​© 2016 West Trade Review
​© 2016 West Trade Review

Are you a writer that wants to be published and recognized? West Trade Review wants to hear from you! 

We are looking for original and unpublished works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry by both new and established writers. While we publish work of various styles and content, we enjoy writing that is socially engaged and seeks to elevate underrepresented literary voices (BIPOC and LGBTQ+).

Our journal is published quarterly (one substantial print edition each spring and an online quarterly each summer, fall, and winter).  Please read all submission guidelines carefully.  Those that do not meet the requirements below will not be considered.

Please take a moment to review some of our previously published work at our Online Exclusives link or by purchasing a copy of our print edition.

All submissions must be previously unpublished and must be accompanied by a cover letter. We often feature the work of our published writers on social media, so please include the user names of any accounts you would like us to tag (Instagram, Twitter, of Facebook). If you have a personal website dedicated to your writing, you may list that as well.

WTR regularly submits prize nominations for the O'Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize.




Current Submissions Promo (Creative Nonfiction Only):


Send your work to us, and we'll provide a free expedited response within 2 weeks (a $7 value).⠀

Be one of the first 50 writers to submit in each submission category between 12am Eastern Sunday, October 23, 2022, and 11:59pm Eastern on Monday, October 31, 2022.





Short Fiction Submissions Guidelines

​We look for fiction with a literary focus and prioritize characterization and psychological depth. No genre pieces considered.

We want stories that make the reader think and feel, work that humbles us with its joy, humor, embarrassment, anger, hope, grief, or all of the above, and gravitate toward writing that has something important to teach us--something that readers really need to know, but might not have understood this was a need until the last word of the work.

D.W. White, Fiction Editor: “I look for fearless writing first and foremost, by which I mean work that shows both an understanding of the technical-mechanical approaches being used and a willingness to take risks at the sentence level. How does the technical, style, and applied theory behind a work interact with and propel its central theme, message, and raison d’etre? I especially appreciate writing that can combine arresting prose with a compelling story, employing one to better render the other. While a piece should not prioritize style over substance or inaccessibly for its own sake, I think the best fiction is that which has some measure of originality in both content and form." 

Jonathan Lindberg, Associate Fiction Editor: "Great writing takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. I am excited to read stories you have labored over. Write and rewrite until your story sings. Take risks with your writing. I am excited to read stories that have great meaning to you (something important to say) and characters in which you are deeply and personally invested. This is where great writing begins."

Jessica Denzer, Associate Fiction Editor:  "I love reading stories with a language-heart. I want to read stories that take risks with language not simply for the sake of risk but because the story can be told no other way. I love big stories, I love narrative, I love characters, but what I'm looking for is work that builds story and character through the poetics of the sentence, through the meditation and crafting of words and rhythm."

Diane Josefowicz, Associate Fiction Editor:  "Many of the stories I read are wish-fulfillments: how things should have gone. More interesting to me are characters honestly grieving losses or grappling with the consequences of failing to do so. Beyond that, I’m looking for fresh and confident prose that shows strong control of diction, tone, and register. I love a balanced sentence." 

Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez, Associate Fiction Editor:  "I’m seeking beauty and intimacy. For me, risk-taking is not about shock value. It’s about the courage to write honestly and authentically. It’s about characters that haunt me. It’s about stories that must be told and voices that need to be heard. I love unexpected language and tightly crafted prose. I want to read stories that invite me to partake in the chaos, in the messy spaces where humanness resides." 



Please submit one prose piece of up to 5000 words

  • Include a clear title of the work.
  •   Please double space your story.
  •   Include a short 3rd person biography of no more than 150 words. Work submitted without a biography will not be considered.
  •   If your work is a simultaneous submission, please let us know immediately if it is published elsewhere. 
  •   Writers may not submit more than once per reading period.

​Entries should be submitted to the appropriate genre category at the following link:

https://westtradereview.submittable.com/submit​





Poetry Submissions Guidelines

We are looking for poems that perform Olympic feats with language that leave a reader in wonder while still referring back to the basic things that make us human. We want powerful imagery and enjoy the juxtaposition of images in interesting and unexpected ways.

We want poems that make the reader think and feel, work that humbles us with its joy, humor, embarrassment, anger, hope, grief, or all of the above, and gravitate toward writing that has something important to teach us--something that readers really need to know, but might not have understood this was a need until the last word of the work.

  • Submit up to 5 poems Please submit multiple poems as one submission in a single Microsoft Word file (and list the title of each poem for the title of your group submission).
  • Include a clear title of the work.
  • Please single space poems.  
  • Include a short 3rd person biography of no more than 150 words.  Work submitted without a biography will not be considered.
  • If your work is a simultaneous submission, please let us know immediately if it is published elsewhere. 
  • Writers may not submit more than once per reading period.

Entries should be submitted to the appropriate genre category at the following link:

https://westtradereview.submittable.com/submit





Creative Nonfiction Submissions Guidelines

We are interested in personal essays, memoir, literary journalism, and lyric essays of up to 6000 words that blend style with substance and reach beyond the personal to tell us something new about the world.

We want nonfiction pieces that make the reader think and feel, work that humbles us with its joy, humor, embarrassment, anger, hope, grief, or all of the above, and gravitate toward writing that has something important to teach us--something that readers really need to know, but might not have understood this was a need until the last word of the work.

  •   Submit one nonfiction piece of up to 6000 words.  Please double space your document.
  •   Include a clear title of the work.
  •    Include a short 3rd person biography of no more than 150 words. Work submitted without a biography will not be considered.
  •   If your work is a simultaneous submission, please let us know immediately if it is published elsewhere. 
  •   Writers may not submit more than once per reading period.

​​
Entries should be submitted to the appropriate genre category at the following link:

https://westtradereview.submittable.com/submit





Novel Excerpt Guidelines

Please send us your best, unpublished extracts from novel-length works. 

We seek excellent writing, first and foremost. We prioritize work that places an emphasis on character, language, and psychological depth; no genre pieces, please.

We look for compelling stories with something important to say about the world in which they are made; work peopled by dynamic, complex characters; rendered in fearless writing that is unafraid to innovate and experiment in form, style, and technique; that takes risks at the sentence level in language and perspective; and that challenges conventional ways of seeing the world. A work should not be so experimental, however, that it sacrifices clarity. It should illuminate a facet of the human condition while being bold in its presentation and construction.

Submissions in no way need to stand alone; we are not looking for long short stories. We hope that West Trade Review’s excerpt page can be a place where writers simply take the very best sections of their manuscript without worrying about and/or trying to retrofit into the project or section any type of neat narrative bow, or (artificial) sense of conclusion. In short, we simply want the best excerpts of the best novels currently in progress. 

D.W. White, Fiction Editor:  “I’m interested in excerpts that showcase the best of the novels they come from, and not as concerned with their self-contained or self-standing arcs, narratives, or backstories. I think the best excerpts are ones that take advantage of the novel’s flexibly and inventiveness as an art form to provide an arresting pieces of writing, regardless of the cohesion or linearity of the sectioned storyline. An excerpt I would vote to publish would be one that builds my interest in the rest of the book on the basis of the prose, characters, and descriptive abilities, even if I have little knowledge of the overall plot. Excerpt the very best section, and let the writing do the rest.”

Thomas Bender, Excerpts Reader: "I want to read excerpts written with a fuck you attitude — a narrative voice that isn’t afraid and content that pushes boundaries in a nuanced way and forces readers to engage in conversations with themselves and others. Each word should pulse with energy, all the way to the last line that is impossible to forget and makes me want to start all over again." 

Hannah Ryder, Excerpts Reader:  "I am most interested in excerpts that set readers up for a roller coaster ride, ones that dunk readers headfirst into the middle of the story. Send in excerpts that will give me something to think about long after I've finished reading. I love to read pieces with unique perspectives and electric characters that aren't afraid to stray from the ordinary." 

Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez, Excerpts Reader:  "I want to encounter more than plot twists or heartache for the sake of heartache. My ideal excerpt pries open new spaces for me to peer out of. I want to read a compelling voice, tight prose, unexpected language, and characters that challenge my understanding of myself and the world."


-Include a clear title of the work.
-Please adhere to conventional style and formatting rules. Times New Roman or similar, 12 point font, double or 1.5 line spacing, paginated. If you are including a synopsis please place it alone on page one, with the body of the excerpt then beginning on page two. 
-A cover letter is required and should include a third person bio and may include a brief note as to the history, genesis, and literary ancestry of the excerpted novel, as we like to know a bit about the pieces we consider. Please note, however, that cover letters are only read after the submission themselves and their existence or content will in no way affect the decision to accept or deny.
--If your work is a simultaneous submission, please let us know immediately if it is published elsewhere. 
-Writers may not submit more than once per reading period.


Entries should be submitted to the appropriate genre category at the following link:

https://westtradereview.submittable.com/submit





We try to respond to most submissions as quickly as possible, and final decisions typically do not take more than 3 months at most although we tend to read and respond to most submissions within one month or less.  

​​Summer, fall, and winter quarterly editions are published solely online.​​ A​ll works published in online editions are promoted via our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).


All entries are judged by the editorial board. West Trade Review reserves all publication rights for each issue's design and content, as well as for first North American publishing rights. The journal also retains rights to use works for promotional and publicity pieces in printed or computerized formats. Authors and artists retain their rights for future publication/use.


Annual Contest Guidelines:

Phyllis Grant Zellmer Prize for Fiction (January 15-March 15)
West Trade Review Prize for Poetry (April 15-May 31)
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© 2022 West Trade Review
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​"Ecstasy/Ekstase" by Anna Deetlefs (IG:  @aninadeetlefs)
https://aninadeetlefs.com/



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