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The Reader Magazine Submission Guidelines

Poetry and Short Fiction

Poetry and short fiction accounts for 20-25% of each issue of The Reader and we encourage published and non-published writers to send in their work.

As a guideline for length/quantity, short stories or (more rarely) extracts from novels are normally 2,000-2,500 words long, and we ask that no more than six poems are submitted at one time. Only one short story should be submitted at one time.


General Articles: The Reader publishes longer articles on individual writers, on aspects of literature, on literature and thought, and on the role of reading in life. These range from 1,500-2,000 words in length. Here, as elsewhere, the editors look for freshness of perception and quality of engagement.

Reviews: The magazine welcomes reviews of recent titles in the fields of poetry, fiction, autobiography, literary biography and literary criticism. Purely destructive reviews are not usually published. Reviews are normally between 1,000-2,500 words long but they can be shorter. They should include full details of the book reviewed.

Recommendations: The ‘Reader Recommends’ section of the magazine is an opportunity to commend a favourite or recently-discovered work, usually (but not necessarily) of fiction. Titles have included ancient classics as well as modern novels. The editors look for work which communicates why the book matters, and which makes telling use of quotation. Recommendations are normally 500 words long.

Alternatively, you could write a shorter recommendation for our ‘Good Books’ section, which is usually around  50 to 100 words.

Send your submissions

Submissions should be sent, in typescript only please, to:

Magazine Submissions,

The Reader Organisation

Calderstones Mansion House,

Calderstones Park,


L18 3JB

Please note: we cannot accept submissions via e-mail and a S.A.E. is required for the return of submissions. Please email if you have any further queries. If you are sending submissions from overseas, please do not send postal coupons (replies can be sent by email).

What happens after I send my submission?

Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, with editorial meetings usually held every 6-8 weeks. If you have not heard back from us after 8 weeks, please feel free to contact us at

Please note that we only accept previously unpublished work.

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