Magazine of the month: The Reader

The readerPublished quarterly since 1997, The Reader offers the whole literary mix: new fiction and poetry, classic and neglected works, interviews with leading figures in the world of the arts, thought-pieces, advice for reading groups, research into reading and news from the world of books.

Recent issues have included poetry from Sean Haldane, Jean Sprackland, John indexBurnside and Michael Schmidt, as well as a selection of reflections on the work of Thomas Hardy and George Herbert. The magazine also features regular contributions from Ian McMillan, Brian Nellist, Enid Stubin and The Reader Organisation’s Director and Founder, Jane Davis.

Poetry and Short Fiction

Poetry and short fiction accounts for 20-25% of each issue of The Reader and they encourage published and non-published writers to send in their work.

As a guideline for length/quantity, short stories or (more rarely) extracts from novels are normally 2,000-2,500 words long, and they ask that no more than six poems are submitted at one time. Only one short story should be submitted at one time.


General Articles: The Reader publishes longer articles on individual writers, on aspects of literature, on literature and thought, and on the role of reading in life. These range from 1,500-2,000 words in length. Here, as elsewhere, the editors look for freshness of perception and quality of engagement.

Reviews: The magazine welcomes reviews of recent titles in the fields of poetry, fiction, autobiography, literary biography and literary criticism. Purely destructive reviews are not usually published. Reviews are normally between 1,000-2,500 words long but they can be shorter. They should include full details of the book reviewed.

Recommendations: The ‘Reader Recommends’ section of the magazine is an opportunity to commend a favourite or recently-discovered work, usually (but not necessarily) of fiction. Titles have included ancient classics as well as modern novels. The editors look for work which communicates why the book matters, and which makes telling use of quotation. Recommendations are normally 500 words long.

Alternatively, you could write a shorter recommendation for their ‘Good Books’ section, which is usually around  50 to 100 words.

Click here to find out more.

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