Thank you for your interest in submitting to Cream City Review! We devote ourselves to publishing memorable and energetic fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork which represent a broad range of creators with diverse, unique backgrounds. Both beginning and well-known writers are welcome.
We’d like to thank you for your patience as we work through the queue. Please be assured that our volunteer readers and genre editors are doing their best to keep up with your great work.

All submissions are considered for issues one year in advance, and our reporting time is typically 4-8 months. Thank you for your patience in advance. We do our best to respond within 8 months. If you don’t hear from us by then, please send us a query email to the corresponding genre editor(s) via these e-mail addresses:

Our submission periods are:

Fall/Winter Issue: August 1-November 1
Spring/Summer Issue: January 2-March 2

Submissions are accepted only through Submittable. We ask you wait to submit again until you receive a response from us. Please note that submissions sent via mail or email will be discarded.

* If you are considering sending us work, please read the guidelines below.



  • We have a wide range of aesthetic tastes, so we highly recommend you read our recent issues to get a sense of what kind of work we are interested in.
  • The author’s name, e-mail address and phone number should appear on the first page of the manuscript.
  • Please number all pages of the manuscript.
  • All submissions are considered for our print magazine and/or online feature. If you would not like to be considered for online publication, please state this in your cover letter.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as CCR is notified at the time of submission. Please withdraw your submission through Submittable if your work is accepted by another publication.
  • Literary files should be submitted in PDF or DOC format. Art files should be submitted in JPG, TIFF, or PDF (see below for further details).
  • CCR is not responsible for lost or damaged files, so be sure to keep a copy of your work.
  • We ask that you submit no more than once in a single submission period.
  • We ask all former contributors wait at least 2 years before submitting to us again.
  • Submissions from current UWM students and Alumni who graduated in the past two years are not eligible.



  • Number of pieces: 5 poems at a time in a single file format.
  • Number of pages per piece: No length restrictions.
  • Format: .doc, .docx or PDF.
  • From the editors: We aim to represent and publish a wide variety of authors and poetics at CCR, and as such especially encourage submissions from poets of color, Indigenous poets, queer and LGBT+ poets, and poets with disabilities, in addition to whatever other worldviews and lived experiences you bring to your work. We like strong, vivid images and language that moves the poem somewhere and take us with them. We like poems that don’t shy away from feelings, or that work towards an understanding of why we shy away from feelings at all. We like energy in our poems, kinetic and potential, and sometimes both at once. We like experimentation and poems whose form enriches the content, so send us your weird ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world—whether that’s a sonnet or an erasure or a form we haven’t even seen yet.


  • Number of pieces: Please send one story at a time.
  • Number of pages per piece: Manuscripts should be no longer than 20 double-spaced pages.
  • Format:  .doc, .docx or PDF.
  • From the editors:  What makes a story memorable? We want lingering, emotional stories that rattle our rib cages long past the last line. We want stories that are sticky in our brains for their excellent imagery choices and their smart constructions. We are always in search of stories that bypass obvious shock tactics–graphic violence, in particular–and instead surprise the reader with their insight, their generosity of spirit, and their bravery of expression. And what makes a story energetic? We’re looking for fiction that’s tightly written and well-crafted. We love stories that know exactly why they’re making the decisions they make in form and experimentation, instead of stories that strive for oddness as an end goal. The way you tell the story should be best and only way to tell that story. We can’t wait to read; thanks for trusting us with your words.
  • NOTE: While we admire and welcome stories that borrow from commercial genres like science fiction and mystery, traditional works in these genres are unlikely to find a home with us.

Creative Nonfiction

  • Number of pieces: Please send one piece of creative non-fiction at a time.
  • Number of pages per piece: Manuscripts should be no longer than 20 double-spaced pages.
  • Format:  .doc and .docx preferred, PDF accepted.
  • From the editor: We are open to the full range of creative nonfiction, from the lyric essay through the personal to more topical forms. Whether the through line of the piece is drawn taut by the pursuit of fact or the unfolding of experience or the pull of an image, it is first and foremost language and voice that will draw us in.

Book Reviews

  • We are currently not accepting book reviews or queries.  Our reviews are solicited by the editors.


  • Number of pieces: Please submit up to 4 works of unpublished art (work that has not been published in print or selected through a juried process, such as contests). Our artists are often published portfolio-style—if your work is advanced for publication, we may showcase more than one of your pieces.
  • Format: Image files (JPG, TIFF or PDF), high resolution (300 dpi or better).
  • From the editor: Please visit our Instagram account to get a sense of the type of work we have published before. In addition to 2D works, we are also interested in documentations of installations, social practice projects, earth art, light art, street art, and maker work. We like text art and asemic writing. We’re open to showcasing artists from anywhere in the world, but be sure to let us know if your work has connections to Milwaukee.

I/O (eye-oh)

  • Number of pieces: Please submit up to 2 works
  • Number of pages per piece: 10 pages (+digital components).
  • Format: For print, .docx is preferred, unless graphical/visual elements are necessary (then .pdf preferred). We do not have a preferred format for digital components, but a completely self-contained website with the content (web directory) should be provided. Given the hybridity and complexity of this genre, we may not be able to accept even meritorious submissions if we cannot provide appropriate resources and services to showcase the work. *Some additional criteria to consider for submission: digital work will be accessible at; smallest possible file size without distorting the work is requested; color profile used is U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2; and the print journal size is standard digest size on 80lb. matte paper. (Please contact us for any format or medium-specific needs.
  • From the editor:  We are seeking submissions that span and coordinate both traditional print and digital components such that each platform may complement one another in the creation of interactive, programmatic, and other genre-bending works. We are looking for works that do the following:
    • Ask how ideas are expressed differently in language and image
    • Tell a story with/across multiple media objects
    • Use written language to open up, rather than limit, possible readings of multimedia texts
    • Use multiple formats to lay bare processes typically concealed in digitization
    • Prompt participatory engagement with sound, image, and text
  • Examples may include: Poems or collage-works including QR codes or other bi-modal mechanisms, aleatory or generative texts with code exposed for manipulation, collaborative or socially mediated works with a print outcome, riddles, puzzles, or cryptograms connected to unlockable material online, and (especially) any text that stretches the boundaries of print-digital hybridity.
  • Please visit us here to get a sense of the type of work we have published before.
* Compensation: Contributors are given a free subscription of 2 different issues, beginning with the issue in which their work appears.

* Copyright: Copyright reverts to the author upon publication in our printed journal as well as online on Project MUSE. CCR retains the right to republish in future print or online issues of the magazine, including  on CCR’s website.