General Guidelines for the Print Journal
General submissions for the print journal will be accepted in 2023 from January 1 to April 1 and August 1 to November 1. Average turnaround time is six months, but we may take longer and ask that you do not query us until a year has passed.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please notify us immediately via Submittable if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
- Please do not submit previously published work, including work published on a personal website or blog.
- Writers are advised to inspect a back copy of the journal before submitting work.
- Previous contributors: please wait one year after your work appears in the journal to submit to us again.
- We ask that you do not contact us about revising your work once it has been submitted.
- MQR is a paying market.
Prose submissions: Manuscripts should be double-spaced, right margins not justified; 1,500–7,000 words. All nonfiction submissions will be automatically considered for publication in MQR Online. All stories accepted for publication will be passed on to a judge as finalists for the $2000 Lawrence Prize. There is no additional fee for the prize beyond submission.
Poetry submissions: Please submit up to 6 poems in one document, not to exceed a total of 12 pages. Poems published in MQR by early career writers (those who have not yet published a full-length collection) will be considered as finalists for our Page Davidson Clayton Prize.
Translations: Please submit translations in the appropriate genre and include biographical information for both the author and translator.
MQR Online: Our online-only companion to the print journal, MQR Online publishes book reviews, arts and culture features, author interviews, and more. We are currently accepting pitches for MQR Online features in these genres and are happy to consider pitches in other genres as well. Please submit your brief pitch in the body of an email to email@example.com. Our Online Editor will invite selected pitches to submit a full piece (up to 3,000 words) for consideration. Please note that we are unable to respond to all pitches.
Each Spring and Fall issue of MQR is a special themed issue with a guest editor. Work submitted for a special issue should be related in some way to its theme. We always accept fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for special issues; other genres are often accepted as well. Themes, guidelines, and instructions for submitting to a special issue will appear below whenever we are actively seeking submissions for an upcoming special issue.
Jesmyn Ward Prize in Fiction
Open for Submissions Nov. 1–Dec. 31 annually. The Michigan Quarterly Review has established this prize for fiction in honor of Helen Zell Writers’ Program alumna Jesmyn Ward and her significant contributions to the literary arts. One short story submitted for this prize will be awarded $2,000 and publication in MQR. All submissions for the prize will be considered for publication. The fee for submission is $25. When submissions for the prize are open, you can find details on how to submit by clicking the link below.
James A. Winn Prize in Nonfiction
Open for Submissions Apr. 1–May 31 annually. The James A. Winn Prize is awarded annually to a piece of nonfiction of exemplary quality submitted for consideration. One nonfiction piece submitted for this prize will be awarded $1,500 and publication in MQR. All submissions will be considered for publication. The fee for submission is $20. When submissions for the prize are open, you can find details on how to submit by clicking the link below.
Goldstein Prize in Poetry
Open for Submissions Nov. 1–Dec. 31 annually. The Goldstein Prize is awarded annually to a poem of exemplary quality submitted for consideration. One poem submitted for this prize will be awarded $1,000 and publication in MQR. All submissions will be considered for publication. The fee for submission is $20. When submissions for the prize are open, you can find details on how to submit by clicking the link below.
MQR Mixtape is MQR's eclectic, online zine. Each issue centers on a theme chosen by a guest editor. Open calls for upcoming issues of MQR Mixtape including submission guidelines will appear below.
Edited by A. Shaikh
In her essay “Autogeographies,” Barrie Jean Borich describes place, in the craft of literary work, as “more than just a container of action.” She explains that “the human sense of, and attachment to, place is—as geographers tell us—profound and deeply embedded in our stories.” In other words, we are the places our bodies have crossed, called home, left, and dreamt about. For this issue of MQR Mixtape, I am seeking poems, essays, short fiction, and visual art that create a particular and vivid spatial resonance. I am searching for creative work that grapples with how land, landscape, architecture and other reverberations of our public and private surroundings, affect who we are. I want to encounter art in which place becomes a vehicle to explore the intersections of identity and belonging. Where did you come from? How did you arrive? I am equally as interested in place as a site of fraught tension, of narratives that confront and interrogate (im)migration, displacement, and the language of borders. Send me your strange geographies, your childhood neighborhoods, your many countries of memory. I want to know where you are.
Given the state of the world, in time of rage and mourning, and the specific connection of this themed issue with ongoing realities, as a guest editor I encourage submissions from marginalized writers, especially those Palestinian, Armenian, Afghan, Sudanese, Moroccan, and Libyan folks who are living through various forms of colonial, imperial, genocidal, and ecological catastrophe. Furthermore, in a moment where solidarity with Palestine has been met with censorship, doxxing, cancellation of awards and events, and firing from professional positions, I continue to welcome writing from anti-Zionist comrades as well as those who have been victims of aforementioned silencing. (The language of solidarity in this excerpt is borrowed from the journal MIZNA's latest submission call.)
Poetry: up to four poems
Prose*: up to 4,000 words
*short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction essays
Visual art/photography: up to five works
Hybrid work**: up to three pages
**multimedia work, photo essays, comics, collaborations (within and across disciplines), archival materials, love letters
Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted by another publication. Please send only one submission per window; subsequent submissions will be rejected automatically.
The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2023.
The Jesmyn Ward Prize will be awarded annually by the Michigan Quarterly Review to one short story submitted for consideration. The Michigan Quarterly Review has established this prize in honor of Helen Zell Writers’ Program Alumna Jesmyn Ward and her significant contributions to the literary arts.
Please submit one unpublished short story of 1,500-7,000 words. Simultaneous submissions are welcome but please withdraw your submission as soon as it is accepted elsewhere.
We ask entrants not to include their names or contact information within the document they upload to Submittable, its title, or its file name.
First readers for the prize will be the Helen Zell Writers’ Program students who currently review submissions on behalf of the journal.
Submissions will go through two rounds of consideration by graduate students before 10 finalists are passed on to the judge.
Current faculty and students and recent graduates (in the past 3 years) of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program will be barred from submitting. Close friends, relatives, and current and former students (in the past 3 years) of the Judge will be barred from submitting. MQR’s staff and editorial board, as well as their immediate family members, are also excluded from the contest.
The 2024 Judge will be David Lynn. The winning story will be published in the Summer 2024 issue of MQR.
The prize will be in the amount of $2,000 and publication. All submissions will be considered for publication in MQR.
Please submit up to 5 previously unpublished poems with a total page count of no more than 10 pages. Poets at all stages of their careers are encouraged to submit. Multiple submissions are permitted with multiple fees. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable but please leave us a note to withdraw individual poems if they are accepted elsewhere. All submissions will be considered for publication. This year's final judge will be Lawrence Joseph. The prize is $1,000 and the winning submission will be published in the Summer 2024 issue of the journal.
Goldstein Prize Guidelines
- We accept submissions via Submittable and use its tools to ensure that all identifying information is hidden from our contest readers throughout the selection process.
- We ask entrants not to include their names or contact information within the document they upload to Submittable, its title, or its file name.
- Up to 20 submissions will be passed on, without identifying information within them, to the judge.
- Close friends, relatives, students, and former students of the judge, are excluded from the contest. Likewise, the current Editorial Board and staff of MQR, as well as their immediate family members, are excluded from the contest. Graduates of the Helen Zell Writers Program in the last 3 years and current faculty and staff of that program are also excluded. If any of the selected authors fall under these categories they will be disqualified, and a replacement will be chosen from among the finalists.
We feel acquaintance and/or participation in a workshop (outside of semester-long academic settings) taught by the judge should not be a disqualifying factor, so long as none of the poems in a manuscript is recognizable to the judge.
For the purposes of this contest, we'll call a “close friend” anyone with whom we have regular direct correspondence. And please remember that if a poem is recognizable to the judge, it will be disqualified.