Nashville Review seeks to publish the best in traditional and nontraditional genres – from literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction, to comics, short films, music and other performance arts. Both distinguished and emerging artists are encouraged to submit.

Reading Periods

Nashville Review considers fiction, poetry, and nonfiction only during these three reading periods:
_____January 1 – February 1
_____May 1 – June 1
_____September 1 – October 1
Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submitted outside of these reading periods cannot be considered. While we understand this may seem inconvenient, we opt for shorter, more frequent reading periods so that we can give quicker responses to our submitters, thus offering more opportunities to submit throughout the year.

Because of the low volume of submissions we receive in comics, music, film, dance, oral storytelling and oral poetry, these genres are encouraged to submit year round.

General Guidelines

All submissions may be made through our online submissions manager.

We DO NOT accept email submissions.

All submissions must be previously unpublished (in print or electronic form).

As of Summer 2012, we are now paying contributors in ALL genres!
_____Fiction, nonfiction, comics, film, and dance contributors are offered a flat fee of $100 per selection.
_____Oral story poetry and oral storytelling contributors are offered $50 per selection.
_____Poetry contributors are offered $25 per poem.
_____Music contributors are offered $20 per song/music video.
_____Cover artists are offered $100 per selection.

See below for genre specific guidelines.

Fiction Guidelines

We welcome flash fiction, short stories, and novel excerpts of up to 8,000 words. No genre or children’s fiction. Please submit only once per reading period.

Additional comments from current Fiction Editor, Marysa LaRowe:

One of the lines we hear most often as writers is Ezra Pound’s famous “make it new.”  But while great writing is powerful and unique, it also has a sense of form and tradition.  At the Nashville Review, we are looking for engaging, character-driven work, both from established and emerging writers.  We’re looking for strong voices, compelling stories, and language that surprises us and makes us see the world differently.  We are open to work that experiments with form and genre, so long as that work has a strong foundation in character.  Please review our back issues for examples of the kind of work we publish.

Poetry Guidelines

Between two and five poems may be submitted at a time.

Additional comments from current Poetry Editors, Chris Adamson and Cara Dees:

Our taste is eclectic, but we tend to prefer poems that refuse to waste language, using new and interesting diction, perspective, and imagery to make us pause and think. We accept both long and short poems, and are committed to publishing both established and emerging writers. We encourage submitters to look at past issues to get a better idea of what we are looking to publish.

Nonfiction Guidelines

Up to 8,000 words.

Additional comments from current Nonfiction Editor, Amanda Abel:

When we say “creative nonfiction,” we put the stress on creative. We’re looking for true stories that go beyond just narrative accounts of events, the everyday I. Though there’s not any one subject matter we’re drawn to more than others, we find that the best nonfiction is multilayered and often consists of a shift in the speaker’s outlook or perspective–a discovery–even if it’s a subtle one. Send us the extra that you’ve found in the ordinary.

Comics Guidelines

We’re seeking literary comics—comics that are more than simply funny or gory. Think Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan, Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty, Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, anything by Nilsen or Moebius or Tomine or Tezuka. We’d love to see anything from one-page comics to excerpts from graphic novels.

Additional comments from current Comics Editor, Cara Dees:

Some of the artists we admire are Craig Thompson, Marjane Satrapi, Maira Kalman, and Adrian Tomine. We prefer comics that are highly developed both linguistically and artistically, that show acute attention to detail and a willingness to experiment with graphic art.

Music Guidelines

We prefer exclusive tracks: live recordings, studio versions, unreleased songs, remixes, and so on. But we’re happy to consider anything.

Performance Arts Guidelines – for Film, Drama, Dance, Oral Storytelling, Oral Poetry, And So On

Filmmakers, dancers, and performance artists of all kinds interested in submitting their work should contact the Editor at Oral storytelling and poetry submitted through our submissions manager must be in audio formats. Video formats can be sent to the above email.

Additional comments from current Performance Arts Editor, Chris Adamson:

Narrative filmmakers can submit films of any length, although we prefer short films with a balance of narrative and visual intensity. Dance choreographers, dramatists, and performance artists can also submit film recordings of performances or dress rehearsals; any length is acceptable.

Cover Art

Paintings, drawings, and photography may be submitted for cover art as attachments to the Editor at