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Lakeshore Review

The Lakeshore Review

The Lakeshore Review (ISSN 2694-1635) is a new journal of arts and letters — our inaugural issue graces the market in the spring of 2022 — that celebrates the culture and the creators adjacent to the Great Lakes. This journal does not follow a specific theme or genre bent. Within our home territory, we assess no reading fees, although we levy a nominal fee for people outside the Great Lakes region.

We release three times each year — in May, September, and January. Our reading windows close in the months of April, August, and December. The reading window for Issue No. 1 has closed. We will read for Issue No. 2 from May 1, 2022, through July 31, 2022.

How to Submit

Please read the guidelines that follow. We accept submissions through two platforms — our on-site ticketing system and Submittable. It doesn’t matter which platform you use. If you use Submittable, you cannot pitch us in the months of April, August, and December; we accept queries year-round through our own ticketing tool, although we don’t answer them during those months.

At the bottom of this page, you’ll find our on-site ticketing form as well as a link to Submittable.

Masthead

The Lakeshore Review is published by Lakeshore Literary and is supported by editors Garrett Stack, PhD and Jason Gillikin. Garrett is associate professor of English at Ferris State University. Jason is president of Lakeshore Literary and former publisher of The 3288 Review.

Current readers include:

  • Allison Hawkins. Allison is a freelance writer experienced with general fiction and screenplays.
  • Lisa McNeilley, PhD. Lisa is an independent book editor and former lecturer in English literature and pedagogy.
  • Faith Gleasure. Faith is Lakeshore Literary’s intern for Spring 2020. She is reading for issues 1 and 2. She is a student at Ferris State University.

Content Guidelines

The Lakeshore Review celebrates the full range of written and visual art. We entertain anything — the uplifting, the tragic, the experimental, the conventional, the controversial. Your contribution must prod people to think, or feel, or question. Tell a good story. Paint a beautiful picture of the human experience. Surprise us. Delight us. We’re willing to take a risk on emerging talent and we honor no ideological shibboleths. The beauty and the power of the work matters. Not its pedigree or its politics.

Art and Photography

We accept submissions of your original photographs and visual depictions of your art. We print in full color, although greyscale imagery is certainly welcome. Each image must render at 300 dpi. We require CMYK images with no embedded profiles, but we will convert to CMYK if necessary. Please submit your images as JPEG files within a ZIP archive that does not exceed 20 MB. Include a brief authors’ statement of between 200 and 500 words as a Word document within the ZIP folder, and identify each image with a title and, optionally, a one- or two-sentence artistic statement. You must own the copyright for every image. If you submit photos of humans, we reserve the right to request copies of your releases for each featured person.

Graphic Narratives

Who said graphic novels aren’t literature? Tell your short story in graphic-novel form. As with photographic art, we accept JPEG renders of your full-page panels at 300 dpi, CMYK, bundled in a ZIP file of no more than 20 MB. Because our trim size is 8 inches by 10 inches, assume you’re working with a printed canvas of roughly 6 inches by 8 inches. One image file per page, please. Include a brief artist’s statement for context, as a DOCX file within the ZIP archive.

Flash Fiction

Bring your flash stories of fewer than 1,000 words. Share a meaningful plot and conflict marked by a gloriously high concepts-to-syllables ratio.

Short Fiction

We welcome short stories between 1,000 and 7,500 words. Both literary and (light) genre fiction are welcome. The longer the story, the more the richness of the story must justify the higher word count. We encourage fiction writers to focus on crisp storytelling rather than indulging in experimental structures, deep-penetration styles, or obvious didacticism.

Creative Nonfiction

Personal essays, opinion pieces, interviews, and related nonfiction pieces often communicate a powerful, necessary story. We accept creative nonfiction works between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Nothing is (theoretically) off limits, but content that espouses conspiracy hypotheses, promotes sectarian truth claims, brandishes rabidly partisan viewpoints, advocates some superficial manifestation of High Theory, celebrates nihilism, or resists logic- and fact-checking … well, that stuff faces a steeper headwind on the journey to approval. We embrace longer-form interview and investigative journalism pieces, with the proviso that you’ll be required to prove core fact claims to us just as you’d have to prove them to the grizzled newspaper assignment editor of yesteryear. For first-class investigative journalism, there’s no upper word count, and we’ll incorporate relevant full-color graphics to flesh out the story.

Poetry

Send us up to five poems. We respond best to poems that are rhythmically solid and accessible to lay readers. Abstraction and abstruseness often undermine a poem’s emotional power; we’d rather your verse move us to laughter or tears than to scratch our heads with puzzled looks upon our faces.

We enjoy six horizontal inches of lyrical canvas, so let your lines break accordingly. Given the precision of our typesetting templates, we cannot accommodate alternative typefaces or point sizes, odd text orientations, or precisely shaped poems, but we’re open to accepting visually interesting poems as an image instead of text.

Book Reviews

We welcome contributed reviews of books that have been released within the prior 12 months. The catch? You can’t review your own book, and we cannot accept reviews of books issued by pay-to-publish presses, books issued in electronic formats only, or books available exclusively through Amazon. Please limit reviews to no more than 800 words and include relevant contextual data including the ISBN. A 300-dpi scan of the cover of the book is helpful but not required.

The Lakeshore Review reserves the right to edit your material to conform to our house style guide and to improve the content at a line level. It is not our practice to accept content that requires more than a light proofread to align styles. We make no edits to poems, not even for spelling, so plan accordingly. Our house style guide is based on the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Licensing & Compensation

As with most free and low-cost literary journals, we do not cut checks, but we do offer courtesy copies as well as online verification of the publication credit.

Rights Requested

The Lakeshore Review requests an exclusive right to publish for the first six months after the date of release, then a non-exclusive license to publish in perpetuity.

We are interested only in time-limited English-language print rights in those countries where Ingram normally distributes books.

Because we operate on a first-serial-rights license model, we cannot accept submissions of content that has already been published elsewhere.

Compensation

We send one courtesy copy of the print edition to the contributor, as well as a coupon code to order additional copies of that issue at near-cost.

We also publish a web page for each issue that lists each contributor, to independently verify the publication credit. Some content may be simultaneously published on that web page, as an example of the content in that issue, but we will obtain approval from the creator before we post that content.

Readings

To celebrate contributors who are local to West Michigan, we hold periodic wine-and-cheese events where published contributors may read their material publicly.

Submission Protocol

The Lakeshore Review accepts online submissions through the form included on the bottom of this page.

Methods of Submission

We will not consider, nor will we acknowledge, queries submitted by postal or electronic mail. It’s been our experience that nowadays, the only postal submissions we receive are apocalyptic Gnostic conspiracist tracts springing from various rural areas of the Sunbelt. Given how unlikely it that we’ll publish those pamphlets, we feel confident that an online-only approach won’t prove too much of a hardship for most people.

We accept pitches through the form at the bottom of the page, and through Submittable.

Multiple and Simultaneous Submissions; Resubmissions

We accept simultaneous submissions. No need to notify us; acceptances are rare enough that we do not begrudge authors from aggressive marketing. If a piece is accepted elsewhere, reply to the ticket that confirmed your submission with a note about your withdrawal. Also, congratulations on being a rockstar.

We do not permit multiple submissions per issue. Please query us with one batch of poems, one collection of art, one story, or one essay, then let us respond. If you send us several things, we will only consider the most recent query transmitted. Most people who multi-sub to a given market see zero of their pieces accepted. There’s much value in a one-at-a-time approach.

We accept resubmissions, even for the same issue, provided that (a) you had purchased an optional critique from us, and (b) you revised the original submission in light of that critique.

Communication About Submissions

Please use Submittable’s messaging feature to communicate with us about your submission, or reply to the ticket for submissions logged with us directly. We cannot accept emails, phone calls, drop-in visits, or other methods of communication about editorial matters.

Unless you purchase a critique from us, we do not respond to inquiries about why we rejected a piece.

Reading Windows and Turnaround Times

The Lakeshore Review publishes three times each year — in January, May, and September.

Reading windows are as follows:
* For the January issue: 9/1 to 11/30 of the preceding calendar year
* For the May issue: 1/1 to 3/31
* For the September issue: 5/1 to 7/31

We do not read submissions in the months of April, August, and December so that we can focus on contracting and publication for that issue. Within our reading windows, we aim to respond to submissions within a fortnight.

Books for Review by Our Editors

The Lakeshore Review welcomes books for review by our editors provided the book was released within the previous 12 months. Send one print copy by USPS to 1590 44th St SW, Wyoming MI 49509 — with no signature requirement, please. We cannot accept PDF or ePub versions in lieu of print, because the quality of the print artifact often factors into the review. Books are not returnable. We do not guarantee a review, or a favorable review. We do not accept payment to read published books.

We will not review books that are Amazon-only or which were released by a pay-to-publish press/imprint that appears to lack meaningful editorial gatekeeping. We are open to self-published books provided they can be ordered (from a catalog, not through consignment) from a typical bricks-and-mortar retailer using a valid ISBN.

Reading Fees

Literary journals are expensive to run but few people subscribe to them and few bookstores carry them, despite their centrality to contemporary writing culture. To ensure that The Lakeshore Review remains financially sustainable as a market for emerging literary talent, we impose a small reading fee upon submitters from outside of our geographic region.

Residents of IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI, and Ontario

We do not charge reading fees to people who dwell in our home market. We define residents to include anyone whose current mailing address sources to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.

Residents of All Other States and Provinces

We assess a $3 fee to residents from outside of our market — all the other U.S. states and territories, the Canadian provinces other than Ontario, and the Commonwealth Realms. This modest fee helps support our editorial operations.

Optional Extras

Many readers, especially people new to submitting their work, struggle to understand why they consistently meet with silence or rejections. Our standard responses are generic accept/decline decisions. We offer an optional “reply with critique” feature so that you receive a personalized response about what worked and didn’t work about your submission. This extra fee is $10, regardless of where you reside.

If you support the work we do, we’d welcome it if you purchased a copy of the issue to which you’re submitting. For a flat fee of $15, we will send you a copy of the issue to which you’re pitching.

Our decision to accept or reject a given submission is not related to your purchase of an optional fee. We’ve taken steps on the back end to ensure that decision-makers are not aware of optional fees paid by submitters.

Submission Form

Either use Submittable:

submit

Or use our handy on-site form, below.

From the Category drop-down, select Submission to The Lakeshore Review. This category reveals several form questions specific to journal submissions. Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk. There’s no penalty for not answering optional fields.

Our tool sends confirmations within 60 seconds; if you don’t see one, check your spam folder and then whitelist lakeshoreliterary.com email addresses. Thank you!

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