Submission Guidelines for Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Book Reviews, Art, and Books for Review


Able Muse publishes metrical poetry and poetry translation, along with art, fiction, and nonfiction (essays, book reviews, and interviews that focus on metrical and formal poetry).


Able Muse accepts submissions in all genres from January 1 to July 15. We generally publish one issue per year.  After making a submission, please do not send us another in the same genre (poetry, fiction, etc.) until we have responded to the first with an acceptance or rejection.


  1. Each submission should contain:
    • 1-5 poems or 1 long poem, metrical (rhymed or unrhymed), OR
    • 1-2 stories, OR
    • 1-2 pieces of nonfiction, OR
    • 1-5 pieces of artwork or photography.
  2. All submitted pieces must be previously unpublished (no reprints).
  3. Submit all poems, stories, or other pieces in one file.
  4. A cover letter is welcome but not required.
  5. Simultaneous submissions are not allowed.
  6. List titles of all pieces submitted in the “Title(s)” field of the submission form.
  7. Include a concise biographical note in the “Brief Bio” field.
  8. Do not submit again in the same genre (poetry, fiction, etc.) until we’ve replied.
  9. PLEASE SUBMIT USING OUR ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM.  We no longer accept email or snail mail submissions. If you have trouble with the online form, email the appropriate editorial team (addresses at bottom of page), using the subject line SUBMISSION HELP.
  10. To query or withdraw, email the appropriate editorial team (addresses at bottom of page), using the subject line QUERY or WITHDRAWAL.

  More details—POETRY:

    • Submit one to five metrical poems (or one long poem), rhymed or unrhymed.  (A poem of more than 40 lines is considered a “long” poem.)
    • All types of formal poetry are welcome, from traditional to boundary-pushing.  We want well-crafted poems that use meter skillfully and imaginatively (with rhyme or not), in a contemporary idiom that reads as naturally as free verse.
    • For a poetry translation, the poem in its original language must be included unless the omission is by special arrangement with our editors. Optionally, you may also include a literal translation of the original poem.
    • We may very rarely publish a piece of very impressive free verse—but free verse will have a much harder time here than at other magazines.
    • Able Muse also welcomes humorous or light poetry.
    • For examples of what we're interested in, read the poetry of  past masters like Richard Wilbur and Anthony Hecht and that of contemporary poets like Rhina P. Espaillat, Dick Davis, A. E. Stallings, Jacqueline Osherow, Aaron Poochigian, Matthew Buckley Smith, and Erica Dawson. To see what we like, read recent issues: study our online archives and/or subscribe to theprint edition at the Able Muse Press website.
    • We publish new voices as well as established ones. We read everything. Send your best!

  More details—FICTION:

    • We publish literary fiction. 
    • We do not publish fantasy, romance, horror, action-adventure, gratuitous violence, or inspirational/sentimental genres.
    • Maximum 5000 words per story.

  More details—NONFICTION and ART:

    • All prose: Maximum 5000 words.
    • Interviews should concentrate on a writer's work, ideas, and creative process rather than on (auto)biography. Avoid anecdotes.
    • Book reviews should generally consider poetry books, occasionally fiction and nonfiction. A review should demonstrate a clear understanding of the book’s subject matter and craft, a familiarity with relevant contexts, and a clear critical approach.
    • Essays on metrical poetry should be critical interpretations or discussions of the creative or critical process, focused on understanding a text (or texts). 
    • Personal essays or memoirs can be autobiographical, biographical, or topical, but they should add to our literary understanding of a concept, time, place, or person, not serve as an opportunity for self-expression. Again, avoid anecdotes.
    • Photography and artwork: Black and white artwork and photography are preferred, although we will also consider color work. Submit in JPG or GIF format, or as a URL with the images. When sending a URL, please indicate the specific images you are submitting, not just a link to your website or blog.


    Books for review may be sent:

    • as PDFs or otherwise digital versions through our ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM.  Should you have any problem with the form, email the appropriate editorial team (address at bottom of page), using the subject line SUBMISSION HELP.  If your book is selected for review, we'll ask you to snail-mail the physical book to the reviewer.

    • OR as physical (paper) books, to:

        Able Muse Review
        Attn:  Book Review Editor
        4025 Dorchester Road, Suite 311
        Niagara Falls, ON L2E 7K8
        This address should be used ONLY for this purpose.

      Because we receive so many books, we will reply only if the submitted book is selected for review.


  • Able Muse acquires first-time electronic and/or print publication rights. We also reserve the right to republish the item in a future electronic and/or print anthology. Back issues are archived indefinitely. All other rights revert to the author six months after publication. In case of republication we ask that you acknowledge Able Muse as the original place of publication.
  • Able Muse is a not-for-profit publication. Compensation for contributors consists of one complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.

Questions about the submission process?  Please contact the appropriate editorial team here or by email:

    query about your poetry submission
    query about your fiction submission
    query about your nonfiction submission
    query about your bookreview submission

Alex Pepple, Editor
query about your manuscripts (Able Muse Press) submission