Open Call for Book Reviews

1972 July Reference DeskFourth & Sycamore is looking for book reviews. If the reviews come with ongoing reviewers attached to them, all the better.

If you’re new to our site, Fourth & Sycamore is the literary journal of the Greenville Public Library in Ohio. We publish book reviews, author interviews, fiction, poetry, and essays. We have a book critic who writes 1-2 reviews a week for us (David Nilsen, member of the National Book Critics Circle), but we would love to feature even more book reviews than that.

Which is where you come in.

Do you love to read new books? Do you love to write about them? Are you unsure if you love to write about the books you love to read, but you do love to write and want to give criticism a try? Are you a freelance writer wanting to get your voice out there? Were you recently fired from the New York Times and want to write for free for a library lit journal as a way of recharging your cosmic karma account? A yes to any of the above questions makes you a perfect candidate to submit book reviews to us.

Most of our current book reviews are of poetry, literary and small press fiction, and nonfiction books on topics such as gender and sexuality, film, and music. Those are what our critic likes, and we like our critic, so it works. We’d love to diversify our reviews though to include fiction and nonfiction of (almost) all genres to more fully meet the needs of our library’s patrons and our literary journal’s readers. We would really love to develop relationships with talented writers who want to write reviews for us on an ongoing basis and don’t mind that we can’t pay one single cent for said reviews.

If you’re interested, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Read through some of the reviews currently on our site and get a feel for what we publish.
  2. Read our writing guidelines in their entirety and follow them when submitting work. If you don’t follow them we are authorized by the state of Ohio to trap rabid skunks and drop them on your house via drone (this provision was rolled in with a campaign finance bill and no one noticed till it was passed into law).
  3. If you are interested in writing one-off reviews, query us as instructed in the guidelines.
  4. If you are interested in writing reviews for us on an ongoing basis, email us at the address provided in the guidelines. Include a short bio, let us know why you want to write reviews for us, tell us about what you like to read (and would like to review), let us know how often you would be interested in writing reviews, and verify you understand you will not be paid a single rusty penny for doing so. You also need to either include links to at least two pieces of your writing and/or attach two writing samples (these don’t have to be reviews, but it would be awesome if they were).
  5. Understand there is an editorial process for being accepted. If we choose not to accept your submissions, or your bid to write regular reviews for us, please don’t take it personally. We sincerely appreciate your interest. Don’t hate us.

We are very excited to hear from you. Send us your best. If you let us down our editor might cry, and he’s an ugly crier and also controls the skunk-deployment drones. Don’t make us skunk bomb you.

Now get writing!

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