The Heartland Review, a biannual literary journal

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Founded in 2000, The Heartland Review  (ISSN: 2473-9545) is published in the spring and fall as an imprint of The Heartland Review Press. We accept submissions of poetry, fiction and non-fiction all throughout the year, but our reading periods generally take place in May-August and December -February. As a result, you can check the submittable database for updates and status changes. You will receive an email stating the disposition of your work at the end of the reading period. When possible, we will comment on pieces that didn’t quite fit. Our spring issue features the winners and finalists of our Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize and selected prose.  We hope to include electronic forms of past issues soon. We hope you will consider submitting.


We want work that presents a fresh approach to the human condition in experimental or traditional form. We do not accept translations. We consider established as well as emerging writers. We have reserved a section for younger artists in the past.  We nominate for the Pushcart Prize!

When to submit: We accept original submissions of poetry, fiction and non-fiction all throughout the year. We encourage you to submit your poetry to our Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize when it is open (generally fall) rather than this general submission location.    


Where to submit: Below is a link that says Submit; click it.    You will be prompted to create an account using Submittable. 

Response time:  For Fiction and Creative nonfiction, the response time is 3- 6 months; this varies based on when you submit, because we pull these May and around Thanksgiving/early December.   Poetry takes longer because we receive far more submissions. We have the Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize from August to December, so we recommend you submit to that competition during those months.  Those winners are published in Spring edition.  If you submit poetry to the link below (not the prize competition), your poetry will probably not be read until Spring or Summer for our Fall edition.  You can check the Submittable database for updates and status changes to your work. You will receive an email stating the disposition of your work at the end of the reading period. When possible, we will comment on pieces that didn’t quite fit.

Copyright: THR retains first North American serial rights and may use the submitted material to promote the journal and website.  Unfortunately, we can not make changes to your work once it has been accepted. 


Payment:  THR  pays 1 contributor copy mailed by USPS to the author of accepted works.


Poems: Submit 3 poems f any length or style to include traditional poetic forms.

Fiction:  1 fiction manuscripts that does not exceed 5000 words.

Non-fiction: 1-2 non-fiction manuscripts that do not exceed 5000 words.

Flash is welcome in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

Authors may submit only one entry per genre at a time. Multiple entries will be ignored.



1. Submissions must be in one Word compatible file (.docx, .doc, and .rtf). PDFs will not be read.

2. For fiction and nonfiction, the Word file must be double spaced uniformly. Do not put in extra spaces or have double with single spacing. Do not insert your own "enters" at the end of each line; ensure Word wraps the text automatically. Use left align, not justification. This helps the import and export of files.

3. The file should contain a cover page that includes a 30-40 word biography and contact information. Only include personal information in the cover page/letter; submissions with personal information on the pieces or on multiple pages will be automatically disqualified. This means do not put your name in a header or footer in your document. Any personal information on pages of manuscripts will automatically disqualify the entire submission.

3. The file name should include the date (year and month) and the author’s name.

For example, 2018_6_John Smith.

File names that do not include the date and author’s name will be disqualified.  This helps us keep the files organized.


Open call for submissions for Spring 2023. Please read the information on this page before submitting.