We read during the academic year. We close during university breaks. 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 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.
 

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 nar@uni.edu with questions.

Please note that while a contest is open, that genre for general submissions is closed. While the James Hearst Poetry Prize is open, general poetry submissions are closed. For example,  regular poetry submissions will close on April 9th in order to open our James Hearst Poetry Prize. The poetry prize will remain open until October 31, at that time we will reopen regular poetry submissions. 

Please submit your portfolio for review. Submissions will be considered for use on our blog. Artwork for our print and online issue will be solicited in the amount of $150 per piece to accompany ficiton.

We generally showcase illustration work, but are open to other forms. 

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; however, avoid mere imitation. We love Vonnegut’s dark humor but are also enthusiastic about unreal events that take themselves seriously. We welcome 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 be appear in the North American Review's annual summer fiction issue, and all finalists will considered for publication.

University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit.

Contest Information

Open for submission: May 1, 2020. 
First Prize: $500
Deadline: November 1st, 2020 Results will be announced in December.
Judge:  Kij Johnston

The winner will be published in the Summer 2021 Issue. All entry fees include 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, please. 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. Payment will be required as part of the sign up procedure which will provide you the Hearst issue of the North American Review.

 University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit. 

Judge: Maggie Smith
 

DEADLINE: submit by November 1, 2020.

If you are unable to submit or pay via the online submission manager, please email nar@uni.edu 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.

North American Review