For all our submissions, themed or otherwise, we welcome especially work by writers  who are part of marginalized groups: immigrant and indigenous writers;  writers of color; women, non-binary, LGBQA and trans writers; writers  with disabilities both visible and invisible. Send us your best work!

 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, Todd Kaneko, Ira Sukrungruang, Lisa Summe 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The Fourth River accepts unpublished poetry, literary short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork.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.

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.
If you would like to purchase more than one copy of an issue, please contact us at
The Fourth River