The editors of The Gettysburg Review are interested in both short and long poems of nearly any length or aesthetic bent. Poetry submissions should consist of one to five poems, depending on length, typed or printed, either single- or double-spaced, on one side of the page only. As for how many poems to send, use you best judgment. If your best judgment says to send us your entire book, then here are some helpful suggestions: send no more than five short poems, two longer ones, or one really long one in any one submission. If your poem is a book-length epic, then you should think about excerpting.
Fiction is generally in the form of short stories, although we often accept short-shorts, as well as lengthier pieces, which we have serialized on a couple of occasions. We also publish novel excerpts. Manuscripts must be typed or printed, double-spaced, on one side of the page only. Novel excerpts should be complete and self-contained; they should not require any written contextualization. Do not send us your novel and ask that we select an excerpt that suits our tastes.
Aesthetically, we are open to most styles and approaches and are always interested in stories, whether more traditional or experimental, that are off-beat, penetrating, and surprising. We do not publish genre fiction—mystery, crime, science fiction, fantasy, and the like—but are certainly not opposed to considering work that self-consciously employs the tropes of formulaic writing for more sophisticated literary ends.
While interdiscplinary in scope, The Gettysburg Review is literary in focus. To complement the poetry and fiction we publish, we look for essays on a wide variety of subjects, including but not limited to literature, art, film, history, science, and contemporary thought. All we ask is that the subject be treated in a literary fashion—gracefully and in depth.
Essays can take any form—creative nonfiction, memoir, biography, autobiography, etcetera. Length typically hovers around twenty-five manuscript pages, but we welcome both shorter and longer essays. Whatever the length, manuscripts must be typed or printed, double-spaced, on one side of the page only.
The Gettysburg Review doesn’t publish short reviews of recently published books; we are interested in more extensive assessments of new publications, reviews that offer insights both broader and deeper than whether a given book is good, bad, or mediocre. We currently have a couple of authors who write essay-reviews for us, but we welcome unsolicited reviews so long as they take the essay-review approach. For models, check out issues that contain essay-reviews by Dorothy Baressi, Floyd Collins, or Benjamin Hedin. Essay-reviews generally run about fifteen to twenty manuscript pages, and those must be typed or printed, double-spaced, on one side of the page only.
Each issue of The Gettysburg Review features an eight-page, full-color graphics section devoted to the work of a contemporary visual artist. Typically, we publish work by painters, but we have published a collection of color photographs, as well as drawings and reproductions of collages. Visual artists interested in submitting should send a selection of at least eight to twenty slides with a cover letter offering an introduction to themselves and their work. Galleries interested in seeing work by one of their artists in The Gettysburg Review should send slides or exhibition catalogs along with an artist’s statement.
This practice has, to many an editor’s consternation, become the norm, and so to adapt to modern times—as well as to prevent awkwardness between us and writers who would otherwise surreptitiously submit their work to more than one journal—we decided several years ago to consider simultaneous submissions. Should you decide to engage in this practice, indicate in your cover letter that your manuscript is under concurrent consideration, and notify us immediately if said work is accepted elsewhere.
The Gettysburg Review does not reprint previously published material, including material that was first published in electronic form on the Web.
Payment is upon publication: $2.50 per line for poetry and $30 per printed page for prose. Published authors also receive a copy of the issue containing their work and a one-year subscription.
No manuscript or artwork will be returned, nor any notification of rejection given, unless it is accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Response Time and Inquiries
Because our editorial staff is minimal, you should expect three to five months for a decision. Most submitters will receive word from us in two to three months, but we do occasionally fall a bit behind. Please, be patient and refrain from inquiring about your manuscript’s status until at least three months have passed. If you decide to inquire, we prefer that authors send us a note with an SASE rather than contact us via phone or e-mail; however, if you absolutely must use e-mail, send queries to the assistant editor.
Lost or Damaged Manuscripts
The Gettysburg Review accepts no responsibility for, and absolutely will not engage in correspondence about, lost or damaged manuscripts.