Literary Magazine



Effective July, 2017, we will begin using SUBMITTABLE to process all magazine submissions. Basic guidelines are below, details for each genre will be posted on the Submittable page.

Anthology guidelines have their own page as well as their own specific guidelines.
Contest and book submission guidelines each have their own pages as well.

The following apply to ALL written submissions (except reviews)

  • SUBMITTABLES charges a submission fee for everyone EXCEPT current subscribers to The Main Street Rag. Current subscribers to our quarterly literary magazine pay no reading fees for magazine submissions or book submissions while their subscriptions remain active.
  • Report time: 3-16 weeks (depending on genre and how busy we are)
  • Simultaneous submissions permitted as long as the author informs us immediately (through Submittable) when a piece has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Previously Published material: NO (unless solicited by magazine editor).
  • Author’s Name and PHYSICAL address must appear on submitted work. We will not read a submission without both.
  • New Submissions. Once an author’s work is accepted for publication, please wait until after it has been published to submit again.
  • Submission period: We usually read year-round for the literary magazine; however, with Submittable as a submissions processor, reading periods for individual genres may vary and will be opened and closed at point of submission as necessary. If a header for a specific genre does not appear in our Submittable page, it means we are backlogged more than one year in that genre and will not be considering again until we catch up. This is so authors do not have to wait as long between acceptance and publication.



All reviews should be queried to That applies to the submission of written reviews or if an author/publisher/publicist wants to offer a book for review. Since our readers prefer hard copies, we list what is available and let them bid/choose which ones they want to read. If a title is chosen by one of our readers, we will send you an address where a hard copy can be sent.

  • Most of our reviews are done by approved reviewers.
  • We prefer books be provided but will sometimes review from PDFs. Query first. We will respond with an address to which a hard copy can be sent if/when one of our reviewers selects it.
  • We only review books published during the current or previous calendar year.
  • Not interested in negative reviews, however, discussion of a manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses may include negative aspects.
  • Title information must be included with submission along with the following: author name, publisher, publication date, ISBN, price, page count.
  • Books must have an ISBN to be considered for review.
  • Review writer’s name and PHYSICAL address must appear on submitted work. We will not read a submission without both.

Our focus is on publishers and authors who don’t get much attention from mainstream media. Since there are many of those and we like to (at least) mention as many as possible, review lengths are important and specific to genre:

  • Poetry Chapbooks (52 pages or less): up to 400 words.
  • Full-length Poetry or Short Fiction Collections: up to 600 words
  • Novels, Nonfiction: up to 800 words

The goal of reviews featured in The Main Street Rag:

Connecting author to audience. If you can’t think of an audience that would enjoy reading a particular book, then we would not be interested in publishing your review. We also don’t run promo material disguised as review by publicists or other author or publisher related marketers. If a reviewer has a relationship with the author or press, we want to know what that relationship is prior to considering the review and will scrutinize the review carefully for objectivity. 


  • Need high resolution to print, but prefer low resolution to submit. If you don’t know the difference, you’re not ready to have your work published. Key guide: If an image is less than 100KB, it’s likely not suited for printing anything larger than a postage stamp.
  • Format: JPG or PDF
  • Portrait versus landscape orientation is best for printing without cropping.
  • We like it all—no subject taboo—but if you are targeting cover art, we like people doing what they do, street scenes, a world in motion. Send us a picture we can hear and smell.
  • Images should be emailed to It you have them displayed on a website, it’s even more convenient: You can email us your website address.

To avoid Submittable Fees (and support Main Street Rag):  SUBSCRIBE TODAY