The Acorn Review literary journal is a publication of Grossmont College in El Cajon, California. All residents of San Diego County are welcome to submit work to Acorn Review. In particular, the journal welcomes submissions from the Grossmont College community including current and former students and staff of Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges.  Submissions in multiple categories are encouraged, but contributors must adhere to the submission limits in place for each category. The current submission period for Acorn Review will open August 20, 2018 and close at midnight on November 30, 2018. Acorn Review is generally published each Fall semester and copies are available for purchase in the Grossmont College campus bookstore. 


All work is judged anonymously by student editors, and selections are based on literary and artistic merit.  Acorn Review does not provide feedback on individual submissions. Student editors are enrolled in English 145: Acorn Review Editing and Production. Please contact faculty advisor Juliana Cardenas at julie.cardenas@gcccd.edu for information about enrolling in this course.


Chest-O-Drawers Press, El Cajon, California 

The Grossmont College Creative Writing Program and Chest-O-Drawers Press are pleased to announce the return of the First Book Contest. 


General Guidelines

Entries submitted via Submittable only, $5 reading fee per submission.

  • Submissions accepted beginning November 1, 2018 on a continuous basis. Prize award contingent on receipt of an adequate selection of suitable, qualifying manuscripts. Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, but, if a manuscript is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw your manuscript from the First Book Contest and let us know about your happy circumstances so that we may remove your manuscript from judging.
  • One contest entrant per submission. Contest is open to all local/regional writers who are not employees of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District and who are bonafide residents of San Diego County during the contest’s submission, judging, and editing/publishing process.
  • Single-author manuscripts only, book-length (50+ pages) or chapbook-length (20-50 pages). Acceptable genres/categories: literary fiction; literary nonfiction (e.g., memoir); poetry; hybrid forms. Not accepted: graphic literature; children’s literature; manuscripts containing multiple genres (e.g., poems and short stories); art work and photography. Manuscripts should be primarily in English; translations into other languages are not eligible.
  • Previously unpublished manuscripts only. Manuscripts must not already have been published in book or chapbook form, nor be in production for book publication by another press or publisher. For the purposes of this contest, a "previously published" manuscript is a volume of prose or poetry already available through trade distribution (i.e. local and/or on-line, including Amazon or print-on-demand booksellers). Manuscripts containing individual works previously or currently being published in periodicals or anthologies are acceptable, as long as the manuscript, itself (or a version of it) has not already been published. Winner of the First Book Contest will be requested to provide citations for all published individual works that are included in, or integral to, the manuscript, including stories, poems, and excerpts appearing in periodicals and anthologies.
  • The winning manuscript will undergo an editing process before going to press, during which time the author will collaborate with designers on cover art: editorial staff will make the final decision on artistic design, and Grossmont College will retain rights to cover art; author (or his/her estate) will own copyright of their written creative content.


Submission Specs

You’re welcome to include as part of the submissions process a short bio or any relevant information about yourself and the manuscript. The document you submit, however, should

  • if prose, be double-spaced; if poetry, be single-spaced (with allowances for special typography and layout), each poem beginning on its own separate page in the manuscript; 
  • be standard letter size (8.5 x 11") in portrait orientation and use Arial or Helvetica 12 pt. black font on white page background; 
  • submitted as MS Word (preferred) or PDF;
  • have a cover/title page indicating the manuscript’s working title, as well as provide the author’s full name, residential address (not P.O. Box), and contact information (e-mail preferred);
  • include a "Table of Contents" if a collection of individual works or chapters;
  • have sequential pagination in the upper-right corner (document header) of all pages, excluding the cover page and table of contents; and,
  • identify in the header of the document, both, the author's last name and the title  (e.g., Smith—My Title). 
Up to 10 artwork pieces may be submitted by any one person during each submission period. All works must be titled and submitted separately. Submissions must be in jpg format. Artwork will be printed in black and white unless chosen for front or back covers. 

In the "Cover Letter" field, provide us with a brief artist bio, 50 words or less, using third person point of view. 

Up to three pieces may be submitted in this category during a single submission period. The maximum word length for each manuscript is 4000. Each submission must be double-spaced using 12 point type size in either Arial or Times New Roman Font. All works must be titled and submitted separately. Do not include your name within the body or margins of your work. 
 
In the "Cover Letter" field, provide us with a brief author bio, 50 words or less, using third person point of view. 
Up to three pieces may be submitted in this category during a single submission period. The maximum word length for each manuscript is 4000. Each submission must be double-spaced using 12 point type size in either Arial or Times New Roman Font. All works must be titled and submitted separately. Do not include your name within the body or margins of your work. 
 
In the "Cover Letter" field, provide us with a brief author bio, 50 words or less, using third person point of view. 
Up to three pieces may be submitted in this category during a single submission period. The maximum word length for each manuscript is 4000. Each submission must be double-spaced using 12 point type size in either Arial or Times New Roman Font. All works must be titled and submitted separately. Do not include your name within the body or margins of your work. 
 
In the "Cover Letter" field, provide us with a brief author bio, 50 words or less, using third person point of view. 
Up to three pieces may be submitted in this category during a single submission period. The maximum word length for each manuscript is 4000. Each submission must be double-spaced using 12 point type size in either Arial or Times New Roman Font. All works must be titled and submitted separately. Do not include your name within the body or margins of your work. 
 
In the "Cover Letter" field, provide us with a brief author bio, 50 words or less, using third person point of view. 
Up to ten poems may be submitted by any one person during each submission period.  The maximum line length for each poem is 60 lines. Poems must be single-spaced using 12 point type size in Arial or Times New Roman font.  Poems should be left justified unless doing otherwise serves an artistic purpose.  All poems must be titled and submitted separately. Do not include your name within the body or margins of your work. 

In the "Cover Letter" field, include a brief author bio of 50 words or less using third person point of view. 
Acorn Review Literary Journal