We read during the academic year. We close during most university breaks. The submission fee helps us defer a small portion of our printing and distribution costs.

The North American Review is the oldest literary magazine in America (founded in 1815) and one of the most respected. We are interested in high-quality poetry, fiction, and nonfiction on any subject; however, we are especially interested in work that addresses contemporary North American concerns and issues, particularly with the environment, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class. 

We like stories that start quickly and have a strong narrative arc. Poems that are passionate about subject, language, and image are welcome, whether they are traditional or experimental, whether in formal or free verse (closed or open form). We publish all forms of creative nonfiction, from personal narrative to lyric essay to immersive journalism; we appreciate when an essay moves beyond the personal to tell us something new about the world.

Please submit no more than five poems, one short story, two short-short stories, or one essay (no more than 30 pages typically). We do allow simultaneous submissions, but please access your submission and withdraw it if it is accepted elsewhere. We do not consider previously published material or work currently in press elsewhere. Please do not submit entire novels, collections of poems or stories, or nonfiction books.

The status of your submission can be checked by logging back into the submission system. We try to report on submissions within five months, but we have a very small staff to read more than ten thousand pieces each year.

We ask for first North American serial rights only. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. Acceptance may be in our print or online issues. Contact us at with questions.

Please note that while a contest is open, that genre for general submissions is closed. For example, while the James Hearst Poetry Prize is open, general poetry submissions are closed.  If a genre is closed that does not have a contest open, it means that the submission cap has been reached. Please check back periodically. 

Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize

The Vonnegut Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by North American Review. This award is intended to recognize the finest speculative fiction, which can include, but is not limited to, work influenced by the postmodern science-fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. We love Vonnegut’s dark humor, but please avoid mere imitation. We are enthusiastic about all work painted with speculative fiction’s broad brush: fairytale, magical realism, fabulism, the fantastic, horror, Afro-futurism, science fiction hard and soft, and everything in between. The winning entry will appear in the North American Review's annual summer fiction issue, and all finalists will be considered for publication.

Contest Information

Open for submission: August 10, 2021. 
First Prize: $1,000
Deadline: November 1st, 2021. Results will be announced in January.
Wordcount: 500 - 12,000 words
Judge:  Brenda Peynado

  • Submissions are judged anonymously; please remove identifying information.
  • Current University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit.
  • The winner will be published in the Summer 2022 Issue. All entry fees include copy of the Summer Issue.

Frequently asked questions:

  • You may submit novel excerpts so long as they stand alone as a complete short story with beginning, middle, and end. 
  • We will accept flash fiction as well as works up to 10,000 words. That said, most of our finalists and all of our winners have had wordcounts in the 2,500 - 7,500 range. 
  • We are interested in experimental fiction; however, if publishing your piece would require unusual layout or formatting, please query first.

Our judging process:

  • All submissions are read by the contest coordinator, Dr. Brooke Wonders/Dr. Jim O’Loughlin (alternating years), as well as by fifteen or more North American Review preliminary readers, most of whom are undergraduate or graduate students at UNI. They select a slate of semifinalists, then finalists, from the submission pool. All finalists are sent to the prize judge.
  • Our prize judge selects a winner, runner-up, and honorable mentions from the slate of finalists. All finalists and semifinalists will be listed in the magazine and on Open Space. 
  • The contest coordinator may offer publication--in a future issue of North American Review and/or on Open Space--to notable stories, even if they are not sent to the prize judge.
  • The winner will be published in the Summer 2022 Issue. 
  • All entry fees include a copy of the Summer Issue.

First Prize: $1,000.  You may submit up to five previously unpublished poems in a Word document. All contact information should be entered in your cover letter. No names or addresses should appear on manuscripts. In Submittable's title field, please list the titles of your poems. Your poems will be assigned log numbers so they can be read blind. Simultaneous submission to other journals or competitions is allowed with notice should your poems be accepted elsewhere. All finalist poems will be published, and all entrants will receive the Spring issue of NAR.

Current University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit. 

Final Judge: Natalie Diaz

DEADLINE: submit by November 1, 2021.

If you are unable to submit or pay via the online submission manager, please email for assistance or alternate submission and payment options. You will receive acknowledgment of receipt via email after your submission has been completed. Winners will also be announced in the writers' trade magazines and on our website.

For issues from Summer 2019 or later:

Cover price for single issue $12.95 + $4.00 postage and Submittable fee = $16.95

Please indicate which issue you wish to purchase:

304.3 Summer 2019

304.4 Fall 2019 

305.1 Spring 2020

Note: the 305.2-3 Summer/Fall 2020 double issue is out of print.

306.1 Spring 2021

306.2 Summer 2021

306.3 Fall 2021

Cover price for a single issue Spring 2019 or earlier:

 $12.00 = $9.00 + $3.00 Submittable and postage fee

To purchase issues Summer 2019 or later, please click here

Back issues are subject to availability. If you would like to check availability prior to placing your order, please send an email to Indicate season and year requested in your notes when placing an order. Please note, Spring 2019 (304.2) is out of print.

We publish three issues per year, in the spring, summer and fall. 

One-Year Subscription $37.00 + $3.00 Submittable Fee = $40.00

Two-Year Subscription $70.00 + $8.00 Submittable Fee + $78.00

Please note: 

Your subscription will start with the next issue, unless you request otherwise. 

Please indicate in your notes if this is a subscription renewal.

Painting Angela book cover 

Edited by Grant Tracey and Brian Pals

Cover by Sarah Pauls

Art can change lives – sometimes with deadly consequences.

Jesse Hawkins arrives in New Orleans to make peace with his estranged brother. But Travis, a painter of beautiful nudes, has disappeared along with Angela, his latest lover and model. When Jesse learns she’s the daughter of a notorious crime boss, he fears for his brother’s life. And the cops want to pin two murders on Jesse—while the killer targets him next…

Black Fin cover 

In a dark Pacific sea cave, a young woman awaiting death discovers she  is not alone. Murderers have caused the bodies of a dead woman and a  drugged five-year-old girl to float in on high tide. As the relentless  rising waves trap them in the cave, Olive must draw on her grit, native  knowledge, and ingenuity to save the child's life while evading a  greedy, malevolent pair intent on silencing them in order to possess a  priceless treasure.

Feed the Lake cover 

Edited by Shelly Criswell and Grant Tracey

Cover by Sarah Pauls​


Foreword • Steven Schwartz

Notes on the Dramatic Image: an Essay in Six Parts • Charles Baxter

On Method Writing: the Arc of Narrative Choices • Grant Tracey

Tell Me a Story: Mavis Gallant & the Expository Opening • Robin Black

Generosity in Fiction • Joan Silber

The Man in the Water • Robert Boswell

Jump Already • Debra Spark

Writing the First Scene • Todd James Pierce

Too Muchness • Steven Schwartz



Manifold Nature cover 

Edited by J. D. Schraffenberger

Cover by Sarah Pauls​

Foreword • Joan Burroughs

Introduction • J. D. Schraffenberger


The Corroboration of Professor Huxley / November 1889

Faith and Credulity / October 1890

The Poet of Democracy / May 1892

The Decadence of Theology / May 1893

Recent Phases of Literary Criticism / January 1899

The Phantoms Behind Us / September 1912

The New Vitalism / December 1912

Science and Literature / March 1914

Life and Mind / October 1914

The Arrival of the Fit / February 1915

Life and Chance / August 1915

Life the Traveler / March 1916

Manifold Nature / August 1916

Is Nature Cruel? / October 1918

Shall We Accept the Universe? / January 1919

Is Nature Without Design? / May 1919

The Faith of a Naturalist / November 1919

Men and Trees / May 1920

A Sheaf of Nature Notes / September 1920


Reviews of Burroughs / July 1879 – November 1922

Letters to the Editor / April 1915 – July 1919

The Modern School of Nature-Study and its Critics
          William J. Long, May 1903

Norman Foerster on John Burroughs
          November 1920 – August 1921

Death of Burroughs / June 1921


The Great Sympathetic cover 

Edited by J. D. Schraffenberger

Cover by Sarah Pauls​​


Foreword • Martín Espada

Introduction • J. D. Schraffenberger . . . xvii


The Poetry of the Future (February 1881)

A Memorandum at a Venture (June 1882)

Slang in America (November 1885)

Robert Burns as Poet and Person (November 1886)

Some War Memoranda—Jotted down at the Time (January 1887)

Old Poets (November 1890)

Have We a National Literature? (March 1891)


Review of Leaves of Grass • Edward Everett Hale (January 1856)

Walt Whitman’s Drum-Taps • Adams Sherman Hill (January 1867)

Walt Whitman • Walker Kennedy (June 1884)

The Poet of Democracy • John Burroughs (May 1892)

From The Poetry and Poets of America III • Churton Collins (March 1904)

Walt Whitman • Louise Collier Willcox (August 1906)

Mr. Bliss Perry’s “Walt Whitman,” • Louise Collier Willcox (May 1907)

Whitman in Whitman’s Land • Herman Scheffauer (February 1915)

From Manifold Nature • John Burroughs (August 1916)

The Adventures of a Poetry-Reader • Edith Franklin Wyatt (March 1919)

The Answerer: Walt Whitman • Edith Franklin Wyatt (May 1919)

Whitman and Anne Gilchrist • Edith Wyatt (September 1919)

Whitman and the Cult of Confusion • Norman Foerster  (June 1921)

Walt Whitman • John Gould Fletcher (March 1924)


From In Mexico—Work in Progress • Robert Sward (May 1967)

Gospel of the Lonely • Willis Barnstone (June 1983)

Walt Whitman in the Car Lot, Repo or Used • Gillian Conoley (June 1989)

Sestina for Stars • Ann Struthers (March-April 2001)

The Good Earth, The Good Stars • Ricardo Pau-Llosa (November-December 2001)

Slices of Life • John N. Miller (May-August 2002)

Walt Whitman Izibongo • David Rowe (March-April 2003)

Walt Whitman and Butterfly • Kelli Russell Agodon (November-December 2003)

Spider-Smear Across My Computer Screen • Ryan G. Van Cleave (September-October 2005)

Hoofer • Philip Dacey (January-February 2008)

On the New Jersey Turnpike, I Stopped to Pee at the Walt Whitman Service Center near Camden •  Harry Waitzman (Spring 2012)

Looking for Whitman • Lauren Schmidt (Winter 2014)

Barbaric Yawp Big Noise Blues • Martín Espada (Summer 2015)

How We Could Have Lived or Died This Way • Martín Espada (Summer 2015)


Thank you for your kind support of the North American Review!

North American Review