Can I write for the Chicago Review of Books?
The CHIRB is always interested in hearing from potential contributors. If you’re interested in pitching a review, interview, feature, or essay, please send us an email at chireviewofbooks@gmail.com, and be sure to include a short bio and clips to recent work if you have them. If you’re pitching a specific book for a review or interview, please note that our coverage is usually, with a few exceptions, timed to coincide with a book’s publication. We typically schedule about two months in advance (so, for example, sending us pitches for June titles in April is best.) While it’s okay if contributors have a personal connection to an author they want to interview, we try to avoid conflicts of interest when assigning review coverage (i.e., no personal connections between critics and authors).

What are you looking for in a pitch?
Long answer: Passion for the subject matter, first and foremost, and a compelling reason why this book or author would be of interest to readers of the CHIRB. We are particularly interested in hearing about small press/under-the-radar titles; books by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Midwestern authors; and works in translation. If you are pitching a book that is likely to get widespread coverage elsewhere in the media, we’d like to know why you specifically are well-positioned to review this title and what would differentiate your piece from others. Do you have a personal connection to the book (or author, if you’re pitching an interview)? Do you have an academic background in the topic? Have you read every book the author has written and can’t wait for their newest release? Be sure to mention it!

Short answer: we want to know why this book and why you.

Also, please do not send us a review you’ve already written. Send a pitch first and if we want to see the piece, we will let you know.

I’m a writer. Can I submit my own book for review?
Writers with a book forthcoming are welcome to send a press release or publicity materials to chireviewofbooks@gmail.com with the understanding that we will only respond if we’re interested in covering the book.

Do you only cover Chicago-related books?
Nope! That said, as mentioned above, we are always interested in hearing about books of local relevance or by regional authors.

Are there any genres or types of books you don’t cover?
So glad you asked – we do not publish reviews of children’s picture books, cookbooks, self-help or advice books, or self-published titles.

Are there any genres or topics you’d like to cover more?
We’re currently looking to expand coverage in a few areas: graphic novels and memoirs; science fiction and fantasy; poetry; mystery and thriller; young adult; and literary TV and film adaptations. If there’s something in these categories on the horizon that you’re super jazzed about, let us know!