Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where/how can I submit my work?

A: Like many literature journals, the Breakwater Review uses Submittable to manage all submissions. You can find our submittable page at Note that email submissions are not accepted and will not be read; you must submit via submittable to have your work considered. For more details on the format of your submission, please see our submission guidelines


Q: Is there any work that you won’t consider?

A: We do not consider work that contains excessive violence, ableist language, racist language or attitudes, or anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments. We also do not want to see excessive swearing/cursing or obscene/graphic language– we don’t mind the occasional swear, but swearing for the sake of it doesn’t impress us. If your work includes hate slurs and hate speech, it will be automatically declined.

     We are committed to the safety of our team, as well as our submitters and the literary community at large. To that end, we reserve the right to deny or remoåve the work of any submitter who is known to harass, abuse, or threaten others in the community. Of course, we are not always privy to this information, so if you see work in our issues that was written by someone known to do harm, please notify us. We will not reveal your identity to the submitter in question, and we will honor requests for removal. We believe survivors.

Q: Do you have a citizenship requirement for your contests?

A: Breakwater does not ask for nor consider the citizenship of contestants when judging for the Peseroff Prize and the Fiction Contest.


Q: Do you consider simultaneous submissions?

A: Yes, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your work has been accepted and published elsewhere. We do not consider work that has been published previously.


Q: Can you give me a status update on my submission?

A: While we try to respond to submissions as soon as possible, we tend not to make absolute decisions on rejection or acceptance until we’ve decided which pieces will be included in an upcoming issue. If a new issue has been published since your previous submission and you haven’t been notified of the status of your submission, feel free to reach out to us via email.


Q: I revised a piece that I submitted, will you consider my revisions?

A: Yes, Breakwater will consider any revisions of your work before we make a decision on your submission. Note that this applies only to writing that is currently under consideration, not writing which has been rejected or withdrawn.


Q: My work was accepted elsewhere; can I swap it for another piece of writing instead?

A: No, we do not allow writers to swap out accepted work for new pieces. We ask that you create a new submission instead.


Q: Why is your submission window closed?

A: Due to the fact that our editorial staff is comprised of MFA students who work on the journal during the academic calendar year (Fall semester from September-December, Spring semester from January-May), we restrict our submissions windows during the summer months (June-August) to a certain capacity. If our submissions are closed, it's because we've reached our cap. Not to worry--all you have to do is wait until our submissions open up again during the academic year!

     We will also be implementing a submissions cap for our general genre submissions forms if there's a contest of that genre open at the same time. This is put in place, again, due to our limits as a small, student-run journal, and we hope this encourages you to submit to our contests if our general submissions forms are closed.

Q: Do you (still) have a free submission window? 

A: While Breakwater offered a free submission window in the past, we only accept paid submissions at this time. We charge a reading fee of $3 for general submissions to help keep Breakwater fully operational and to be as accessible to our readers as possible.

Q: Do you publish issues in print?

A: No, we do not. We are an online-only literary journal that aims to be free and accessible to our readers. While publishing in print would be nice (and fancy!), we are a small and ever-rotating team of editors from the UMass Boston MFA program, we aim to bring to our readers high-caliber contemporary prose and poetry free of charge online.

Q: What rights do you request when publishing my work?

A: Breakwater retains first time publishing rights upon acceptance and publication of your work. Rights revert back to the author following publication.