New at The Fourth River!


Rolling, burbling, churning along, tributaries lead us to the river. These winding origins are sometimes small, but often powerful. Tributaries refresh us, urge us forward, guide us through the trees.

The Fourth River’s weekly online publication, “Tributaries”, showcases the brief and the inspiring, that which sustains us and takes us through unexpected courses. Each week we will feature a new piece on the front page of our web site.

Click for more information and to submit to Tributaries!

General Guidelines

The Fourth River publishes one print issue in the spring and one digital issue in the fall. Submissions for print are accepted July 1-September 1; for digital November 1-January 1.
Submissions for the web series, Tributaries, is rolling.

We welcome submissions that explore the relationship between humans and their environments, both natural and built, urban, rural or wild. We are looking for writing that is richly situated at the confluence of place, space and identity—or that reflects upon or makes use of landscape and place in new ways.

Recent authors we’ve published include Barbara Hurd, Susan Cohen, Nate Pritts, and BK Loren. Contributors to The Fourth River have received Pushcart Prizes, NEA Fellowships, and The Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The Fourth River’s contributors have been published in Glimmer Train, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Travel Writing.

The Fourth River accepts unpublished poetry, literary short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork.

Please send 3-5 poems, up to 7,000 words of prose, or three pieces of visual art at a time.

The Fourth River only accepts submissions via Submittable.  Emailed submissions will not be read. Mailed submissions will be recycled.







Ends on December 15, 2016$ 15.00
$ 15.00

Genre: Poetry

Judge: Natalie Diaz

Entry fee: $15

The winning entry will be published as a 10-15-page feature in our fall online issue. The author will also receive a cash prize of $500, a subscription to The Fourth River’s print edition, and an invitation to read at the issue launch in Pittsburgh, November 2017.

GUIDELINES

Please submit 10-15, single-spaced pages of poetry in one file (.doc or .docx or .rtf only, no .pdf please). Submissions of fewer than 10 pgs. will not be considered.

As always, we invite work that engages and interrogates our notions of nature and place and helps us see the world around us in a new way. The poems should have a clear, cohesive relationship to each other much as the poems in a chapbook would. Submissions may include a title for the series, but this is not required. The poet's name and contact information (and title if applicable) should appear on each page of the manuscript. We do not read blind. Please also provide a short bio in the appropriate field on Submittable. All pages should be numbered.

We welcome narrative, lyric, prose poetry, formal and experimental forms. We are looking for strong voices and impeccable craft, regardless of the style.

We accept electronic submissions only through Submittable. Emailed submissions and mailed submissions will not be considered.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as they are withdrawn promptly in the event of publication elsewhere.If you need to withdraw a single poem from the series, please leave a note in Submittable. We will be happy to keep your remaining submission under consideration providing it remains at least 10 pgs long.  Multiple submissions are accepted but each must include a separate contest fee. No translations.

All work must be original and previously unpublished. This includes any work that has appeared in print or online in any form including personal websites. We claim first North American Serial rights, so rights revert to the author after the initial publication period. We ask that you credit The Fourth River in any subsequent publications.

Submissions will be screened by a panel of editors and up to ten finalists will be sent to the judge.

The contest is open to all writers in English except those affiliated in any way with Chatham’s MFA program, The Fourth River, or current or former students and colleagues of the judge.

Submissions accepted from November 1-December 15th. Winners will be announced by email and listed on our website by May 15.



Rolling, burbling, churning along, tributaries lead us to the river. These winding origins are sometimes small, but often powerful. Tributaries refresh us, urge us forward, guide us through the trees.

The Fourth River’s weekly online publication, “Tributaries”, showcases the brief and the inspiring, that which sustains us and takes us through unexpected courses. Each week we will feature a new piece on the front page of our web site.


*Please submit nature/place-based work in the form of:

-no more than (500) words of prose

-one poem

-one piece of visual artwork

Multiple submissions are not accepted. Please submit one piece at a time and wait to hear back before submitting again.

Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you notify us immediately.

We do not accept previously published work.


Ends on January 1, 2017$ 2.00
$ 2.00

Please send up to 7,000 words of prose at a time.

Submission Period for Print Journal: July 1 – September 1.
Submission Period for Online Journal: November 1 – January 1.

Include a cover letter as the first page of your submissions file, with contact info, the title, and genre of the submission. We accept simultaneous submissions if indicated on the cover letter; please let us know immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.


Ends on January 1, 2017$ 2.00
$ 2.00

Please send up to 7,000 words of prose at a time.

Submission Period for Print Journal: July 1 – September 1.
Submission Period for Online Journal: November 1 – January 1.

Include a cover letter as the first page of your submissions file, with contact info, the title, and genre of the submission. We accept simultaneous submissions if indicated on the cover letter; please let us know immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.


Ends on January 1, 2017$ 2.00
$ 2.00

Please send 3-5 poems at a time combined into ONE file.

Submission Period for Print Journal: July 1 – September 1.
Submission Period for Online Journal: November 1 – January 1.

Include a cover letter as the first page of your submissions file, with contact info, genre of the submission, and the titles of the poems,. We accept simultaneous submissions if indicated on the cover letter; please let us know immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere.


Please send us up to three pieces of original artwork or photography in the highest possible resolution.

Please indicate in your cover letter if your submission is intended for one of our special themes. If no theme is indicated, we will consider your work for our upcoming print and/or online issues.
$ 10.00
If you would like to purchase more than one copy of an issue, please contact us at 4thriver@gmail.com.