Prospectus: A Literary Offering Prospectus Logo


Prospectus welcomes submissions from unpublished or little-published poets as well short prose pieces and fine-art images.

“New Beginnings” Contest

For our first contest, we have chosen “New Beginnings” as a theme for obvious reasons – Prospectus is not a “new” journal, but, in a way, we are starting all over: new format, new editor, and new plans for the future. Thus, we are looking for poems that embody the sense of a new beginning in the “starting over” sort of way, not in the graduation or wedding poem sort of way. Send us poems that will surprise us; poems that do not immediately reveal where they are going, like new beginnings don’t.


  • Send one poem only. Poems 36 lines or shorter preferred. See “Regular Submissions” below for a description of the kinds of poems we like.
  • Type your name, address, phone number, and email at the top of the page.
  • Use Times New Roman 12. Write “Contest Submission” above the title.
  • To ensure that your poem looks as it should (spacing and line breaks preserved, etc.), convert to pdf. Name your file lastnamefirstname.pdf (i.e., jeffersonthomas.pdf)
  • Include a short biography of yourself (50-75 words) that explains your new beginning – your first publication, for example, or a new style you are trying out. Though we prefer the writing of those who are unpublished as of August 31, 2020, we will also look at the work of new writers who have not published a full collection (55+ pages) yet.
  • Send to us preferably via Submittable or to Hamby Stern Publishing LLC, PO BOX 39124, WASHINGTON, DC 20016-9124. Please do not send us any poems as email attachments. These will not be read.
  • There is no contest fee.
  • The winning poem will receive $250 and be featured in the Winter/Spring 2020 issue of Prospectus. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication.
  • No simultaneous submissions for the contest, please.
  • We will begin accepting submissions June 1, 2020 and the deadline is 11:59 pm (Eastern) on August 31, 2020.

Regular Submissions

We will continue to read submissions not related to the contest during our regular submission period, June 1 – August 31 for the December issue and December 1 – February 28 for the June issue. Follow the same guidelines as above, but write “Regular submission” above the poems. Writers not submitting to the contest may send up to three poems. There is no reading fee and no prohibition against simultaneous submissions as long as you withdraw your poem from consideration immediately upon hearing of its acceptance elsewhere. Please do not send us personal, sentimental, or children’s poetry. We are looking for poetry that shows a sense of craft-content and form working together to bring thoughtful meaning to the poem. We are open to formal poetry as long as the form is working for the poem; for example, a perfectly rhymed and metered sonnet would not be of interest to us unless it also has fresh and thoughtful content.

Fiction Submissions

We will also look at short fiction submissions (2500-3000 words). No novel chapters, please. We prefer traditional short stories with good characterization and a strong voice. Follow the same rules as above for submission.

Art / Photography Submissions

Artists and photographers may submit up to 3 pieces for consideration in .jpeg format. Note that your artwork must be able to conform to Prospectus’s dimensions and style (5 ½ X 8 ½, full color or black and white) in either portrait or landscape mode.


Prospectus publishes reviews of chapbooks, full-length collections of poetry, short-story collections, first novels, and art books. The piece reviewed must have been published no longer than one year before submission of the review. Reviews should be 250-300 words and include the publisher’s name and cost of the book. Reviews may also appear on the Prospectus website. Reviewers need not be new writers, though, as always, new writers are welcome to submit.


Prospectus believes artists should be paid for their work and will pay $25 for each published piece. In addition, you will receive 5 copies of the journal plus a 15% discount on additional copies and subscriptions. Please contact the editor at to order extra copies for readings, book fairs, and book stores. Don’t forget to tell us about any events in which your are partiipating, so that we can share the details on the blog and mailing list.


Prospectus asks for exclusive First North American Serial Rights (FNASR) and nonexclusive electronic, online, and archival rights. This means you agree to allow Prospectus to be the first publisher of your work in North America (meaning your work has not been previously published anywhere else, including personal blogs, websites, or social media), after which rights return to you. We reserve, however, the right to republish your work on our website, blog, archive, or promotional materials related to Hamby Stern Publishing both online and in print.

Join the Prospectus mailing list to receive to receive information about upcoming issues, contests, and blog posts. Facebook Logo


© Copyright 2020, Hamby Stern Publishing LLC. All Rights Reserved.