Pitches + Submissions

We are always open to pitches and submissions for our online journal. We also made a handy guide for pitching our online journal.

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 if you have any questions at all.

All writers published, in an issue or online, 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.

For book reviews (and any other art 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.

We don’t want 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 interviews.

Besides book reviews, we publish works of cultural criticism, interviews, art criticism, movie reviews, “literary” or new journalism, and engaging essays that are equal parts first-person narrative and third-person cultural analysis. We are always open to new forms if there’s enough of a connection.

We also have an editors blog. For the most part, it’s an outlet for informal writing by our editors, but we are open to other informal pitches as well. Publication on the editors blog is unpaid.

We are also going to start a podcast, which will use essays we publish as a jumping off point for engaging dialogue. We are open to pitches for podcast episodes related or non-related works, as well.

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.