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The Headlight Review

We want to read you. We want to support writers, engage readers, and create a space for great art to be realized. We want high literature, but also experimental work— through it all, we want your best. We’re looking for exemplary writing that makes us sit up and pay attention.

We are open to submissions in all our genres on a rolling basis. Please submit your manuscript with a short (1-3 sentences) third-person bio in the comment section. For all submissions, please ensure that you do not include your name or other identifying information on your submission attachment; our editors read your submissions blind. We reserve First North American electronic serial rights only; all rights revert back to the author upon publication. We ask that any reprints include the author acknowledgment of the first publication in THR.

We do not charge submission or reading fees, because we want to make this space available and open for everyone; we are also not a paying market, as a result.

Book Reviews Free


The Headlight Review seeks to publish critical reviews of fiction written by new and emerging authors. We prefer books published in small literary and university presses.

We will consider book reviews that can be found in our Books Received section from new and emerging writers, students, and faculty, as well as others looking to establish themselves in the literary fiction market.

The review must include the following information (please use the MLA Style Guide):

  • title and author of book reviewed

  • place and year of publication

  • number of pages

  • price of book

  • your relationship to the author, if any

  • book awards and nominations.

Manuscripts should be 750-1500 words in length, using industry formatting guidelines.

Simultaneous submissions accepted when noted in your cover letter. Good luck!

Fiction Free


Please do engage critically with the art of fiction and the world around you. Please don’t be afraid to tell a great story. We're looking for fiction that makes a statement and has a narrative we can engage with; we want to be musing about your submission in a week, a year, even a decade from now. 5,000 words maximum in standard manuscript format.

Nonfiction Free


We love essays that make the personal into the aesthetic into the political, which is shorthand for saying we love high-quality nonfiction that can make us really examine the connections and disconnections in the world around us. We accept literary essays of all kinds in standard manuscript format, 5,000 words or less.

Poetry Free


Send us up to 3 poems that will fill us with dread, longing, wonder, or bliss in any style or form. We prefer each piece to be its own file. Format your poem how you would like to see it displayed and we will do our best to accommodate, but be aware that we may reformat when required to best show off your work on our website.


Temp Closed

We want artwork that tells a story, that has emotional texture and character. We accept photography, comics, digital artwork, and photography or scanned images of traditional artwork such as paintings, drawings, or sketches. Submissions must have a minimum of 300dpi resolution, regardless of format. Three-dimensional artwork requires a minimum of two photos taken from different angles, taken in front of a neutral background (black or gray preferred). Artwork must include the name of the artist, the title, medium, and size of the work, and the year created to be considered.