Welcome to the Good Life! 

The Good Life Review is a quarterly online literary journal committed to exploring the overlooked. Based out of Omaha, Nebraska—astride the oft unnoticed—we recognize that there are a myriad of voices that call the regions surrounding us home. Our mission is to lift up the strange, the daring, and the underrepresented to reveal complexities hidden in the heartland and beyond.

We are currently open for multiple publication opportunities plus artwork! We nominate for Pushcart and Best of the Net and pay $25-$55 for each published piece of writing. The window for our spring issue will close January 31st. General guidelines are as follows:

  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as we are promptly made aware of  acceptance elsewhere. To withdraw scripts or prose please withdraw the entire submission through Submittable. To withdraw individual flash pieces or poems, please send a message from the submission indicating which title(s) are being withdrawn.
  • The Good Life Review acquires First North American Serial Rights and the right to maintain an archive copy of work online. All other rights revert to author upon publication with a request  that if the work is reprinted, appropriate acknowledgment to The Good Life Review is made.
  • We do not publish offensive work or pieces which exhibit hatred directed toward a particular gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual identity, socioeconomic class, or other status, regardless of protected by law. In other words—if you are an asshole, we don't want your writing or your money.
  • Submit as many times as you would like in a given reading period but only one category in a single submission (for example do not create a submission with both fiction and poetry unless it is to be considered as a hybrid piece).
  • Please do not submit the same piece twice unless specifically requested to do so by one of our editors. 
  • Work must be original and previously unpublished. Give us your very best!

Currently Supported Genres:

Poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, micro fiction, short cnf, flash cnf, micro cnf, stage and screen plays, and any of the aforementioned translated from Spanish to English (with the original author's permission). 

Reading Periods:

Reading and selection for our quarterly issues is based on the following schedule:

May 1 - July 31st (Autumn Issue)
August 1 - October 31st (Winter Issue)
November 1 - January 31st (Spring Issue)
December 15 - April 30 (Summer Honeybee Prize Issue)

We are also open for content to be published on a *mostly* weekly basis on the Buzz. This includes micro pieces, short poems, and book reviews.

We are always open for artwork to be featured in our quarterly issues.

To get an sense for the kind of work we publish, please visit thegoodlifereview.com/

Work submitted here will be considered for our spring 2023 issue (online only). We publish poetry, stage & screen plays, flash fiction, flash nonfiction, fiction, and nonfiction. As of this issue payment is increasing to $55 per published piece. Genre guidelines are as follows:

For Fiction and Creative Nonfiction:

  • We consider original, previously unpublished stories and essays up to 5000 words (if it’s a little more, we will keep reading, but the story has to earn it). Please select the correct category (short, flash, micro) on the form so the submission can be routed to the correct editorial team. 
  • For flash and micro, no more than 3 pieces in a single submission. 
  • Submissions should be typed, double-spaced and paginated with one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman in Word or PDF format. 

For Poetry:

  • We consider original, previously unpublished poems in formal, free verse, and experimental forms. 
  • There is no length limit on individual poems, but please send no more than six poems per submission and no more than 10 pages in total.
  • Poems should be typed with at least one-inch margins and a 12 point serif font, preferably Times New Roman in Word or PDF format. We do our best to format poems to the exact specification desired but those with long lines may wrap unconditionally when rendered on some tablets and mobile phones.

For Stage Plays & Screenplays:

  • We consider original, previously unpublished 10-Minute plays, One Acts, and short films and television scripts/pilots up to 30 pages in length.
  • Paginate each script.
  • Please include a cover page with no identifying information as well as character breakdown list and staging instructions.
  • Scripts diverging from standard playscript or screenplay formatting will not be considered. Please ensure each script is formatted for performance: An example can be found here.

We support Spanish translations as long as the rights to translate have been previously acquired.

For all submissions: Please ensure that all personal identifiable information (name, email, address, phone, etc.) is removed from the attached document. Failure to do so will result in submission disqualification. A comprehensive set of guidelines can be found on our submission page.

Ends on $15.00

This year the prize payout has increased to $2000. 

Four to six finalists in each of the categories (Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction) will be sent to our guest judges who will select a winner and runner-up. The winning entry in each of the three categories will receive $500, publication in our summer 2023 issue, and a jar of honey from a Midwest apiary. The runner-up in each category will receive $75, and publication. Other finalists may be invited to be published in our summer issue.

There will also be one piece selected from all finalists for the Editor's Choice award. 

The judges are TBD and will be announced at a later date. 

The contest fee is $15 through February 15th at which time it will increase to $18. Finalists will be announced in May and winners in June. Response time on contest submissions may be up to six months depending on the submission date. Thank you in advance for your patience.  

Other submission guidelines are the same as our regular publication guidelines. We will not consider previously published work and request that all personal identifiable information is removed from the submitted manuscript. For a comprehensive set of guidelines and genre specific details, please visit our general submission page.

Finalists will be selected by our current editorial team.


We are seeking book reviews of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. These reviews shouldn’t simply be about good writing; they should be good writing. We aim to introduce our readers to the talents of reviewers as well as offer a space for important discussions about craft. Guidelines for reviews are as follows:

  • We prefer reviews of recently published books (2021-2023) by a diversity of authors.
  • Please use a standard font and size (e.g.,12 point Times New Roman), double spaced.
  • The sweet spot for length is between 500 and 1000 words. 
  • We prefer Word doc or docx file types, but PDF is OK if you must.
  • We do not consider reviews of self-published books.
  • Book reviews accepted will be featured on The Good Life Review’s rolling content page online which is free for all visitors of our site. They will not appear in our quarterly issue.
  • Reviews accepted for publication may still require editing or revision, in which case reviewers will work with an editor from our team to prepare the text for publication.
  • Send only one review at a time, and wait until you receive a response on a submission before sending more work.
  • We currently pay $25 for reviews published on our site. 

A few notes on reviews of poetry:

Avoid passive voice. (Don’t tell us what the poems are, but rather consider how they work). Consider how the collection relates to other collections stylistically and thematically. Consider how the arrangement and aesthetic operate in the unified body of work as well as in individual poems.

A few notes on reviews of prose:

The review should be a synthesis of summary, analysis, and critique. Consider evaluations of craft employed within the body of work. Consider the structure and organization of the story or stories. If the prose is a collection of short stories or essays, consider how each relates to the others and contributes to the whole of the book.

Please note that this is a call for book reviews and not a request to send manuscripts. Our editorial team will also be reviewing books on a limited basis in 2023. You may pitch book review requests/ideas by emailing us at editors@thegoodlifereview.com. Please include a letter that introduces yourself and explains the details of what you are pitching.
Thank you!

Does your original photography or artwork tell a story? We are currently looking for pieces to feature in our next issue. There are no specific guidelines and the only requirement is that you must own rights to the images submitted. We would encourage you to check out our latest issue @ https://thegoodlifereview.com/ to see if we would be a good home for your work.

Please note: We're a 501C3 nonprofit organization and every member of our staff is a volunteer. We put a priority on creating a beautiful platform for artists and writers to showcase their work and a positive experience with publishing but are not yet in a position to pay for artwork. We appreciate all the love that goes into every piece and hope that we can pay people for their efforts soon. 

The Good Life Review