Comstock Review, Inc.

Type Of Organization
Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
Note: Beginning in 2020 The Comstock Review (a poetry journal founded in 1987) were absorbed into Comstock Review, Inc., a newly formed 501c-3 non-profit organization. The stated purpose of Comstock Review, Inc. is "to promote, inspire and support the writer's community by providing a platform for writers to publish their written works, and to develop and promote programs, events, competitions, activities, and communications for and among writers.” Mission Statement: The mission of Comstock Review, Inc. (“CRInc”) is to promote the writing, reading and appreciation of poetry, and to provide opportunities for poets of all ages to share their work with broad audiences. We work to bring high-quality poetry to a wider audience through print, electronic media and in-person activities. We seek to encourage and honor diverse poetic voices. We affirm the “classic” talents of seasoned writers and give a never-forgotten hand up to new, rising talent. At the same time we work to attract new audiences and to broaden awareness of rich poetic heritages and innovative forms of expression. Editorial Focus of The Comstock Review (poetry journal): Our primary vehicle for achieving this mission is the volunteer editorial board that has overseen publication of The Comstock Review from its founding over thirty-five years ago as the local poetry publication, Poetpourri (renamed The Comstock Review beginning in 1997). The Comstock Review (the poetry journal) is proud of its long-established reputation of publishing the finest known and unknown poets throughout North America. The editors use a peer review process, and choose poems solely on the basis of what we consider to be their artistic merits. The editors bring diverse preferences and interests to the peer review process, collaborating to select the best poems among those submitted. Editors share the following guidelines in general: Well crafted verse, either traditional or non-traditional, A poem that tickles your brain long after the page has turned, Theme or approach that casts new light on the world and the human condition, Effective use of poetic devices and sonic qualities, Refreshing, distinctive imagery and diction.

Social Media Platforms Used
Is Your Group Affiliated With A University, Portal Or Other Agency?
Primary Editor/Contact Person
Betsy Anderson
Contact Title
Managing Editor / Board President
Submissions Policy
We accept submissions both electronically via Submittable and in print (by mail). 1.) Open reading period (January 1 - Mar 31): Peer review by multiple readers and unlimited submission with no fee. 2.) Poetry contest (April 1-July 15): Fee for up to 5 poems. 60-line limit and no-names peer review by multiple editors. And outside Judge selects 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes from the top 25 entries. All 25 prize and special merit poems are published in the Fall/Winter award issue, and finalist authors receive a free copy of the issue in which prize poems appear. In addition, editors' choice Honorable Mention poems' authors receive a 1-year subscription. First, Second and Third Prize winners receive cash prizes oc $1000, $250 and $100 respectively. 3.) Chapbook contests (Aug 1 - Oct 31): Fee for each submission includes a copy of the winning chapbook. 25-34 pages of poetry. No simultaneous submissions. Blind peer review screening. Winners are chosen from top 25 entries by a judge selected from among the editors, but not involved in screening. Winner receives a cash prize plus 50 complimentary copies of the chapbook.
Accepts Unsolicited Submissions
Simultaneous Submissions Accepted
Reading Period
From 01 / 01 - 03 / 31
Reporting Time
01 - 04 months
Author Payments
1) Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Poetry Contest runs from 4/1 to 7/15 2) Chapbook contests run from 8/1 to 10/31
Number Of Unpaid Staff
Year Founded
The Comstock Review (Journal) – 1987; Comstock Review, Inc. – November 2019
Betsy Anderson
Board President and Managing Editor
How Did You Arrive At Your Current Position?
I first came to know The Comstock Review as a poet, submitting work to the journal. I took part in local writing workshops, and got to know the founding editors. I was asked to join them in the 1990s, and became managing editor in 2015.
What Is The Staff Structure At Your Magazine/press?
Major decisions made by the Ia "working" (volunteer) non-profit board officers. The Managing Editor oversees the journal and day-to-day operations, and directs a loose editors' collective. Volunteer editors read poetry, assist in a variety of roles.
Do You Have Any Cover Letter Advice?
We accept mail submissions, but prefer Submittable. Be Brief! It's not a blurb; it's a 50-word bio/credits. THE POEM IS THE THING. Include contact info in COVER letters for poetry contests. DO NOT include your name /address on Contest documents.
How Are Submissions Processed In Your Magazine/press?
Open reading poem submissions are all read by at least three editors. For contests, multiple editors screen submissions and pick 25 to go to the final Judge. All Chapbooks read on a pass/fail basis, then screened; top 25 are sent to Judge.
What Do You Look For In A Submission?
Content and Craft. Meaningful use of poetic technique. Thoughtful sound and rhythm use. An understanding of what language can do - a compelling read, but something deeper, more intimate, or grander. We appreciate playfulness as well as the craft.
What Advice Do You Have For First-time Submitters?
DON'T WORRY. Be yourself, find your voice. Keep crafting, and send your very best work. THE POEM IS THE THING. It's not too late; you're not too young (or old). Approach every poem as your first. The editors here will appreciate it for what it is.
Do You Have A Favorite Unsolicited Submission Discovery Or Anecdote?
We operate anonymized two-tier reading in our contests. In the chapbook contest, editors screen chapbooks and send the top 25 to the final judge, who receives them without identifying information as well.
Who Is Your Ideal Reader?
Readers who are open, inquiring, thoughtful. We try to widen our readership by making copies available in local libraries, waiting rooms and (when we can) to incarcerated people. Our ideal reader may be new to reading poetry or a lifelong learner.