When Literary Chicago re-launched in June of 2014, Ian Belknap, the founder and host of the popular Write Club reading series said that it “straddles the worlds of fandom and criticism” and that “its aim is to root literary ass-kickery wherever they find it.” Yes. That’s it exactly. We geek out over strong storytelling, over what words can do on the page and on the stage. We’ll be honest in reviewing books and that will usually mean some criticism—but we WANT to love them, we SEEK OUT their beauty and power. And we invite you to join us.
If you’d like to see your work on Literary Chicago, familiarize yourself with what’s already here to see what kind of essays, reviews, interviews, and event write-ups we’re seeking. Please note that we do not publish fiction or poetry at this time. Also, we’re all volunteers here—it’s a labor of love for us—and that means we don’t have any money and can’t pay for your writing. But still, we maintain high standards, so please send us only your best. Reviews and event write-ups should be between 200-500 words, more if they’re hybrid pieces that include relevant personal experience (examples: “Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Finding an Honest Guide in Ben Tanzer’s Lost in Space” and “The Power of Story“). Essays and interviews should be anywhere between 200-1,500 words. Exceptions can be made if you dazzle us.
By submitting to us, you agree that your writing is created exclusively by you and not copied from any other source, that it does not contain self-promotion or advertisements, and that it does not disparage or threaten anyone. Please send all submissions to submit [at] literarychicago [dot] com. Make sure to indicate in the subject header whether your submission is an essay, review, interview, or event write-up and to include a brief bio that could be published alongside your work. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!