General Guidelines:

Seneca Review typically accepts submissions twice annually—from September 1st through October 15th and from February 1st through March 15th. (Reviews are accepted year-round and require no submission fee.)

• Recommended submission: 3-5 poems (as ONE FILE) or essays up to 20 pages of original, unpublished work.
• Only one submission per reading period, please.
• We do not publish fiction.
• Editors typically respond within 6 to 9 months, sooner if we can.
• Accepted authors receive two complimentary copies of their issue and a two-year subscription to Seneca Review.
• Copyright is held by Hobart and William Smith Colleges until publication, at which time rights revert to the author.
• Due to budgetary concerns, and in an effort to curb our Submittable expenses, Seneca Review charges a $3 fee for work sent via Submittable. However, since we believe that writers should, ideally, be able to submit without paying any fee whatsoever, we will still accept free submissions mailed to our physical address. (Mailed submissions *must* include a SASE, or they will be recycled.)
•  We cannot consider work by current HWS students. Please do not submit if you currently attend HWS.

Seneca Review
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
300 Pulteney St.
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3392


  • Please submit an original manuscript of 48-120 pages (primarily) in English.
  • Cross-genre and hybrid work, verse forms, text and image, connected or related pieces, and “beyond category” projects are all within the ambit of the contest. We also welcome more traditional approaches to creative nonfiction.
  • Multiple submissions are acceptable as long as they are submitted separately with separate entry fees.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please be sure to withdraw your submission via Submittable if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Individual essays/pieces may have been previously published in magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. If applicable, please include with your manuscript an acknowledgments page for prior publications.
  • The competition is open to writers who have previously published book-length collections, as well as to unpublished writers.
  • Be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading.
  • Please update any changes in contact information via your profile on Submittable.
  • No revisions to submitted manuscripts will be considered. The author of the winning manuscript will have the opportunity to make revisions prior to publication.
  • There is a non-refundable submission fee of $27 payable through Submittable.
  • Your manuscript should include a single cover page with the title of the manuscript only, so that your manuscript document remains anonymous. No identifying material should appear anywhere in the body of the manuscript. (Your identifying information will be available to us via Submittable if needed.)
  • To avoid conflicts of interest, the Seneca Review editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts if they can recognize the work of a close friend, relative, or current or former student. Such manuscripts will be re-assigned to a neutral editor.
  • Close friends, relatives, and current and former students of the contest judge, Kazim Ali, are not eligible to submit.

Process and Ethics:

Seneca Review and HWS Colleges Press endorse and abide by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP): “CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”

Throughout our reading and selection process, we will ensure the submitter’s anonymity during review. After the submission deadline, manuscripts will be divided among Seneca Review editors, who will select approximately 15 semi-finalist manuscripts. The Seneca Review editors will then work in a classroom setting with an undergraduate Acquisitions Editorial Board to narrow down the manuscripts to five finalists. The judge, Kazim Ali, will then select, by mid-December, the winning manuscript. We will announce the winner before the end of December.

Jessica Lind Peterson's Sound Like Trapped Thunder will officially be released on March 15, 2021, but if you order between now and midnight (EST) on Sunday, March 7, we will ship early. And ship for free!

SLTT Cover 

Reviews of contemporary collections of poetry, essays, and hybrid works. Approximately 700-2,500 words.

If you are a writer or a publisher and would like to have your book considered for review, please send two review copies to:

Geoffrey Babbitt

Editor, Seneca Review

300 Pulteney St.

Geneva, NY 14456

Seneca Review