Interested in submitting to the Roanoke Review?

Good.  We like reading stuff.  While this page is designed to give you a sense of exactly the kinds of things we’re looking for, the fact of the matter is that we’re pretty much open to anything that’s well-written, vivid, and/or thought-provoking. Nearly every meeting we’re surprised by a genre or form or approach that we hadn’t anticipated—and almost always this leads to an “accept.”

So send us anything that you think is good, engaging, and carefully-crafted on the sentence level. That said, if you’re interested in getting a better sense of what we’re looking for, feel free to browse both our current issue and our archives—everything is open access and free, so you’re welcome to it. 

If you don’t have time for browsing, here are a few sample pieces that typify some of the qualities we read for. In terms of fiction, we like “Life Drawing” by Lucy Jane Bledsoe because the plot is engaging from the first paragraph, the language is tight and unpretentious, and the story takes us into the lives of characters we don’t usually encounter: a bible-grasping teenager and a grieving figure artist. The story is well-imagined, unflinching, and takes some risks. For us, this was a no brainer.

In terms of poetry, we like “Choke Spell” by Kristi Carter because the voice is engaging and clear, the lines loose but well-written, the images strong and evocative.  This is not a poem that is enraptured with its own poetic qualities:  rather, it’s a piece that’s caught up in the stories it’s telling and the world it’s evoking.  Additionally, this piece neither shies from emotion nor overdoes it:  the balance is nearly perfect. 

The nitty gritty: 

  • We accept submissions from September 1 through January 1. Issues are published on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year, generally starting on New Year's Day.
  •  We accept fiction and non-fiction submissions up to 5,000 words and poetry submissions up to 100 lines.
  •  We will read up to 5 poems and 1 short story per submission; please wait to hear from us before submitting additional work. 
  • Please include your contact information on the top of the first page and a header with your name on all subsequent pages. For prose pieces, please number your pages.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please withdraw your piece if it is accepted elsewhere. (And if we accept you first and you accept our acceptance, please honor that.)
  • We do not accept reprints. 
  • Please do not send us podcasts or interviews. If we accept your work, we may pursue these things ourselves. 
  • We are happy to consider photo essays that contain up to 15 images. Please send a PDF containing both the images and the text to
  • We encourage the submission of visual poetry. You may email those to us at or via Submittable (link below). 
  • We publish artwork only by artists from or living in southwestern Virginia. If you’re interested in having us look at your work, please send an e-mail to that includes a link to your gallery or another online display of your work. Please, no fantasy art or graphic representations of a sexual nature.
  • All other works should be submitted via Submittable (see link below) or sent hardcopy with a SASE to Roanoke Review, 221 College Lane, Salem, VA 24153. 
  • Because we see ourselves as a resource for and in service to the arts community, there are no charges or reading fees. 
  • We reserve the right to pull work from the journal at any point and for any reason. In 50+ years of publication, we've never had a reason to do so, but we're reserving the right, all the same. 
  • Because our students are brilliant and should be submitting their work worldwide, we do not accept submissions from current Roanoke College students. Wait until you graduate, then give us a shot, if you like. Or not. Your choice.

The Roanoke Review is a proud part of and sponsored by Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.