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Hi! We’re glad you’re here. Though submissions are closed for our regular reading period, they are open for our 2021 Honeybee Prize!

The Basics:

We are interested in work that showcases the diversity of The Great Plains, but that is in no way a requirement.

Our editors read submissions blindly and do not select pieces for publications based on the established reputation, origin, or experience of the author. 

For our quarterly issues, we accept online submissions via Submittable, for which there is a $3 submission fee. This small fee allows us to use Submittable. The fee for general submissions for issue #3 is being waived for BIPOC.

The fee for our annual Honeybee Prize is currently $15, which will be used to support the prize payout ($200 for one winner in each category – Nonfiction, Poetry, and Fiction). More details about the prize and judges can be found here.

General Guidelines:

Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as we are promptly made aware of the acceptance elsewhere. To withdraw long fiction or essays, please withdraw through Submittable. To withdraw individual flash pieces or poems, email us at: editors@thegoodlifereview.com.

The Good Life Review acquires First North American Serial Rights and the right to maintain an archive copy of accepted work online. All other rights revert to authors upon publication with an agreement that the work may be reprinted with appropriate acknowledgment to The Good Life Review.

We will respond to all submitted work. Please allow up to 14 weeks for a response to issue submissions and five months for contest submissions.

We do not publish offensive work or pieces which exhibit hatred directed toward a particular gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual identity, socioeconomic class, or other status, regardless of protected by law. In other words—if you are an asshole, we don’t want your writing or your three dollars.

If you have work that doesn’t fit neatly into one of our categories, choose the closest genre. We’ll figure it out.

Work must be original and previously unpublished.

Guidelines for submitting to each genre are below.

Reading Periods:

The Good Life Review will read and publish quarterly, with contest dates and deadlines posted separately. Reading periods are approximate:

June 1 – July 31 (Autumn Issue)
September 1 – October 31 (Winter Issue)
December 1 – January 31 (Spring Issue)
March 1 – April 30 (Summer Issue)

Poetry Specifics:

We are interested in work that pushes boundaries, both in content and form, especially language that moves us. Poems should emanate from textured, evocative images, use language with an awareness of how words sound and mean, and have a definite sense of voice. Each line should help carry the poem from first line to last. We are open to your experimentations and are especially interested in work that is speculative, narrative, surreal, fragmented, and lyrical. We also welcome prose poetry and strongly encourage underrepresented voices. Whatever shape it takes, we want exciting work that thinks through or challenges poetic traditions. In other words, The Good Life Review wants your excellent writing—period. Send us what you got!

  • There is no length limit on individual poems, but please send no more than six poems per submission and no more than 10 pages in total.
  • Poems should be typed with at least one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman. Please indicate a page break if a poem continues onto the next page.

Flash Specifics:

What do we want? Every word pulls its weight; every sentence tells a story. We want flash that moves, that transforms and twists on the page. Characters that run their fingers through your hair and yank at the roots, yelling at you to look, feel, believe. A voice that lifts us up and carries us past the last line. In short, send us your best work and we promise to handle it with care.

  • We consider previously unpublished flash fiction and flash nonfiction of 1,000 words or fewer.
  • Pieces should be typed, double-spaced and paginated with one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman.
  • Include no more than three pieces in a single text file.
  • For pieces over 1,000 words, we encourage you to submit via our fiction or creative nonfiction categories.

Examples of stories we’ve loved: Flash Fiction – “We All Know About Margo” by Meg Pillow in Smokelong Quarterly http://copper-nickel.org/front/Flash Nonfiction – “Depredations” by Margo Steines in Brevity

Long Form Nonfiction Specifics:

Send us your best, most polished work. We want to read essays that wake us up in the morning—ones that get our minds working and hearts thumping. We want prose that is artful and clever with voices that are clear and cadent. Whether traditional or experimental, structure and form should enhance the content of a story that is both universal and painfully specific. Fresh perspectives, especially ones we may not have considered before, are welcomed and encouraged. We want what you’ve got, and we’re eager to get reading.

  • Essays should not exceed 8,000 words. Excerpts from memoirs may be considered but should be self-contained.
  • Essays should be typed, double-spaced and paginated with one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman.
  • For pieces under 1,000 words, we encourage you to submit via our flash nonfiction category.

Examples of essays we like quite a bit: https://splitlipthemag.com/features/0220/kevin-sampsell; http://copper-nickel.org/front/

Long Form Fiction Specifics:

We want to read good writing—polished, confident, well-developed stories that are engaging from the first word to the last. Experimental fiction is welcomed.

  • We consider original, previously unpublished stories up to 8,000 words (if it’s a little more, we will keep reading, but the story has to earn it).
  • Stories should be typed, double-spaced and paginated with one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman.
  • For pieces under 1,000 words, we encourage you to submit via our flash category.

Stage & Screen Specifics:

Not every script has to be produced! Theater and film are long trodden forms and we want to see what divergent paths you’re making. For stage/screenplays, all genres and topics will be considered. Beyond keeping the audience merely engaged moment to moment, we are seeking works that push societal boundaries and stimulate the senses. From the opening line show us the exuberant, binding, heartbreaking, touching, thought provoking, moving, or whatever journeys your characters make. Send us the stories that only you can tell.

For Stage Plays:

  • Only 10-Minute plays and One Acts up to 30 pages in length will be considered.
  • Paginate each script.
  • Please include a cover page with no identifying information as well as character breakdown list and staging instructions.
  • Though cross-genre is encouraged, please ensure each script is formatted for performance: An example can be found here.
  • Scripts diverging from standard playscript formats will not be considered.

For Screenplays:

  • Only short films and television scripts/pilots up to 30 pages will be considered.
  • Paginate each script.
  • Please include a cover page with title and no identifying information.
  • Though cross-genre is encouraged, please ensure each script is formatted to be produced. An example can be found here.
  • Scripts diverging from standard screenplay formatting will not be considered.

Translation, Hybrid, and Collaboration Specifics:

Here at The Good Life Review we recognize that life is complicated and part of the joy of being an artist is freedom to explore outside the lines. If you have writing that doesn’t fit neatly into a single genre category, or was written by more than one person, or was written in a different language, you might find a good home for your work with us! We currently have two translation editors on staff, and the languages we support are Spanish and French.

  • We consider original, previously unpublished creative nonfiction, fiction, stage plays screenplays, and poetry. Please indicate on the submission form which is the most appropriate category, and we will do our best to review and route to the appropriate editors for review.
  • All work must be typed. Essays and stories should be double-spaced and paginated with one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman. Poems should be presented in the form/format that the authors wish to have it appear in the publication.
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