Special thanks to Gail Marlene Schwartz, who has served as fiction editor for the last couple years. Gail stepped out of of the role in January, and Publisher Andrew Keating now reviews fiction submissions. Donora Shaw has also returned to her role as poetry editor. All submission categories are now open.

Thank you for visiting Cobalt Review and Cobalt Press. Below are some general notes for our submitters. Please review these carefully, as well as those of the category to which you hope to contribute. Cobalt is not a one-size-fits-all operation. Each editor has their own style and preferences.

Submissions are reviewed on an erratic, rolling basis. We do not guarantee a response within 90 days or between 3 and 6 months. If our turnaround time is negatively affecting your chi, email us.

Some overall notes/requests:

  • We don't mind simultaneous submissions, but it does make us feel a little put-off when someone withdraws a submission less than 24 hours after we receive it with the note accepted elsewhere. If you want us to dedicate a meaningful amounts of time to your work, we hope that you are appreciative of our time and effort in publishing it. Submit because you love what we do and because you believe your work is a good fit.
  • Since we are moving to a site-based publishing format, you should be mindful of the average web reader's attention span. Each editor has their own guidelines, but an overall rule-of-thumb should be to keep it under 3,000 words.
  • Combine multiple works into a single submission. If you are sending multiple works of prose, keep the cumulative word count under 3,000 words. Poetry should be limited to 4 poems and/or 5 total pages. 
  • We do not accept previously published work. If you have any questions regarding these submission guidelines, or what we consider "previously published" contact cobalt@cobaltreview.com. You can send us other questions, too. We're nice.
  • We reserve the right to anthologize published work. Otherwise, all rights revert to the author.
  • Your cover letter should be as brief and nondescript as possible. Simply include your contact information (phone number preferred if you are submitting a full-length manuscript). We do not look at cover letters unless we intend to accept the work. If you wish to include a bio, please keep it under 200 characters (including spaces/punctuation).

We want to expect the unexpected. We are looking for extraordinary tales and the not so extraordinary, but most importantly, work that exhibits well executed writing, writing so amazing that it makes even the mundane interesting.

To give you a sense of the kind of writing that excites me, here are ten essays that I love:

All submissions of non-fiction should be 3,000 words or less. Writers are allowed (even encouraged!) to submit up to two pieces, so long as the total word count does not exceed the maximum. Please indicate your word count in the document, prior to the title of your piece.

Note: Please take the time to read the overall guidelines above. We promise that if you read them carefully, then we will read your submission carefully.

Some poetry submission guidelines(more like rules):

  • No more than four poems in a single submission, prettiest please, and only one submission at a time.
  • We're not likely to publish a 40-page poem online, but if you want to take the chance, maybe don't submit three more (just give us the one).
  • Check the list below. Our editors have curated a range of poems that represent the aesthetic they are seeking to create in Cobalt.
  • Expect long turnaround times. To quote that famous internet opossum:  "I am very small, and I have no money, so you can imagine the kind of stress that I am under." We publish poetry once annually. It may be 4-5 months before you hear from us, but of course, we'll aim for quick responses as much as possible.

The Ways to Donora’s Heart

Note: Please take the time to read the overall guidelines above. We promise that if you read them carefully, then we will read your submission carefully.

Although Cobalt is primarily focused on literary fiction, we will happily consider genre and experimental fiction as well. Types of fiction in which we are not currently interested include YA, “inspirational,” or erotica. This is especially true of stories that contain two or more of those elements at the same time. If all three, honestly, why are you still reading this?

Here are ten stories that resemble the range of stuff I'd love to find in my inbox:

A few Andrew-specific preferences:

Fiction submissions should be no longer than 2,500 words (please try to include the word count in your cover letter). My sweet spot is between 1,500 and 2,500 words, but I am often blown away by brevity.

If your story has even the slightest trace of Wes Anderson-ness to it, submit the heck out of it.

Authors may submit one work at a time (that is: one work per submission, one active submission at any given time). If I see a bunch of submissions by the same author, I'm likely to pass on all of them.

Please take the time to read the overall submission guidelines above. I promise that if you respect my time and effort, I will respect yours.

Andrew Keating