Map Literary publishes poems & prose poems, short stories & short-shorts, scholarly essays & creative nonfiction, and art.

We also run the Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Award every other year, as well as a writing contest for New Jersey high school students.

We do not consider work that has previously appeared elsewhere, either in print or on the web.

Please include a brief bio in the "cover letter" field when you submit. 

We accept simultaneous submissions but expect to be notified in a timely manner if the work has been accepted elsewhere.

For fiction and nonfiction, submit one piece at a time for consideration; do not send a second piece until you have received a response to the first. You may, however, submit in more than one genre at a time. For poetry, submit 3-5 poems at a time; please send only one file.

We value provocative themes, experimental works, genre confoundings, fugue complexities, beautiful syntax, original voices, aesthetic risk-taking, creative research, ethnic hybridity, gorgeous paperweights.

We dislike clichés, gimmicks, SUVs, righteousness, PowerPoint presentations, nuclear arsenals, talking heads.

Thematic cartographers, we want to model today’s ethical, ethnic, and aesthetic realities. We look foward to hearing from you.

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Ends on This opportunity will close after 100 submissions have been received.

Short Fiction Contest for New Jersey High School Students

The William Paterson University Department of Language, Literature, Culture and Writing (LLCW) is pleased to host a writing contest for the most nuanced and page-turning short fiction we receive through our Submittable portal by January 31st, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

The winner will be published in WP's online literary journal, MAP LITERARY, as well as receive a cash prize of $250. The runner-ups will be considered for pub­li­ca­tion in Map Literary.

We wel­come unpub­lished short fiction manuscripts up to a maximum of 2,000 words (about 5 pages long). Slightly shorter or slightly longer page counts are fine--but do NOT send a piece that is more than the word limit. And please submit one short fiction piece only.

The first 100 entries to this contest can be submitted free of charge; after that, there will be a $2 entry fee. Note that you may enter the contest only once, and submissions are accepted only from students who are currently enrolled in a high school in New Jersey.

SUBMIT TO THE CONTEST BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK. Note that to enter, you will need to create a Submittable account, which is completely free. We do NOT accept email submissions.

The contest will be judged by Dr. John Parras: the BA/MFA Coordinator, as well as Map Literary's editor-in-chief.


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John Parras: "I am particularly drawn to fiction with a poetic texture--fiction that employs intense figurative language and sophisticated prose rhythms. I like magic realism, experimental fiction, and sudden fiction (750-1000 words). I have recently been enjoying stories by David Means, Ben Marcus, Victor Pelevin, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Cormac McCarthy's 'Blood Meridian,' Paul Harding's 'tinkers,' and the beautiful sentences of Rivka Galchen."

Martha Witt: "I admire fiction that simultaneously surprises and convinces. When I read narratives with outrageous premises or unexpected twists that, in the end, seem absolutely inevitable, I am in awe. The emotional component is crucial, of course. Even great technique cannot save a story that offers its readers no emotional connection. Alice Munro, Deborah Eisenberg, John Barth, and Andrew Sean Greer write the kind of short stories I turn to again and again."



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Christopher Salerno: "I'm drawn to poetry that knows what year it is. Regardless of school or allegiance, my favorite lyric or meditative poems exist as a record of a process. They allow themselves to be in uncertainties. They beg to be reread, even if they’re simple. They may be simple. They may contain variants, diversions, or hiccups. Tonally, they may contain multitudes. A medley of historical references might include such hits as Keats' "Negative Capability," Lorca's "Duende," Frank O'Hara's "Personism," and the careful attentiveness of Charles Olson's "Projective Verse." Some of my favorite Small Press Poetry Publishers right now include: Wave Books, Birds LLC, Black Ocean, Ahsahta Press, Flood Editions, Wesleyan, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, Octopus Books, and others.



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Creative nonfiction or scholarly essays; book & cultural reviews; author interviews. We are looking for writers who are engaged by  contemporary cultural issues and who have explored forms such as the segmented essay, poetic prose, the braided essay, and the position  piece. Also welcome are personal essays, travel essays, and memoir by writers who demonstrate both a strong sense of place and a range of content that extends beyond the confessional.


Map Literary