Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

Standard Submission Guidelines   




Editor's note: Although we will be publishing a yearly print anthology, The Indianola Review has transitioned into an online journal, which we're pretty excited about. And though we have managed to scrape together our meager funds to pay writers in the past, we are a small, privately owned journal and are currently unable to compensate contributors. However, we're also an awesome place to place your work, as it happens, and we will reward you with as much publicity and gratitude as we can muster. We look forward to reading your submissions.


Fiction: 5,000 words maximum (a little over is fine, but those extra words should be critical to the piece. And by "a little over" we mean a hundred or so at most). We want original, unpredictable fiction with vivid characters that experience conflict throughout a purposeful, precisely wrought plot. If you decide to break this rule and you do it well, we want that even more. For flash fiction, please submit up to 3 pieces (no more than 1,000 words each) in the same Word document.


Poetry: 3 – 5 pieces in one Word Document. We want our poetry to matter. We want to invest ourselves in the voice of the narrator. We welcome all forms, but generally speaking: if you make it a point to impress us with your format alone without investing yourself in the content, we’ll know. Of course, if you can break these rules and break them elegantly, we want your work.


Response Time:  We do our absolute best to answer within 8 weeks (often much sooner), but like most journals, we can sometimes take a bit longer, depending on the time of year. Feel free to query after four months. We offer expedited response times (in lieu of asking you for donations, which feels icky), on our Submittable page.






  • All work should be Double-Spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font (Standard Manuscript Form) in a .DOC or .DOCX file format. Poetry may be single-spaced.
  • Page Numbers, please.
  • Include your name and contact information on the first page of your document.
  • Prose submissions should include word count on the upper right. (Basically, we’re asking for the industry standard. Nothing more, nothing less.) One space between sentences & automatic indents, please.
  • Include a brief cover letter in the Submittable form. Tell us where you’ve been published. Tell us if you are a new writer. Tell us what awards you’ve collected…all that good stuff. Please include a third-person bio.
  • We offer premium response windows and services, but our basic submission option will always be free. We are writers, and we hate paying to submit as much as we hate to wait. For all submissions, our goal is to respond within eight weeks, though we sometimes take a little longer.
  • Upon acceptance, we request One Time, First Serial Rights and Electronic Rights. All rights revert back to the author upon publication on our website.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions. Just let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • No reprints. We publish original work only. As usual, that means no blog posts.
  • No multiple submissions, please. One at a time is great, and we respond pretty quickly. Upon hearing our response, please wait at least 30 days before submitting again.


 We Accept Submissions via Submittable




The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review