Writing Guidelines

We want you to write for us. What you write is up to you.

Kathleen Moore Head 1950sThe library this journal calls home is in Greenville, Ohio, but you don’t have to be. All that matters is your writing.

We currently accept submissions in all of the following categories:

♦Personal essays up to 3,000 words.
♦Essays about books, reading, or libraries up to 3,000 words.
♦Flash fiction up to 1,000 words.
♦Short fiction up to 3,000 words.
♦Poetry. Please send 2-5 poems per submission.
♦Book reviews between 750 and 2,000 words. Please read our page devoted to book review submissions for more information.

We do not accept guest posts. Due to an increasing number of spam emails regarding guest posts, we will no longer be responding to any unsolicited requests. If you have a piece of writing you would like to share with us, that’s great! Just please make sure it falls within one of our accepted submission categories before sending it our way.

To submit a piece of writing, please email us at fourthsycamore (at) gmail.com. The subject line of your email should read [Last Name] [Writing Category] Submission (e.g. Smith Poetry Submission, or Jones Essay Submission). Treat the body of your email as your cover letter. There’s no need to be overly formal with this, just let us know a little of who you are, where you’re from, and where you’ve been published (if anywhere–be honest). Attach your writing submission as a single-spaced .doc or .docx file. Include only one prose piece or two to five poems in each submission. Wait to hear back from us before submitting something else. We will do our best to respond within six weeks.

Things we can promise you if you submit a piece of writing to us:

1. We will thoughtfully read your piece.
2. We will respond personally and respectfully as to whether or not we will publish the piece. You will hear from us no matter what.

Things we cannot promise you if you submit a piece of writing to us:

1. Publication. When you submit a piece to us it is with the standard understanding we may decide it is not a good fit for our journal. A rejection is not a verdict on your skill as a writer, and you are encouraged to submit to us again.
2. Fame. Also, fortune.

Fourth & Sycamore is not able at this time to pay you for your writing, but it’s something we’d like to work toward.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your piece is accepted somewhere else. As a general rule we do not accept reprints, but if you are upfront and honest about it and there are extenuating circumstances (you published it only on a small personal blog, the original publisher is now defunct and your piece no longer has a home, etcetera), we’re willing to think it over.

Fourth & Sycamore is a non-contractual site (meaning you don’t have to sign anything if we publish you), but all the common sense electronic publishing stuff applies. We claim first electronic rights to your piece, and non-exclusive electronic archival rights to host your piece on our site in perpetuity. The copyright on any published piece reverts to the author immediately upon publication. Your writing is your writing.

If you use Duotrope to track your writing submissions, you can find our listing here. If you use The Grinder, you can find our listing here.

We look forward to reading your work. Write well, and write true. Put your heart into your writing, follow the above guidelines, and send us your best!