VQR strives to publish the best writing we can find. While we have a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, we also seek and support emerging writers. A look at one of our latest issues will show you the diversity of voices we publish.
- Poetry: All types and length.
- Short Fiction: Length is from 2,000–8,000 words. We are generally not interested in genre fiction (such as romance, science fiction, or fantasy).
- Nonfiction: Length is 3,500–9,000 words. We publish literary, art, and cultural criticism; reportage; historical and political analysis; and travel essays. We publish few author interviews or memoirs. In general, we are looking for nonfiction that looks out on the world, rather than within the self.
- Nonfiction pitches: We also accept pitches through our submission portal. Submit the pitch in a document, as you would for a finished piece, and include an estimate of any expenses involved to produce your story.
- We only consider unpublished work. Please do not submit previously published material, including work published in anthologies, chapbooks, or online.
- We only accept submissions online via Submittable. We do not accept submissions via e-mail.
- Please read past issues of VQR before submitting your work so you have a clear sense of our editorial focus. A portion of every issue is freely available on this site. Or you can purchase a recent issue at your local newsstand or bookstore, or directly from us.
- Submissions are limited to one prose piece and four poems per reading period. Due to the large number of submissions we receive, we have to place a limit on submission of new work until six months after your last submission, regardless of whether we have made a decision on your most recently submitted work.
- If work you have submitted to us is accepted elsewhere, please notify us immediately.
- Eighty percent of submissions are reviewed within three months, but due to the large number we receive, 20% of responses are delayed for longer than three months. Please be patient with us; we receive between one and two thousand submissions each month.
- Responses will be provided by e-mail.
- Due to the high volume of submissions, we cannot respond personally to every submission.
- All files must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or Plain Text (.txt) formats.
- Please prepare your submission in letter-sized format, with ample margins, double-spaced, using a standard typeface (e.g., Times, Helvetica, Arial) and font size (12 point is best). Please use minimal document and font styling in your submission.
Print Magazine Payment & Copyright
For poetry, we pay $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, we usually pay $1,000.
For short fiction, we generally pay $1,000 and above.
For other prose, such as personal essays and literary criticism, we generally pay $1,000 and above, at approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length. For investigative reporting, we pay at a higher rate, sometimes including pre-approved travel expenses. For long-form journalism, we often seek funders to support our writers directly, in addition to our own payments.
Book reviews are generally 2,000-2,400 words and are paid at a flat rate of $500.
Our standard publishing agreement asks for the following rights in exchange: first North American print and digital magazine rights; nonexclusive online rights; and other limited rights. Copyright is retained by the author at all times. Authors are free to resell the work, though we do ask for a 90-day exclusive from our first publication of the work.
Online content is generally paid at $100-$200, depending upon genre and length.
Please do not e-mail us to ask if we received your submission. If the online submissions system acknowledged your submission, or if you received an e-mail confirming receipt of your submission, then rest assured that we have received it and we will review it within four months.
We read unsolicited fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions June 15 to July 15, and October 1 to November 1 each year through our Submittable portal. We read nonfiction pitches from June 15 to December 1. Due to the high volume of unsolicited work, we cannot respond to submissions outside of these reading periods. We only read unsolicited works submitted through our Submittable portal. Previous VQR contributors are welcome to contact the staff directly regarding their submissions.