Ends on September 30, 2017

AWP presents the best contemporary writing in its flagship magazine the Writer’s Chronicle, as well as on our website through Online-Only Exclusives, short blog pieces on the Writer’s Notebook, and articles giving job advice in our Career Advice section.

The Editors read submissions for the Writer’s Chronicle from February 1 through September 30 of each year. Submissions for the Writer’s Notebook and the Career Advice section are read throughout the year. Please review our guidelines below.

About the Writer’s Chronicle

Published six times during the academic year, the Writer’s Chronicle strives to

  • present the best essays on the craft and art of writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction;
  • help overcome academic overspecialization and balkanization of the literary arts by presenting a public forum for the appreciation, debate, and analysis of contemporary literature;
  • present the diversity of accomplishments and points of view within contemporary literature;
  • provide serious and committed writers and students of writing the best advice on how to manage their professional lives;
  • provide writers who teach with new pedagogical approaches for their classrooms;
  • provide members and subscribers with a literary community as a respite from devotion to a difficult and lonely art;
  • provide members and subscribers with information on publishing opportunities, grants, and awards; and
  • promote the good works of AWP, its programs, and its individual members.

In general, the editors look for articles that demonstrate an excellent working knowledge of literary issues and a generosity of spirit that esteems the arguments of other writers on similar topics. In writing essays on craft, writers are often tempted to use their own work as an example. The editors do not welcome such articles. For our readers, we provide the model of a writer reading another writer carefully and productively. Please keep in mind that 18,000 of our 35,000 readers are students or just-emerging writers. They must become expert readers before they can become accomplished writers, and we therefore expect essays on craft to show exemplary close readings of a variety of contemporary and older works. Essays must embody erudition, generosity, curiosity, and discernment rather than self-involvement. Writers may refer to their own travails and successes if they do so modestly, in small proportion to the other examples. Again, we look for a generosity of spirit—a general love and command of literature as well as an expert, writerly viewpoint—in the essays we publish.

What We Pay

We buy first serial rights and electronic rights for all manuscripts accepted for publication. We pay $18 per 100 words for accepted manuscripts. Regretfully, we do not pay kill fees. Authors are paid upon publication. We reserve the right to publish articles from the Writer’s Chronicle electronically on AWP’s website and the Chronicle App.

To propose an essay or interview for consideration for the Writer’s Chronicle, please email editor Supriya Bhatnagar at <supriya@awpwriter.org>.

What We Publish

Submissions to the Writer’s Chronicle may fall into one of the following categories:

Interviews: 4,000 to 7,000 words

The Writer’s Chronicle features interviews with well-known and up-and-coming authors of note in the genres of fiction, short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and other forms of creative writing. In the past, we have published interviews with such authors as Nikki Finney, Ernest Gaines, WS Merwin, Sonia Sanchez, George Saunders, Jane Smiley, Arthur Sze, and many others. We especially appreciate interviews that include discussions of writing craft, the evolution of the author’s own work, and literary influences and inspirations. Please query before submitting an interview. We publish interviews between 4,000 and 7,000 words. Interviews should include a two-paragraph introduction to the author, including all pertinent biographical information. This introduction should be mainly factual. We are not interested in an interview that is faithful to an actual spoken event. We are not interested in how friendly you are with the subject, or what the subject was wearing that day, or when and where the interview was conducted, etc. We prefer interviews that have been revised heavily in the interest of accuracy, concision, and style. We are interested in an interview that represents a writer as well as possible in a somewhat personable and discursive manner. We do not publish interviews unless the subject has had an opportunity to revise his or her comments, and we encourage the interviewers and their subjects to revise their transcripts of the interviews extensively. We only publish interviews that have been approved in proofs by their subjects.

Sorry, No Lectures, Talks, & Panel Discussions

Transcripts of lectures, talks, and panel discussions do not appear in our pages, but we do often publish essays that are adapted from such events. Many panel discussions, though engaging in person, are disappointing in the cool medium of print. As with interviews, we are not interested in transcripts of actual spoken events; we prefer articles that acknowledge sources and the other writers who have pondered the same topic (which one may sometimes overlook when one speaks informally); we prefer articles that are more elegantly organized and concisely written than the somewhat improvisatory ruminations of a panel discussion. We seldom publish all the presentations of any given panel discussion, so you should adapt your discussion to read well as a freestanding essay.

Essays on Pedagogy: 2,500 to 7,000 words

Often, AWP will publish essays concerning creative writing pedagogy in the Online-Only Exclusives section of the website. The most successful pedagogy pieces combine research, interviews, and teaching experience. Pedagogy pieces are not diatribes about the quality of a writer’s own education or an argument against a specific teacher’s methodology. The pedagogy essay is an opportunity to inform and educate your peers about different methodologies of teaching, and should always be directed towards the writing community-at-large. Pedagogy pieces are generally between 2,500 and 7,000 words.

Appreciations: 2,000 to 5,000 words

The Writer’s Chronicle publishes appreciations of contemporary writers whose work came into prominence after 1965. Appreciations are not profiles or memoirs; instead, we seek close readings of an important author’s work and an analysis of the author’s contributions to our culture and to the mastery of craft. You may include some personal anecdotes to portray the author more vividly, but mostly self-referential or sentimental appreciations, of course, are not acceptable. The appreciation should answer the questions: What can I as a writer learn from this writer? What has this writer contributed to our culture? Appreciations are generally between 2,000 and 5,000 words.

Essays on the Craft of Writing: 2,000 to 6,000 words

All craft essays must analyze an element of creative writing. Articles should not overlap with topics covered in recent issues of the Chronicle. Craft essays should contain concrete examples to illustrate the writerly advice they offer. Many of our published essays combine appreciations (as described above) with a study of elements of craft. Using more than one author to illustrate your analysis is recommended. A query on a specific topic is always welcome. Craft essays run between 2,000 and 6,000 words, depending on the topic.

General Guidelines

We currently accept submissions via Submittable as well as through postal mail. Essays longer than 7,000 words are generally not accepted. Simultaneous submissions are not encouraged and must be noted as such on your cover letter. If we do not respond to your submission within three months, you are free to send your work elsewhere. Electronic queries are acceptable, but email submissions will not be considered.

Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Acknowledge your sources by using endnotes. Do not follow MLA style, which is well-designed for professional readers but annoying to general readers, in whom we still have great faith. Previously published works are unacceptable. We will, however, publish an accepted work before or the same month it also appears in a book.

Permissions

If you quote a poem, song, or short-short story in its entirety, it is your responsibility to secure and pay for that permission. We recommend that you limit quotes to fair use and avoid quoting whole works, as many trade publishers charge high fees for permissions.

How to Submit Online

Visit awp.submittable.com. Choose the appropriate category and enter your contact information. Please upload your submission as a single file in .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf formats. Include cover letter and bio information in the space provided on the submission form.

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