Where Ideas Grow

A blog for students of creative writing at York St John University

York Literary Review 2023: Submissions guidelines

Welcome to the new York Literary Review for 2023!  

York Literary Review is an annual creative writing journal designed to showcase diverse work from talented writers. Since its inception in 2016, the journal has featured trailblazing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and prose.  

Our tight-knit team of publishers are MA students at York St John University and will be working in association with the York Centre for Creative Writing to edit, design, and curate an anthology of the finest creative work. Our mission is to champion some of the most exciting new and emerging writers from all walks of life.  

Valley Press, one of Yorkshire’s leading independent publishers, will print and distribute the journal.

What we’re looking for  

We’re looking for creative fiction and creative non-fiction, encompassing all things poetry and prose. We accept short stories, short and long-form poems, excerpts from novels, novellas, memoirs, and flash fiction. All genres will be considered. We aim to create an accessible publication and encourage writers of all demographics to submit, including international submissions. 

We intend to publish new writing, so please do not send material that has been previously published elsewhere.  

Theme: Voices  

The theme for the 2023 edition of the York Literary Review is Voices.  

Our intention this year is to do something more contemporary and forward thinking, inclusive of everyone from all walks of life. This could include voices reflecting on the past, representing the here and now, or imagining a future. 

Voices is a broad theme, and could include, but is not limited to: 

  • Individual identity 
  • Social and political voices  
  • Stories and representation from the North of England  
  • Cultural and unheard voices 
  • Reclaimed voices 
  • A story from your childhood  
  • Fantastical voices from this, or another, world 
  • Non-human voices 
  • Voices from nature – People, animals, the environment 

The theme can be interpreted as literally or abstractly as you desire. 

We do not accept any work that condones or glamourises problematic behaviours or experiences. 

Submissions guidelines  

All submissions must be entirely your own work, previously unpublished. We will accept submissions under consideration elsewhere, but we ask you to notify us if it is accepted. We will only consider multiple submissions of short works such as poetry and flash fiction, given their length. We will only choose one submission per author to publish, if successful. All rights will be retained by the creator.  

Submissions will be published in English, but may include other languages within the writing. 

Please include disclaimers or trigger warnings for your writing. This will not affect the publication of your writing if you are accepted, nor will it impact whether your submission will be accepted. This is purely for the benefit of the editorial team. 

For individual category guidelines, see below.

Please only submit to one of the categories


All fiction, including short stories and excerpts from larger works, should not exceed 2,000 words. We will consider one piece of fiction writing only. 

Flash Fiction 

Flash fiction should not exceed 500 words per piece. We will consider up to four pieces of flash fiction. 


Non-fiction pieces including creative non-fiction, essays, and excerpts from larger works should not exceed 2000 words. We will consider one piece of non-fiction only.  


Poetry submissions in any form can be up to 60 lines. Authors can submit multiple poems per submission provided that they do not exceed 60 lines in total. One poem per author will be accepted if successful. 

Submissions window 

Submissions for the 2023 edition of the York Literary Review will be open from 17 February 2023 until the end of 16 March 2023 (23:59 GMT).  

Submissions sent outside of this window will not be read.  

How to submit  

Please send your submissions to yorklitreview2023@gmail.com with the subject line ‘York Literary Review 2023 Submission’.  

Attach your work as a Word document or PDF and entitle it with the category of your work plus your name. If you are submitting multiple pieces of work please include them in one document. Submissions that fail to follow the criteria will not be read. 


You will receive an acknowledgement that your work has been submitted; however, we will only contact you directly if your work is shortlisted, given the size of our editorial team. We will notify applicants of their success prior to publication via email – please expect a response no later than 13 April 2023.  


There are no entry fees to submit to York Literary Review

Although we cannot pay contributors, successful applicants will be featured in the printed anthology and receive a pre-release copy.

Now you have all the details; we have one final thing to tell you: good luck! 

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