Thank you for considering The Lakeshore Review, a triannual literary journal of arts and letters celebrating the culture and creators of the Great Lakes. 

An abbreviated list of our editorial guidelines is associated with each issue. Please visit for a full list of our editorial guidelines. 

Our reading schedule is as follows:

  • January to March, for issue release in May/June
  • May to July, for issue release in September/October
  • September to November, for release in January/February

We neither read nor accept submissions on Submittable in the months of April, August, and December. 

The reading window for Issue 4 runs from January 1 to March 31, for intended print release in May/June 2023. Please visit for a full list of our editorial guidelines.

Abbreviated Guidelines

  • We don't mandate a specific theme or voice. We're most interested in compelling content that's tightly written without unnecessary forays into the esoteric. We'd rather encounter deep yet subtle expressions of the craft instead of yet another regurgitation of the sociopolitical zeitgeist.
  • We accept art/photography, graphic narratives, flash, short fiction (literary and light genre), creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and long-form indie journalism.
  • Please submit three to five poems. Poems should appear one per page. We will decline to review single-poem submissions.
  • Highly structured poems are not a good fit for our templates, given that we only have 4.5 inches of horizontal space. Consider submitting structured poems as images instead of text.
  • We accept material that's good-to-go; we do not engage in substantive developmental editing of pieces. We reserve the right to lightly edit for grammar, style, punctuation, and word choice, but we never make content changes. As such, we do not allow contributors to review the issue before we release it to the printer. We cannot make exceptions to this practice, so if final proofing is important to you, we're not your jam.
  • First serial rights only — no reprints. We request an exclusive license for six months after our publication date and then a non-exclusive license thereafter. This provision is negotiable depending on what you've got brewing.
  • Accepted creators receive a courtesy copy, a coupon code to order additional issues at cost, and verifiable publication credit on our website. We may publish your piece online as an example for that issue, but we will obtain your consent first (which you are welcome to withhold).
  • We accept simultaneous but not multiple submissions. Please let us know if you withdraw a piece that's been accepted elsewhere and know we're cheering for your success.
  • We aim to turn around submissions within a fortnight provided we receive them during one of our established reading windows, although at certain points of the year this has spread to six weeks owing to readers' other commitments. Some submissions may be kept for "second read" after the reading window closes; we'll notify you if this is the case. On occasion, we are super up-to-speed; if we decline a piece within a day or two of submission, please do not assume you suck. Instead, assume we're uncharacteristically efficient at the moment.
  • Prose must conform to The Chicago Manual of Style. We therefore use the serial comma and we offset dialogue with double quote marks. Copy that does not follow Chicago standards is likely to be rejected. This means that creative use of typographic changes, including typeface variations, will not work to your advantage for approvals.
  • We do not provide content warnings.
  • We assess a $3 reading fee. If you reside within our core geographic market (WI, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA, NY, Ont.) then we waive the reading fee. We only accept submissions from people residing in the United States, Canada, or any other Commonwealth Realm. 
  • If you're local to our home base in West Michigan, you're welcome to come to the wine-and-cheese party-slash-reading we hold each year to celebrate recent editions. :)

Thanks for considering us. May the words be ever in your favor!

The Lakeshore Review