The 2016 reading period is OPEN.  We will read submissions until September 1, 2016.

Click Here for our Online Submission Manager

ATTENTION! We are doing something unusual with this year's issue!

In December 1816 (so 200 years before this issue will be published), John Keats and his friend Leigh Hunt had a small sonnet ‘competition.' While relaxing one evening, they decided each to try to write a sonnet in 15 minutes on the subject of a grasshopper and a cricket. By most opinions Keats won the contest. But that is beside the point.....

In the spirit of this moment—a reminder that poetry can be fun and sudden, not always brooded-upon and hatched like some eternal egg—we are putting together an issue of new sonnets. We give you ONE HOUR to draft the poem, and your sonnet should be on one of five themes:

  1. Silence
  2. A container
  3. A walk
  4. Water
  5. A frame

We are going to publish 10 sonnets on each of these five themes. As they fill up, we'll remove them from the list of available topics. If your sonnet is picked for publication, we'll pay you $75. Not bad for an hourly rate....

If you decide to take us up on this challenge and submit a sonnet (or sonnets), please put ‘Sonnet Issue' in the title of your uploaded file on our submissions manager. We will still be accepting 'normal' submissions for future issues, and both types of submissions should follow our general guidelines (below).

The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review seeks submissions of original poetry and poetry in translation.  Our chief criterion is quality.  While we have published the work of many well-known and well-published authors, we are as open to the new writer as to the established one.  We are most certainly open to verse in both traditional meters and form, as well as to poems written in free-verse.  Such poems, however, we hope will not forget that they are written, indeed, in verse.  For all writers wishing to submit, please use our online submission system.  As has become common in the world of literary journals, we charge a small fee ($2.50), which is roughly equivalent to the cost of a returned postal submission in time and materials.  Simple instructions for payment can be found on our submissions page.  Current subscribers may submit at no charge.  A submitter may also subscibe at any level in lieu of paying the reading fee.  

We aim for a 3-4 month response time for submissions, but ours is a small staff, and we may sometimes take a bit longer. Please do not query until 5 months have passed.  We will accept simultaneous submissions but appreciate being informed as soon as possible should a poem or poems become unavailable.

Poets whose work appears in the review will be compensated with two copies of the issue in which the work is published.  We do believe, however, that writers should be paid for the use of their work, and we hope to be able to offer such payment to our authors sometime in the future.

For editorial queries or withdrawal of submissions, please contact us at:

Though we strongly prefer online submissions,  we will still read mailed submissions (with SASE), though our response time may be considerably longer. If you need to contact us via mail, for reasons editorial or otherwise, our address is:

Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review
Box 66
Hampden-Sydney, VA  23943