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The Comstock Review

Find out how to submit your poetry to the Comstock Review


How to Submit Your Poetry

We accept submissions for the Open Reading Period postmarked from January 1 to March 15, yearly. 

There is no reading fee. 

The Comstock Review is an all-volunteer editorial board of poets generously contributing their time to the publication of this journal, general submissions received outside the reading period are generally returned unread. We welcome well-crafted, unique work.

We do not accept simultaneous or e-mail submissions at any time.
We reply approximately 3 months AFTER deadline and often send comments, when applicable. As of 2009, we often notify poets of acceptance by e-mail and then follow up with written notification.

The second time Comstock Review accepts submissions is during our annual contest.   There is an entry fee for this.  For submission guidelines for the Annual Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award 
CONTEST: Click here!

We prefer open reading period submissions in the following format:

> 3-5 poems maximum.
> Standard 8.5 x 11, Times New Roman 12 or similar legible font.
> Name, address, zip, telephone, and e-mail on each page of poetry.  (We update you in our data base BUT we never share or sell contact data).
> Short professional bio (30-50 words max.) suitable for publication (with above information on it as well)

> Include a Self-addressed Stamped Envelope
(SASE) with sufficient postage for return, especially if you want comments on your poems (a "Forever Stamp" will assure correct postage if rates change.) Notify us if your address changes during our reading period. If you do not want your poems returned, we often write our collective comments directly on them.
For poets outside the continental U.S.only, we will reply by e-mail.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept your submission by e-mail.

We send one contributor copy upon publication, with First North American Publication rights. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication with future publication to acknowledge The Comstock Review.

Other Considerations: The magazine is 5 ¼" by 8 ¼", perfect bound. Page length maximum 38 lines (including spaces between the lines, not counting title and author’s name). Exceptionally long titles or epigraphs are part of the line count. Our maximum character width is approximately 65 per line. Due to our size, and in an effort to feature as many fine poets as possible, we prefer poems that do not exceed the 38-line page length.

Send submissions to: The Comstock Review, Reading Period.
4956 St. John Drive, Syracuse, NY 13215

****Again, we accept NO simultaneous or e-mail submissions,
even from countries outside the USA!*****

Frequently Asked Questions and Suggestions:

Comstock Review
enters its 27th year of publication in 2013. We accept poetry strictly on the basis of quality, not reputation. We publish both noted and mid-career poets as well as those who are new to publishing. It is the quality of the poem that is the decisive factor. We do not accept overly sexual material, sentimental or "greeting card" verse, and very few haiku. Poems that exceed one – two pages (approx. 38 to 60 lines including stanza spacing) are seldom accepted for print.

We look for well-crafted poetry, either free or formal verse, with attention paid to the beauty of language, exceptional metaphor, unique voice, and fresh, vivid imagery. Poems may reflect any subject, although we have a slight bias toward poems dealing with the human condition in all its poignancy and humor.

We do not feature previously published poems from any media (print or web-based publications).

Considering the volume of work that we read, we strive for a 3-month turn-around time AFTER submission postmark deadline and we frequently include editors’ comments. Poems received outside the reading period may be acted on, but not on a timely basis. Most will simply be returned.

As of 2011, we will NOT accept simultaneous submissions. We understand the need to get work considered and returned to you,  However, as a collective of volunteers, we do not have a central office or student screeners. Each poem accepted by CR is reviewed by at least 3 - 4 professional poets who serve as our editors. We have all dealt with problems of record-keeping. Other poets have assumed a long delay in response from another journal means your poem has been rejected when it has not been, so you have chosen to send it out again. Under any circumstances, should you receive an acceptance from another journal for the same poem submitted to us, it is incumbent upon you to make certain that the piece receives only one publication. You may notify us by e-mail if your record keeping has failed to keep track of your submissions.

E-mail inquiries to are acceptable if you feel there is a delay on our responding past what is listed above.   We will reply so you know your e-mail was received. If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation within two weeks, please send by snail mail.

We appreciate your understanding of this rule as we go forward in our 27th year. If we had only one deciding editor, our process might be different, but careful reading and decisions on poetry have always been the hallmark of Comstock Review. If you want to assure your poetry has been received by us, please include a Self-addressed stamped post card as we do not have the staff to log in each submission.

Contests: The rules for submission to our two contests have specific requirements that differ from our open reading period and are posted separately. Please click here. for specifics relating to the annual Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Prize.  Submissions for the annual contest are "blind" and all identifying information must be printed on the back of each poem. Also we do not return contest entries so a standard #10 envelope for contest announcements is all the SASE you will need. See announcements elsewhere on this site for specifics.  For the Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook contest, currently held every other year, click here.

Formatting Your Biography

The Comstock Review is presented to poets and readers of poetry without pretense. As of our double issue in 2011, we have been publishing an average of 160 pages of poetry per double issue, excluding Contributors’ Notes. Although biographical notes provide insight to both the Editors and readers, no decisions regarding acceptance of your work are made on the basis of your bio!

We suggest a 30-50-word professional bio that includes your name, city and state in which you live, occupation, recent publications and major awards. Readers and other contributors are interested in the professional elements of those published in Comstock Review, rather than overly cute or clever notes. We reserve the right to edit bios for space, content, and consistency with our journal.

To assist you in writing a bio consistent with The Comstock Review format, we suggest: 

Major Awards
Book/Chapbook titles
Recent/Pending Publications


Su Kim recently moved to New York City where she appears in off-Broadway theater productions. Recent work in Runes and Rhino. Foothills published her first book, New View from the Brooklyn Bridge, in 2006.

Sarah Jones is a waitress from Laguna, CA. This is her first publication.

John R. Smith (New Haven, CT), English professor at Yale. His book, French Poets of the Renaissance, was published in 2002. Chapbooks include: Falling Rain; Dripping Water; and Rising River. Recent publication credits include: Atlanta Review, Nimrod and Paris Review .

Frederick Walker (Butte, MT) is an artist and professional photographer whose poetry is featured widely in e-zines.

Book & Chapbook Reviews

Comstock Review present and former poets: Jennifer MacPherson has made an effort to review every present and former Comstock Review (and Poetpourri) poet whose work we have received or she has read in her extensive search of great poetry. Although she is currently unable to review books due to on-going medical reasons, we are working with other editors to present these short reviews. We greatly enjoy seeing the successes of poets we know from submissions or contest entries for our consideration. We link to poets’ and independent press websites as a service to our contributors. (To read reviews, and more info, click HERE.)

Reviews appear on our web site only. Please query us prior to sending your review copy but if we are able, we would be delighted to offer a short review and celebrate your publishing success. The address for mailing is:

CWG Review Dept.
The Comstock Review
4956 St. John Drive
Syracuse NY 13215

HERE to contact us.

Poetry Consulting Services (click on underlining for more info)

If you are experiencing any of the following problems in getting your poetry in reputable journals:

> rejection letters;
> near misses;
> offers to publish for a fee;
> limited access to workshops and/or peer review; and/or
> a desire to write stronger poems

consider using the Consulting Services offered by the Comstock Writers Group, Inc. Our editorial team offers line-by-line comments and general content suggestions for a reasonable reading fee.

Our current Managing Editor, Georgia Popoff, or Kathleen Niles, Editor Emerita, will read up to five of your poems (maximum 40 lines each) and critique your work offering suggestions for improvement and guiding you toward becoming a more accomplished writer. You will receive a written analysis of overall appeal to the editor as well as notes on each poem. For further information and bios on the consultants, click here. Consults are assigned on a rotating basis unless you make a special request.

Send your poems in the same format (include SASE) that you would to the editor of a journal. You may include both a cover letter and a bio. Those will be critiqued as well. $40 will cover all critiquing fees.

CWG Consulting Services
c/o The Comstock Review
4956 St. John Drive
Syracuse, NY 13215

Poetically Speaking

Can you write short articles about poetry? Do you have something to teach or enlighten other poets? Can you write a salient discourse on form? Style? Literary devices? Can you critique journals, books, chapbooks?

If so, maybe your work can be included in our website... (maybe not, too... don’t take it personally). We are willing to take a look at your articles with an eye to including some of them on the site for the edification and enjoyment of other poets. You may e-mail them to our address... if they have been published elsewhere, kindly include that information to be cited.


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