Print Edition Submission Guidelines
Please note our fee schedule as follows:
- September and October: $3.00 per submission
- November and December: no submission fee required
- January and February: $3.00 per submission
Ninth Letter is published semi-annually in print at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work. To make life easier for everyone, including yourself, please adhere to the following guidelines when submitting your work to Ninth Letter:
For poetry, submit 3-6 poems (max. 10 pages) at a time. For fiction and nonfiction, please send only one story or one essay at a time, or up to 3 pieces of flash prose, up to 8,000 words.
Please do not send a second submission until you have received a response to the first. We do not accept previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are okay as long as they are identified as such in a cover letter. Please withdraw your submission immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.
We do not accept submissions by email attachment—email submissions will not be read.
USPS submissions should be addressed to Fiction Editor, Poetry Editor, or Nonfiction Editor:
University of Illinois Department of English
608 South Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Please include your name and contact information on the first page of your manuscript; cover letters are optional. All mailed submissions must include an SASE for reply; we recommend a stamped business-sized envelope. If you wish to have your manuscript returned, you must include adequate postage and a properly sized envelope, and indicate such in your cover letter. We will recycle all unreturned manuscripts.
You should hear from us regarding your submission within 16 weeks; if you haven’t heard from us in that time you are welcome to query about the status of your manuscript at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can only review two submissions per author per reading period; if you have submitted twice before the end of the reading period, please do not submit again unless solicited to do so by an editor.
Ninth Letter purchases first North American print publication rights only; all other rights are retained by the author. For material accepted to our print edition, Ninth Letter pays $25 per printed page, with a maximum payment of $150, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears. Writers will be sent contracts upon acceptance of their work, and will receive page proofs prior to publication; payment will be issued upon publication of the work. Ninth Letter publishes one print issue in the spring and one in the fall.
Web Edition Submission Guidelines
Ninth Letter will be accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a special online edition to be published at ninthletter.com in Winter 2022. Submissions will be open from September 1 to November 1.
The theme for this issue is Constellations. The nightsky stars themselves are not arranged in patterns and shapes and mythological beasts–it is the observer who sees the connections, draws the lines, and makes the picture. What is a constellation, then, but independences transformed into a larger vision when unseen connections are realized and imagined into being?
With this theme, we hope our writers will explore the invisible ways disparate things connect if we observe, notice, hope, and imagine new relationships between them. Imagine: Small pictures in a photo mosaic that, from afar, turn into a single large one. Community. The way separate trees are secretly whispering in their own tongue to one another through fluids and root fibers just a little underground.
We seek work that makes connections we can’t see—constellations—out of things we wouldn’t expect or anticipate—things we think are separate–and we seek writers who can draw those lines for us so we can learn to see them differently, or realize what was there all along.
You may submit up to three poems, or one piece of short prose (fiction or nonfiction) of up to 3500 words; please also include a cover letter that briefly explains how you see your work connecting to the theme. Note: work submitted without this information may be withdrawn. Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .pdf.
Submit your work for this special feature at ninthletteronline.submittable.com. Submissions sent via snail mail or submitted through our general submissions at ninthletter.com will not be considered for this issue.
Please do not send multiple submissions or previously published work.
Authors whose work is selected for this special feature will receive a small honorarium ($25 per poem, $75 per story or essay) and a complimentary 2-year subscription to Ninth Letter.