We're currently open to general submissions, which remain fee-free. Please consider supporting us by ordering a copy or subscription when you submit! We're working to get decisions back to those with outstanding submissions in for our consideration and appreciate your patience. 

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. 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

$28.00 - 65.00
$28.00 - 65.00

Now in our 93rd 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 and will begin with the next issue. Select a two- or three-year subscription for an even better rate!




Ends on May 1, 2020

We're interested in reading imaginative essays of general interest. Scholarly articles requiring footnote references should be submitted to journals of literary scholarship.

Send one essay at a time. Essays should be double-spaced and formatted using a standard font.

Please note: we do not consider submissions simultaneously under consideration elsewhere.



Ends on May 1, 2020

Send one story at a time. Stories should be double-spaced and formatted using a standard font. 

Please note: we do not consider submissions simultaneously under consideration elsewhere.





Ends on May 1, 2020

Send a single document containing a selection of 5-7 poems. Poems may be single-spaced but should use a standard font. 

Please note: we do not consider submissions simultaneously under consideration elsewhere.

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]



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

The current issue, 93.3, Fall 2019, brings a new installment of great work across all four genres.  

Mourning the end of summer? Head back to the beach with new stories from Julia Eagleton, Becky Mandelbaum, and Willie Fitzgerald. In Eagleton's "She Came from the Sea," rubber ducks mysteriously wash up on shore and become the collective obsession of children on holiday. In "Harm" by Fitzgerald, a family navigates a trip to the beach where "Waves formed, sprouted white hair, and then collapsed onto the sand. Way out along the seam of the water and the sky, a city-sized container ship inched gradually northward." Meanwhile, Mandelbaum's narrator in "A Thousand Ships" confesses, "I have never actually seen the ocean, but I have seen Water World and Cast Away. I get the idea. I imagine that, if you squint hard enough, a field of tall grass has the same effect, sans the smell of salt and brine. But for the moment, water is what I need. Here I am, alone, untethered to the world of humans. Floating. There is no Elle, no Mom, no Dad, no Julian, no pedicure lady quietly sighing as she saws off Steve Buscemi’s ear." If water isn't what you need, Timea Balogh's "False Sun" offers that instead, while Christine Ma-Kellams brings "Options." As Sabrina Islam's "Nakshi Kanthas" suggests, "There is a story in the spaces between the stitches."

"The only change I knew was change, so I kept my body/ moving across another ocean," writes He Xiang, in "What I Knew," one of seven poems reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the Tianenmen Square protests. Chioma Urama shows us a woman "Tryna Get Right with God." Maxine Scates, in "An Argument," considers, "I wonder how I have lived a lifetime knowing so little and remembering less than what I never forget." And Marilyn Hacker brings Marie Etienne's poem "Night dixains" into English from the French. 

Rochelle Hurt's essay "Lifespans" opens with the question: "Can one be possessed by the ghosts of a road?" and Gretchen VanWormer's "Cover" considers grief and the space beyond it in the rolling hills of a tallgrass prairie.

The issue also features new poems from Yael Hacohen, Lynne Knight, Hannah Baker Saltmarsh, Isabel Henderson, Iggy Shuler, Despy Boutris, Tara Westmor, Brian Swann, Peter Balakian, Jennifer Manthey, Patrick Sylvain, Alina Stefanescu, Akpa Arinzechukwu, David Groff, Tyree Daye, George Looney, Chloe Martinez, Robert Bedick, Fiona Chamness, and M. Lock Swingen.

Finally, we've got book reviews of Shaindel Beers's Secure Your Own Mask by Amy Small-McKinney, of The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, and of Yan Lianke's The Day the Sun Died, by Graham Oliver. 

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, and buying a sample copy is a great way to grab a taste of what we're all about. 

We'll just pick out one of our favorite recent issues and send it your way. If you're looking instead to find a specific back issue, go ahead and email us first at prairieschooner@unl.edu to double-check that we've got it, and then we'll send you back here to complete the transaction. 

PRAIRIE SCHOONER: fifteen letters, endless possibilities.

two tshirts 


Celebrate the wild variety of all that is Prairie Schooner with one of our supersoft new anagram tees, designed in-house and hand-screened at a local shop. 


Choose from a heather blue with harvest gold lettering or from heather gray with gold. Gildan brand "supersoft" T-shirts in unisex sizes. True to size, and our staff reports no noticeable shrinkage upon washing. 


T-shirts are $18, which includes shipping. Or better yet, buy a T-shirt and a one-year subscription of four issues (normally $28) for $35 and save $11. (If you're placing an international order, please select the "international shipping" add-on payment option to help offset the cost of shipping.) 


Text reads: REPROACH IRONIES / ICIER HARPOONERS / A RICHER POISONER / SIREN OPERA CHOIR / PRAIRIE SCHOONER / A RIPE RHINOCEROS / CHAPERONE OR IRIS / A HEROIC PRISONER / CHEERIO AIR PERSON

PRAIRIE SCHOONER: Cheers to 90 more!


two male models in PS shirts 


To celebrate our 90th birthday, we designed these anniversary raglan tees with a throwback baseball script, hand-printed at a local shop. It's worth noting that most of us look much happier wearing them than these models do. 

Choose from a heather charcoal with black sleeves and red lettering or light heather gray with red sleeves and black lettering. American Apparel baseball T-shirts in unisex sizes. Super soft, true to size, and our staff reports no noticeable shrinkage upon washing. 

T-shirts are $22, which includes shipping. (If you're placing an international order, please select the "international shipping" add-on payment option to help offset the cost of shipping.) 

Please select your size from the available sizes below. (We're sorry that we're sold out in a few sizes. If you're looking to rock your PS pride in a different size, check out our brand new Anagrams shirt design!)




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. 

Prairie Schooner