About TDR

A Journal by Any Other Name?

TDR derives its name from the archaic word ‘dillydoun,’ meaning “a little lullaby.” Lullabies have been used for centuries to strengthen cultural roles, pass down knowledge, and lure children to sleep with dulcet tones.

But, if you listen closely to even the sweetest-sounding lullaby, there is often a dark, disturbing subject matter threaded through the lyrics. They are complex representations of humanity’s innocence and the struggle to survive an often violent, unforgiven culture of its making. These hypnotic, mournful laments are captivating, terrifying, and yet, scientifically proven to provide therapeutic effects and health benefits for both young and old.

This does not mean that The Dillydoun Review is interested in work filled with veiled threats of kidnap and slaughter or rocking our readers to sleep with horror and gore. However, it points to the types of submissions – in spirit – that interest us the most.

What is TDR looking for submission-wise?

TDR is looking for work that is simply presented yet captures complex subjects succinctly and powerfully. We are interested in prose and poetry that works on multiple levels and has the power to move the reader, provoke thought, engage, enrage – even. Show us prose and poetry that shifts the reader from spectator to participant. Show us the human spirit being tested to its limits. Show us the human spirit in its best and worst light. We want to get to know your well-developed, dimensional characters. Help us to understand them.

We want writing that does not rely on gimmickry or punchlines. Don’t submit a 5,000-word short story in which the last sentence reveals that the narrator is a 300-year-old parrot. (Yes, this happened.)

There may be ways to successfully write about zombie parrots. TDR has no interest in policing your imagination. Be wildly experimental. Use language to within an inch of its life. Defy structure and tradition, if you wish. But, keep in mind a few words of wisdom.

“It’s always wrong of course to say that you can’t do this or you can’t do that in fiction. You can do anything you can get away with, but nobody has ever gotten away with much.”

Flannery O’Connor

If you are still interested in submitting work for consideration, have a look at our Writers’ Guidelines.

Please Consider Donating to TDR

The Dillydoun Review is a fledgling journal with plans to positively impact the literary world and beyond. But, as a young journal with no outside funding, bursaries, or grants, the only hope of ushering our dreams into reality is through the help of generous donors.

Thank you in advance for your donation. It will allow TDR to shoulder the expense of starting a literary journal and the even greater cost of keeping it alive and thriving. It will enable us to publish quality, impactful prose and poetry and, hopefully soon, offer payment to our staff and contributors.