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Volume 61, Issue 1

Front Cover by Barkley L. Hendricks

Courtesy of the artist's estate, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and American Federation of Arts.

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General Guidelines

The Massachusetts Review 2019 - 2020 Submissions Period is now closed. Thank you for your submissions. We will reopen for new submissions on Ocrober 1, 2020. 

If you have submitted to us online, please check that your spam filters do not block our email. You can add to your "approved senders" list.

What kinds of writing are you looking for?

We seek a balance between established writers and promising new ones. We're interested in material of variety and vitality relevant to the intellectual and aesthetic questions of our time. We aspire to have a broad appeal; our commitment, in part regional, is not provincial. "Inspired pages are not written to fill space, but for inevitable utterance; and to such our Journal is freely and solicitously open." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nonfiction: Articles and essays of breadth and depth are considered, as well as discussions of leading writers; of art, music, and drama; analyses of trends in literature, science, philosophy, and public affairs. Please include your name and contact information on the first page. We encourage page numbers.

Fiction: We consider one short story per submission, a maximum of 30 pages or 8000 words. Please include your name and contact information on the first page, and we encourage page numbers.

Poetry: A poetry submission may consist of up to 6 poems. There are no restrictions for length, but generally our poems are less than 100 lines. Please include your name and contact on every page.

Hybrid: A hybrid submission may cross genres with fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or art. We consider one such text per submission, with a maximum of 30 pages. Please include your contact information on the first page; we encourage page numbers.

Translation: Fiction, poems, or essays are accepted. The above guidelines for essays, fiction, and poetry should be followed, and a copy of the translated text should be submitted along with the translation. The translator is responsible for acquiring permission to publish. 

N.B. Translation submissions will be accepted year-round; however, outside our regular reading period, when the online submission manager is shut down, all translation submissions should be sent by regular mail.

Also please note: Essays, fiction, hybrid, poetry, and translation manuscripts should be submitted separately. No mixed submissions please.

Are there any genres or topics that you do not consider?

We no longer consider plays or book reviews for publication.

When is your reading period?

Submissions are NOT accepted from May 1 to September 30. Mailed submissions received during this time will be held for the next reading period. The electronic submission database will reset once all manuscript decisions have been made, and any work submitted within the subsequent reading period will require an account reactivation.

Because we are a very small office, it generally takes us 2 - 6 months to respond to submissions. We appreciate your patience!

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

Reluctantly. It is the author's responsibility to notify editors immediately once a manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Do you accept multiple submissions?


Prose manuscripts are limited to one submission at a time. Poetry submissions cannot exceed six poems per submission. Authors must await decision notification before submitting again in the same reading period.

Do you pay for contributions?

At the time of publication, we pay a $100 honorarium for work published in a single issue. Authors also receive two complimentary contributor's copies.
I'm mailing my submission, how should I submit work?

All prose manuscripts should be typed and double spaced.

Fiction and Non-fiction submissions should include name and address on the first page of the manuscript with page numbers. Poetry should include name and contact information before each title of a poem. The Massachusetts Review is a non-profit journal, and it is impossible for us to acknowledge receipt of manuscripts unless a self-addressed stamped postcard is enclosed with your submission. The Massachusetts Review is not responsible for lost manuscripts.  No manuscript can be returned or query answered unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Please read a copy of MR before submitting work. We cannot offer free sample copies, but you may order current or back issues here. We do not accept manuscripts via fax.

I'm submitting electronically, how should I submit work?

Read this first!

All submissions should include name and contact information on every page of the manuscript. A suggestion is to include this information in the header or footer. All prose manuscripts should be typed and double-spaced. We strongly encourage Fiction and Non-fiction to include page numbers.

All poems, a maximum of six per submission, should start on a new page and be included in one document.  Multiple submissions will not be accepted. All submissions sent as attachments to any MR email address will be deleted.

Please read a copy of MR before submitting work. We cannot offer free sample copies, but you may order current or back issues online. Click here to purchase a copy.

Please note that there is a $3.00 fee to submit electronically per reading period. In addition to maintaining the database, the fee was designed with the intention of diminishing your submission costs. The process will require a one time account set-up per reading period. We accept Visa, Master Card, or Discover; payment is made via Commerce Manager.

The electronic submission provides continuous access to check on the status of your submission. To withdraw specific poems or prose from consideration, please email the managing editor at Should you choose to withdraw your submission for any reason, no refund will be provided.

You will receive a one time account set-up confirmation e-mail, a submission receipt confirmation e-mail every time you submit, and, once our editors read your submission, a notification of decision e-mail.

Click here to begin the electronic submission process.


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