General Submissions

New Letters reads submissions all year long. We encourage you to submit your work through Submittable, our online submission manager. There is a small fee for submissions, though fees are waived for current subscribers. You may subscribe to the magazine here.

We strongly prefer online submissions, though we will accept paper submissions from writers who are unable to submit online. Address paper submissions to:

New Letters
5101 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

  • Please send no more than six poems, one piece of nonfiction, or one short story per submission.
  • Send one submission at a time.
  • 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.
  • We have no set restrictions on length, though tend to publish works of prose between 3,000 and 5,000 words, and rarely more than 10,000 words.
  • We need exclusive consideration for reviews and criticism; 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.
  • Like most literary magazines, our staff is small and the volume of submissions large; please be patient. We make every effort to respond to submissions within six months.
  • New Letters accepts no responsibility for, and will not engage in correspondence about, lost or damaged unsolicited manuscripts sent to us.

Book Review Guidelines

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. 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. 

  • No simultaneous submissions of reviews and criticism can be considered.  We will consider simultaneous submissions for other kinds of writing.
  • 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.
  • If you have a potential conflict of interest, you should mention that connection in the review.
  • If you want to review a particular book that you already possess, feel free to suggest it. Unsolicited book reviews will be considered, but we suggest that you query first.
  • Negative appraisals can be included as part of reviews; however, if the review is substantially negative, we prefer simply to ignore the book.  
  • New Letters pays, typically, $35 for book reviews; payment is not guaranteed but made as resources allow.

Artist Guidelines

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.
  • Send professional resume information and one or two (at most) sample works of art. Do not send art without professional background information. 
  • Send sample low-res images by email to NewLetters@umkc.edu, 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.

Format & Style Tips

  • Our only fixed requirement is good writing, and we have no rigid preferences as to subject, style, or genre.
  • We are open to critical discourses about writing, art, or culture, as long as that writing is, in itself, lively, fresh, and vivid.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Rights & Payment

We buy first North-American serial rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication. New Letters is among a group of literary magazines that actually pay writers & artists, albeit modestly. Payment to contributors also includes two copies of the issue and 50 percent discounts for additional copies and subscriptions. 

Enter your work by clicking "Submittable" above.