Submissions for the spring, 2016 print issue will open on July 1, 2015 and will include a theme insert on Climate Change. See below for details.

"Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal."

- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Sea levels are rising and glaciers are retreating. We’re suffering heat waves and treacherous flooding, droughts and wildfires. Declining water supplies lead to devastated crops and a reduction of agricultural yield. Bees are dying off. Trees are dying off. Things, unquestionably, look grim.

Yes, we're suffering, but we’re also complicit in that suffering. We’re also enacting it upon the very world which sustains us.

97% of climate change scientists agree that the global warming trend of the last century, the effects of which are manifested in a myriad of environmental crises, are very likely due to human activity.

Some scientists argue that we’re already past the “tipping point” of climate disaster—that it’s too late to reverse the damage done. Some others are slightly more optimistic, suggesting ways we might mitigate the effects of or adapt to the rapidly changing climate.

The Fourth River wants to hear how writers approach the concept of “climate change” in a theme insert to be included in our 13th print issue, scheduled for spring, 2016. We want to hear your responses to the doomsayers and the deniers, the evidence before us and the emotions that evidence elicits.

In addition to our regular open call, we will be accepting fiction, nonfiction and poems that explore the themes of climate change and global warming from July 1-Sept 1, 2015. 

Submit your work here.

For more information about climate change, visit NASA’s Global Climate change website:

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.

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.

View Your Submissions

+ Show Guidelines

$2.00 USD

Ends on 10/30/2015