Submit – Michigan Quarterly Review


Please review all the guidelines and opportunities before submitting.

Special Issue Call for Submissions

Transversions: Archives, Testimony, and Reimagination

Deadline extended to March 15! Guest edited by Alex Marzano-Lesnevich.

This special issue focuses on literature that is engaged in recovering history across erasures, denials, and contestations. As Saidiya Hartman has written, “The past depends less on ‘what happened then’ than on the desires and discontents of the present.” How might genre become recuperative and expansive, to create a more complete recording of the personal or cultural past? We seek poetry, short fiction, essays, graphic narrative, visual art, playwriting, experimental work, and work we can’t yet imagine that innovates or questions the authority of historical archives, repairs or reveals institutional documents or records, and sustains communal memory. We welcome work that queers, critiques, broadens, decenters, and experiments with history, seeking a more just conception of the past and an engagement with literature as an act of ethical community and care.

This issue will be published in October of 2022. Maximum length for articles, essays and works of fiction is 7,000 words. Poetry submissions must not exceed 10 pages (or comparable length for other genres). All work should be formatted such that it can be printed on 6” x 9” pages. Incorporation of graphics is permitted; however, we cannot guarantee that any work will be printed in color. All material submitted will be considered simultaneously for publication in MQR Online. If Submittable is not accessible to you, please email with your concern.

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices Elle, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD. Translated into eleven languages, it is in development with HBO. Their essays appear in the 2020 and 2022 editions of The Best American Essays and their second book, Both and Neither, is forthcoming from Doubleday.

MQR Mixtape: Work

A special issue of Mixtape, MQR’s eclectic online zine. Guest edited by Urvi Kumbhat.
Submission deadline: May 15, 2023.

In Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, David Graeber writes, “We have become a civilization based on work—not even ‘productive work’ but work as an end and meaning in itself.” Our world is structured around the capitalist injunction to work, and this work yields increasingly disparate and unequal rewards. In our precarious circumstances, the demands of work leak into our rest, our pleasure, our joy. For this issue, MQR Mixtape seeks creative work that reckons with and undermines our racial capitalist hellscape, work that recasts and interrogates the everyday alienation of labour. We’re particularly interested in writing and art that centers labor that is often devalued, dismissed, or simply not recognized as work—raising children, caregiving, sex work, domestic work—and traces the intersections between capital, art, and other hegemonic forces.

Send your anti-capitalist manifestos, your commodity fetishes, the poem you scribbled while on the clock, paintings of utopian futures, doodles of your boss. Send short fiction, poetry, essays, visual art, comics, videos, and anything in between.

For this particular issue, please submit: 

  • Poetry: 1-5 pages
  • Prose: no more than 3750 words

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. 

Click here to submit to MQR Mixtape: Work.

Urvi Kumbhat received an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where she is currently a Zell Fellow. Her work has appeared in Protean Magazine, Apogee, Lit Hub, The Margins, and other publications. She grew up in Calcutta.

Abstract painting with different shapes in blue, pink, yellow, and white.

General Submissions for the Print Journal

Open Jan. 1–Apr. 1 and Aug. 1–Nov. 1

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 permitted. Please notify us immediately via Submittable if work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Please do not submit previously published work, including work published on a personal website.
  • 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.

Genre Specifications

Prose submissions: Manuscripts should be double-spaced. 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. The Judge for the 2021 Lawrence prize is Julie Buntin.

Poetry submissions: Please submit in between 3-6 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 for the Page Davidson Clayton Prize

Translations: Please submit translations in the appropriate genre. Please include biographical information for both the author and translator.

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 for information on how to submit. 

Submit a Pitch for MQR Online

Our online-only companion to the print journal, MQR Online publishes book reviews, essays, arts and culture features, and author interviews. We are currently accepting pitches for MQR Online features in these genres. Please submit your brief pitch in the body of an email to 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 and that we are not currently accepting fiction or poetry submissions for MQR Online; please submit work in these genres for consideration in the print journal via Submittable.

Goldstein Prize in Poetry

Open for Submissions: Nov. 1–Dec. 31, 2022

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. This year’s judge is Ruth Behar.

Ruth Behar is the James W. Fernandez Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Born in Havana, Cuba, she has lived in Spain and Mexico and returns often to Cuba to build bridges around culture and art. She is a MacArthur Fellow, a Carnegie Corporation “Great Immigrant,” and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her acclaimed scholarly books include The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village, Translated Woman, The Vulnerable Observer, An Island Called Home, and Traveling Heavy. Other works include a bilingual book of poems, Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé; a documentary, Adio Kerida; the prize-winning young adult novels, Lucky Broken Girl and Letters from Cuba, and Tía Fortuna’s New Home, a children’s book on Sephardic Cuban heritage.

Jesmyn Ward Prize in Fiction

Open for Submissions: Nov. 1–Dec. 31, 2022

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. This year’s judge is Desiree Cooper.

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who writes extensively about racial and gender equality. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, won numerous awards, including 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, CallalooMichigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, and River Teeth, among other publications. Her essay, “We Have Lost Too Many Wigs,” was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2019. Her first children’s book, Nothing Special, is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press in 2022. After spending her 30-year career in Detroit, she now lives in the Virginia Beach area where she cares for her mother and three grandchildren. 

James A. Winn Prize in Nonfiction

Open for Submissions: Apr. 1–May. 31, 2023
***2023 Deadline Extended: Now accepting through June 15!***

The Winn Prize is awarded annually to a work of nonfiction of exemplary quality submitted for consideration. One essay 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. This year’s judge is David Porter.

David Porter is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His research, which has been primarily concerned with the problem of how to think China and England together in the early modern period, has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, and the American Council of Learned Societies. His regular course offerings include “Art of the Story” and “Introduction to Literary Journalism;” as Chair of U-M’s Department of English, he established a new journalism internship program as well as the presidentially funded Great Lakes Writers Corps.

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