Hard Times Review is free and entirely reader supported. Please donate below to support our daily content:

For questions about stories, tips, or to schedule a speaking engagement with Matthew Vernon Whalan, please email: 

If you would like to send to a query to a more secure email, please email:


Hard Times Review is now accepting submissions for the following:

Book reviews

Annotated reading lists

Occupy Histories

Please follow our guidelines:

We are seeking reviews of books and authors focusing on poverty, inequality, work, American prisons, climate change, and civil disobedience.

As with all of our work at HTR, our book reviews will focus on books that highlight the stories, perspectives, and work of everyday people directly impacted by the crises of our time. Similar to our method of choosing news, oral histories and other biographical work, and the subject matter on which we focus, we are interested in reviews of authors and books that are under-read, not currently remembered or discussed as much as they should be.

Reviewers are strongly encouraged to submit reviews of books that were not published in the past couple of years, are not currently widely discussed, and are relevant to hard times now in a way that can be clearly articulated and applied directly by the the reviewer to a contemporary issue or struggle. We are interested in your review of a book that is old, under-read, and under rated in your estimation, and how that book is relevant to the kinds of struggles and stories on which we focus.

Please follow these guidelines:

Word count: 600 to 1,500 words

Single spaced

Block paragraphs, not indentations

Microsoft Word doc., Word docx., or copy and pasted in the body of the email

In the body of the email, please include the following:

Short cover letter of your previous publications or other relevant work (one to four sentences will suffice).

Name, author, publisher, title of the book you are reviewing, year the book was published

Brief description of the book and subject matter

Brief description of how the book is helpful and relevant now


(If you want to review a book that was published in the past couple of years and/or is widely read, please submit a pitch for consideration instead of submitting the review itself. If your review is above or below the word count, again, please submit a pitch of your review instead of the review.)

Occupy Book Reviews

We are also accepting book reviews pertaining to the Occupy Wall Street movement for the “Occupy History” series. If you are submitting a book review for the Occupy History series, please follow the same guidelines as those above, but include “Occupy Book Review” in the subject line of the email.

Please Note: If you are writing a review specifically for the “Occupy History” series, the way in which your book is relevant to the Occupy Movement must be explicit in the review.

Tell your own story for the Occupy History series:

If you participated in the Occupy Movement and would like to tell your story in HTR’s oral history series, “Occupy History,” please email us at or Briefly describe your experience with the Occupy Movement and the subjects on which you would like to interview.  

Submission guidelines for annotated reading lists:  

Annotated reading lists should list 3 to 5 books. The books on your list should be focused around a specific subject, listed in the order in which you feel they are best read, and should be books that are applicable to the struggles covered at Hard Times Review.

Think of these lists as introductions for someone who has not read about a certain issue at all, wants to learn about it, and doesn’t know where to start. List the books in the order in which which you feel it is best for someone who is new to the subject to read them, with one to three short paragraphs after each listed book, which summarize each one and briefly describe how a new reader of the subject can learn from it.

If we have already published reading lists focused on the same subjects as yours, do not let this discourage you from submitting. The more reading lists published on the subjects we cover, the better. Just make sure you read the previous reading lists that focus on the same issues as yours to ensure there is not too much overlap and that your list on the subject offers something different.

(If there are fewer than three books or more than five books on your reading list, please submit a pitch instead of the reading list itself.)

Please note: Unfortunately, we are unable to offer payment to contributing writers at this time.

Please pitch news articles to or before submitting.

We are not accepting unsolicited submissions for op-eds at this time.

We are not accepting unsolicited submissions for essays at this time.