Novel is used in its broadest sense to designate any extended fictional narrative almost always in prose. In practice, however, its use is customarily restricted to narratives in which the representation of character occurs either in a static condition or in the process of development as the result of events or actions. Often the term implies that some organizing principle—plot, theme or idea—should be present in a narrative that is called a novel. The term novel is an English counterpart of the Italian novella, a short, compact, broadly realistic tale popular in countries the word roman is used rather than novel, thus linking the novel with the older romance, of which, in a sense, the novel is an extension. The conflict between the imaginative recreation of experience implied in roman and the realistic representation of the soiled world of common people implied in novel has been present in the form from its beginning, and it accounted for a distinction often made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between then romana din the novel, in which the romance was the tale of the long ago, the far away, or the imaginatively improbably; whereas the novel was bound by the facts of the actual world and the laws of probability. 

The novel may concentrate on character, almost to the exclusion of plot. It may amount to no more than a series of incidents, as the picaresque novel tends to be. It may be solidly plotted, with a structure as firm and sure as that of a tragedy. It may attempt t present the details of life with a scientist’s detached and objective completeness, as in naturalism; or it may try by image and verbal modification to reproduce the unconscious flow of the emotions, as in the stream-of-consciousness novel. It may be episodic, loose in structure, epic in proportion—what is called “panoramic”—or it may be as tightly knit as a well-made play, bringing its material forward ind dramatic orderliness—what is called “scenic.” (A Handbook to Literature)

Submit to Eckleburg

We accept previously unpublished and polished prose up to 8,000 words year round, unless announced otherwise.  We are always looking for tightly woven short works under 2,000 words and short-shorts around 500 words. No multiple submissions but simultaneous is fine as long as you withdraw the submission asap through the submissions system. During the summer and winter months, we run our Writers Are Readers, Too, fundraiser when submissions are open only to subscribers. During the fall and spring, we open submissions for regular unsolicited submissions.

Note: We consider fiction, poetry and essays that have appeared in print, online magazines, public forums, and public access blogs as already being published. Rarely do we accept anything already published and then only by solicitation. We ask that work published at Eckleburg not appear elsewhere online, and if republished in print, original publication credit is given to The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. One rare exception is our annual Gertrude Stein Award, which allows for submissions of previously published work, both online and print. Submit your work.

The Eckleburg Workshops

Take advantage of our $5 work-at-your-own-pace writing workshops where you can create new work as well as fine tune work you’ve already written. Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and more, Eckleburg Workshops offer writing prompts and craft techniques that will take your work to the next level. 

Work with a Reedsy Editor for Individualized Attention

Submit your work for developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, editorial assessment and more at, where hundreds of experienced, awarded writers and editors are ready to read your work and help you make it the best it can be.


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