Prose and Poetry Submission Guidelines

Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment considers submissions in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Due to the increasing number of submissions through Submittable, our submissions close for the months of April through August each year. We will continue to accept Visual Art year-round. 

What are we looking for?

We are interested in work that explores the intersection of human experience and the environment, broadly interpreted: work that focuses on ecology, science and the environmental imagination, certainly, but also work that focuses on place and on the ways that people interact with their environments, whether they be natural or man-made. We are looking for work that surprises, moves, or affects the reader.

We encourage and welcome submissions from diverse voices and under-represented populations, including, but not limited to, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities, and the elderly. Authors of all walks of life should feel encouraged to send us stories, poems, essays, and art celebrating the diverse characters and settings all around us.

We allow simultaneous submissions but ask to be notified if your work is accepted elsewhere.

All submissions must be previously unpublished in English. Flyway asks for first North American serial rights and an option to reprint. All other subsidiary rights remain with the author. We do ask that when the work is published again a credit line indicate that the work first appeared in Flyway.

Translations are welcome. Please include proof that you have the permission of the original author to translate and submit the story, and provide the original author’s contact details as well as your own.

Until we have responded, please do not send more than a single submission in any category (contests excepted).

We respond to all submissions. Please do not query until after six months, and do not query individual editors. Send questions to flywayjournal [@] 

Please see individual categories for genre specific guidelines.


Sweet Corn: Our spring contest for short fiction and poetry celebrates work that surprises, shocks, moves or affects the reader while exploring human and natural environments. Submit up to three poems or a single short story of 5,000 words or less. Winners chosen by Flyway staff. First place winners receive $500, publication in Flyway, and a box of organic Iowa sweet corn. All submissions are considered for publication. $12 reading fee. 

Notes from the Field: Our fall contest celebrates place-based creative non-fiction, broadly interpreted. One first place winner receives $500 and publication in Flyway. All submissions are considered for publication. $12 reading fee.

Winter Themed Contest: In the winter we run a themed contest with submissions typically limited to an underrepresented class of writers. This contest is adjudicated by a celebrity guest judge. Contest terms vary by year.

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Poetry Guidelines:

Poetry Editors Desperately Seeking Bite & Grit

We love birds and flowers--trust us. Camille is an amateur ornithologist, and Matty smells the daisies on the daily, but we are looking for poems that go deep into the issues facing our environment. We are particularly interested in work that explores contemporary movements in ecojustice and environmental justice. In Poetry Magazine’s January 2016 Issue, Melissa Tuckey writes, “Ecojustice poetry lives at the intersection of culture, social justice, and the environment. Aligned with environmental justice activism and thought, ecojustice poetry defines environment as ‘the place in which we work, live, play, and worship.’” #whatshesaid 

  • Submit up to 5 poems. 
  • One poem per page
  • Up to 200 lines or 500 words for prose poems
  • Please combine all poems into one document.
  • Format document with one inch margins all around and in Times New Roman 12 pt font. For proper manuscript formatting, see William Shunn’s Poetry Guide.
  • Please include a 50-75 word publication ready bio in the cover letter with your submission.

What we see a lot of:

  • Too much pretty nature

What we want to see more of:

  • Urban spaces
  • International spaces
  • Diversity of voices
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We want writing that shows tension between character and surroundings, that shows how changes in living space affect actions and interactions in that living space. This environment could be an abandoned school, a strip-mall comic bookstore, a thinning forest or a hiking trail—if it shapes the characters, affects events, it’s of interest to us.

  • We’re looking for short stories from 500 to 7500 words. Don’t query about longer pieces. We will accept up to 3 short-shorts (no more than 1,000 words each)

  • Please format document with one inch margins all around and in Times New Roman 12 pt font. For proper manuscript formatting, please see William Shunn’s guide.

  • We accept any genre!

  • Please include a 50-75 word publication ready bio in the cover letter with your submission.

We want to be immersed in a place—whether that be a natural setting, urban environment, or even a body. Show us the complexity, nuance, and diversity of environment in all its forms; explore the curiosities in our surroundings; find the extraterrestrial in our very own world. 

We are accepting creative nonfiction pieces between 500 to 7500 words. You may submit up to three <1000-word pieces in one submission packet. Please include a publication-ready bio, 50-75 words, with your submission. See William Shunn’s guide to formatting for what we expect in submitted manuscripts (double spacing, one-inch margins, readable font, etc.). 

Flyway is currently looking for small artist portfolios to feature on our new on-line web journal. Please submit 3-5 images of any kind, including graphic art/ comics.

Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment is seeking submissions of photography and visual art for publication in an established and respected web-based literary journal. We interpret “environment” broadly: we are looking for submissions that feature all types of takes on the environment, and we are especially fascinated by unconventional and surprising explorations of human relationships to place and surroundings. From the howling wilderness to the concrete jungle, we’re looking for artwork that explores, documents, celebrates, or grieves for our complex and changing surroundings.

Based out of Iowa State University, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment publishes poetry, prose, and visual art exploring the many complicated facets of the word environment – at once rural, urban, and suburban – and its social and political implications. We are also open to all different interpretations of “environment.”

Submissions should be in .jpg, .png, or .tif format, of a suitable image quality and resolution for web display, with a 2000px minimum length of the longest dimension (either length or height, depending on orientation). Flyway is a non-profit web-based literary journal. Artists who submit to Flyway retain all rights to their work.

Flyway provides a publication platform for new, emerging, and established artists to share their work with a broad and supportive audience. Artwork published and featured by Flyway will reach a large audience.

General questions may be sent to Please use our online submission manager, not e-mail, to submit your work.

Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment