ABOUT US: For over sixty years, Portland Review has published the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. We warmly encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to submit, and we aim to support work by those often marginalized in the artistic conversation, including (though certainly not limited to) people of color, women, disabled people, LGBTQIA people, and people with intersectional identities.

Please note Portland Review does not accept previously published material. Portland Review accepts simultaneous submissions, but please immediately withdraw your work via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. If one work out of a collection of poems or images needs to be withdrawn but the other works in the collection are still available, message us via Submittable with the title of the withdrawn piece.

By submitting your work to Portland Review, you confirm that you hold full copyright on all work submitted and agree to allow Portland Review print and distribution rights for both print and online publication. All rights to the piece(s) revert to the authors and artists upon publication, although we kindly request that you credit Portland Review as the initial publisher should the piece(s) be reprinted elsewhere. You also permit the editors of Portland Review to edit your work, within reason. Authors and artists will be contacted regarding edits prior to publication.

In 2020, we switched to an online-only format; all accepted work will now be published online. We will do our best to respond within six months. Please do not query us before then.

REVIEWS: We accept book review submissions from September through April.

We are looking for thoughtful, engaging book reviews between 1200-2500 words. Reviews should be for forthcoming or recently published works of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, including anthologies, graphic novels or hybrid works. While we we may accept reviews of popular books or authors, we are especially interested in small press and indie titles. 

A strong submission will show a writer’s engagement not only with the book’s content, themes, and craft, but will also interrogate/apply its meaning in broader historical or cultural contexts whether aesthetically, politically, or intellectually.  Please see examples of reviews we have published previously

  • Please submit completed reviews, rather than pitches. We will respond within 3-4 weeks. 
  • Please do not send simultaneous submissions.
  • Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing if one exists.
  • In your cover letter and at the top of your review, please list the book title, author’s name, press name, publication date, and your name and email address.

Portland Review publishes narrative nonfiction, personal essays, memoir, flash, and interviews up to 5,000 words. We will only consider one submission per author per reading period. Unless otherwise necessary for the piece, please double-space your work and use a standard (Times New Roman or equivalent) 12-point font.

For over sixty years, Portland Review has published the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. We warmly encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to submit, and we aim to support work by those often marginalized in the artistic conversation, including (though certainly not limited to) people of color, women, differently-abled people, LGBTQIA people, and people with intersectional identities.

Shadowplay / Lightwork

There is a term in visual art called chiaroscuro, which, in Italian, can translate to a compound phrase: lightdark. In this year’s series for Portland Review, two of the oldest artistic tropes— shadow and light—meet another profoundly finicky duality: work and play. You can’t have one without the other. Or can you?

Everyday, some work at dawn, some the graveyard shift; kids play at recess during the day, older folks play at night. Some creatures live only in shadow, others cannot survive without light. Whether in cities, suburbs, or backcountry roads and fields—wherever work exists, it’s in the interplay between light and dark. As such, Shadowplay and Lightwork exist within and outside of the natural, the artificial, the supernatural, the sociopolitical, the everyday, the uncanny.

We’re looking for submissions—stories, essays, poems, multi/anti-genre hybrid work of any kind—that riff, explode, refine, subvert, or recast these seemingly bounded and boundless categories. Shadowplay and Lightwork opens up itself to reinterpretation of what creative work and play can be, what light and shadow mean to different folks. We welcome work from all walks of life— whether you dwell in dimness or shine bright, or anywhere in between, we see writers and artists’ work/play as critical as the day-night cycle itself. Show us what it means to play in shadows and work with light.

Work must be original, unpublished, and follow our submission guidelines. All accepted submissions will be published online.

Portland Review will consider submissions of up to three poems. Poems must be contained within a single document of no more than ten pages in total length. Unless otherwise necessary for the piece, please use a standard (Times New Roman or equivalent) 12-point font. Any poems that do not adhere to Portland Review's guidelines will be declined unread.

For over sixty years, Portland Review has published the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. We warmly encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to submit, and we aim to support work by those often marginalized in the artistic conversation, including (though certainly not limited to) people of color, women, differently-abled people, LGBTQIA people, and people with intersectional identities.

Shadowplay / Lightwork
There is a term in visual art called chiaroscuro, which, in Italian, can translate to a compound phrase: lightdark. In this year’s series for Portland Review, two of the oldest artistic tropes— shadow and light—meet another profoundly finicky duality: work and play. You can’t have one without the other. Or can you?
Everyday, some work at dawn, some the graveyard shift; kids play at recess during the day, older folks play at night. Some creatures live only in shadow, others cannot survive without light. Whether in cities, suburbs, or backcountry roads and fields—wherever work exists, it’s in the interplay between light and dark. As such, Shadowplay and Lightwork exist within and outside of the natural, the artificial, the supernatural, the sociopolitical, the everyday, the uncanny.
We’re looking for submissions—stories, essays, poems, multi/anti-genre hybrid work of any kind—that riff, explode, refine, subvert, or recast these seemingly bounded and boundless categories. Shadowplay and Lightwork opens up itself to reinterpretation of what creative work and play can be, what light and shadow mean to different folks. We welcome work from all walks of life— whether you dwell in dimness or shine bright, or anywhere in between, we see writers and artists’ work/play as critical as the day-night cycle itself. Show us what it means to play in shadows and work with light.

Work must be original, unpublished, and follow our submission guidelines. All accepted submissions will be published online.

Portland Review publishes traditional, experimental, flash, and genre-bending stories up to 5,000 words. We will only consider one submission per author per reading period. Unless otherwise necessary for the piece, please double-space your work and use a standard (Times New Roman or equivalent) 12-point font.

For over sixty years, Portland Review has published the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. We warmly encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to submit, and we aim to support work by those often marginalized in the artistic conversation, including (though certainly not limited to) people of color, women, differently-abled people, LGBTQIA people, and people with intersectional identities.


Shadowplay / Lightwork:

There is a term in visual art called chiaroscuro, which, in Italian, can translate to a compound phrase: lightdark. In this year’s series for Portland Review, two of the oldest artistic tropes— shadow and light—meet another profoundly finicky duality: work and play. You can’t have one without the other. Or can you?

Everyday, some work at dawn, some the graveyard shift; kids play at recess during the day, older folks play at night. Some creatures live only in shadow, others cannot survive without light. Whether in cities, suburbs, or backcountry roads and fields—wherever work exists, it’s in the interplay between light and dark. As such, Shadowplay and Lightwork exist within and outside of the natural, the artificial, the supernatural, the sociopolitical, the everyday, the uncanny.

We’re looking for submissions—stories, essays, poems, multi/anti-genre hybrid work of any kind—that riff, explode, refine, subvert, or recast these seemingly bounded and boundless categories. Shadowplay and Lightwork opens up itself to reinterpretation of what creative work and play can be, what light and shadow mean to different folks. We welcome work from all walks of life— whether you dwell in dimness or shine bright, or anywhere in between, we see writers and artists’ work/play as critical as the day-night cycle itself. Show us what it means to play in shadows and work with light.

Work must be original, unpublished, and follow our submission guidelines. All accepted submissions will be published online.

Ends on

Reviews of books or collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction between 800 and 2,000 words are welcome. Please only submit reviews of books that were published in the current year or are scheduled to be published in following year (e.g. If it's 2021, submit reviews for books published in 2021 or scheduled to be published in 2022). We are especially interested in reviews of books by debut authors.

Portland Review