Gordon Square Review Submissions

Regular submissions for Gordon Square Review will open for submissions February 1, 2024 and close for submissions April 1, 2024.

Gordon Square Review's 2024 contest for Ohio writers will open for submissions on February 13, 2024 and close for submissions on April 13, 2024.

Gordon Square Review pays a modest honorarium for accepted work ($15 per accepted prose piece and $15 per accepted poem). 

Gordon Square Review requests will consider works that have been previously published but are no longer available online or in-print. If work has been published on a personal blog or website, we request that it be taken down prior to publishing it. 

Gordon Square Review welcomes simultaneous submissions. We ask that you withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and after you have withdrawn the accepted submission, you may resubmit to us during the same reading period.

Gordon Square Review encourages writers to submit poetry, fiction, or flash creative nonfiction. For genre specific guidelines, please see below. 

  • Poetry Submission. Only include one poem in your submission. We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission
  • Fiction Submission. Only include one story in your submission. The word limit is 7,500 words (if fewer than 7,500 words, that is okay). We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission
  • Flash Creative Nonfiction Submission. Only include one story or essay in your submission. The word limit is 1,000 words (if fewer than 1,000 words, that is okay). We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission.
$10.00

Gordon Square Review is holding a special Blackout Poetry Contest in connection with the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Cleveland is in the path of totality, and we are looking for blackout poetry that uses erasure of an existing text to reveal something new.

This contest is open to anyone around the world. Submit a single blackout poem of any length with a $10 entry fee. The contest winner will receive $500 and publication in Gordon Square Review. One runner-up will be selected for publication. Both pieces will be published on the day of the eclipse: April 8, 2024

The contest opens on January 8, 2024 and closes on March 8, 2024.

Contest Guidelines

  • All writer information (name, bio, etc.) will be withheld from contest judges. Please do not include your name or any identifying information anywhere on the document or in the document file name.
  • The fee for each entry is $10. All entries will also be considered for publication.
  • Contest entries must be previously unpublished in either print or online venues, including personal blogs. 
  • Entries must consist of a single blackout (also known as an erasure) poem of any length submitted within a single document (doc, pdf, png, jpg, etc). Prose poetry and hybrid works are welcome. Writers may submit more than one entry, but a separate fee is required for each entry. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but we ask that you withdraw your work through Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. Entry fees will not be refunded in the event of a withdrawal. 
  • All entries must be submitted via Submittable. Print or emailed entries will not be accepted (please contact us if this presents accessibility issues). Entry fees are nonrefundable. 
  • The winner will receive $500 and publication in Gordon Square Review.
  • Gordon Square Review editors will read submissions and select the finalists and winners. 
  • Writers with a close personal or professional relationship with GSR editors are not eligible to submit to the contest. Literary Cleveland staff and board members are also not eligible to submit. 
  • Questions? Email gordonsquarereview@gmail.com.

The contest January 8, 2024 and closes on March 8, 2024.

The winner and runner-up will be published on April 8, 2024. 

All writers will be notified prior to the contest winner and runner-up being published.

Ends on

Thank you for submitting your work to Gordon Square Review, a Literary Cleveland publication!

Only include one story in your submission. The word limit is 7,500 words. We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission

Thank you for submitting. 

Thank you for submitting your work to Gordon Square Review, a Literary Cleveland publication!

Only include one story or essay in your submission. The word limit is 1,000 words (if fewer than 1,000 words, that is okay). We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission

Thank you for submitting.

Ends on

Thank you for submitting your work to Gordon Square Review, a Literary Cleveland publication!

Only include one poem in your submission. We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission.

Thank you for submitting. 

$10.00

For $10, a Gordon Square Review editor will read, consider, and respond to your submission within seven days. Submissions must follow our regular submission guidelines.


Please note that paying for a Rapid Response submission will not influence our editors’ decisions in either direction. Instead, Rapid Response is merely a way to ensure writers can cut out the waiting period and receive a decision quickly. Please also note that, like most literary journals, Gordon Square Review receives far more submissions than can be published in an issue. Our acceptance rate is about 2%. While we cannot promise detailed editorial feedback or a critique, in the event of a rejection, we’ll do our best to briefly share why we passed.


Please make sure your email address is up to date within Submittable. If you do not receive an automated confirmation email after making your submission, please contact us at gordonsquarereview@gmail.com with “Rapid Response” in the subject line.


We appreciate the opportunity to read all submitted work, whether that work is sent via free, regular submissions or via Rapid Response. Thank you for your support!


– Gordon Square Review Editorial Team


Prose (Fiction) Guidelines:
Only include one story in your submission. The word limit is 7,500 words. We request that no cover letter or author bio be included in your submission

Literary Cleveland is organizing a free staged reading titled “The Gift of Darkness” in collaboration with Cleveland Public Library as part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2023 at Cleveland Public Library Main auditorium downtown.


 

Call for Submissions

For this year's staged reading, we invite Northeast Ohio writers to contribute a written or spoken word poem, play (scene, monologue, dialogue), personal essay, short story or other literary work addressing "the gift of darkness." 

During an eclipse, the moon obscures the sun, casting the earth in darkness but revealing new insights in the process. As we reflect on the phenomenon of the eclipse and the Cleveland Humanities Festival theme of AWE, we ask writers to reflect on what can be revealed, both literally and metaphorically, in darkness.

We take our inspiration from this poem by Mary Oliver, born 1935 in Maple Heights, Ohio. 


 

The Uses of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
   a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
   that this, too, was a gift.

— Mary Oliver


 

Contributors are encouraged to interpret the theme broadly. We have a strong preference for scenes, first person monologues, dialogues, and poems that are concrete rather than abstract. Humor and heart are particularly welcome. Examples of the types of submissions we're seeking may include, but are not limited to:

  • Narratives that illustrate wonder, reverence, humility, fear, or awe
  • Personal stories of what can be revealed or discovered in moments darkness or hardship
  • Scenes that dramatize a change in perspective, as an eclipse reminds us of our place in the universe
  • Reflections that challenge or question common tropes, stereotypes, or cliches about darkness and light
  • Poems that examine the language of light and darkness, of awe and apathy though concrete imagery
  • Meditations on differing ideas of wonder and awe between individuals, across cultures, and throughout time
     

Submissions will be read and selected by Literary Cleveland staff and volunteers, not by Gordon Square Review editors. Responses will be send by late-March. Accepted submissions will be adapted for the stage and will be performed by experienced actors under the direction of Christine Howey. 


 

Guidelines

  • Writers must live in Northeast Ohio to submit.
  • Submissions can be in any genre and should be less than 1,000 words
  • Multiple submissions are allowed. If possible, please include all of your submissions in a single document.
  • Previously written or published pieces that connect to the theme are also welcome. (Please indicate in your cover letter if the piece has been published elsewhere.)
  • Deadline: Friday, March 8, 2024


 

Lit Cleveland & Gordon Square Review