Wednesday, December 11, 2019

22 Magazines that Publish Freelance Book Reviews - Paying markets

Public Domain - Piqsels
Updated 8/8/21

The best tip anyone can give a writer is to read. Much of the craft of writing is absorbed unconsciously by reading great authors. Don't limit yourself to your own genre. Read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, personal essays, anything you can lay your hands on - especially authors whose style is wildly different from your own. Reading is the fuel that will light your creative fire.

The analytical process of reading is also important for writers. Pay attention to what the author is saying and how she or he is saying it. How is the plot structured? How are the characters developed? What are the themes and motifs? Is the use of language vivid and imaginative? Are you moved? And when you are done thinking and analyzing, consider writing about what you have read.

Here are 22 magazines that want to hear your thoughts about fiction, poetry, music, movies, art. They will even pay for your considered opinion. If you are in the process of publishing a book, or have recently been published, some of these publications also accept book recommendations for review by their editorial staff. You or your publisher can submit these recommendations. To that end, I have also included six publications that don't pay reviewers.

In addition to reviews and interviews, the majority of these journals also publish - and pay for -  fiction, poetry, CNF, and essays.

Note: Most of these magazines have submission periods, so read their guidelines carefully.

NOTE: For hundreds of paying literary magazines in every genre see: Paying Markets.

Happy submitting!


Polu Texni

Polu Texni is a web magazine about speculative fiction. Polu Texni is looking for articles, poems, or art profiles. "We’re interested in the intersection where different media, styles, crafts, and genres meet to create something more interesting than what they would be alone." They would like reviews of books pertaining to speculative fiction books, art books, illustrated books or graphic novels. Pays 3 cents a word.

West Branch

West Branch reviews poetry books. Book reviews are typically arranged by assignment, but if you are interested in writing reviews, please query with a sample. They currently pay $200 per assigned review.

Strange Horizons 

Strange Horizons publishes in-depth reviews of science fiction and fantasy, especially books, films, and television. "Reviews normally cover new works, although we do occasional features on older works, and will not reject a review because its subject has been available for a while. We're especially interested in reviews of worthy material that might not otherwise get the exposure it deserves; similarly, we are interested in reviews of works that push traditional genre boundaries." Pays $40 for reviews of at least 1000 words. They prefer reviews of 1500 to 2000 words.


Samovar is a quarterly magazine of and about speculative fiction in translation published by Strange Horizons. They are looking for in-depth critical review-essays of 2,000 to 3,000 words. These may cover: Works recently translated into English; Works that have not been translated but that will be of interest to an English-language audience; Critical works focusing on speculative fiction in translation; Some combination of the above. Pays US$40 regardless of final word count.

New Letters

New Letters is primarily interested in reviewing excellent books, movies, and visual art otherwise not receiving much attention in the national media (which means most literary titles). Book reviews should be concise, detailed, vivid, and free of theoretical and academic jargon. Length is 300-800 words for single and double book reviews. Essay-reviews of groups of books could be longer. Potential reviewers should query first. If you want to review a particular book that you already possess, feel free to suggest it. Payment for single-book reviews is $35.

The New Haven Review 

The New Haven Review was founded to be a venue for writers associated with the Greater New Haven area and to resuscitate the art of the book review. They like to see submissions from writers who can claim some connection to Greater New Haven, no matter how spurious, though it's not mandatory. They prefer book reviews that are better than the book reviews you usually see. They pay at least $500 for prose pieces, fiction or nonfiction.

The Rumpus

The Rumpus is interested in thoughtful, engaging book reviews between 1200-2500 words. Please submit a finished draft of your review rather than a review pitch. Reviews should be single-spaced and paginated. Provide the following information in your cover letter and at the top of your review: Title of book, author's name, name of press, publication date, and your name and email address. In your cover letter, please also include your contact information and a brief bio that we would use should your review be accepted. They prefer not to publish negative reviews, but it’s fine to discuss a specific weakness, lack, or question you have related to the book. Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing if one exists. They do not accept reviews where a conflict of interest exists. All work must be previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media. A monthly pool of $300 is split between writers whose work is published. See submission periods.


Barrelhouse is a print and online journal featuring fiction, poetry, interviews, and essays. They are currently open for online book reviews. “We prefer reviews that focus on recent(last two years) small press titles—especially debuts—or upcoming titles. We  are especially keen on books that do not get reviewed in US outlets as  often as others—translated works, international releases etc. … We’re interested in full-length or chapbook-length collections of poetry & prose. We’d be open to memoirs, story or essay collections, even academic works. We’re most tentative with academic titles—not because we’re not open to them—but because they would need to be accessible to the same readership as for any text.” Payment is $50 to contributors of both print and online issues.

Contemporary Poetry Review

Contemporary Poetry Review bills itself as the largest online archive of poetry criticism in the world. They invite interested critics to submit their work. Contributors are accepted on a permanent basis, and asked to contribute regularly. Contributors are never assigned any work to review; they choose their assignments and their deadlines. Reviews have no maximum word count or length restrictions. Reviewers are encouraged to write leisurely and quote amply. All editorial revisions are submitted to the contributor before a contribution is published, and all revisions are discussed. Review copies are made available to contributors free of charge, and need not be returned. Reviewers are paid for each contribution. Payment is not specified.

The Gettysburg Review

The Gettysburg Review publishes fiction, essays, essay reviews, poetry, and visual art. They don’t publish short reviews of recently published books. They are interested in "more extensive assessments of new publications, reviews that offer insights both broader and deeper than whether a given book is good, bad, or mediocre.” They welcome unsolicited reviews so long as they are essay-reviews (15-20 pages). Payment is $25/page. See submission periods. Charges for online submissions. No charge for snail mail.


Tough is a crime fiction journal publishing short stories and self-contained novel excerpts of between 1500 words and 7500 words, and occasional book reviews of 1500 words or fewer. Query the editor at before submitting reviews. Payment is $25.

The Puritan

This Canadian literary magazine publishes fiction, interviews, essays, reviews and poetry from all over the world. For reviews they are looking for pitches for 1500 to 5000-word reviews of recently released writing in any genre, including nonfiction. They generally publish reviews of books from small Canadian publishers, but are open to other works, as well. They do not publish reviews of chapbooks. Payment is $100 CAD per interview or review.

The Georgia Review

Most of this journal's reviews are solicited by the editors, but they welcome submissions from outside reviewers. They publish standard reviews (typically 3–5 double-spaced pages), which focus on only one book, and essay-reviews (typically 10-20 double-spaced pages), each of which develops a strong thesis through an engagement with multiple books in order to comment on literature and/or culture beyond the texts at hand. Essay-reviews and standard reviews earn honoraria of $50/printed page. In addition, all contributors receive a one-year subscription to The Georgia Review. No simultaneous submissions. See submission periodsCharges fee for online submissions. No fee for snail mail.

The Sunlight Press

The Sunlight Press is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, digital literary. They welcome creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, photography, and reflections by artists on their craft. "We want to hear the ways people turn toward light and hope, whether it is through the arts, culture, spirituality, or humor, and also how they respond to the darkness and navigate unknown spaces. Epiphanies are born from the ordinary and the extraordinary; whether it’s a reflection unfolding during a morning walk, after the loss of a loved one, or in the middle of unexpected laughter, we want to know about these moments." The Sunlight Press considers reviews of books, short story collections, and essay collections. Length: 750-1,000 words. Payment is not specified.

The Fiddlehead is a Canadian magazine open to writing in English or translations into English from all over the world and in a variety of styles, including experimental genres. "Our editors are always happy to see new unsolicited works in fiction, including excerpts from novels, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We also publish reviews, and occasionally other selected creative work such as excerpts from plays." Payment is $60 CAD per published page, plus two complimentary copies of the issue with your work. No charge for snail mail submissions. See submission periods.


Kaleidoscope is a journal that focuses on disability. (Writers do not have to be disabled to contribute, as long as their work is about disability.) They want “reviews that are substantive, timely, powerful works about publications in the field of disability and/or the arts. The writer’s opinion of the work being reviewed should be clear. The review should be literary work in its own right." Length: 5,000 words maximum each; two reviews maximum. They also publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, articles, and visual art. Payment is $10-100.

Slightly Foxed

Slightly Foxed bills itself as "the independent-minded literary magazine that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary review." Articles are 1,000-2,000 words. Payment is not specified.

The Copperfield Review

The Copperfield Review is a journal of historical fiction. They publish book reviews, poetry, short stories, interviews with historical novelists, and nonfiction about tips for writing historical fiction or essays about writing historical fiction. Payment is $15 for reviews and poems, $20 for fiction and interviews, and $25 for tips on writing historical fiction. Accepts submissions all year. $2 fee for online submissions.


Newfound publishes work that explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. They publish reviews of books, film, television, music, art, and more. “We like reviews that are critical, complex, creative, and culturally-minded. Reviews should consider at least one object of culture that has been recently published (within the last year) or is forthcoming. Please send work that is double-spaced, 500-5000 words in length, and includes a short author bio. If you would like to review a work listed on our reviews page or something we’ve yet to discover, send a query along with a CV and writing sample.” There is no deadline given for reviews. They also publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, translation, and art. Contributors are paid $25. See reading periods.

Tor, a highly regarded science fiction and fantasy publisher, is an imprint of Macmillan. Their blog,, accepts pitches for reviews, as well as essays, think pieces, list posts, and reaction pieces in the 1,000-2,000 word range. Suggested areas of interest are: author appreciations, essays on classic or overlooked works of SF/F, SF/Fantasy in translation (international SF/F), nostalgia-driven looks at older film/TV, Manga and Anime, Internet/Geek culture, and science and technology. If possible, please include 2-3 writing samples and links to your published work on other sites. Payment is not specified.

"Monthly, we offer subscribers fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art that challenges our comfortable perspective of the South. We strive to promote diversity, reach a broad audience, and cultivate the new Southern voice of the New Millennium. Our subscribers and contributors are a critical part of our success, and we are always seeking more of each. We attend book festivals throughout the Southeast and advertise in literary publications so we can promote the growth of new voices." Pays $40 for book reviews. See reading periods.

Non-Paying Magazines

Prairie Schooner

"We are particularly interested in reviews of books that can fairly be called diverse--we aim to publish a range of reviewers on a range of authors in each issue--and in reviews of authors' first books or recent translations. Books should be no more than eighteen months old by the time of publication (note that with our publication cycle, we are often reading to fill issues for two-three seasons from the time of submission). Reviews may consider a single book or take up two or three books together." Reviews should be no longer than 1,000 words, double-spaced, and formatted using a standard font. Payment is a complimentary copy. See submission periods.

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review is a literary journal based in Austin, Texas that publishes poetry along with art series, reviews and essays. All reviews must be germane to poetry. Reviewers must include a cover letter with a brief bio. Reviews should be no longer than 1500 words, though longer reviews are acceptable when several books are under consideration. Please submit your review in Times or Times New Roman font. Include date of publication, price, and publisher for all works considered. Poets may send books for review consideration. Payment is a complimentary copy. See submission periods.

Mid-American Review

This journal seeks book reviews of around 400 words, following the MLA style sheet, of works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction published within six months of their publication dates (April & November). Please query before sending a book review. They also accept works of fiction, poetry, translations, and nonfiction, including personal essays and essays on writing. Contributing authors will receive two complimentary copies of MAR as payment.

Rain Taxi

Rain Taxi publishes work by writers in all stages of their careers. "Our quarterly magazine provides a place for the spirited exchange of ideas about books, particularly those overlooked by mainstream review media. While Rain Taxi focuses on current releases, it also devotes space to the discussion of older works that continue to resonate. Interviews, essays, and "Widely Unavailable" (reviews of out-of-print books) are also regular features of the magazine." Rain Taxi considers books in the categories of poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, art, and graphic novels. Editorial reviews only.

Terrrain “searches for the interface—the integration—among the built and natural environments that might be called the soul of place. It is not definitely about urban form, nor solely about natural landscapes. It is not precisely about human culture, nor necessarily about ecology. It is, rather, a celebration of the symbiosis between the built and natural environments where it exists, and an examination and discourse where it does not.” They accept poetry, essays, fiction, articles, artwork, videos, and other contributions—"material that reaches deep into the earth’s fiery core, or humanity’s incalculable core, and brings forth new insights and wisdom." They publish reviews of published or forthcoming books, CDs, magazines, community planning resource kits, websites, movies, and other items, as well as “Recommended Reads”, in which authors provide a list and narrative description of the books that have most influenced their own work. No maximum word length. See submission periods.

Literary Mama

This is a monthly online magazine featuring creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, columns, essays about writing and/or reading as anyone who identifies as a mother, as well as book reviews, and profiles of mother writers and artists. “We seek reviews exploring literary work that reflects a wide-ranging understanding of motherhood as experienced through multiple lenses and bodies. We review both newly-released work and older books that we consider to be important to the genre." They want "a reasoned, fair, well-balanced and supported critique of the work, offered in a positive tone. If you include a summary, please be sure it serves a purpose in illustrating a point or reinforcing a thesis rather than giving away the plot. Do not attack the author; please restrict your critique to the author’s craft, ideas, execution, arguments, etc. We publish reviews that help us understand how a book adds to the conversation about motherhood. If you cannot recommend a book, we prefer not to review it. We’d like to see reviews that consider craft as well as content.” Reviews are 800-1500 words. Genres accepted are fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Please send a query first.

The New York Review of Science Fiction

They want reviews of science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. “Our credo is that we publish reviews which reveal the strengths and weaknesses of good books. We tend not to publish negative reviews, though we do publish reviews that examine with precision the unsuccessful elements of worthwhile books. Contrawise, we do not publish reviews which are simply gushes of unexamined praise even of the best books; we want thoughtful reviews. We are not interested in reviewing every book published — nor even the majority of books published; please query us beforehand if you are interested in reviewing a specific title. We will consider well-written and substantial reviews of books by any author, from any publisher. Reviews need not be limited solely to one book; we encourage reviewers to compare books with similar themes and to place individual works in context within an author’s oeuvre and/or within the context of the field of speculative fiction as a whole.” They also seek popular articles, essays, parodies, studies, and thought-pieces on topics related to science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. For a submission to be considered for any specific issue, they must receive the submission by the first Wednesday of the month before the issue is to be published. They publish monthly. Payment is in copies.

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