We Welcome Your Submissions
We welcome submissions of stories, poems, creative nonfiction, craft essays, and writing for children/young adults. We also hold four annual contests. Please read the submission guidelines before submitting. We also recommend that you read back issues of Hunger Mountain. Browse our online archives, or order back issues of the print journal.
Beginning in July 2013, we’ll publish four themed online issues and one unthemed issue a year. We invite you to submit fiction, poetry, CNF, young adult and children’s writing, and craft essays that might be a good fit with any upcoming theme.
The Firsts Issue.
First kiss, first date, first marriage, first baby, first pet, first job, first chapter, first line. We welcome writing about firsts. Submit by April 1, 2013.
Mentors and Tormenters.
We’re especially interested in literary friendships, mentorships, relationships, marriages, and rivalries. Also: send us your tributes to literary mentors, the ones you know in person and the ones you’ve met only on the page. Also looking forward to reading your stories, poems, and essays about teachers and tormentors of all kinds. Submit by June 1, 2013.
Love, Passion, Ardor.
Send steamy, sexy, romantic writing for our special Valentine’s Day issue. Submit by October 1, 2013.
The Masculinity Issue.
Little boys, big boys, teenage boys, boyfriends, husbands, fathers, grandpas. Send us your writing about what it means to be a man. Submit by January 1, 2014.
General Submissions: What We’re Looking For
We accept original, unpublished work. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.
Please submit via our submission manager. We charge a $3.00 fee for all general submissions online. This is not a reading fee; it’s simply meant to cover the administrative and IT costs associated with our online system–and hopefully, it’s no more than you would spend on paper, ink, envelopes and postage. We happily waive this fee for current subscribers. We accept .doc, .docx, and .pdf files.
We no longer accept mail submissions. Our manuscript readers live all over the country and will be reading your manuscript digitally. We simply do not have staff in the office to scan and email each manuscript to our manuscript readers. Mail submissions tend to languish in big piles in the office, which isn’t fair to you and makes us crazy. Contest entries may still be mailed.
Please submit only one general submission at a time.
Please submit a double-spaced manuscript, no more than 10,000 words. We look for work that is beautifully crafted and tells a good story, with characters that are alive and kicking, storylines that stay with us long after we’ve finished reading, and sentences that slay us with their precision.
Please submit 3-10 poems at a time. All poems should be in one file. We look for poetry that is as much about the world as about the self, that’s an invitation, an opening out, a hand beckoning. We like poems that name or identify something essential that we may have overlooked. We like poetry with acute, precise attention to both content and diction.
Please submit a double-spaced manuscript no more than 10,000 words. We welcome an array of traditional and experimental work, including, but not limited to, personal, lyrical, and meditative essays, memoirs, collages, rants, and humor. The only requirements are recognition of truth, a unique voice with a firm command of language, and an engaging story with multiple pressure points. We agree with Joy Williams that a “good piece of writing startles the reader back into Life. . . . It can and should enchant while it explodes in the reader’s face.”
YA and Children’s Writing
We accept picture book, middle grade, YA and YA crossover work (text only—for now). We’re looking for polished pieces that entertain, that show the range of adolescent experience, and that are compelling, creative and will appeal to the devoted followers of the kid-lit craft, as well as the child inside us all. No more than 10,000 words, please.
Craft Shorts and Essays
We’re looking for essays (no more than 10,000 words) on the subject of literary craft. We want to know not just that you liked the way an author did something, but why you liked it and how the author made it work. We define craft broadly. Submissions can be about the nuts and bolts of literary writing (e.g., how to write dialogue, how to play with line breaks) or they can consider questions about literary genre, wax lyrical about vision, speak to process, address a hot topic in litcrit. If you’re talking about writing and you’re passionate about what you’re saying, try us. Examples from your own work are acceptable in a pedagogical format, particularly in the before-and-after framework of mastering a new technique. A formal, scholarly approach is fine if that best suits your material, but we particularly appreciate essays that capture the author’s voice and writing style. The essays we’ve published showcase a diverse range of voices, approaches, and subjects—take a look to get an idea of what we like. We’re looking to raise up, not beat down; we are interested in the positive, not the negative. We’re interested in the myriad facets of craft, not in the idea that there is only one way to do something.
Short Category: Under 500 words. Examples: A moment of insight. A sentence in a book that exudes craft. A technique. Take us in and out. A vitamin dose of craft.
We accept submissions all year round
We’ll make our best effort to review a manuscript in four months; however sometimes it takes longer. Please understand—we receive a high volume of submissions every month, and it’s important to us that we give every piece our full attention.