General Submissions

We welcome submissions of short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, writing for young adults, craft essays, book reviews, and artwork. Please read the submission guidelines before submitting.

Our submissions period runs from September 1st through December 1st; unsolicited work received outside of this time frame will be discarded. Our turnaround time is typically ten months. We receive a high volume of submissions, and we appreciate your patience as we give each submission our full attention and consideration.

Submission Guidelines

Appalachian Review accepts original, unpublished work that is rooted in and/or captures the spirit of Appalachia. Potential authors need not be from the region but should instead exhibit a connection to and/or a deep understanding of Appalachia and its people.

We are not interested in stereotypical portrayals of the region. Instead, we are particularly looking for writing that expands the notion of what it means to be Appalachian or connected to the region.

We accept submissions via Submittable. We do not accept submissions by post or email.

Simultaneous submissions are welcomed. However, please notify us promptly if that submission is accepted for publication elsewhere.

Please submit only one short story or essay, and up to five poems, at a time. Multiple submissions will be discarded.

Cover letters should be simple and straightforward, including a word count, the genre of the submission, and a short (two to three sentences) biography. As we choose manuscripts based on the strength of the writing alone, there is no need for a lengthy explanation or CV.

Fiction: Please submit a double-spaced manuscript in 12-point font limited to 7,500 words. We welcome work that is well crafted and tells a good story, with characters and prose that will linger in the minds of our readers long after they have finished reading. “Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand upon those mysteries, “ novelist Tim O’Brien says. We concur.

We do not publish genre fiction (fantasy, mystery, crime, science fiction). These will be automatically discarded.

Creative Nonfiction: Please submit a double-spaced manuscript in 12-point font limited to 7,500 words. We are seeking both traditional and experimental essays, including personal (nature, environmental, and travel essays), memoirs, lyric, meditative, and literary journalism. Good essays will feature an original voice that is rooted in engaging language and a multi-layered story. We agree with the essayist Robert Vivian, who notes, “Writing about what a person actually sees, feels, and experiences as a human being in this world is relevant, important, sometimes even revelatory as a way to make sense of oneself and others and that this is inherently worth doing.”

We do not publish local color writing (i.e. “Papaw was perfect” and “Mamaw was a saint”). Creative nonfiction is a serious genre and we want hard-hitting, innovative, moving prose.

We are typically not interested in scholarly articles that are overburdened with footnotes, but welcome the occasional piece of literary criticism.

Poetry: Please submit one to five poems at a time in 12-point font. We are looking for poetry that is truly original, of nearly any aesthetic bent, that captures something that simply can’t be expressed any other way. We want poems that teach us something new, that move us to laughter or tears, that “require [us] to pay attention to the process of imagination and discover the sense of its mystery,” as Pulitzer Prize-finalist poet Maurice Manning says.

Young Adult: Please submit a double-spaced manuscript in 12-point font limited to 7,500 words. We publish YA and YA crossover work that is intelligent, creative, and shows a slice of the adolescent and human experience to which people of all ages can relate.

Craft Essays: Please submit a double-spaced manuscript in 12-point font limited to 3,500 words on the subject of literary craft. We are interested in short or long essays from both established and emerging writers that examine the mechanics of creative writing and the writing life. Examples could include methods of establishing a strong sense of place, writing in dialect, metaphors in creative nonfiction, or the importance of ritual for writers. We are interested in highlighting a wide range of subjects, themes, and approaches.

Book Reviews: We are interested in honest, in-depth assessments of new, creative publications related to Appalachia. As assignments of titles to be reviewed are typically made by the editor, unsolicited reviews should not be submitted without a prior query. However, we are open to considering proposals from prospective authors about titles they might like to review.

Upon Publication

As a contributor, you will receive two copies of the issue in which your work appears, along with a one-year subscription to the magazine. Unless you request otherwise, all fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry published in Appalachian Review is eligible for our annual Plattner Awards. All honorees are chosen blindly by an outside judge and are rewarded with a handcrafted bookrack with an attached commemorative plaque from Berea College Crafts. First place winners receive an additional stipend of $200.


Appalachian Review acquires first print and electronic rights, and indefinite archival rights. We also reserve the right to reprint work in a print and electronic anthology. Upon publication, all other rights revert to the author. In the event that the piece is reprinted, please credit Appalachian Review as first publisher.

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