Interview and Critical Essay Submission Deadline:
August 31 (for the next year's issue).
ATTENTION WRITERS: NCLR uses Submittable (https://nclr.submittable.com/submit) to handle submissions online. Please read through these guidelines before submitting to NCLR. Note the reading periods and deadlines for the various genres of writing that we publish. For help instructions about using Submittable, click on the SUBMIT ONLINE tab above.
NCLR publishes interviews and literary criticism about North Carolina writers and high-quality poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction by North Carolina writers or set in North Carolina.
SPECIAL FEATURE SECTION: Much of each issue is thematically focused, so potential contributors should note the forthcoming special feature topics.
Direct questions about the special feature section to the Editor.
#24, 2015: Global North Carolina (submissions due Aug. 31, 2014; no longer accepting submissions)
#25, 2016: Celebrating 25 Years of NCLR (submissions due Aug. 31, 2015)
The special feature section is just one section of each issue. Content throughout the rest of the issue varies.
In this section of each issue, we publish articles, interviews, and creative writing that hearken back to special feature topics of past issues. See below regarding submission periods and deadlines for the various genres.
A portion of each issue is open to other NORTH CAROLINA-related writers and writing (not related to the special feature section topic), including interviews with North Carolina writers, literary criticism (without academic jargon) on North Carolina writers, and creative writing by North Carolina writers. We are particularly interested in articles and interviews that introduce new North Carolina writers or re-introduce neglected North Carolina writers. Word count varies. A survey of back issues would better demonstrate our eclectic interests than a phrase or two might manage. We usually do not accept previously published material. See below regarding submission periods and deadlines for the various genres.
Literary criticism on North Carolina writers and Interviews with North Carolina writers should be submitted as a Word file, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. Please consult NCLR’s documentation style sheet to format your source documentation. See above to determine which section of the issue your critical essay or interview would be appropriate for.
NCLR encourages writers to submit relevant art and photography with articles and interviews. Find image guidelines here.
NCLR also publishes high-quality Creative Writing by North Carolina writers or set in North Carolina (no connection to special feature section topic necessary). Our definition of a North Carolina writer is anyone who currently lives in North Carolina, has lived in North Carolina, or uses North Carolina as subject matter.
All poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction must be submitted through
the competitions described below.
Fiction submissions are accepted January 1 through February 15 for the Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network, which awards the author of other winning story $250. NCLR handles the submissions for the Network and chooses the winning story, which is published in the next year's issue. The Network awards the winner $250. Finalists will also be considered for publication. The competition guidelines can be found on the North Carolina Writers Network website. The submission deadline is February 15; winner and finalists announced by May 1.
Poetry submissions are accepted March 15 through May 1 for NCLR’s James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition. The winner will receive $250 and be published in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication. See the competition guidelines for more information. The submission deadline is May 1; winner and finalists by July 15.
Creative Nonfiction is accepted June 15 through August 1 for the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition. The winner will receive $250 and be published in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication. See the competition guidelines for more information. The submission deadline is August 1; winner and finalists will be notified by October 15.
One-Act Plays are also welcome. If related to the special feature section topic, submit by that deadline (Aug. 31 of the preceding year). Other dramasubmissions are accepted September 15 through December 1. Submit your one-act play to the North Carolina Miscellany section unless it is related to a past special feature section, in which case, submit to the Flashbacks section.
What are your page length requirements?
See the length limits in the Albright (creative nonfiction), Betts (fiction), and Applewhite (poetry) competitions. We do not have specific length limits for other submissions. We don't like the idea of losing good material because someone was trying to stay under a specific word count. The pattern seems to be that the longer articles/interviews in an issue run about 5000 words. Creative nonfiction and one-act plays are usually around the same length as the fiction we publish from the Betts contest.
How do I submit my work to NCLR?
NCLR is using Submittable to handle submissions. The submission process is entirely online. We do not accept submissions by mail. Go to the online submissions page for additional help to get started.
Do you still take submissions via US Mail?
We prefer not to and will request of those who mail submissions to us to resubmit electronically. If there is some problem with the online submission process or some other reason that you cannot submit electronically, please contact us via our submissions email address.
What is the current response time for submissions?
See the Albright, Betts, and Applewhite competition guidelines regarding notification timeline for creativenonfiction, fiction, and poetry submissions. For other submissions, we try to respond within 1-3 months, assuming writers have submitted within the designated reading periods.
Do you consider previously published work?
On rare occasions (and usually within the special feature section), NCLR publishes previously published work, but usually only a work that is no longer available. Please check with the editor before submitting work that has been published elsewhere.