The Critical Flame publishes book reviews, criticism, literary nonfiction, and interviews. We have no specialties. Our audience is the intelligent reading public.

New issues are published quarterly. We consider submissions year-round. Please allow 2-4 months for a response before following up by email.

We encourage writers from all backgrounds to submit their work for consideration, particularly those who have encountered barriers due to their gender, sexuality, racial identity, disability, lack of academic credentials, or exclusion from social networks that generate opportunities. 

Past contributors include renowned authors and academics as well as librarians, bartenders, students, carpenters, and busboys. An open, careful, inquisitive mind is the only prerequisite to publication. 

Literary criticism and theory typically run 2000-4000 words in length. Essays should present a strong new analysis of a work. Pieces that reflect a contemporary resonance will be given preference. Include 2-3 sentences about the topic in your cover letter.
Essays and nonfiction typically run 2000-4000 words in length. Some genres accepted include, but are not limited to: travel writing, memoirs, biography, belles lettres. Looking for work with an idiosyncratic voice and strong point of view. A literary hook is nice but not necessary.
Translations are not just welcome. They are encouraged. Essays, nonfiction, theory, and literary criticism of 2000-4000 words in length will all be considered. Translated essays and literary criticism should be accessible to an English-language readership.
Book reviews that explore strengths and weaknesses will be given preference over those that are purely laudatory or mere vitriol. We're not interested in thumbs up / thumbs down or simple summary. Reviews typically run 1500–2500 words in length. They should cover titles that are forthcoming or that were published within 12 months prior to submission.
Conversations / interviews between writers of any genre are welcome. They should focus on the content, themes, and cultural implications of an author’s work — not their craft, their writing habits, or literary gossip.
The Critical Flame