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Submission Guidelines Impact

Submission Guidelines

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 reviews and visual art in each issue. 

Kestrel is now accepting submissions year-round.  Submissions are only accepted through Submittable.

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.

Poetry in Translation: Submissions of poetry in translation are encouraged. We prefer to publish bilingual translations (on facing pages), and we require clear permission from the original poet for the translation and for printing their work in the original (unless the work is in the public domain).

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: Please query via email. See featured reviews 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. 

Wrongfully Neglected: Kestrel invites recommendations, reflections, and reviews of individual texts (poems, short stories, essays) or books that fall outside the conventional guidelines for reviews, in terms of publication age (typically under 2 years), length (500 words and up), and voice. We would like to read pieces that show our readers why overlooked or forgotten literature published more than 2 years ago should be hunted down and read (or reread) immediately. Form and formality may vary, but writing must be vivid and engaging. Length should exceed a typical blurb but stop by the end of a Kestrel page (about 750 words). Submissions that do not meet these guidelines will be declined.

Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Kestrel retains first North American rights only. Contributors receive one copy and a one year subscription. 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. 

Note: For submissions received January-May and August-November, allow six months for our response before inquiring. Restrict submissions to one per calendar year.

All accepted work is for the print publication; select work may be featured on our website. Kestrel submits each issue to Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, and Vox Populi, and, therefore, work published in Kestrel may be chosen for reprint in those venues.

Submittable is our only method for submissions.

Inquiries and Correspondence

Department of Humanities
Fairmont State University 
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554

Attn: [genre] Editor

Submit Online