For the next few weeks we will be closing the fiction queue and will not be accepting any new submissions in that genre while we catch up with what we already have. This is temporary and we will be opening the queue back up shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to reading your work in the future. (Submissions for all other genres will continue to be accepted). 


About Us

  • Switchback is an online publication of the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. We have recently changed our publication schedule from producing two issues a year to releasing new material throughout all twelve months. Submissions will remain open!
General Guidelines

  1. We only consider previously unpublished works. No exceptions. Thank you.
  2. We do not accept submissions via email or postal service. You can submit your work to us through Submittable. If you run into any technical difficulties in uploading your submission, please contact us at
  3. We do accept simultaneous submissions; however, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere. If you’re exclusively submitting work to us, we appreciate the thought.
  4. If you’re submitting prose, please limit your submission to one story or essay at a time. And make sure your work clocks in at or under 7500 words. We won't consider any prose pieces over 7500 words. Period. Sorry, but dem's the breaks.
  5. If you’re submitting poetry, please submit to us no more than three poems. We like things in threes: Olympic medals, wishes, Cerberus heads, jazz ensembles. We don’t like things in fours, except when it comes to lists of things in threes.
  6. Before submitting, please read some of our back issues to familiarize yourself with the content we choose to publish. It's all readily available on our Web site (completely free and immediate), so there's really no reason not to.

Switchback regularly publishes reviews of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on our Web site. As a rule, we generally prefer to read reviews of lesser known works, books you’re less likely to come across in the New York Times Book Review or Publishers Weekly, but we’re open to all good writing.

The best reviews engage even readers who have no intention of picking up the book being reviewed. Therefore, your review should go beyond mere book report. Situate the book you're reviewing in a larger context. Make surprising and thought-provoking connections. You review should be able to stand on its own.

Please state in your cover letter what genre your review falls under, so we may pass it along to the correct genre editor. Publicists interested in sending us catalogue listings or review galleys of forthcoming titles should send a query to

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We are looking for inventive poetic connections. Send us poems that are artful, intelligent, and inspired by the world around you. We seek work which embodies a broad view, even while exploring the minutia of everyday life. We encourage poems with an eye on social justice themes (but save us from reading rants, please). Send us informed pieces that use form and structure as essential scaffolding of your poetry, whether that is in a form, prose, or using white space. We love complexity balanced with simple poetic moments. Switchback accepts pieces from well-read writers, attentive to not only the American poetry lineage, but poetry’s global roots as well. Please remember, three poems at a time. 
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We want good essays, personal or not. Send us the story of a family through generations or a history of the thimble. Send us whatever true thing you want, and make it pretty. There’s nothing we won’t look at, and no subject we believe unworthy.
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Switchback features artwork in a number of different contexts. If possible, please include a statement with your submission indication how you envision your art being featured in Switchback.

  1. As "cover" art, used as the background art for our issue.
  2. Single pieces, to be displayed alongside an individual work of writing.
  3. As part of a "featured artist" feature. To be considered as one of Switchback's featured artists, we ask that you submit a series of five to ten pieces, along with an artist's statement about the work.

Questions? Just email

- the editors