As of May 1, we're currently closed to general submissions, taking our annual break on accepting new submissions to catch up on reading the excellent work we've already received for submissions. That gives you until September 1 to pick up a copy of Prairie Schooner and ready your own work for submission. We look forward to reading your work next fall!

OR -- Enter our Summer 2016 Creative Nonfiction Contest, judged by Kiese Laymon, open now through August 1! Full details are below.


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, and submissions must be received between September 1 and May 1. We do not consider work that has been previously published anywhere, including web publications. Please allow 3-4 months for a reply.

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.


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

Ends on 8/1/2016$ 20.00
$ 20.00

Our annual summer nonfiction contest is open to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words. The entry fee is $20 and includes a copy of the Spring 2017 issue of Prairie Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear.


Our guest judge, Kiese Laymon, will name a winner and finalist. The winner will receive $250 and publication in our Spring 2017 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 2017 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:
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer best known for his essays and fiction. The author of two books, the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Long Division, a novel, Laymon is currently an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College and the Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for 2015-2016. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, the Oxford American, and Guernica. His essays have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic's Best Essays of 2013. He is a currently a columnist at the Guardian, and two more books--a memoir, Heavy, and a second novel, And So On--are forthcoming from Scribner.

$ 28.00 - 60.00
$ 28.00 - 60.00
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
Now in our 90th year of continuous publication, Prairie Schooner seeks to publish the best in contemporary poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and reviews. 

Volume 90, Issue 1 includes poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews from:

Laura Elizabeth Woollett / Marilyn Hacker / Rigoberto Gonzalez / Achy Obejas / Annie Finch / Wendy Barker / Margaret Randall / Ron Paul Salutsky / David Crouse / Lynne Knight / Claire Schwartz / Ephraim Scott Sommers / Emily Vizzo / Jay Merrill / Michael Fulop / Joannie Stangeland / Karen Craigo / Paul Martin / Julie Henson / Bernard Matambo / Sarah Giragosian / Kerry Cullen / Nicholas Samaras / Angie Macri / Robert Newman / Michael Fessler / Todd Fredson / Kira Taylor / Joseph Bathanti / Shruti Swamy / Elise Juska / Brian Patrick Heston / Jennifer J. Pruiett-Selby / Karen Munro / Jaime Brunton / Catherine Thomas / P.E. Garcia / and cover art by Trudie Teijink


$ 6.00 - 10.00
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]