Deep Wild General Submission Guidelines

Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry is open for general submissions from October 1 through January 1. We seek 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 and should be sent elsewhere.

We are currently accepting entries to our 2021 Undergraduate Poetry Contest, and will remain so until March 1, 2021.  Students currently enrolled in undergraduate studies are invited to send us their best single poem of up to 70 lines that is backcountry infused and inspired. There is no fee to submit, and winners will receive cash prizes. Click here for the Guidelines to the contest.

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.)

To send us work, click on the Submittable link at the bottom of this page. But first, read on for important guidelines.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first two issues. Visit http://www.deepwildjournal.com to subscribe, or to read selections published on our blog. The current issue is currently on sale for 20% off. To request our discount 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 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.

IMPORTANT SPECIFICS   **please 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 will be 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 submit more than one manuscript using the free portals, all 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; it confuses the issue. 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.
  • 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 2020 issue is currently on sale for 20% off.

To submit, click on this image: DW sticker

Thank you in advance for the privilege of considering your work.