We're working a bit more slowly than usual. To those of you with outstanding submissions, we appreciate your patience! 

The Schooner’s intention is to publish the best and most interesting 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 prefer to 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 4 -5 months for a reply. (We know, we're a little behind, and we appreciate your patience!)

In principle, the 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  the Schooner before you submit. Sample copies are available below for just $9.00. 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 Raz-Shumaker 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 $3,000 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 annual summer nonfiction contest opens May 15 to all types of creative nonfiction essays up to 5,000 words.

The winner will receive $500 and publication in our Spring 2023 issue.

This year's guest judge is Jerald Walker who is the author of The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult; Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, recipient of the PEN/New England Award for Nonfiction; and, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays, a Finalist for the National Book Award. His work has appeared in publications such as The Harvard Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Iowa Review, and Mother Jones,and it has been widely anthologized, including five times in The Best American Essays series and in the Pushcart Prizes. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the James A. Michener Foundation, Walker is a Professor of Creative Writing and African American Literature at Emerson College.

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 2023 issue of the Schooner, in which the winning essay will appear.

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

This contest is administered anonymously. Editorial Assistants, Assistant Nonfiction Editors, the Guest Judge, and the Editor in Chief of the Schooner are not privy to submitters' identifying information.

If you have a problem with your submission, please write to Siwar Masannat, Managing Editor, at prairieschooner@unl.edu.

We read book reviews year-round. 

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.


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]

Now in our 95th year of continuous publication, the Schooner seeks to publish the most interesting work 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!

Though our Summer 2021 issue is a bit of a late bloomer, it will warm your autumn days. It is jam-packed with poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews that will make you feel all the feelings. Inspired, devastated, amused, confused, curious, delighted, excited, melancholy, and more. Buy today. You will not regret it.

Now in our 95th 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.) 

Sizes available: XS, S, XL, XXXL

We're sorry that we're sold out in a few sizes and colors. If you're looking to rock your PS pride in a different size, check out our 90th Anniversary Baseball T-shirt


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. 

Sizes available: XS, S , M , XL 

We're sorry that we're sold out in a few sizes and colors. 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