Four Genres  |  We seek well-crafted writing that takes risks. We publish work in and between all genres: poetry, fiction, essays, and plays—we appreciate work in experimental and traditional modes. We accept prose submissions of less than 7,000 words (24 double-spaced pages) and poetry submissions under five pages. We publish scripts in the 10-minute format (10 pages). Our issues feature the work of 20-35 writers chosen from our general submissions (Only one or two pieces may be by a contributing editor or author we've queried.).

Book Reviews, Translations, Illustrations  |  We publish book reviews of under two pages. We go to press in September, so books reviewed should be published between June and December. Submit reviews to Essay and signal as a review in your cover letter. We publish original translations into English. We only accept work that has not been previously published elsewhere, electronically or in print. We showcase illustrators in every issue: send your portfolio to review@tusculum.edu to be considered for a commission.

Reading Period  |  We read year round, though our response time may be slower during the summer months. We go to print annually in the fall. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please alert us via Submittable in the event of acceptance elsewhere. We would love to pay you with money, but our budget only allows for payment in copies (2).

Cover Letter  |  Please include your name, address, phone number, email address, and title(s) of your submissions in your cover letter. A short bio is optional.

Award Nominations  |  We nominate for the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Awards, Best New Poets, and The Best American Series. Irene O'Garden's "Glad to be Human: A Joie de Coeur," published in Volume 6 of The Tusculum Review, won a 2012 Pushcart Prize. Robin Storey Dunn's "Gimme Shelter" and Jamie L. Smith's "Mythology Lessons," published in Volume 16, were recognized as Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2020 in The Best American Essays 2021. In The Best American Essays 2022, Priscilla Long's "After Long Silence" and Suphil Lee Park's "An Escape Clause" (Volume 17), were recognized as Notables of 2021. Katrin Arefy's "Blowing Dandelions" (Volume 18) was honored by Series Editor Robert Atwan as a Notable Essay of 2022 in The Best American Essays 2023

Publication Rights  |  Except for second printings of the journal due to demand, all rights to material in The Tusculum Review revert to the individual authors and artists after publication (first serial rights). We request that you acknowledge us if you reprint work we published first. The ideas and opinions expressed in The Tusculum Review are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or ideas of Tusculum University, its administration, faculty, or staff. Tusculum University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, identity, religion, ethnic origin, or disability.

Online Submission Manager  |  We do not generally accept mailed or e-mailed submissions, but if Submittable is a hardship, let us know at review@tusculum.edu. If you do not have internet access, please mail your manuscript to The Tusculum Review, P.O. Box 5113, 60 Shiloh Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745-0595 and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for our reply.

2024 Issue - Volume 20  |  Our 20th Anniversary Issue will be green in color and thicker than usual. It will feature the winner of the 2024 Nonfiction Chapbook Prize selected by guest judge Mary Cappello, original illustrations of the written work, and texts in all four genres chosen from our general submissions.

Questions?  |  review@tusculum.edu  |  (423) 636-7300 ext. 5420

$20.00

The Tusculum Review 2024 Nonfiction Chapbook Prize

  • A prize of $1,000
  • publication of the essay in The Tusculum Review’s 20th Anniversary Issue (2024)
  • Creation of a limited edition stand-alone chapbook with original art

The deadline is June 15, 2024 on Submittable.com.

The entry fee is $20 per manuscript. Entry fees include a one-year subscription to The Tusculum Review (an annual publication) and consideration for publication. We encourage international submissions but must charge an additional $15 fee to mail the journal to locations outside the U.S.

Each manuscript should consist of a single essay in a standard 12-point font. Format of entries is open and may be short form, long-form, or experimental. Essays may be between 1,500 words (5 manuscript pages) and 17,000 words (55 pages: novelette-length).

Essays may not have been previously published nor be forthcoming, though small portions (less than 20% of the essay) may have been printed elsewhere (provided rights have reverted to the author). Simultaneous submissions are accepted: please alert us if your essay is going to be published elsewhere.

Please do NOT include your name or any other identifying information on any page of the essay manuscript.

Editors of The Tusculum Review and contest judge Mary Cappello will determine the winner of the 2024 prize. Family, friends, and previous students of the contest judge as well as The Tusculum Review editors are disqualified from the contest, as are those with reciprocal professional relationships.

Names and identifying information will not be visible to the judges. The Tusculum Review reserves the right to extend the call for manuscripts or cancel the award. We have only canceled one of the 20+ contests we've hosted, due to single-digit entries. We look forward to reading your work.

Mary Cappello’s seven books of literary nonfiction include a Los Angeles Times bestselling detour on awkwardness; a lyric biography; the mood fantasia, Life Breaks In; and a speculative manifesto, Lecture. She has been variously honored with Guggenheim and Berlin Prize Fellowships in Nonfiction; the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize for her documentary work with new immigrants to Italy; and the Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination from Teachers and Writers Collaborative. Her third book, the breast cancer anti-chronicle, Called Back, was recently re-issued by Fordham UP. Professor Emerita of English and Creative Writing at the University of Rhode Island, she is currently completing Frost Will Come: Essays from the Bardo based on the last two weeks in the life of her mother, poet Rosemary Cappello.

 

$2.00
$2.00

 

Please attach your story of less than 7,000 words (24 double-spaced pages) as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of the submission in your cover letter. A short bio is optional. 

$2.00
$2.00

  

Please attach your poetry submission of less of less than five pages as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title(s) of the submission(s) in your cover letter. A short bio is optional.  

$2.00
$2.00

Please attach your essay of less than 7,000 words (24 double-spaced pages) as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of the submission in your cover letter. A short bio is optional. 

We publish book reviews of under two pages. We go to press in September, so books reviewed should be published between June and December. Submit reviews to Essay and signal as a review in your cover letter.

$2.00
$2.00

Please attach your play of 10 pages as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of the submission in your cover letter. A short bio is optional.  

Tusculum students vie for the Curtis Owens Literary Awards every spring by submitting work in four genres: fiction, drama, nonfiction, and poetry. Winners in each category receive a monetary award of $250.

  • The awards are open to all current Tusculum undergraduate students, regardless of major.
  • Entrants may submit multiple entries in all four categories but should not exceed 25 pages in any single category.
  • Each entry should be a pdf, word, or jpg document immaculately formatted for publication submission (https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/) with the author’s name removed for judging purposes. Each literary work should be submitted as a separate document, but students should submit all works simultaneously, in one entry. If students need to add to or amend their submission, they should contact Sit Lux Editors Zachary Mitchell (zmitchell1@students.tusculum.edu) and Kiersten Paxton (kpaxton1@students.tusculum.edu).
  • On Submittable, students should post a cover letter that lists their name, entry titles and genres, TU email address, and phone number.
  • No work that has been previously published (in print or online) may be submitted, but pending publications will be considered.
  • All entries should be submitted to Submittable by 11:59 pm on Monday, March 11.

Tusculum’s Undergraduate Literary Journal Sit Lux

This spring marks the publication of the third volume of Tusculum University’s undergraduate literary journal Sit Lux. Editors of Sit Lux are accepting written work in four genres—fiction, drama, nonfiction, and poetry—and visual art in black & white. Please note that submissions for the Curtis Owens Literary Awards will automatically be entered for possible publication in Sit Lux. If you do not want your work to be a double submission to both the Curtis Owens Literary Awards and Sit Lux, please specify in your cover letter.

Written Work

  •  All Tusculum students, graduate and undergraduate, regardless of major, and alumni may submit written work to be considered for publication in Sit Lux.
  • Entrants may submit multiple entries in all four categories but should not exceed 15 pages in any single category.
  • Nonfiction entries should be essayistic, personal, and/or journalistic, rather than academic, though they may be centered in any subject area. Nonfiction work, like that in the other categories, should pay special heed to  voice, lyric/sound, style, and structure and be engaging to a general audience, not just a discipline-specific one. Examples of essays of this sort may be found in The Best American Science & Nature Writing, The Best American Food Writing, The Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prizes (all available in Tusculum’s Garland Library).
  • Each entry should be a pdf, word, or jpg document immaculately formatted for publication submission (https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/) with the author’s name removed for judging purposes. Each literary work should be submitted as a separate document, but students should submit all works simultaneously, in one entry. If students need to add to or amend their submission, they should contact Sit Lux Editors Zachary Mitchell (zmitchell1@students.tusculum.edu) and Kiersten Paxton (kpaxton1@students.tusculum.edu).
  • On Submittable, students should post a cover letter that lists their name, entry titles and genres, email address, and phone number. Alumni should identify themselves as such in their cover letters.
  • No work that has been previously published (in print or online) may be submitted, but pending publications will be considered.
  • All entries should be submitted to Submittable by 11:59 pm on Monday, March 11.

Please note: submissions to Sit Lux will be reviewed separately from the Curtis Owens Literary Awards. The genre editors of Sit Lux will be the ones accepting work to be published in the third volume of Sit Lux.

Alumni, please be aware that you are only eligible to submit to Sit Lux—only current students may win Curtis Owens Awards. Please identify yourself as an alum in your cover letter.

Visual Art

  • All current Tusculum students, regardless of major, may submit visual art to be considered for publication in Sit Lux.
  • Please attach separate .pngs or .jpgs for each work, up to 15 artworks.
  • Files should be at least 300 DPI, and be sized 7” x 9.5,” or be reducible to this size.
  • We'll consider black & white work in any media.
  • On Submittable, students should post a cover letter that lists their name, entry titles and genres, TU email address, and phone number.
  • No artwork that has been previously published (in print or online) may be submitted, but pending publications will be considered.
  • All artwork should be submitted to Submittable by 11:59 pm on Monday, March 11.

Sit Lux will be distributed at Tusculum's Academic Symposium on Friday, April 19.

Questions about the Curtis Owens Literary Awards and Sit Lux? Associate Professor of English Kelsey Trom  |   ktrom@tusculum.edu  |  (423) 636-7420, ext. 5420.

The Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prize was established in 1995 by Professor Curtis Owens and his wife, Billie, of Richmond Hill, New York. Professor Owens graduated in 1928 from Tusculum College, where he played football, debated, won an award for philosophy, two awards for poetry, and wrote the class poem for the 1928 annual. In his senior year, Professor Owens wrote a play which became part of the commencement ceremony. The Curtis Owens Literary Prizes serve to recognize the Owens' long-standing commitment to Tusculum by providing for an annual campus-wide competition among students who show exceptional ability in creative writing.

Monic Ductan will serve as this year's Curtis Owens Judge. Ductan will give a reading & announce her selections Thursday, April 11 at 7 pm in the Meen Center Board Room. The event will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Monic Ductan lives in Cookeville, TN, where she teaches literature and creative writing at Tennessee Tech University. She has degrees from Georgia State University, Georgia College, and University of Southern Mississippi. Monic is the author of Daughters of Muscadine, a short story collection about working-class blacks in rural Georgia. The book was named a "Best New Book for Southerners" by Garden & Gun magazine in 2023. Monic's writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Oxford American, Southeast Review, Shenandoah, Appalachian Review, and South Carolina Review. She has won several literary awards, including the Denny C. Plattner Award in nonfiction writing and the Love Merit Award in the annual Stories that Need to be Told contest from Tulip Tree Press. Her essay "Fantasy Worlds" was listed as notable in The Best American Essays 2019. Monic won an artist grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2023. Her in-progress novel focuses on a 9-1-1 operator who uncovers police corruption in a small Southern town.