The Bombay Review

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Welcome to The Bombay Review. We look forward to reading your work!

(SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR LGBTQ+ EDITION (VOL II) only. Please mention ‘LGBTQ+’ in email subject line.

CLOSED FOR REGULAR ISSUES As of October, 2022. All submissions made between May and Decemeber 2021 are still being read and are under consideration. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.)


Read, write, repeat.



The Bombay Review, an international literary magazine publishing some of the finest creative writing from around the world is open for submissions!

We have a rolling submission cycle so there is no deadline for regular upcoming issues. However themed editions, paid calls, and special issues usually have a deadline. Please check the appropriate call for all details. Notices for these are regularly posted on our website and social media handles.

We are reading, every day, all month, and a literary magazine can never have enough submissions. That said, due to the volume of submissions – we now take 90 days to respond to accepted pieces. While we try to respond to all submissions; it is not always possible because of time, man power and funding factors.

What are we looking for? What do we usually publish? Do we have preferred formats? The details are below. 

What We Accept

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Art/Photography
  • Essays/CNF
  • Excerpts (Publishers only)
  • Reviews
  • Writing Resources

Minimum words: 1500 | Maximum words: 6000 - we might occasionally accept a longer piece.
Themes we have a soft spot for – Identity, Belonging, Love, LGBTQIA+, Political, Historical, Realist satire, Family, Justice, Injustice, Hatred, Fascism, Feminism, Freedom, Social Commentary, Persecution, Community, Nationalism, Sacrifice, Mental Health
But of course all genres are read and enjoyed. Please send only one piece at a time.
Example: Fiction | ‘Drawing the Line’ by Sandeep Satishchandra

Maximum 5 poems.
Please submit all poems in one document.
Example: Poetry | ‘Reincarnatic Raga’ by Amit Majmudar | Issue 36 (Nov, 2020)

Photography and art publication in The Bombay Review is rare, but something that we definitely want to work more with.
We have published or plan to, photo stories and art themed around LGBTQIA+, BLM, and DBA narratives.
Photography submissions should have a literary bent as an underlying theme if submitted for regular issues.
For country specefic themed editions (Past: Iran, Upcoming: Lebanon) - we are open to all kinds of photography and art. 
Please send us a query, and brief introduction of your art/photo story first with a maximum of two sample images.

  1. ‘An Indian gothic drag art performance’ – A photo essay feat. Patruni Chinanda Sastry | by Saumya Kalia | LGBTQ+ (Vol I) – Issue 35
  2. Iranian Edition (Vol II) | Art by Fereshteh Najafi | Issue 40 (2021)

Essays and Creative Non Fiction should be literary and/or cultural theme around them.
For example, an essay about how Covid19 has created a problem in your district is something that we are not looking for - that is journalism. No matter how funny this government is, your political commentary is not our cup of tea either. An essay about rediscovering Mumbai via handpumps from colonial times? A grandfather who writes text messages from the other room: Bring chai? Yes.
Wikiman says: Creative nonfiction (also known as literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction or literary journalism is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction is not academic or technical writing or journalism.

  1. Personal Essay | ‘Escape’ by Karan Madhok | Issue 38 (Feb, 2021)
  2. Archiving Loss and Silence – The Twin Impetus of my Fiction – Rituparna Roy

We accept excerpts of  published/upcoming novels, short fiction and poetry collections directly from publishers. (Traditional and Indie). We are not looking for self-published work at the moment. If you are a publisher, you can send us a query letter with a list of titles that you would like us to excerpt. A physical copy + an e-copy will be required. We prefer if there is a longer collaboration with a publisher, than a one-off title.
(English Translations of regional Indian language and international language books are something that The Bombay Review is seriously looking for.)
Example: Book Excerpt | ‘The Play of Dolls’ by Kunwar Narain | Penguin Random House India | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

We accept reviews of  published/upcoming novels, short fiction and poetry collections if directly requested from publishers. (Traditional and Indie). We are not looking for self-published work at the moment. If you are a publisher, you can send us a query letter with a list of titles that you would like us to review. A physical copy + an e-copy will be required. We prefer if there is a longer collaboration with a publisher, than a one-off title.
Please note: If you are a writer, you cannot ask us to review your book yourself or via an acquaintance.

This is something that we love to do! What are these writing resources? Here are a few examples:
1.Top Indian/Asian Literary Magazines to submit your Creative Writing to.
2. Top 25 LGBTQI+ Magazines and Zines from India/Asia
3. Writing Competitions and Awards for you (2020 – 2021)
4. 100 Notable/Best Books of Fiction from India – 2020: by The Bombay Review
These are resources for writers and readers, relevant, timely and well, show good. Not just limited to listicles, pitch us an idea if you think we should publish a resource.
Hm, we are looking for 100 Fiction Books from North East India (post-1947) by the way since 12 months now. (Most of these take a month's research - and you will receive an internship certificate)

General Guidelines

Email & Attachment File (Writing + Picture)

  • Attachment file
    Submissions must be a Microsoft Word attachment (.doc, .docx or .rtf)
    Font preferred – Times New Roman – Size 12. We like receiving a submission like this –
  • Edit your piece
    Please make the Editor’s job easy and increase your chances of selection; run a simple spelling and formatting check via your preferred software. Seeing a murder spelled as redrum can put an editor off. 
  • Name of submission file (Format) AND Subject Line of Email
    If you are a Tony Stark submitting poetry from Karachi, the document title (Your file name) should be:
    Poetry Submission – Tony Stark (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • In the Email body
    Kindly include a two-three line third person professional bio of yourself, along with your country. Please give details about your publication history, and/or work/study information, preferably hyperlinked.
  • Picture of Author
    An author picture is required as an attachment in your email. In case, we are not able to illustrate your piece, the picture will be used as featured image. 
    A high-resolution, square, color picture is preferred.

More Details

Are simultaneous submissions allowed?

Discouraged, but accepted. Please inform us if your piece is accepted somewhere else within 3 days.

Do you accept other languages?

No, not at the moment. We are an English only magazine.
Just to be clear: no Hindi.

What about Font, Color & File

Font: 12, Text Color: Black
File (for writing) must be a Word Document only. No PDFs.

Do you charge a Submission Fee?

No. We do not charge a submission fee for any of our regular submissions.

I uploaded my writing on social media. Is that okay?

Discouraged, but accepted. You will have to take it down from your SM if we select it.

CHECKLIST CHECKED? – Email us your work at

So you have sent in your work or have a query. What next?

The magazine is a voluntary enterprise – with all our editors, illustrators, designers, coffee-sharers and social media managers being passionate individuals who take time out from their work/student lives for the magazine, for you – the reader and the writer.

It is hard work, and we might not be available around the clock. That is why, we have tried to make this simpler for you. Almost every query that we can think of, is answered on this page. If you still feel we have missed something, feel free to get in touch. 

Do you get a reply, if so, when?
We reply to selected work within 90 dates from date of submission. Any query sent before that will probably not be answered. 

Open Reading Periods

Ongoing as of May - 2021

Publishing New and Upcoming Writing


Due to the volume of the submissions, we often feel that we are not able to publish and give space to more new and younger writers. Every month, a few writers/poets (not more than 8 each) who were longlisted for our magazine issues, but did not make it to the final selection, are offered a chance to learn from, edit and rewrite with Creative Writing instructors via Workshop. Writing from these workshops are featured in our NAUW editions.