General Guidelines


MAY 1, 2019-OCTOBER 15, 2019. 

Guest Judges to be announced.

The theme for Issue #24 will be Patterns:

Patterns can be worn or flown. Bees dance them. Humans walk them daily. Patterns can be mundane or systemic. Tibetan monks make mandalas then blow them away. Ancient cultures left their trace in how they arranged stone. Drums, contrapuntal rhythm, jazz, orchestras, electronica. Knitters and tailors make them, societies break them. Climate is the pattern of the weather, personality is a pattern of behavior. Migration and immigration are both patterns. Diné weavers include deliberate imperfections in their weft and warp; Aran islands’ families’ sweater patterns are used to identify drowned fishermen; chaos follows a pattern, just one our science isn’t precise enough to predict. Herringbone, honeycomb, paisley, polka dot, tartan, chevron, ikat, meander, grid, akwete, adire, damask, chintz, madras, gingham, houndstooth.

We’re hoping to read formal poetry and fractals, essays that help us see when our individual and collective patterns aren’t serving us well anymore, how to resist, how to envision new conventions, prose with both ornament and design, & all kinds of writing that cracks expectations. In this election year, what patterns will we set, and what will we disrupt?

PROSE (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, & YA & Children’s Literature): Please submit a double-spaced manuscript of up to 8,000 words.

POETRY: Please submit no more than five poems (all in one file).

We only consider work that has not been previously published in print or online—personal websites and social media platforms do count as previous publication.



$50 for prose and $25 for poetry, as well as two copies of the print issue, designed by a VCFA MFA student in Graphic Design.


We ask for first serial rights, including print and online publication—after that, the rights will revert to you. If your work is reprinted, we ask that you reference our prior publication.

How to Submit 

We recommend you read previous issues and our Mission Statement to get an idea of who we are and what excites us. When you’ve chosen your finest writing that might be a good fit for Hunger Mountain, we accept general submissions here. (Subscribers & contributors can submit for free here.)

Contest Guidelines

The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, The Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, The Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, & The International Young Writers Prize (new!) are open for submissions from October 1 to March 1.

For the first four categories, one first place winner receives $1,000 and online publication, & one runner-up receives $100 and online publication. Please follow our General Guidelines for each genre category. Please do not include your name or address on your submission—we read contest entries blind. 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.

We and the Guest Judges look forward to reading your best!

The Young Writers Prize is open to all high school writers, and all genres of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children. Our goal is to foster the next generation of creative writers, and to encourage young people to make their voices heard.One winner will receive a $100 honorarium and online publication. Please follow our General Guidelines. This contest is judged by Hunger Mountain’s Assistant Editors.