>Closed to Submissions

>Today I received a response to a submission from a respected literary journal. I sent the journal a story in May (the copying cost about $1 and the postage was $1.51, the SASE was $0.42), and the response reads as follows: “X Review is currently closed for submissions. Please consult our web site in September for information about the magazine’s needs.”

Except the website says nothing about a reading period. It says nothing about being closed to submissions. Here, in fact, is a copy of its guidelines for writers:

* The only criterion for acceptance of material for publication in X Review is that of excellence.
* No simultaneous submission will be considered.
* No email submissions will be accepted (except for writers living abroad).
* Send submissions and all correspondence to
The Editors
[Mailing Address]

* A self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) must accompany each submission. If submitting both poetry and fiction, please send in separate envelopes with separate SASE’s.
* There are no restrictions on length, style or subject matter. But we smile on originality.
* The author’s name and address should appear on each poem and on the cover page of each story submitted. The author’s name should appear on each page of his or her story.
* We normally respond within twelve weeks. Potential contributors are urged to subscribe to any magazine they admire enough to want them to publish their work. Publications such as X Review depend for their survival on subscribers.
* We encourage you to peruse a recent issue of X Review. These are made available to authors at the discounted price of $4.00.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. And I don’t mind if a journal decides it needs to close submissions early because it is overwhelmed. But out of respect for contributors, it MUST post this information on the website. This is unacceptable.

About the author


  1. >Heh. No subscription card. But the editor (or someone) did initial the thing, as if that somehow made it more personal or less ridiculous.

  2. >Sigh. And in all the time it took for the reply to come back, the story could have been sent somewhere else.

    I’ve been using Duotrope to track markets – they seem to report closures more accurately.

  3. >Heather,
    Exactly, especially because this particular journal says they don’t accept simsubs!
    I also use Duotrope, although I always jumpt to the website to double check the guidelines because Duotrope can’t be updated instantly. In this case, Duotrope shows this journal as being open for submissions, because that’s what the journal’s website says. So I sure can’t blame Duotrope!

  4. >”X Review” is not particularly anonymous. If anyone is curious about the identity of this literary magazine, simply copy and paste a string from the blog and put it into google. This takes 5 seconds.

    Paul Epstein

  5. >Paul,
    5 Seconds? Why so long?
    I should probably have just used the name because I know the content is googleable, and writers have a right to know what they’re getting into. But I’ve emailed the editor and he says the website is going to be updated. So maybe the problem will go away . . .

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