A. Book Reviews - The Philadelphia Review of Books seeks thoughtful reviews of new books from all fields of inquiry and expression. The book you review should be current, published in this calendar year or the last calendar year. Please email us for a list of available titles or suggest something else you’d like to review. Your review should be between 1000 and 3500 words.
B. Essays - We also seek essays on all cultural topics including politics, literature, art, film, sports and food. Essays should be at least 1000 words in length. Please reference at least two texts in your essay. Texts can include anything from books to films to television shows to journal articles to plays to art exhibits. Personal and humorous essays are also welcome. Play with the form. If it’s interesting and well-written, we’ll publish it.
C. Reports – Send us your long-form non-fiction narratives in the third or first person. These stories should describe unique experiences and perspectives. While there are no subject guidelines for reports, they should be at least 1000 words in length. Write about anything. Reports are not memoirs. Though they can be written in the first person, the thrust of the narrative should not be the personal experiences of the author.
D. Memoirs – You know what a memoir is. Memoirs should be at least 1000 words in length.
E. Jots – (Jokes, Poems, Anecdotes, Whatever) – We’d also love to read your incidental writing about current events, politics, literature, anything you’re passionate about. These pieces should be no more than 200 words.
F. Fiction - Our views on fiction change from day to day, so send us what you’ve got, no matter the length or subject. Generally, realism and naturalism are given preference over any form of fantasy.
G. Drama – We publish single-scene short plays.
H. Art – Please submit one piece of art at a time, as a high resolution jpeg of at least 500×500 pixels.
I. Interviews – We publish interviews with interesting people. Altogether, interviews should be no longer than 2000 words. Please provide a high resolution portrait photograph of your interview subject.
J. Poetry - We are looking for work that moves us. Due to the formatting constraints of our website, we can, at this time, only publish left-justified poems. Please review previously published poems for ideas of what we like. Basically, though, we have eclectic tastes and are therefore open to a variety of styles, as long as it feels original and essential. (All submissions should be in English.)
K. Comics – We like Harvey Pekar more than R. Crumb, but like R. Crumb more than most. We also like Alison Bechdel, Anders Nilsen, Kate Beaton, Joe Sacco, Lynd Ward, Alan Moore, David Heatley and Charles Schulz, and lots of other artists. Please submit your comics one panel per image file and please name your image files with sequential numbers so we know the order of your panels. Submit high resolution jpegs of at least 500×500 pixels each.
L. Letters to the Editor – We invite letters to the editor concerning items we have published. We reserve the right to publish these letters in an unedited form.
Paste the text of your piece in an email and send it to philadelphiareviewofbooks (at) yahoo.com. Please include the type of submission and your last name in the subject line of your email submission. For instance, if William Shakespeare were to submit an essay on Proust to The Philadelphia Review of Books, he must label it SHAKESPEARE – ESSAY or we’d have to reject his submission. Previously published material will only be considered with the permission of the prior publisher and only after at least two months since the most recent publication. Simultaneous submissions are fine, just let us know if your piece has been accepted elsewhere.
We are also interested in reading pitches for essays and reviews before your write them, so send us your ideas.
Unfortunately, we can not offer compensation for your work at this time. If we can in the future, the world will be a brighter place.