Founded in 1892 by the teacher and critic William Peterfield Trent, The Sewanee Review is America’s oldest continuously published literary quarterly. Many of the twentieth century’s great writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore, and Ezra Pound, have appeared in the magazine. SR also has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent: we published excerpts of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor’s first novels, and the early poetry of Robert Penn Warren, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Christian Wiman...
Founded in 1892 by the teacher and critic William Peterfield Trent, The Sewanee Review is America’s oldest continuously published literary quarterly. Many of the twentieth century’s great writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore, and Ezra Pound, have appeared in the magazine. SR also has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent: we published excerpts of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor’s first novels, and the early poetry of Robert Penn Warren, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Christian Wiman. “Whatever the new literature turns out to be,” wrote editor Allen Tate in 1944, “it will be the privilege of The Sewanee Review to print its share of it, to comment on it, and to try to understand it.” The mission remains unchanged.
In 2017 the novelist Adam Ross (Mr. Peanut, Ladies and Gentlemen) succeeded George Core as editor of The Sewanee Review. Under Ross’s tenure the magazine was redesigned for the first time in seventy-three years, by the book designers Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday, and SR began to publish online as well as in print. 2017 also marked The Sewanee Review's 125th year of publication, and Fall 2017 marked the magazine’s five-hundredth issue. The magazine’s redesign and recent issues have been covered by The New York Times, the Nashville Scene, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Poets & Writers, Chapter 16, and elsewhere.
We accept unsolicited submissions all months of the year except June and July. Please submit only one story or essay at a time (10,000 words or fewer), or up to six poems. Reviews are published exclusively on our website (1,500 words or fewer). Our average response time is ten weeks. If you have not heard back by that time, send us an email. Submissions via fax or email will not be considered. We do not accept paper submissions.
Submit via our online submission manager here.
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The Sewanee Review accepts unsolicited submissions of original work from Sept 1 to May 31. “Original work” may include fiction (short stories, novel excerpts), poetry, non-fiction (creative non-fiction, memoir), and reviews (a timely review of a recently published book or books). Simultaneous submissions are allowed. We do accept work in translation. These submissions and/or solicitations are subject to the same review policy as standard submissions. We do require that the translator have the rights to translate the author’s work—either from the author or from an author’s estate or rights-holder—and that the translator can provide documentation for said rights if asked. We do not have a standard policy in place for reprints, as those decisions are made on an ad hoc basis.
All submissions are read by at least two editors on staff from our pool of assistant editors and editorial assistants. Submissions are ranked and then passed on to the managing editor. Those submissions that receive at least two lowest-ranking responses are rejected by the managing editor. Higher-ranked submissions are passed up to the editor and discussed with staff before a final acceptance or rejection is sent.
Type of review
All submissions are read by all staff members with name and other identifying information intact.
Type of revisions process (if any)
Rarely will submissions be returned to an author with a “revise and resubmit” request. Promising work that is ultimately rejected is often accompanied by an encouraging note for the author to submit again.
We strive to read and respond to all submissions within ten weeks.
Type of review for informal pieces
Informal pieces (for the Review’s blog, not the journal) are primarily generated by the editorial staff, or by the editorial staff in conjunction with contributors to the Review. Other pieces are typically requested directly by the editor. Letters to the editor and other correspondence are welcome but are not published in print or online.
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Readers include: Lovers of good writing who live in the U.S. (primarily the southeast, as well as California and New York) and overseas.
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Every year since 1987, the Sewanee Review has honored a distinguished poet in the maturity of their career with the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. Established by the physician and poet K. P. A. Taylor in honor of his elder brother, the modernist poet and story writer Conrad Aiken, the Aiken Taylor Award has celebrated poets such as Howard Nemerov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Wendell Berry, Louise Glück, and Billy Collins. In 2017 the Award was given to Mary Ruefle, who visited the University of the South for a reading and a lecture on her work by the poet Michael Dickman.
The Sewanee Review also honors the best work published in the magazine’s pages every year with five awards. The Tate, Lytle, and Spears Prizes are named for distinguished former editors of the Sewanee Review; the Heilman and Sullivan Awards are named for longtime contributors to and friends of the magazine. Each winner receives five hundred dollars.
The Allen Tate Prize for the best poem published in 2017 is awarded to Donika Kelly for “Self-Portrait as a Body, as a Sea” (fall issue).
The Andrew Lytle Prize for the best story published in 2017 is awarded to Alexander Maksik for “The Old Masters” (summer issue).
The Monroe K. Spears Prize for the best essay published in 2017 is awarded to Alice McDermott for “Only Connect” (spring issue).
The Robert B. Heilman Award for the best review published in 2017 is awarded to Merritt Moseley for “On The 2016 Man Booker Prize” (spring issue).
And the Walter Sullivan Award, given to a promising writer in any genre, is awarded to Sidik Fofana for “The Okiedoke” (winter issue).
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