Submission Guidelines for Writers & Artists


* Our regular submission period will open on January 1, 2020. 



   * Awards Contest Guidelines, click here.

   * Regular Magazine Submission Guidelines, below.

   * Artists' Guidelines, scroll down.

   * Reviewer Guidelines, scroll down. 

Thank you for your interest in New Letters.  We urge potential contributors to read one or more issues of New Letters before submitting work.  A sample copy of a recent issue can be ordered for $10 each, ppd. 

Special Writers Rates: The best deal is to order one-year (4 issues) for $22 (regular, $28); we make this discount available to writers who submit writing to us, or plan to submit writing to us.

We seek many kinds of writing; regardless of subject, style, or genre,
our overriding concern is literary excellence.  



  1. Sample copies of recent issues are available from this office for $10.00 ppd, each. We wish you success with your writing.
  2. Unsolicited submissions that arrive when our reading period is closed will be returned unread.  Poems that end with a question will not be read at any time.
  3. Please send no more than six poems, one piece of nonfiction, or one short story per submission.
  4. Please send one submission at a time.
  5. Put your name, postal address and email address at the top of the first page of the submission.  
    * Identify the kind of writing you have sent, e.g., essay, novel chapter, poetry, short story, book review.  
  6. We are open to critical discourses about writing, art, or culture, as long as that writing is, in itself, lively, fresh, and vivid. We are not interested in footnoted, “scholarly” articles, or anything that uses the word “privilege” as a verb.
  7. A rough average length for prose is 3,000 to 5,000 words.
  8. We need exclusive consideration for reviews and criticism (see bottom); however, we will consider simultaneous submissions for other kinds of writing if you (a) let us know and (b) notify us immediately if the work you sent to us has been accepted for publication elsewhere.
  9. Like most literary magazines, our staff is small and the volume of submissions large; please be patient.
  10. New Letters accepts no responsibility for, and will not engage in correspondence about, lost or damaged unsolicited manuscripts sent to us.
  11. Rights and Payment:  We buy first North-American serial rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication. New Letters is among a group of rare literary magazines that actually pay writers & artists, albeit modestly.  Payment to contributors also includes two copies of the issue and 40 percent discounts for additional copies and subscriptions. 

Format & Style Tips:

  • We do not read unsolicited email submissions, nor do we respond to such submissions by email.
  • Do not send double-sided hard copies of prose or poetry.
  • Double space prose.
  • We suggest generous margins (consider 1.5-inch side margins for prose and at least that for poems).
  • Our only fixed requirement is good writing, and we have no rigid preferences as to subject, style, or genre.
  • We rarely publish poems about poetry.  We tend to avoid prose about academic life.
  • We require a self-addressed, stamped, #10 envelope with postal-mail submissions if you want notification of our decision only; if you want your entire manuscript returned, please send an appropriately sized envelope with sufficient postage.



Query the magazine before you submit art.  Send professional, resume information and one or two (at most) sample works of art.  Do not send art without professional background information.  This magazine rarely publishes unsolicited art.  For further information about our policies regarding visual art, read on:

New Letters publishes photographs, drawings, paintings and even, at times, photographs of three-dimensional work.  Although placement in the magazine sometimes creates a resonance with a particular piece of writing, we generally do not use art to illustrate the writing.  Art in New Letters is there for its own sake.

We have two principle standards for selecting art:  Is it fresh, interesting, high-quality work; will it effectively reproduce on the pages of this magazine?

Please note these criteria and suggestions:

  • We have no preferences for subject matter or style.  We evaluate each work of art on its own terms, based on how it will serve the needs of the magazine.
  • We cannot consider slides.  Send sample low-res images  by email to, or direct us to a website, or send photographic prints in any convenient size.  Sometimes, with line drawings or collages, high-quality photocopies work well for initial consideration.
  • Include a return envelope with sufficient postage for the return of the work in hard copy.
  • There is a small payment for work after publication.  The amount varies, depending on grant revenue.
  • We usually respond within three or four weeks.
  • Sample copies of a recent issue are available from this office for $10.00, ppd.  



To see some sample reviews from New Letters magazine, click here.

  • We require a physical address to consider your review.  Review submissions can be sent to us by email (unlike regular submissions), but include your postal address at the top of the first page of your manuscript. Send queries or reviews to 

  • No simultaneous submissions of reviews and criticism can be considered.  We will consider simultaneous submissions for other kinds of writing.
  • Style:  Use complete clauses for quotations, even if the quote is not the entire sentence (do not use partial quotes).  Primer points:
         *  Eschew exclamation marks.   Eschew plot summaries that do not illustrate ideas.  * Puh-leeze, do not put page numbers in parens after quotes, unless the page numbers are distinctly important (they never are).  Thanks.
  • Length:  We are not strict on this, but a single-book review will run 500 to 900 words, usually; essay-reviews of groups of books run longer.  The review should merit its length.
  • Conflicts:  If you have a potential conflict of interest because you are romantically involved with the author or publisher of the book you are reviewing, or because you are a lobbyist or otherwise indebted, you should either mention that connection in the review, itself, submit a Federal Lobbyist Disclosure Report, or refrain from writing about the book. 
  • Procedure:  If you want to review a particular book that you already possess, feel free to suggest it.  Or you can look over the review shelf in our office, or we will send you a current list of books on hand. 
  • Negative appraisals can be included as part of reviews; however, if the review is substantially negative, we prefer simply to ignore the book.  
  • Unsolicited book reviews will be considered, but we suggest that you query first.
  • What kind of books?  New Letters is primarily—but not exclusively—interested in reviewing excellent books (even movies and visual art) otherwise not receiving much attention in the national media (which means most literary titles); we also like books that have something important to say about culture, politics, aesthetics, or any kind of art; that includes scholarly, critical, or biographical books that could find a non-specialized readership. 
  • New Letters pays, typically, $35 for book reviews; this pay is not guaranteed but paid as resources allow.



New Letters
University House, UMKC
5101 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

Kansas City Literary Events

Shannon Pufahl

Monday, December 9, 2019
Lawrence, Kan.


Kansas City Public Library Announces Kids and Teens eReading Rooms

The KCPL has digitized the concept of physical reading rooms by creating individual, specialized eReading Rooms of ebooks and audiobooks for children and teenagers.


Individual Issues of New Letters Magazine

To order an individual issue of New Letters magazine, please call 816-235-1169.