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 university breaks.

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). Nonfiction should combine art and fact with the finest writing. 

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. 



Ends on 1/1/2017
OPENS DECEMBER 1
I suspect that there are many writers of literary fiction who read mystery/hardboiled novels and have a work of such savage art (to borrow Robert Polito’s term for Jim Thompson’s craft) in them. We seek to create a venue for that market. Our plan is to have a reading period of thirty days sometime this fall or next winter. We’ll ask for the first two chapters or up to fifty pages of your crime noir. I like shorter novels (60,000–75,000 words). If we like what we read, we’ll ask for the rest of your book. And from all of our finalists we will select one crime novel to publish the following year. Depending on the level of interest, we plan to publish a crime noir a year under the Gas Station Pulp banner.
$ 20.00

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 not allowed. Payment will be required as part of the sign up procedure which will provide you with a one-year subscription of North American Review.

Judge: Major Jackson

DEADLINE: submit by October 31, 2016.

If you are unable to submit or pay via the online submission manager, please call (319) 273-3026 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.

Tips: We have noticed that long poems rarely do well—too much can go wrong in a large space. Poems that have reached the finalist stage in our competition in the past are typically one to two pages (often much shorter). Winning poems always balance interesting subject matter and consummate poetic craft. We value both free verse and formal poems in rhyme and meter—both open and closed forms.

We accept submissions during the academic year.