Deadlines are as follows
March 1 – Spring
June 1 – Summer
September 1 – Autumn
December 1 – Winter
Please read this section before submitting work.
Please include some form of identification in the work itself.
All submissions must be in electronic form. Our preference is an MS Word file uploaded through the system below.
By submitting work to us you grant us a non-exclusive license to publish your work in any form we see fit. You may withdraw a submission up until the issue deadline (see above).
We don't pay so you retain all copyrights. If we publish your work online we may include it in a printed edition.
Poetry may be submitted in any length. Please don't submit 100 poems and ask us to pick 3.
Fiction may be submitted in three formats:
very short stories less than 500 words in length
short stories less than 1000 words in length
Short stories that don’t fit the above should be less than 3000 words.
We also accept longer forms of fiction occasionally.
Non-Fiction is just that so lets see some
interesting footnotes. Non-fiction should be short, (a lot) less than 5000
Book Reviews should be positive unless the author
is a well-known blowhard. Our mission is to encourage literature not
Any form of art may be submitted with the constraint that
it must be something that can be published in 2 dimensions. It’s hard to
publish sculpture but illustrations together with some intelligent prose
Published works are welcome with proper attribution.
The stories, articles, poems and examples of art have
been presented as PDF files. This is a format that
allows for a much cleaner presentation than would otherwise be available on
the web. If you don’t have an Adobe Reader (used to read a PDF file) on your
computer you can download one from the Adobe website. These files are large and we hope you will be patient when downloading
then, however we think the beauty of the words deserves a beautiful presentation.
Wilderness House Literary Review is, obviously, about writers and their product. All of us (the editorial staff) write and several of us have one or more books under our belt. That's not a brag, it simply an admission that we are just as frustrated as most of our writers. After all, Wilderness House Literary Review was founded as a way to begin to remedy the shortage of venues for our literary friends. We'd like to think that after ten years we've helped the situation a bit. It's gratifying to see WHLR referenced in the bibliographies of writers we admire. (We hope to have some kind of celebration in the spring)
But we're not satisfied. We are listed on the masthead as “editors” though in truth we are more curators than editors. We accept or reject but rarely edit. We've rejected some stories or poems with a letter of encouragement and, in some cases, a detailed critique of those submissions that show a lot of promise but fall short … but those cases are a rarity.
None of us are Maxwell Perkins unfortunately. Every writer worth his or her salt will admit that finding a good editor is greater than finding an agent in order of importance. In an age where even big brand imprints expect the writer to carry the majority of the literary and publicity burden its hard and very expensive to hire an editor, much less find one worth building a relationship with. It can cost upwards of $5,000 to get a book sized manuscript edited professionally. For most writers who spend their time writing (as opposed to thinking about writing) this sum is insurmountable and even if such edited works do land the author a book deal, its unlikely that most advances would cover the costs of editing, let alone marketing the work. The system is broken, so authors, in frustration, self-publish unedited works and it shows. This is not to say that some brilliant writers have not self-published it's just that it's not always their best work.
The alternatives to finding a dedicated editor are few and far between but still extant:
The most expensive solution is the ubiquitous MFA. There are many editor/agent/teachers in the MFA system but their output seems to be almost universally bland. Walk into any bookstore, pick up a “best seller” and you'll see what we mean.
Then there are the growing number of non-MFA schools like Grub Street in Boston, where, for a considerable fee, you can take classes in writing or get your novel critiqued. This solution is only slightly less expensive than an MFA but your manuscript is still not edited, but it's a start.
Other solutions we've found are critique sessions and Novel classes offered by various “Adult Education Centers” These are far less expensive than the non MFA schools but still not what a serious writer needs … but we make due.
One of the best options, at lease from a financial point of view, are the growing number of freelance critique session managers, renegades from the non-MFA schools, who offer to put together a critique series on an ad-hock basis. You can find them on Meetup.com. Of course there are no guarantees but the prices are often so low that the risk is small. They meet in public chain restaurants or in public libraries. A through critique of your manuscript by a small group of serious writers is almost as good as working with a dedicated editor. Almost is the operative word.
The final option, and one we delight in, was offered by the local Council on Aging. There were two classes, one a two page critique session that met once a week for $4 per session and a prompted writing workshop, also for $4 per session. Both would be a delight to any aspiring, or just insecure, writer.
Our fiction editor loves Anton Chekhov and despairs the notion that there are no latter day Chekhov's submitting works for her consideration. This is not to say that the work she receives isn’t excellent … it’s just not Chekhov. To that end WHLReview announces a new prize for fiction to be called “the Chekhov Prize.” A Google search reveals several other Chekhov prizes with cash. Alas we’re not offering cash. We will look for a bearded bobble-head doll. In the mean time we have T-shirts with the Chekhov Prize logo available. Just click on Chekhov's head.
Some of our issues are better than others. This one has some exceptional stories. I'd like to point out the story by Geoffrey Craig. We published, in serial form, his novel Snow. See Snake *. He has a poem in this issue too. I'd also like to point out one of octagenarian Tom Sheehan's better stories. Not that he's ever written a bad one. He has an essay and a piece of short fiction in this issue, plus a review of one of his books. He's gotten over 20 Pushcart Prize nominations but never a prize. His story, "The Gang from the Boatyard" may just push him over the top. **
For your reading pleasure we offer an outstanding collection of short stories by:
Our poetry editor, not wanting to be outdone by our fiction editor is pleased to announce the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry. Anyone published in Volume 3 (and beyond) is eligible. We don't have any idea what the prize will consist of - a T-shirt for sure. Perhaps we can find a Plaster of Paris bust of Julius Caesar, put a rose in its mouth and decorate it to look like Gertrude Stein. In the mean time we have T-shirts with the our rose prize logo available. Just click on Gerturde's head.
As we said when we started this is a joint
production of Wilderness House Literary Retreat and the “bagel bards”.
The “Bagel Bards” have just published their nineth
anthology. You may purchase them here: