Deep Wild General Submission Guidelines

Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry is open for general submissions each fall 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 on journeys undertaken by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance.

We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political. By “personal,” we mean work that not only relates the experience of backcountry journeys, but also in some way reflects upon the journeys. By “political,” we mean work that, while maintaining a backcountry perspective, addresses and confronts the social, economic, and environmental issues of our times.

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. The last day to submit work is January 1.

(For information on our 2022 Graduate Student Essay Contest, which is open for submissions from November 15 to March 1, please visit deepwildjournal.com/studentsandteachers/)

To send us your work, go to the Deep Wild Journal Submittable site. For additional important guidelines, please keep reading.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the work published in our first three issues. Visit deepwildjournal.com to view subscription options, or to read selections published on our blog. To take advantage of our discounts 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 50% discount on additional copies. They are also entitled to purchase single copies of other issues of Deep Wild, past and future (supplies permitting) at the 50% rate.

IMPORTANT SPECIFICS   **be sure to 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 run the risk of being 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.
  • If you are submitting more than one poem or short prose piece, please put all of them together in one file on a single submission form. 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.

To submit your work, please click on this image:

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