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The Fourth River accepts unpublished poetry, literary short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork.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







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.


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.