General Guidelines

The editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry are accepting submissions for Volume 5, to be published in June 2023, from September 1 to November 30. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

We invite you to send up to three poems or one or more prose pieces (creative nonfiction or fiction), double-spaced, up to about 3,000 words total. We will consider longer prose pieces of exceptional merit. Mixed genre work is also welcome; just submit it in one of the relevant categories, and let us know in the cover letter. The last day to submit work via our free Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction portals is November 30. We will also accept work in the month of December via our Tip Jar, for a $4.00 submission fee.

(For the guidelines for our 2023 Graduate Student Poetry Contest, which is open for submissions from November 1 to February 1, please check back at the beginning of September.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first four issues. Visit deepwildjournal.com to subscribe, or to read selections published on our blog. To take advantage of our discounts for students and faculty, visit deepwildjournal.com/students and teachers/

Previously published work is welcome, so long as the rights are yours. Please identify as such in your cover letter. If your work is selected, we ask for the right to publish it in our print journal and also possibly on-line. You retain all rights to your work.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know at once, via Submittable, if your work is accepted elsewhere and is no longer available.

Response time: We will strive to respond to all submissions within three months after our submissions window closes (and often much sooner). If you do not hear from us after that time, feel free to query us.

Payment: Contributors will receive two copies of the journal in which their work appears, and a 50% discount on additional copies. They are also entitled to purchase single copies of other issues of Deep Wild, past and future (supplies permitting) at the 50% rate.

IMPORTANT SPECIFICS   **be sure to read!**

  • In the interests of fairness, all work will be read anonymously. This means, do not include any contact information in the file that you submit, either in the document itself or in the file name. Your name and contact info will be included in the Submittable fields. Submissions that do not follow this request risk being rejected.
  • Writers are allowed one free submission in any open-reading period. To be clear, this means you may submit work for free in only one of the three categories: Poetry, Fiction, or Nonfiction. 
  • If you wish to submit work in more than one genre, submit your first file for free, and any additional file(s) via the Tip Jar, for $4.00 per submission.
  • If you are submitting more than one poem or short prose piece, please put all of them together in one file on a single submission form. Artwork may be submitted in multiple files, so long as it is on a single submission form.
  • Submissions cannot be revised after you press <send>. Do not withdraw and resubmit a different version; it confuses us. Be assured that a few typos or minor errors will not affect our decision.
  • If your work is declined, please wait until our next reading cycle before submitting again in the same genre.
  • Formatting guidelines: Please double-space prose and single-space poetry. Please indicate paragraph breaks by indenting, not by skipping a line. Please put only one space after periods at the ends of sentences, not two.

AND FINALLY: Deep Wild subsists solely on donations and subscriptions. If you believe in our unique mission to provide a home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads, and if you have the means to do so, please visit our subscribe/support page, where you can subscribe to the journal, purchase a copy for a friend, or make a donation of any amount. 

The editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry are currently accepting submissions for Volume 5, to be published in June 2023. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance. 

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

We invite you to submit up to three poems, single-spaced in a single document. Send us poetry that resonates with the heartbeat of wilderness. We want poems that speak to us on a cellular level. Put your soul on the page. Inspire us. Previously published is OK, with permissions.

The deadline for all general submissions is midnight, November 30. 

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first four issues. Visit http://www.deepwildjournal.com to take advantage of our seasonal sales, or to read selections published on our blog. To request our discount for students and faculty, visit https://deepwildjournal.com/studentsandteachers/

PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND FOLLOW OUR GENERAL GUIDELINES as you prepare to send your submission packet. Failure to do so could result in manuscript disqualification, and nobody wants that! These guidelines can be found on the main page of this Submittable account, as well as on our website.

Please note that this is not the place to submit work for the Graduate Student Essay Contest. The contest, which will be open for submissions from November 1 to February 1, has a separate submissions form.

Thanks! We look forward to reading your work.

The editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry are currently accepting submissions for Volume 5, to be published in June 2023. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

We invite you to send your best backcountry fiction, one or more short pieces totaling about 3,000 words. Stand-alone novel excerpts are also welcome. We will consider longer prose pieces of exceptional merit. Previously published is OK, with permissions. For fiction, we like realism. Please no magic, vampires, elves or aliens.

The deadline for all general submissions is midnight, November 30.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first four issues. Visit http://www.deepwildjournal.com to take advantage of our seasonal sales, or to read selections published on our blog. To request our discount for students and faculty, visit https://deepwildjournal.com/studentsandteachers/

PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND FOLLOW OUR GENERAL GUIDELINES as you prepare to send your submission packet. Failure to do so could result in manuscript disqualification, and nobody wants that! These guidelines can be found on the main page of this Submittable account, as well as on our website.
Thanks! We look forward to reading your work.

The editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry are currently accepting submissions for Volume 5, to be published in June 2023. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

We invite you to send your best backcountry nonfiction, one or more short pieces totaling about 3,000 words. We will consider longer prose pieces of exceptional merit. Previously published work is welcome, with permissions.

The deadline for all general submissions is midnight, November 30.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first four issues. Visit http://www.deepwildjournal.com to take advantage of our seasonal sales, or to read selections published on our blog. To request our discount for students and faculty, visit https://deepwildjournal.com/studentsandteachers/

PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND FOLLOW OUR GENERAL GUIDELINES as you prepare to send your submission packet. Failure to do so could result in manuscript disqualification, and nobody wants that! These guidelines can be found on the main page of this Submittable account, as well as on our website. Thanks! We look forward to reading your work.

The editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry are currently accepting submissions for Volume 5, to be published in June 2023. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

There is no cost to submit through our Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction portals. The deadline to do so is midnight, November 30. Use the Tip Jar option to submit your work for any of these reasons:

  • You wish to support our mission to provide a home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads. (Please note that you may also donate or subscribe to Deep Wild Journal by visiting our website.
  • You wish to submit more than one manuscript for our consideration. Your first submission is free. Any additional submissions must be sent via the Tip Jar.
  • You missed the November 30 deadline and would like us to consider your work. The Tip Jar portal will be open until January 1.

Your work will receive equal consideration regardless of how it is submitted to us. 

Please be sure to read the specific guidelines for the genre in which you are submitting work, as well as the General Guidelines. The General Guidelines can be found on the main page of this Submittable account, as well as on our website.

Thanks. We look forward to considering your work.

Deep Wild Journal