Where Ideas Grow

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

York Literary Review 2024: Submissions guidelines

Welcome to the York Literary Review for 2024!  

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. The York Literary Review started with the intent to promote the creative work of Northern writers, and within this edition, we will continue to uplift these voices. Nevertheless, we are open to international submissions.   

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: SPIRIT 

The theme for York Literary Review 2024 is Spirit. We are calling for submissions inspired by this year’s theme of Spirit. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Spirit of a community
  • Mythological and spirituality/religion
  • Spirit as in overcoming event or challenge
  • Essence of an individual
  • The supernatural

 We will accept ghost/supernatural stories, but they will not be at the forefront of our admissions as we would prefer to look at the theme of spirit in multitudes.

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All submissions must be entirely your own work, previously unpublished. If we believe your work to be AI generated or plagiarised, it will not be considered. 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 also kindly request for our longer works, that a short accompanying synopsis of approximately 100 words can be included in the email body. 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. 

Creative Non-Fiction 

Non-fiction pieces including memoirs, creative non-fiction or pieces from larger works should not exceed 2000 words. We also kindly request for our longer works, that a short accompanying synopsis of approximately 100 words can be included in the email body. 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 they do not exceed 60 lines in total. One poem per author will be accepted if successful. 

Submissions window 

Submissions for the 2024 edition of the York Literary Review will be open from 26th January 2024 (12:00 GMT) until the end of 16 February 2024 (23:59 GMT).  

Submissions sent outside of this window will not be read.  

How to submit  

Please send your submissions to yorkliteraryreview24@gmail.com with the subject line ‘York Literary Review 2024 Submission’.  

Attach your work as a Word document or PDF and entitle it with the category of your work plus your name. We also require an author biography between 40-50 words in third person, included at the bottom of your submission document. We welcome you to include your pronouns. Furthermore, 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 13th March 2024.  


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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