As of May 1, we're currently closed to general submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative essays. As always, our submissions remain fee-free. Please consider supporting us by ordering a copy or subscription when you submit! We'll open to new general submissions September 1, 2018. 

Prairie Schooner’s  intention is to publish the best writing available, both from beginning  and established writers. We publish short stories, poems, interviews, imaginative essays of  general interest, and reviews of current books of poetry and fiction.  Scholarly articles requiring footnote references should be submitted to  journals of literary scholarship.

We do not read simultaneous submissions, except in the case of contest submissions, and submissions must be received  between September 1 and May 1. We do not consider  work that has been previously published anywhere, including online  publications. We read as quickly as we can, but please allow 3-4 months for a reply. (We know, we're a little behind, and we're grateful for your patience!)

In principle, Prairie Schooner has no objections to the use of pseudonyms, but we require disclosure of their use to the editor before publication.

We encourage you to read Prairie Schooner before you submit. Sample copies are available below for just $6.00, or order in our store. There's never a fee to submit to our general reading period, and we're grateful for the support we receive through donations and orders.

Looking for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize Contest? For the sake of confidentiality, it's totally separate from normal submissions. Open annually from January 15 to March 15, for collections of short fiction and poetry, the fee to submit is $25, and the prize is $3k and publication through the University of Nebraska Press. Read more: https://prairieschoonerbookprizeseries.submittable.com/submit


Looking for the African Poetry Book Fund's Sillerman First Book Prize? It's also entirely separate, and it opens September 15 to submissions of book-length manuscripts by African poets who have not yet published a full-length collection. Read more: https://africanpoetrybookfund.submittable.com/submit

Our readers' loyal support and enthusiasm for what we do is why we're able to keep producing one of the oldest literary magazines in the country. 

Consider making a donation to support our ongoing mission to bring great work from around the world out into the world. 

Ends on August 1, 2018$20.00 - 40.00
$20.00 - 40.00

Our annual summer nonfiction contest opens May 15 to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. The  entry fee is $20 and includes a copy of the Spring 2019 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear. 

Our guest  judge, Carmen Maria Machado, will name a winner and finalist. The winner will receive $500 and publication in our Spring 2019 issue.

Entries will consist of three parts: a cover letter, the essay manuscript, and the entry fee.

Cover Letter: In the cover letter, include the submission's title and your  contact information, including e-mail address, phone number, and mailing address. Your name and contact info must not appear  anywhere within the manuscript itself (double-check headers and footers!).

Essay Manuscript: The contest is open to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. We're interested in reading imaginative essays of general interest. (Scholarly articles requiring footnote references should be submitted to journals of literary scholarship.) Manuscripts should be double-spaced and use a standard font, and, again, the submitter's name and contact info should not appear within the manuscript itself.

Entry Fee: Each submission must be accompanied by the $20.00 fee, which includes a copy of the Spring 2019 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear.

Multiple submissions are welcome and encouraged, but a separate entry fee must accompany each submission. 


More about our guest judge:

Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, and the Crawford Award. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century."  Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared widely, and she's been the recipient of numerous fellowships. Her memoir, House in Indiana, comes out from Graywolf in 2019. She can be found on Twitter @carmenmmachado.

$25.00 - 65.00
$25.00 - 65.00
Now in our 90th year of continuous publication, Prairie Schooner seeks to publish the best in contemporary poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and reviews. 

A one-year subscription includes 4 issues of the journal. Select a two- or three-year subscription for an even better rate!



$9.00 - 13.00
$9.00 - 13.00
Prairie Schooner seeks to publish the best in contemporary poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and reviews. 

Volume 91, Issue 4 features essays by Jennifer DeLeon and Melissa Fraterrigo; fiction by Kate Folk, Clara Chow, and Catherin Uroff; and poems by Toi Dericotte, Kevin Prufer, Mahtem Shiferraw, John Lane, Adrienne Su, Julian Randall, Leila Chatti, John Kinsella, and more.
To celebrate our 90th birthday, we're sporting anniversary raglan tees with a throwback baseball script design, hand-printed at a local shop. Take a look!

American Apparel Tees, available in dark gray with black sleeves and red print, or in light gray with red sleeves and black print. Available in sizes XS-XXL (please note XS and XXL only available in dark gray with black sleeves and red lettering). 





Now in our 90th year of continuous publication, Prairie Schooner seeks to publish the best in contemporary poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and reviews. 

We've got years of great issues full of excellent writing, whether you want that one essay by your favorite writer in print or just want a taste of what we're all about. 

We seek engaging reviews that articulate in a clear voice ideas of craft but also of literary context and/or place the work in our socio-political present. We appreciate reviews that begin by establishing a context the work can be understood within, and we appreciate when the reviewer can step out of the way so that the review is dominated by a discussion of the book, and not a discussion of opinions and impressions--though we do, ultimately, want to see some kind of judgement.

We are particularly interested in reviews of books that can fairly be called diverse--we aim to publish a range of reviewers on a range of authors in each issue--and in reviews of authors' first books or recent translations. Books should be no more than eighteen months old by the time of publication (note that with our publication cycle, we are often reading to fill issues for two-three seasons from the time of submission). Reviews may consider a single book or take up two or three books together.

No previously published work, please. 

If you'd like to pitch us before writing the review, you're welcome to do so through this form, but please note that even if the pitch interests us, we can't offer publication until we've seen the full review.

Formatting: 

Reviews should be no longer than 1,000 words, double-spaced, and formatted using a standard font.

Please include the following information at the top of the review:

[Writer's Name]. [Title of book being reviewed]. [Press Name].
Reviewed by [Reviewer's Name]