Submission Guidelines

Call for Submissions: "Labor and Lost Industries in Appalachia."

*Submissions for a theme issue open May 1, 2017. Kestrel seeks poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and art that engages work in Appalachia, from mining to salt works to factories and the people and communities that are--or were--shaped by these industries.

*Celebration for the spring 2017 issue is tentatively set for October 27-28, 2017. In addition to readings from creative work from the issue, a feature of the Celebration will be panel discussions on the theme.

We accept submission May 1 to July 31 and November 1 to January 31

Kestrel publishes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by established and emerging writers. We are especially happy to publish work by West Virginia and Appalachian writers. Kestrel features visual art in each issue, as well.

Send hard copy via regular post during the following reading periods:
November 1-January 31 (spring issue)
May 1-July 31 (fall issue) - except poetry submissions closed until November 1

Poetry: Kestrel welcomes poems of all genres, styles, and traditions, including experimental and hybrid forms, as well as poetry in translation. Send 3-5 of your best poems during one of our reading periods.

Fiction: Kestrel is open to any genre of short fiction that questions assumptions and moves us to reconsider everyday life. We enjoy stories with believable plots, developed characters, consistent points-of-view, vivid and symbolic settings, true dialogue, and thought-provoking themes, though we also enjoy experimental writing that makes new the expected conventions. 5,000 words maximum.

Non-Fiction: Creative nonfiction, memoir, or literary essays are preferred. Subject matter may vary but attention to writing as craft and art is paramount; the attention to diction, syntax, and detail should delight and surprise. We appreciate writing that makes a subject's complexity understandable and its familiarity new. We expect non-fiction to be non-fiction.

Reviews: Kestrel recently began publishing reviews of newly-published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Please query via email. See featured reviews from Issue 29 at

Visual Art: Submissions to Kestrel may be made in any medium. Image resolution should be at least 300 dpi and in .jpg format. We publish full-color and black and white images. Kestrel may use images for publicity purposes. NOTE: email submissions are accepted only for visual art and from writers living outside the U.S.

An SASE is required for response. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Kestrel retains first North American rights only. Contributors receive two copies. Address your submission to the appropriate editor (fiction, poetry, nonfiction, visual art). Simultaneous submissions are accepted; immediate notification of a manuscript accepted elsewhere is expected, preferably via email at

Allow three months for our response before inquiring about your submission, and restrict yourself to one submission per calendar year.

All accepted work is for the print publication; select work may be featured on our website.

Submissions may be mailed to:

Department of Language and Literature
Fairmont State University
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554

Attn: [genre] Editor

Or click here to submit online:

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