Submission Guidelines


The Gateway Review publishes surrealist, fabulist, and magic realist fiction and poetry, as well as nonfiction about the art of writing the same.  We are particularly interested in work by LGBTQ+ writers, Black writers, other writers of color, and any writer from a historically marginalized, minoritized group.

The Gateway Review: A Journal of Magical Realism is currently OPEN for submissions in all categories!

The Gateway Review is published annually in December/January.  We have three options for submissions, all of which will be open from July 15 through September 15.

Fabulist and Fantastic Flash Fiction Contest: We accept submissions of flash fiction (under 1000 words) only through this contest.  For more details, see that particular submission page.

Regular Submissions: For no fee, writers may submit one piece of fiction between 1,000 and 4,000 words; one poem of no more than 40 lines; or one piece of nonfiction of up to 1000 words.  We usually respond to these submissions in November or December, after the close of our reading period.

Expedited Submissions: For a $3.00 fee, writers can submit any of the materials outlined in the Regular Submissions category and receive a response in thirty days or less.

We accept submissions through our Submittable site only; we do not accept email submissions, and any such submissions will be deleted unread.  You can reach our Submittable site here:

Please be aware that we will only read one submission per writer per submission period.  Please do not submit in more than one category or submit more than one item per category, or we will not consider any of those submissions.


We seek works that fit in some way within the magical realist, fabulist, or surrealist tradition—think writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude), Jorge Luis Borges (“The Library of Babel,” “The Aleph,” etc.), Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits), and contemporary writers such as Jeanette Winterson, Kate Bernheimer, and Alissa Nutting.  Although we have no specific aesthetic sensibilities that guide our selection process, the most successful stories will blend the magical and the real in some way to lead to some truth about the human condition, all while being attentive to the possibilities of the English language.  Generally, we prefer stories with a clear, vivid sense of narrative.  If torn between a clear story and flowery verbiage, go with the former.

Note: we are not, at this time, particularly interested in surreal stories about pandemics.  While we recognize the value of storytelling to cope with these trying times, please select another outlet for those pieces.

Please only submit one short story of no more than 4,000 words and no less than 1,000 words.  We do not accept flash fiction submissions at any time except during our Fabulist and Fantastic Flash Fiction Contest.  Please do not submit more than once per reading period.  Works longer than 4,000 words or under 1,000 will be rejected immediately (seriously–if your story is 4,001 words long, find a word to cut, and if it’s 1,000 words, find a word to add), and you will be asked to include an exact word count in your submission.

As far as formatting goes, please follow industry standards: contact information on the first page along with word count, with your last name and page numbers on subsequent pages.  No frills please—fancy borders and colored and non-traditional fonts will do nothing but draw negative attention to your work; 12-point Times New Roman is always a good way to go.  Work that is not double-spaced will be rejected immediately.  


Submit only one poem of no more than 40 lines.  Poets who submit more than one poem will have all of their work rejected immediately.

We prefer narrative surrealist poetry–poetry that tells a clear story while being attentive to language, rhythm, pace, and sound.  In fact, we will not consider any poems that do not fit, in some way, into the magic realist tradition.  We do not publish rhyming poetry.

Note: we will likely accept no more than a half-dozen poems for any given issue, so this will be a competitive category.


We invite submissions of two types in this category: essays on magic realism (of two sorts: craft essays and essays on why magic realism is important to you as a writer) and book reviews of recently-released magic realist texts.

These essays should not exceed 1,000 words.

Please note that essays and reviews are not eligible for the editor’s choice award, and we do not have an expedited response option for this category.


Please include a brief cover letter on the Submittable site, but do not do so in your actual manuscript.  We are fans of actual letters, not just copied-and-pasted bios.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your work through Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere (and please note that you are submitting simultaneously in your cover letter).   There is no worse feeling that accepting a piece only to have it withdrawn after we have done so.  While withdrawing a piece before we’ve responded will yield our congratulations, finding out after we’ve tried to accept work will result in angry fist-shaking (and we will also be rather unlikely to accept your work in the future).

We do not accept previously published work (including your personal blog).  We ask for First North American Serial rights, and all copyright remains with the author; we simply ask that, should your work be published again elsewhere that The Gateway Review be acknowledged as the original publisher.  While not required, we’d love to know about reprints of your work, and will happily advertise them on our blog if you let us know–this goes for reprints in journals as well as (and especially in the case of) publications of collections of work where your stories published first with us will appear.  Please keep in touch!

Currently, we wish to feature writers new to our journal, so if your work has been published with us in the past, please refrain from the time being from submitting to us.  This does not include writers whose work we have unfortunately had to pass on.

Contributors from the United States will receive one contributor copy of the issue in which their work appears.  At this time, we will also offer one writer per issue an “Editor’s Choice” award of $15 (USD).

Due to funding restrictions, we can no longer offer contributor copies to international contributors (though we still happily consider work from around the world).


When submitting cover art, please submit only one piece per reading period.


14 thoughts on “Submission Guidelines”

  1. Bill Teitelbaum said:

    As a print journal and therefore an erndangered species, there’s nothing wrong about charging two or three bucks to cover some small portion of your operating costs, but there is something wrong, I think, about having tiered submissions that receive first ot second-class service as a function of payment.. I encourage you to reconsider your policy.

    • Thanks for your comment, Bill; this is an experiment we’re doing, and we may eventually change our policy. Rest assured that we’re not going to read any submissions with any more or less attention and care based on which route they take to submit. We’re simply offering writers the chance to get extra feedback, at a faster rate, for a small fee if they so choose.

  2. I would be more than willing to pay $3 to understand why a submission wasn’t accepted. I’d even pay $3 submission fee to help with the cost of paying contributors. What I can’t accept is not paying writers for their work, especially when they are giving money for a service. I know many journals do this, and I think it’s wrong in all cases. If you can’t afford to pay contributors, you shouldn’t run a journal. This is just my personal opinion, but I urge writers to never sell their work without payment. There are too many hours, days, weeks, months, put into a story to not receive compensation. It’s especially frustrating when you have a piece of work you think could really fit a journal’s criteria only to find out they don’t pay contributors.

    • Peggy,

      Trust me when I say I understand your frustration. The reality is that, like many other fledgling journals, this endeavor is coming out of personal pockets–all publishing costs for distribution are being eaten by writers like yourself, and the most we can currently offer is a complimentary copy of the issue in which your work appears as well as, hopefully, the exposure that publishing your work will bring. This is why we don’t charge carte blanche for submissions; if we can’t afford to pay you monetarily, we certainly don’t expect you to pay us to be considered. We’re only asking for a minimal fee if people want a detailed response to their work, and submitters who choose that route will have no better or worse of a chance at having their work accepted than those who choose a free “traditional” submission. As our journal (hopefully) grows, we certainly hope to be able to provide financial compensation sometime in the future.

  3. Do you accept original poetry?

  4. Hi,
    Do you accept translation?

    • Generally, not unless you are submitting a translation of your own work. We’re not equipped to evaluate the strength and accuracy of a translation from one language to another (our staff is woefully monolingual, sadly), and while trust the skills of all translators working professionally, it’s just beyond our purview right now.

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