We've reached our submission limit for August. Please visit our homepage to see the beautiful new monthly postings for our "water" theme on the 1st of each month through December. We'll open again in January for general free submissions. 

We've reached our FREE submission limit for July (300). Please visit us again on Saturday, August 1st, to submit your lovely lyrical work through the 15th, without a reading fee ~Eastern Iowa Review  

What we seek for this special themed issue - "Water"

WE SEEK LYRICISM above all. Unique language, topics, take. Surprising linguistics. Like stated on our website, WE LOVE ANNIE DILLARD. Full stop. Anne Carson. Stephanie Dickinson. Even a slightly modified, and more understandable Gertrude Stein. If you don't know who they are, please familiarize yourself with them, then write for us. 


1. Some tie-in to the theme, though the connection may be understated or oblique. We welcome many interpretations of "water." Submissions not adhering to the theme will be declined without comment.

2. Essays up to 2500 words. Send up to three in the same document. (Note that we love hybrid, lyric, and unique subjects & writing styles.)

3. Flash fiction up to 1000 words. Send up to three in the same document.

4. Prose poems up to 250 words. Send up to three in the same document. NOTE: We consider a prose poem to be like a paragraph of text. That is, NO line breaks whatsoever.

5. Only submit in one genre at a time until you hear back from us. That is, one to three pieces of nonfiction in one document OR one to three prose poems in one document OR one to three pieces of flash fiction in one document. 

6. No reading fee. No payment this time for accepted work except for the Editor's Choice Award which will be announced in September or October. Award will be $50. Editor's Choice Award winner must have a Paypal account to accept payment. If you submit work and it's chosen, yet you don't have a Paypal account, you forfeit payment. Please be aware of this. You will also have the option to donate the prize back to us. We don't expect it, yet of course we always appreciate these type of donations.

7. Submit as many times as you wish, but only after you've heard back from us.

8. As always, work must be smart, preferably lyrical, and geared toward a wide audience. 

9. Send material in its final form, as we cannot allow substantial changes once we receive your work. We will edit to catch small things you may have missed, then we'll send the edits for your approval.

10. Though we initially expected to have our artwork category open, we've decided against that, and have already chosen artwork for this issue.

11. Please give us six weeks or so to review and respond to your submission(s), though generally we hope to reply much sooner.

12. Our speedy reply & basic feedback donation options will be available during this time. (Speedy reply means a simple yes or no within 30 days. Basic feedback means "basic" feedback within 60-90 days.)

13. We read BLIND. No author name or address on the manuscript or file name. The Title space on Submittable should only contain the title of the work. Your name and bio goes in the box marked Cover Letter on your Submittable submission form.

14. All submitted material should be in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-spaced.

15. What to avoid: anything not geared toward a wide-audience focus.

16. If it helps you decide what to send, please know that we enjoy short, pithy, language-driven work that makes sense. We love beauty and lyricism.

17. We reserve the right to edit an author's bio for whatever reason.

GENERAL INFORMATION (and far too much of it; hopefully it's helpful)​​

  • Most journals and reviews want a story; we want magic in the language & fire in the flow, a show to impress over drama to incite. Please stretch your lyrical wings. Give us the beautiful, the musical, even the odd & quirky. Think Annie Dillard meets Gertrude Stein, but make sure it makes sense.
  • Free general submissions during our reading months, except for our speedy reply & basic feedback options.
  • All stories must appeal to a broad audience. Do feel free to delve into the tougher subjects, only do so carefully. We are a "journal of good spaces."
  • We are primarily seeking lyric essays & prose poetry, though we'll also consider creative nonfiction and flash fiction. Please, no standard poetry, journalistic essays, book reviews, etc. If you've not read Annie Dillard, you may not have discovered the kind of lyricism we especially love. 
  • Be witty, fun or meditative. Be experimental with language.
  • Accepted contributors will be required to sign an author's agreement.

What we seek: Place-based themes, literary vitality, moral consequence, the sharply beautiful and achingly honest but without a lingering on the darkness. Your submission should be considered "crossover" work: that is, suitable for most ages, though certainly not dumbed down or soft or overtly religious.

What we hope to avoid: purple prose, genre/mainstream writing, erotica, horror, bawdy and base elements, base humor, predictability, swearing, gratuitous sexuality, racial or sexual bias, bigotry, name-calling, preaching / conversion attempts / agenda in religious or philosophical work, political works without story and literary bent or which aims to convert.  Excessive and unnecessary drama for drama's sake. Darkness for darkness' sake. Find better ways to employ strong emotion in your writing.

If you're not sure about a work or a topic, please send it anyway

Miscellaneous Facts
Simultaneous submissions are fine but as per usual please let us know immediately if you receive an acceptance before you hear back from us, as is customary.
We do not favor reprints unless it's a piece that meets our requirements above and has been published in an outstanding and well-known literary venue.
Any writer from any country in the world is welcome to submit work in English.
Include a short third person, 50 word, bio in the Cover Letter box on the Submittable form.
This will be an online-only issue; accepted work will be posted online either month-by-month or all at once, TBD. Select work may be included in a future print anthology.
Our final decisions will be based on work quality and current needs (though we may occasionally solicit work). That being said, we eschew favoritism in all its insidious forms. 
Suitable submissions may be nominated for the Pushcart award, Best of the Net, Best American Essays, etc.
Please do not ask about a free submission until at least 4 months have passed.  

Send up to 1500 words of either nonfiction or fiction, or one prose poem. Managing editor Chila Woychik will give you a line by line critique, offer suggestions, and welcome questions. 

This is not a call for submissions, merely an offer of a thorough line edit. These pieces will not be considered for publication at this time, though if you wish to submit them at a future open reading period, you'll be welcome to do so. Do realize however that we may well have to decline the piece, as having it edited here is no guarantee of future acceptance.

Send only one piece up to 1500 words. If you wish to send another piece, you'll have to submit another form and pay the editing fee again.

Do remember that Chila's emphasis is on language, first and foremost, and story secondly, though a combination of the two is ideal. Beautiful language first -- this will be her primary interest. If this isn't what you're aiming for, please do not submit your work.

She will use Word doc tracking for her comments, suggestions, overall summary.

Timeline is 3 months. Please do not query until then.

Be sure to leave your address in the Cover Letter block!

Do you want to know the kind of lyricism we especially love? Then please buy, study, and learn from (but mostly, enjoy!) this gorgeous anthology of sixty-one of the most lyrical nonfiction and prose poetry works from seven issues of Eastern Iowa Review. This also includes several pieces of fiction from the noted writer of stunning prose, Stephanie Dickinson. You'll recognize some of the authors included in this book such as Laura Bernstein-Machlay, Andrea Bianchi, Sarina Bosco, Suzanne Cody, Eanlai Cronin, Debra M. Fox, Alisa Golden, Ashley Hajimirsadeghi, Jane Harrington, Kathleen Hellen, Jesse Holth, Claire T. Jennings, Amy Karon, Kevin J. Kelley, Amaris Feland Ketcham, J A Knight, Joseph Labriola, Cindy Lamothe, Mercedes Lawry, Katharyn Howd Machan, Andrea Marcusa, Lora Rivera, Jackie Sizemore,  A.M. Thompson, and more.

One reader said this:  "I love the format, the layout, and just the feel of it. It's a beautiful book. But more than that, I've loved the content! It's really full of great writing. I find the landscapes, the people, and the words of the different pieces to be so powerful. I can't think of another anthology that I liked this much. I consistently enjoyed all of the pieces, which, considering how varied they are, is really something." 

This anthology of the very best of our previous selections is a perfect primer on what we love at EIR. It's an incomparable anthology of lyrical writing.