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Submission are open August-December and January-April.

We will be open for general submissions and submissions to our special issue on Water starting August 1st. 

Not One Without: A Special Issue on Water

“Thousands have lived without love; not one without water.” In the spirit of W.H. Auden’s words, this forthcoming special issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review will explore urgent, complex, and revelatory writing on water from around the world. “Not One Without: A Special Issue on Water” will explore the paradoxes of water, how at once it gives life and takes it; how it divides us along cruel lines of inequality even as it binds us. Water connects us, and our planet, to our origins and to an indivisible fate.

We are seeking work that addresses any aspect of water: from the contested oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac to water shut-offs in Cape Town; from flooding in the Midwest to water scarcity in India and the Sahel; from the role of water in regional and global conflict and migration to the way that storm surges and shifting coastlines are forcing us to rethink the shapes of urban centers.

We are looking for pieces that consider water through the lens of history and of contemporary geopolitics, and are excited to receive submissions that consider water through mythology, religion, and art history. We welcome a range of genres, including nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, translations, and pieces that don’t fit into a neat category.

General Submissions for the Print Journal:

Regular submissions for the print journal are accepted from January 15 to April 15, and from August 1 to November 30. Average turnaround time is four to six months. 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 or our archives before submitting work. 

Previous contributors: please wait one year after your work appears in the journal to submit to us again.

MQR accepts mailed submissions from incarcerated individuals. Other submissions via mail, email, or fax cannot be accepted and will not be read.  If you are a writer for whom Submittable is  not accessible please email us at mqr@umich.edu for information on how to submit. 

Prose submissions: Manuscripts should be double-spaced, right margins not justified; 1,500 words minimum, 5,000 average, 7,000 maximum. All stories accepted for publication will be passed on to a judge as finalists for the $2000 Lawrence Prize. There is no additional fee beyond submission.

Poetry submissions: Please submit in between 3-6 poems in one document, not to exceed a total of 12 pages.

MQR is a paying market. submit

Submissions for MQR Online:

Submit author interviews, book reviews, craft essays, and general nonfiction related to arts & culture. Essays should not be longer than 3,000 words. If there are photos to accompany your piece, please make a note in your cover letter. 

Payment is $30 per piece.

Please note that we are not currently reading fiction or poetry for this category.

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We do charge a fee for submissions. This fee helps support the publication of MQR and our commitment to compensating writers for their work. We welcome and regularly publish work from emerging writers. Poems published in MQR by emerging writers (those who have not yet published a full-length collection) will be considered as finalists for our Page Davidson Clayton Prize.