Submission Guidelines

Please read an issue of The Florida Review before you send us your work in order to get a feel for the kind of writing we publish. We are looking for innovative, luxuriant, insightful human stories—and for things that might surprise us. We like writing that takes risks, affects us deeply, and yet also meets the highest standards of beautiful language and  syntax that supports the meaning of the work. All contributors to the print journal receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears.

  • We accept general submissions online through the Submittable link below. We accept visual art, Editor’s Award, and chapbook submissions either online through Submittable via the links below or via regular postal mail (with a self-addressed stamped envelope enclosed). Please send an SASE if you submit on paper and do not expect us to send a personal email or take on the expense of return postage.
  • We will also accept postal mail submissions from those who do not have regular access to the internet, such as prisoners. These should include an SASE for us to respond.
  • All manuscripts must be typed (double-spaced for fiction and nonfiction; poetry should be single-spaced). We prefer serif typefaces such as Times New Roman over sans serif ones like Calibri. We prefer that you use indents to indicate new paragraphs rather than extra line spaces.
  • All general submissions (non-contest) manuscripts must include the author’s full name and contact information on the first page, and the title and page numbers on subsequent pages.
  • Manuscripts sent by mail (which we will accept only for Editors’ Award and chapbook contest submissions) must:
    • be printed on white letter-sized paper without identifying information except title;
    • include a cover letter with the author’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and title of submission(s);
    • include a self-addressed stamped envelope for response; and
    • indicate in the cover letter if the manuscript should be returned and include proper postage on the SASE.
  • International submissions are welcome, especially electronically, but these must be submitted via Submittable since the demise of the International Postal Coupon.
  • We ask all contributors (to both the print and online journals) wait two years from the time of publication to submit to us again.
  • We do not usually accept submissions from University of Central Florida faculty, staff, or students. Alumni should wait until at least five years after graduating before submitting.

We regret that we can no longer accept regular submissions via regular postal mail, and that we charge a small fee on Submittable to support our work and to cover administrative costs. Please understand that several of our editors live in other places, and it would be impracticable and cost-prohibitive for us to transfer snail mail submissions to them. Please also understand that our small submissions fee is roughly equivalent to what a snail-mail submission would cost in paper, toner, envelopes, and postage; you are simply contributing to the survival of our literary magazine endeavor instead of to the US postal service.

We strive to give all the work submitted to our print and online publications the depth of attention they deserve, and to do so in a timely fashion. It will help us to do so, if you follow our guidelines.

The first point is to please be careful when you go to our Submittable page. We have separate submission streams for 1) the Leiby Chapbook Award, 2) our Editors’ Awards contests in Poetry, Fiction, and Essay, 3) general submissions for the print magazine, and 4) general submissions for the online magazine. In addition to contemporary literature, we have categories for visual arts portfolios, cover art, and various types of multimedia features.  We will get to your submission even if it’s submitted in an incorrect category, but it may delay the process.

In addition, please respect our length guidelinesThe Florida Review (unlike many publications) continues to accept longer manuscripts (and even really long ones for our chapbook contest). However, we will not consider manuscripts outside of the lengths in our guidelines, and we will not consider more than 5 poems at a time.

We ask that employees and students of the University of Central Florida do not submit to us until at least five years after they graduate or leave employment of the university.

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 tend to favor 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.

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 experiment with form. We do not publish scholarly essays at this time.

We prefer prose that is between 3 and 25 manuscript pages (750 to 6,500 words), but will consider up to 8,000 words.

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.


Graphic Narrative

We look for graphic narratives that show both artistic and literary merit. Currently, we are able to consider black and white only for the print magazine. However, we can consider both black-and-white and color works for Aquifer: The Florida Review Online.

Note that we have only one combined submission stream for graphic narratives in Submittable, covering both print and online magazines. This allows us to choose which work will work best in print and which online. If you have a preference one way or the other, please let us know in your cover letter.

Work should be submitted via Submittable as a jpeg or pdf file. Please note that for work accepted for publication, we may need jpeg or other file forms of 300 dpi or better quality.  If you have any technical issues, please query us at


Digital Stories, Electronic Literature, and Interactive Narrative

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. Compelling personal narratives concerning a variety of topics will be considered for online publication.

Submit 3-5 minute digital stories that combine images, voiceover narration, and, as appropriate, music, sound effects, and/or video.  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.

In addition, we have recently begun to consider other forms of multimedia work, including HTML and hypertext works, electronic literature, interactive narrative, and other forms of storytelling that involve digital and video tools. If you have a piece that utilizes digital tools in a different file format than those listed here, please query Natalie Underberg-Goode at


Short Film/Video

Submissions should be experimental works of film or video that are 15 minutes or less and utilize moving images as a means to poetic expression, formal exploration, or abstract and open-ended narratives. Compelling, personal works that push the boundaries of cinematic convention will also be considered for publication.

Submit film or video works as Vimeo or YouTube links and include any passwords required for viewing. Works accepted for publication will require an .MP4 or .MOV file that will be uploaded and hosted on Aquifer’s YouTube channel long term.

There are no requirements for year of completion or premiere status, but please note these videos will be available to the public online for an extended period of time. We recommend entries be works that have completed any intended festival screenings and do not have plans for future distribution.

Please ensure that you have the right to use and share all film and video 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 film or video, and that you accept full responsibility for doing so.


Visual Art

Visual artists are encouraged to submit two-dimensional works in any medium for a color cover or black-and-white spread in the print journal. Submit online here.

We also accept submissions for Visual Art Portfolios (any color) for publication in Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. Submit online here.


Book Reviews and Interviews

All of our book reviews and interviews are published in Aquifer: The Online Florida Review as of 2017 in order to offer the widest possible readership for authors who have new books.

The Florida Review seeks reviews of recent full-length books, especially those published by small literary and university presses. Length: 500-1000 words. Books should have been published in the past two years, and we greatly prefer reviews of full-length books rather than chapbooks. We do not review self-published books, but we greatly prefer small-press books as opposed to ones that will already have been reviewed by the mainstream press.

Please submit book reviews via Submittable. You may first query our book review editor through our email about the suitability of a particular book for review, but please understand that we do not have staff reviewers to assign.

We also consider review essays–more extensive examinations of multiple works that go beyond straightforward reviews. You may especially want to query before submitting a longer review essay.

If you are interested in interviewing an author for us, please send a query or submit here.


Withdrawals & Queries

For Submittable submissions, please go into Submittable and withdraw your manuscript there. For general queries, send us an email at