Like most magazines, paperplates has a front, a middle, and a back section.
In the front section ("homeplate") we put short personal essays, reminiscences, and travel accounts. The tone expected is that of an informal letter, although the subject itself need not be light. The average length is 2,500 words.
In the middle section we put short stories, one-act plays, musical scores, poems short and long, extended travel pieces, formal essays, interviews, and reminiscences. (These categories are not exclusive.) The maximum length for the prose works is 7,500 words, for the poems 1,500 words (give or take a few couplets). We prefer not to serialize, particularly when the subsequent parts have yet to be written.
In the back section we put reviews, mostly of books. The average length is 2,500 words. We have some fine regular reviewers, but no one holds tenure here. We welcome opinionated writing.