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Our Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions


Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW consider simultaneous submissions?

Yes. We not only consider simultaneous submissions—we welcome them. It is our editors' opinion that writers should be able to explore whatever publishing opportunities they can find that they feel suit their work. We read and respond to submissions as quickly as we can, but every one of us has had days we can't look at another story, essay, or poem with the enthusiasm and attentiveness we want to bring to reading work for CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW. When those days come, it is in our best interest (and in yours as well) that we work on something else. We do value the effort all of the writers who send us work put into their submissions and as writers who send out work ourselves we understand the time involved. If simultaneously submitting work allows you to maximize your efforts and minimize your time waiting to publish your work, we're all for it. We do appreciate hearing if work is no longer available; but if you forget to contact us, just let us know when we query before accepting your work. Like many literary magazines, we receive far more good work than we have room for in our pages, so a piece accepted elsewhere is simply an opportunity to accept another author's work. We'll congratulate your success and happily read other submissions from you in the future.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW consider previously published work?

No. We only consider submissions of previously unpublished work.  There are two exceptions to this:

1) Work you have put up on a personal Web page or blog. Any other type of Website (such as Poets Against the War, any e-zine, any press Web site, etc.) is considered published work and should not be submitted to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW.

2) Work that is directly tied to a student writer's educational pursuits, such as work published in an undergraduate literary magazine for distribution in a college or university community or work collected in an unpublished thesis or creative dissertation that may be archived online for professional development.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW consider work that exceeds the specified guidelines in length or number?

Our guidelines for submissions request that prose writers (fiction or literary nonfiction) submit work that is no longer than twenty-five pages, double-spaced, in manuscript. The reason for this is it is extremely unlikely that we will publish a piece longer than twenty-five pages. We see far more twenty to twenty-five page submissions than we could ever publish in our issues at the current size, and there is no plan to expand the issues in length. The decision longer submissions force us to consider is whether we would rather publish one author's work or two or three authors in the same pages. In most circumstances, we would rather put more authors in print and share their works with our readers. The only prose length we don't see enough of is the ten to fifteen page piece that accomplishes its work with economy and grace.

Our guidelines for submissions request that poets limit their submissions to six poems. Submissions of more than six poems are not welcomed by editors who are reading more than ten thousand poems each year, and it is always in your interest to consider the editor's time and energy. An editor who looks at an overstuffed envelope with dread is not likely to be a sympathetic audience for the work inside.

So the answer is yes, we do consider work that exceeds the specified guidelines in length or number because we read everything we receive; but the chances for such work are slim and it is not in your best interest to submit it to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW for publication.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW consider online submissions?

CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW does not consider electronic submissions for our non-contest submissions. We do accept electronic submissions for our COR Special Issue Feature Awards, (electronic submissions only; August 15 through October 1), our COR Student Writing Awards (electronic submissions only; January 18 through February 18), and COR's Annual Literary Contests (postal and electronic submissions accepted; February 21 through April 28).

Submit online to Crab Orchard Review's Special Issue Feature Awards using Submittable  

Regular submissions to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW should be made through by postal mail (whether the work is for the special issue we are reading for in the Fall, or for the general issue we are reading for in the Spring). We do want to let authors know that all of our deadlines are postmark deadlines. It is never necessary to Express Mail, Fedex, or UPS any submission to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW. We would rather you spent your money on a book or magazine you can enjoy.

We are happy to notify writers of our decisions by either e-mail or by using a self-addressed, stamped envelope provided by the writer with the submission. Submitted work will be returned with our response to the submission if sufficient postage is on the SASE (unless the writer indicates for us to recycle the submission if rejected). Please indicate in the cover letter if e-mail is preferred.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW consider book review submissions?

No. All of our book reviews are done in-house by our editors, staff, and graduate students in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW pay for work published in its pages?

Yes. It has always been a priority of CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW's editors to pay writers for their work. At this time, payment for accepted work is twenty-five dollars per published magazine page (fifty dollars minimum for poetry, one hundred dollars minimum for prose). Accepted authors will also receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears, as well as a year's subscription to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW. Payment will be made upon or following publication.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW hold the rights to work published in its pages?

No. We only ask authors for First North American Serial Rights. Upon publication, all rights revert to the author. We do appreciate acknowledgment of CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW as the place of first publication when possible.

All reprint requests for work published in CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW must be made to the author of the work in question since the editors of CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW would not have the right to grant permission to reprint.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW read submissions year-round?

No. We consider poetry submissions for our Winter/Spring issue (always a general issue) from February 15 through April 1. From October 1through November 10, we consider postal submissions of poetry and prose for our Summer/Fall special issue (check our Call for Submissions Page for information on the upcoming special issue). Both deadlines are postmark deadlines. It is never necessary to Express Mail, Fedex, or UPS any submission to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW.

Please submit only one piece at a time during each submission period and submit work that is appropriate for the issue we are reading for at the time. If your submission is not held by one of three editors for a later round of consideration, it will be returned to you as soon as possible. After you receive your response from us, you are welcome to submit again for that issue or to wait for the next submission period. Authors may expect a response within five months, with one to three months being the usual turnaround. If we have your work longer than five months, it has made the final round of work being considered for publication in the next issue.

If you send work during the Fall that is not appropriate for the upcoming special issue (this Fall our special issue is on the topic "20 Years: Writing About 1995-2015"), we will return it to you as soon as our editor, Allison Joseph, has logged the work in. She will let you know about the special issue we are reading for at the time and remind you of the reading period in the Spring for our general issue. We do not backlog accepted work as a policy at CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW.

Why isn't CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW available in bookstores?

The savings CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW experiences by not using a national distributor to place the magazine in bookstores allows us to continue to increase the amount we pay writers and keep our subscription price low. Our editors also do not wish to take part in the practice where the covers of unsold issues are torn off and returned while hundreds of copies are thrown away. We would rather give free subscriptions to public and community college libraries across Illinois, send those issues to bookfairs across the country, and to find other worthwhile projects to distribute CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW to readers and underserved communities across the nation.

We are happy to accommodate independent booksellers who wish to carry CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW on a consignment basis or who wish to purchase at a discount copies of an issue including a local author. Please contact Jon Tribble, Managing Editor of CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW, with any requests for such arrangements.

Does CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW comment on rejected work?

We do not use standard rejection slips. Every submission to CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW receives a letter generated by our editor, Allison Joseph, containing information about our current reading needs. Given the volume of submissions we receive, it is impossible to comment on manuscripts.



If you don’t find the information you’re looking for on our website, we can always be reached for information about subscriptions, current guidelines, upcoming themes, or contests by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Department of English
Faner Hall 2380 - Mail Code 4503
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1000 Faner Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901


PHONE: 618-453-6833
FAX: 618-453-8224


Comments: Jon Tribble, Managing Editor, Site Design by Mark Brewin, Copyright © 2009, Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University
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