it is ready and that every word counts.
Please submit only one short story or essay at a time. However, we will read up to three short-shorts, as long as the total page count remains under 15 pages (3,750 words). We consider novel or memoir excerpts only if they stand alone.
We’re interested in well-crafted poems that sing and take risks—in style or subject. We’re interested in traditional forms and free verse, any length.
Please submit no more than five poems at one time. We will only read the first five poems that you send.
We look for graphic narratives that show both artistic and literary merit. Currently, we are able to consider black and white only for The Florida Review print magazine. However, we can consider both black-and-white and color works for Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. (Please note that, although we will be able to use color work online, if and when we create an anthology of online work in print, we will have to convert any color work to black and white.)
Work should be submitted via Submittable as a jpeg or pdf file. If you have any technical issues, please query us at email@example.com.
The Florida Review has a tradition of recognizing new art forms–we were one of the first literary magazines to publish graphic narrative, and, before that, to open our pages to creative nonfiction. Now we would like to recognize that digital stories are a growing art form as well and publish some of the best in our new web magazine, Aquifer: The Florida Review Online.
Submit 3-5 minute digital stories that combine images, voiceover narration, and, as appropriate, music, sound effects, and/or video. Compelling personal narratives concerning a variety of topics will be considered for online publication. Digital stories should be submitted in .MP4 or .MOV format, and authors should include a title screen that lists story title and full author name, as well as a credits screen at the end that lists all image and other content sources unless they are the property of the storyteller (for example, personal photographs). Please ensure that you have the right to use and share online all digital story content before submitting. Please note that before publishing any work, we will ask for a signed publication agreement that confirms you have acquired permission for use of any visual, auditory, or other work not your own included in your digital story, and that you accept full responsibility for doing so.
Book Reviews and Interviews
All book reviews and interviews will be published in Aquifer: The Online Florida Review starting in 2017. We hope this will give our reviewed and interviewed authors more exposure, and we will sometimes be connecting reviews and/or interviews to literary content in the print magazine and/or the online magazine to create a healthy synergy.
Please contact our book review editor, Danita Berg, through our firstname.lastname@example.org email to query a book review topic. We also accept review and review essay submissions on Submittable. (Review essays are extensive examinations of multiple works that go beyond straightforward reviews. You may especially want to query before submitting a full review essay.)
If you are interested interviewing an author for us, please send a query to email@example.com.
Visual artists are encouraged to submit two-dimensional works in any medium for a color cover for or black-and-white spread within The Florida Review. We prefer submissions on Submittable, but also accept work on CD-ROM (U.S. mail at the address above) or via a web link (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note we will not open any e-mail attachments.
Please note that we are working to develop a visual arts section for Aquifer, where we will be able to offer portfolios of artists’ work. Watch for announcements in 2017-2018.
Withdrawals & Queries
For Submittable submissions, please go into Submittable and withdraw your manuscript there. For general queries, send us an email at email@example.com. You may also send a letter via postal mail, but in order to receive a response, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.