Free Submissions in Poetry, Fiction, and Literary Nonfiction for Crab Orchard Review Special Issue: "Ka-Ching: The Money Issue" (anticipated publication June 2018)

Deadline: October 31, 2017 (or any month we receive 5,000 submissions)


Our first online special issue of Crab Orchard Review will focus on "Ka-ching!: The Money Issue." Submissions will open for free on Submittable August 30, 2017, and will run until October 31, 2017. It is not lost upon us that this is the first special issue we won't be paying contributors, but we hope writers will embrace this topic and explore all the ways our lives and our world are shaped by money, whether you are cashing in, cashing out, or maybe even caring and sharing a little while we all try to get by.

Please observe the following when submitting work:

Fiction: All fiction should be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. The author’s name, address and phone number should appear on the manuscript. Do not submit more than one story per submission. Stories should be twenty pages or less. We are especially interested in ten- to fifteen-page stories. Novel excerpts are acceptable, as long as they stand on their own as fiction. We are open to all styles of literary fiction and usually include four to six stories in each issue.

Poetry: All poems should be typed, single-spaced, with the author’s name, address, and phone number on each poem. Indicate stanza breaks on poems of more than one page. Do not submit more than three poems. We are open to all styles of poetry and usually include twenty-five to thirty poems in each issue.

Literary Nonfiction: We are happy to consider submissions of literary nonfiction. We publish non-academic explorative essays of twenty-five pages or less (with ten to twenty pages being the norm), including memoirs, vignettes, and essays on identity and culture.  

Payment: Due to budget considerations in Illinois, Crab Orchard Review can no longer pay contributors for their work, but we are committed to bringing together some of the best new writing on our site and putting your work in the best company possible.

General Submission Policies: Please send only one submission at a time during a submission period and submit work that is appropriate for the topic we are reading for at the time (Summer: General Submissions; Fall: Special Topic). If your submission is not held by one of three editors for a later round of consideration, you will receive notification through Submittable as soon as possible. After you receive your response from us, you are welcome to submit again for that reading period or to wait for the next reading period. If you withdraw a submission then please wait for the next submission period before submitting again.

Please do not ask to revise your work if Submittable indicates your submission is "In Progress."

Submittable Instructions: Please submit your file in .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .pdf, .odt, or .wpf. 12-point font, Times New Roman or Times preferred. Poetry should be single-spaced. No more than one poem should appear on a page. Prose should be double-spaced. No cover sheet is necessary..

Authors may expect a response by the end of January 2018. We do not backlog accepted work as a policy at Crab Orchard Review. Crab Orchard Review has always welcomed simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere.

Free to submit through Submittable. We have 5,000 submissions each month we have already paid for so we will make these available to writers. If we run out of these, we will close the submissions portal early.

All submissions must be made through our Submittable system.

Allison Joseph, Editor & Poetry Editor 

Carolyn Alessio, Prose Editor   

Jon Tribble, Managing Editor


Credit Card / PayPal single copy orders of the following issues of Crab Orchard Review for individuals or institutions with U.S. delivery addresses only (while copies are available)

$12.50 (processing fee and postage included; $1.50 discount on 2014 and 2015 issues).


Available issues:

Volume 20, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2015, our 20th anniversary issue, "20 Years: Writing About 1995 – 2015"  NOW AVAILABLE!

Volume 20, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2015, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners and Student Writing Award winners NOW AVAILABLE!

Volume 19, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2014, special issue, "The West Coast & Beyond" 

Volume 19, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2014, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners and Student Writing Award winners

Volume 18, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2013, special issue, "Prairies, Plains, Mountains, Deserts"

Volume 18, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2013, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners and Student Writing Award winners

Volume 17, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2012, special issue, "Due North"

Volume 17, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2012, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners 

Volume 16, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2011, special issue, "Old & New ~ Re-Visions of the American South"

Volume 16, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2011, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners

Volume 15, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2010, special issue, "Land of Lincoln ~ Writing about and from Illinois"

Volume 15, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2010, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners

Volume 14, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2009, special issue, "Color Wheel ~ Cultural Heritages in the 21st Century"

Volume 14, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2009, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners

Volume 13, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2008, special issue, "The In-Between Age ~ Writers on Adolescence"

Volume 13, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2008, general issue with COR Literary Prize winners



1. On the "Enter Your Billing Information" page, input your billing address and credit card information. If you prefer, you may instead pay with PayPal by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. 

2. Click "Process Payment and Continue." 

3. On the "Submit to Crab Orchard Review" page, your "Title" should be your name, your "Cover Letter" should simply say "please mail to:" followed by your mailing address, and "Submission Content" should specify the volume and number you wish to order, such as "Vol. 19, No. 1." 

4. Click "Submit to Crab Orchard Review." 

Note: You should type the mailing address as the "Cover Letter," even if it is the same as the billing address. We will mail your issue to you or the address you indicate "Media Mail" as soon as we receive your order. This $12.50 price applies only to orders mailed in the U.S. (domestic).

Thank you,

Jon Tribble
Managing Editor