Hunger Mountain

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Submission Guidelines

Issue #25 will be open for submissions from May 1st to October 15th.
Our Contests are open from November 1st to March 1st.
Issue #25—Art Saves
Art can save a life, a relationship, a nation, a Sunday afternoon, one’s sanity—& art can save a space: for joy, for understanding, for all that is within us & beyond us.
We believe art matters now more than ever—or, rather, as much as it ever has. Help us prove it.
Send us your manifestos & rhetoric, your stories & poems, your essays & forays into justifying art as an answer to—& escape from?—these trying times: pandemics, forest fires, catastrophe, white-supremacy, murder, burning buildings as the only way to be heard, fascism.
Guest Editors to be announced.
Hello! If you’re reading this before submitting to Hunger Mountain, welcome (& good for you, friend)!
These are guidelines for what we seek to include in our magazine in order to support our mission, which is to exalt traditionally silenced voices, to expand representation in literature, & to examine with a critical eye. We pursue this mission through the work we both solicit & select from submissions.
We want writing that explores, questions, & challenges. We want writing that remains open. We want work that thinks about what it’s trying to do for others & the world.
We are here to champion writing that upsets systems of power & dominance. Our magazine isn’t going to destroy the cis-heteronormative white-supremacist ableist patriarchy. But we are going to try, & we seek to celebrate art that is trying alongside us.
Above all, we seek work that is self-aware & avoids the risk of harm. We hold the intention of including all, especially those who have been most excluded from society & from literature. Our paramount values are transparency & consent. No writer sets out to do harm. But because we believe that writing has ramifications in the world, we want the people who submit to us to consider the repercussions their work has on those reading it.
Writing submitted to us will be thoroughly & open-heartedly read by at least two members of our community, & unlike many literary journals we reserve roughly 50% of each issue for unsolicited work. Because we value the wellbeing of our editors (who in turn value the wellbeing of our readers), we request content warnings & recommend sensitivity readers. If you don’t have a sensitivity reader, or don’t know what that is, & feel you might need one, you can find more information here & here. Content warnings also help us get your work into the hands of readers best able to meet it on its own terms. These requests will change as our editorial board changes. We appreciate your including these content warnings with your submission:
  • violence & abuse
  • sexual assault
  • racism
  • suicide
  • mental health issues
  • loss & grief
  • animal cruelty
  • cursing
We find genre categories more useful for readers than for writers. We use them here—we publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for young adults & children, hybrid work, & translations of all of these forms—to help get your work into the hands of the people best able to meet it on its own terms. We welcome work that is genre-less, & the traditional genres some magazines shun—yes, that means we want more speculative fiction! We don’t believe in the divide between literary & genre fiction. We want to read your science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, ecofabulism, irrealism, slipstream, sure we’ll take a look at your Western, please surprise us with some Romance that isn’t cheesy, & we’d love some Limericks & ghazals & golden shovels while you’re at it. 
We want more humor! We take ourselves seriously, yes, but we also love writing that doesn’t take the world so seriously all of the time.
Please submit prose of no more than 8,000 words, or up to three flash pieces all in one docuemnt; for poetry, 1-5 poems all in one file. 
While a cover letter is not required, feel free to submit one along with your work. If you chose to include one, in it please tell us whatever we need to know about you & how you identify in order to meet your work on its own terms. We care more about why you wrote this piece & why you’re sending it specifically to us than we care about any credentials. 
While we have no problem with simultaneous submissions, if your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. For us, this means within 24 hours in most cases. Please withdraw through Submittable, not by sending us an email. 
Anyone who is not a current student in our residential MFA in Writing & Publishing may submit to our magazine—this includes alumnx of W&P, & current students in any of VCFA’s low-residency programs.    
Our reading fee allows us to pay our Editors & Contributors. We understand that this means we are supported by the people who wish to be in our pages, & we are grateful for that support, & seek to be worthy of your trust. 
Hunger Mountain accepts translations of fiction, literary nonfiction, plays, poetry, & works that fall somewhere in between. We are interested in publishing translated works that do not fit neatly into established categories. 
Upon publication, we will ask translators to prepare a translator’s note (of less than 1000 words) that contextualizes the work &/or discusses the translation process. 
To be considered for publication, translation submissions must include: 
  • Both the source text & the translation in a standard format other than PDF—we would like to be able to copy & paste the work.  
  • Short biographies (50-100 words) of both the author & the translator.
  • All relevant rights & permissions for publication of the text & the translation from the author &/or rightsholder(s).
Submissions without all three of these components will not be considered for publication. 
Please follow genre requirements above, including collating your entire submission in a single document & including your name, the work’s title, & the fact that it is a translation in the file name (i.e. name_title_translation).
Thank you for sharing our pursuit to elevate the best of today’s literature. 
Submissions for our annual contests, which are published online, will be open from November 1st, 2020, to March 1st, 2021, with publication in summer 2021. 
May Day Mountain Chapbook Series 
The winning author will receive $100 in prize money plus fifty 5×7, handmade letterpress copies of their manuscript, designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont.
  • $10.00 reading fee
  • Send 30-50 pages of fiction, short stories, poetry, poetics, nonfiction, hybrid, short scripts, experimental biography & autobiography, as well as new approaches to journalism, scholarship, & critique.
  • If needed, include a table of contents and acknowledgments.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Every submitter will receive a hardcopy of a classic issue of Hunger Mountain.
The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, The Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing, The Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, & The International Young Writers Prize:
For the first four categories, one first place winner receives $1,000 & online publication, & one runner-up receives $100 & online publication. You may enter more than one piece in each category, or separate pieces in multiple categories, but each entry needs its own entry fee. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please let us know within twenty-four hours if your work is accepted elsewhere, & please know that we can’t refund entry fees. You can read previous winners here.
The Young Writers Prize is open to all genres of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, hybrid, & writing for children. Please only submit one piece per genre. Our goal is to foster the next generation of creative writers, & to encourage young people to make their voices heard.One winner will receive a $100 honorarium & online publication. Read the inaugural winner here. This contest is judged by Hunger Mountain’s Assistant Editors.
We recommend you read previous issues, our general guidelines, & our Mission Statement to get an idea of who we are and what excites us.


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