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About Us

The graduate students in the Writing & Publishing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts create Hunger Mountain, & we have a voracious desire to elevate the best of today’s literature. VCFA is the only college devoted exclusively to graduate fine arts education, & the W&P program is the only residential program where students live full-time on our historic campus in Montpelier, at the base of Mount Hunger. The editors of Hunger Mountain share VCFA’s belief that the arts are central to the human experience & have the ability not only to reflect reality but also to create it.

Students in our Publishing & Fieldwork class are offered the rare opportunity to experience the
complete creation of a literary journal: reading submissions, choosing writing, deciding the look & feel of the print journal, & promoting the magazine. Each themed issue is designed by a different student in VCFA’s MFA program in Graphic Design, & we aim to make them as beautiful—& by that we mean as striking, & maybe strange—as the writing inside. Writing & Publishing students also create content for Hunger Mountain Online, including interviews, reviews, & craft essays. Our Masthead changes annually, & our revolving Guest Editors & Contest Judges reach into their literary communities & help make them part of ours. This allows for aesthetic flexibility, guided by our steady ethics: promoting voices that have gone unheard, expanding our representation & scope, & critically examining our contemporary culture & our field. We are dedicated to transparency, & we value vulnerability, adventure, & accessibility. 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. We are run by the future of the literary world, & we take great pride in discovering new voices, as well as publishing the freshest work from established artists.

For information about our current Hunger Mountain editors, check out our masthead.


College Hall in the mistThe Hunger Mountain editorial offices are located at the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) in historic Montpelier, Vermont. VCFA is devoted entirely to graduate fine arts education, with MFA programs in Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Film, Visual Art, Graphic Design, Music Composition, and Writing & Publishing.


Past contributors to Hunger Mountain include Pinckney Benedict, Ron Carlson, Hayden Carruth, Kwame Dawes, Matthew Dickman, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Terrance Hayes, Alice Hoffman, Pam Houston, Maxine Kumin, Dorianne Laux, Bret Lott, Michael Martone, Naomi Shihab Nye, Tomaž Šalamun, Charles Simic, James Tate, Jean Valentine, and too many splendid writers to name here.


Hunger Mountain hosts four annual writing contests, which are open to all writers: the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, and the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize. We also offer a paid Hunger Mountain Fellowship.


Hunger Mountain was started in 2002 by founding editor Caroline Mercurio through a generous donation from a Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing alumnus. The journal has thrived since then with the assistance of MFA in writing faculty and ongoing support from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, VCFA alums, subscribers and friends of Hunger Mountain.


We are a member of The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and you can find us in