Deep Wild Journal

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

General Guidelines

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Undergraduate Student Essay Writing Contest! For contest guidelines, click here. To submit, scroll down to the bottom of this page.


Poetry submissions for our 2020 issue are now closed. Thanks to all of you poets who entrusted us with your work! We remain open for submissions of fiction, non-fiction and artwork until January 31. You may submit work either through the free portals or, if you would like to support our mission to provide a home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads, by using the $3.50 Tip Jar option. All money raised goes directly into production costs, and all submissions are given equal treatment. Thanks.  


Beginning on October 1, the editors of Deep Wild Journal: Writing from the Backcountry will be accepting submissions for Volume 2, to be published in June 2020. We are seeking work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads, preferably more than a day’s journey by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance. Work that does not fall within this backcountry spectrum, however excellent it might be, is simply not a good fit for us.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political (however you construe that word). 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. We are also looking for artwork for the cover and interior pages. (See specific Art Guidelines.)  

The deadline for poetry submissions is December 31, and for prose and art submission, January 31. Our Submittable platform currently allows us to accept up to one hundred submissions per calendar month and no more. Thus, the earlier you can send us your work in any given month, the better your chances that it will be received. Once the 100 submissions/month quota is reached, you can still submit using the Tip Jar option for $3.50. Or you can send work at the start of the next month, if the submission window is still open Please do not send manuscripts via email or US mail.  

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our Summer 2019 issue. Visit to subscribe, or to read selections published on our blog. To request a student discount, please contact us at 

Previously published work is welcome, so long as the rights are yours. Please identify as such in your cover letter, and be prepared to provide proof of permission. 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.

Submission Window: October 1 through December 31 for poetry; October 1 through January 31 for prose and artwork.  

Response time: We will strive to respond to all submissions within four 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 one copy of the journal in which their work appears, and a 40% discount on additional copies. 


A FEW IMPORTANT SPECIFICS   **please read!**

  • 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 submit more than one manuscript using the free portals, your work will be returned unread.
  • 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 $3.50 per submission.
  • Please submit all poems/essays/stories together in one document on a single submission form. All the work you submit must be contained in a single computer file. 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; if you do so, your work will be returned unread. Be assured that a few typos or minor errors will not affect our decision.
  • Do not include any contact information in the file that you submit. Your name and contact info will be included in the Submittable fields. This will make it easier for us to read fairly.
  • If your work is declined, please wait until our next reading cycle before submitting again.
  • Formatting guidelines: Please double-space prose and single-space poetry. Please indicate paragraph breaks by indenting, not by skipping a line (although an extra space to indicate section breaks is fine). Please put only one space after periods at the ends of sentences.

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 either subscribe to the journal or make a donation of any amount. Thank you!

Deep Wild Journal