Published six times during the academic year, the Writer’s Chronicle welcomes submissions on the craft and art of writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from February 1 through August 31 of each year. Please review our guidelines below.
About the Writer’s Chronicle
The Writer's Chronicle strives to:
- Present the best essays on the craft and art of writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction;
- 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;
- 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 half of our 35,000 readers are students or 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.
We buy first serial rights and electronic rights for all manuscripts accepted for publication. We pay $14 per 100 words for accepted manuscripts. Regretfully, we do not pay kill fees. Authors are paid upon publication. AWP reserves the right to publish articles published in the Writer's Chronicle on our website.
What We Publish
Submissions to the Writer's Chronicle may fall into one of the following categories:
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 Jane Smiley, Donald Hall, Lynn Emanuel, Ron Carlson, Sonia Sanchez, Ernest Gaines, Marilyn Chin, 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 prefer interviews that have been revised heavily in the interest of accuracy, concision, and style. We are not interested in an interview that is faithful to an actual spoken event. 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.
Essays on the Craft of Writing or Literary Trends
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 below) with a study of elements of craft. A query on a specific topic is always welcome. Craft essays run between 2,000 and 6,000 words, depending on the topic.
Essays on literary trends may also be 2,000 to 6,000 words, though articles on trends in the publishing industry tend to be shorter, no more than 2,000 words.
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 free-standing essay.
A writerly appreciation is our favorite kind of article. 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 the art of writing. 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.
The Writer's Chronicle often runs stories of interest for creative writing teachers, students, and independent writers. These include hard news, such as coverage of public funding for the arts and education, unions for adjunct faculty, First Amendment issues, and developments in publishing or in other literary organizations. News articles and features should not run longer than 3,000 words.
We currently accept paper submissions only. 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 e-mail submissions will not be considered.
Please do not follow the MLA style, which is well designed for professional readers but annoying to general readers, in whom we still have great faith. Acknowledge your sources by using endnotes and follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
If you quote a poem, song, or short-short story in its entirety, it is your responsibility to secure permission 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 by Post
- Manuscripts must be formatted on letter-sized paper, double-spaced, and set in a standard (Times, Helvetica, Arial) 12-point typeface.
- On the first page of your manuscript, include the word count of the article, your name, address, and phone number.
- All paper submissions must include an SASE for reply and a short author's biographical note of no more than three sentences.
The Writer’s Chronicle
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030