Pitches + Submissions

In general, the best way to pitch us is to read pieces we’ve already published. You’ll get the sense of the type of writing we publish and the quality of writing we expect.

If you want to write something for us but don’t quite know where to start, we can work together to pick a book or topic. Send us an email (info@clereviewofbooks.com) if you have any questions.

All writers published will be modestly compensated (upon completion of final draft). Book reviewers will also be provided with a review copy of whatever book they are reviewing, although reviewing a forthcoming or recently published book isn’t required. We are just as eager to publish reviews or essays about books published in, say, 1950, as long as you find something that speaks to or informs the present.

For book reviews (and any other criticism), we have four major criteria:

  1. Engage with the text or artifact in a faithful way: provide us an entry point into its world.

  2. Place the book or artifact in a critical context (are there any akin works with similar ambitions? Is there something important about the time and place of the work’s production and publication?

  3. Connect the work to some aspect of contemporary culture, preferably relevant to the Midwest or Cleveland (can be concrete or abstract).

  4. Shoot for 1000 words.

What we don’t want are summaries, witty quips lacking substance, or simple descriptions of what a work is; rather, we want you to use the work as a jumping off point to make your own claims or assertions, whether it’s an indictment of culture or a value judgment of a particular work (etc).

Our best pieces have incorporated research, even if it’s just from going down a rabbit hole of information online, whether it be biographical information, the (socio-political, geographical, etc.) context of the book at the time of its writing, or previously published interviews.

Besides our bread-and-butter book reviews, we publish works of cultural criticism, interviews, art criticism, movie reviews, and engaging essays that explore larger concerns through a personal lens. The main thing is connecting pieces we publish is that they orbit around a material cultural artifact. And we are always open to new forms if there’s enough of a connection.

We also have a podcast, which uses essays we publish as a jumping off point for engaging dialogue, more general topics in the world of criticism, and interviews. We are open to pitches for podcast episodes related to any of these forms. If you have published with us and would like to do supplemental podcast with us, please reach out.

Payment for pieces is a standard modest amount, except for exceptional circumstances. Please note that writing a draft and completing one round of edits does not guarantee publication or payment. Once a piece is accepted, we will provide payment via PayPal or Venmo.

Shoot a message to pitch@clereviewofbooks.com to pitch or submit a piece. Please provide some sort of angle and a provisional idea of how you might go about the review. Also, please send one or two writing samples of previous cultural criticism or reviews you have written, if you have them.