The Submission Process

All submissions should be sent as single electronic mail messages. The texts should be incorporated in the body of the message or attached as a MS Word file or RTF file. It is our intention to let authors know if their work is to be published within six months of the original submission.


By submitting your work, you affirm that you are the sole author, and retain all rights for your work. Unless otherwise indicated, you also affirm that this work has not been simultaneously submitted or previously published elsewhere in any other medium. If your work is accepted for publication, Nantahala acquires the rights to publish and reproduce your material in any appropriate format.


After publication, copyright reverts back to the author.


By submitting material, you affirm that you have read and agree with the submission guidelines of your specific genre. These guidelines are subject to change, and we reserve the right to discard submissions that do not follow our guidelines.



Genre Specic Guidelines


Fiction Submissions Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Photography

Nantahala publishes new fiction of any genre, but we look specifically for stories that feature a fresh, strong voice along with a sense of fascination with the human condition and the variety of human character. A connection to the Appalachian region is required, but neither the setting of the piece nor the residence of the author is required to be Appalachian. The best way to determine if your writing fits this journal is to read fiction in one or more current issues. The editors may publish reprints by special arrangement, but submissions are expected to be unpublished material.


Non-Fiction Submissions Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Photography

Although we are looking for a wide variety of topics and approaches, we hope to see some innovative creative nonfiction: personal essays that take a journey into insights both personal and "cosmic" through attention to language and focus on discovery. The world is chock full of models for living, for enhancing our spirit, if we pay attention. All good art makes us look anew. The best creative nonfiction chronicles that visioning process.





Poetry Submissions Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Photography
Submit a Small Collection of Poems
Nantahala encourages poets to submit seven to ten poems at a time.  We are interested in publishing a selection of poems that succeed individually and as a thematic whole.
The style of the poem should match or complement the meaning of the poem.  We prefer poets who’ve thought about how structure and meaning work together. Our editors also value the quotable line, the unique phrase, and the well-chosen word.
We have no restrictions or preferences regarding content.   While we publish work by writers connected to Appalachia, we do not mandate that all work be about the region.  We publish what strikes us as being uniquely experienced, freshly divined, and originally perceived.  Solomon, of the Hebrews, wrote that nothing’s new under the sun. We concur with King Solomon, but find that thoughtful, feeling individuals experience the universal in a profoundly personal way.  Accordingly, we seek poems, in the words of Ezra Pound, that “make it new.”    
Poems go to editors as they are received.  It is imperative that writers proofread their work before submission.  Nonstandard grammar and mechanical usage that is not clearly contributing to the form and meaning of the work tells us that the writer did not take the time to proofread.  These submissions will almost always be rejected. 
What is Good?

When we speak of quality— what is good or average or bad— we are most often voicing our informed opinion.  Nantahala takes on the point of view of its editors; if we publish it, we think it good.  So, the best way to find out what we think is good is to read our magazine.  Decide for yourself if you think we are doing a good job.  If you think we are publishing quality work, keep submitting and reading, and we’ll keep publishing the good stuff.  


Photography Submissions Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Photography

Many pictures turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own. There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.
-Robert Heinecken

We are interested in publishing a selection of images that succeed individually and as a thematic whole. Nantahala requires artists to submit a minimum of five to ten photographs at a time. An artist statement must accompany all submissions.

Style and Content

When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision.
-Edward Weston

The criterion is quality, in form and content. Particularly, we look for a smooth and effective collaboration between form and meaning, an unforced photographic composition that throws light upon a fresh vision. While we publish work by image-makers connected to Appalachia, we do not mandate that all work be about the region. Put simply, we are interested in showing the diversity of our regional artists, showing work that demonstrates, to quote Peter Henry Emerson,

...the originality of the thing expressed and the way it is expressed, whether it be in poetry, photography, or painting, and the original artist is surely he who seizes new and subtle impressions from nature, 'tears them forth from nature', as Durer said, and lays them before the world by means of the technique at his command.

We publish what strikes us as being uniquely experienced, freshly divined, and originally perceived.