Submissions are open for our Fall 2021 issue a bit earlier than usual. Our reading period runs June 15 through Sunday, August 1, 2021 OR until we have received 300 submissions. Our next issue will launch in October/November 2021.

Dunes Review guidelines:

We welcome work from writers at all stages of their careers living anywhere in the world. We are committed to including a wide variety of voices. We are open to most styles and aesthetics, but please read the following carefully to dive a little deeper into what we're looking for. 

The Dunes Review is published in northern lower Michigan, a place of exquisite natural beauty and strong local culture. A small group of community-minded people launched this journal in 1996 with the original purpose of supporting emerging local writers and the local writing scene. Since then, our sense of readership and authorship has expanded outside of our region. We are proud of our nearly 25-year-old publication, the writers we publish, and the community that comes into being with each issue.

Please think about the following when you submit to us:

* Place is really important to us. Not only physical place, but the place created in a piece of writing. The feeling of being rooted in any somewhere grounds our work. If your work expresses or includes a significant tie to a significant somewhere, we are bound to love it.

* You and your work do not necessarily need a tie to a Michigan location, but we do appreciate work that fits Michigan-like themes or motifs. We invite you to read an issue or two to get a feel for what that can look like.

* We want to be moved by a piece. We want the piece to invite us into the space it creates, to draw us in from the very first line with image, or sound, with sense, with lack of sense. We want to be drawn toward an emotional center of gravity that is navigable by readers. Language pyrotechnics are not enough to move us. We need a there there.

* We admire good craftsmanship. 

Finally, please follow our guidelines below. They really do matter.

Submissions are accepted only via Submittable. We do not consider work sent through postal mail or email. Any submissions sent through email will not be read or responded to. 

Please include a cover letter in the cover letter section that includes your contact information, title(s) of your work, and a third-person bio of 50 words or less. Please don’t send us a rant or your entire resume. Most submitters are kind and friendly and that makes our work even more satisfying. Please be clear about the name under which you’d like to be published, especially if it differs from the name on your Submittable account.

Simultaneous submissions are fine. If any of your work is accepted elsewhere, congratulations! Please leave a note in Submittable to withdraw your piece.

You may send work in more than one genre. However, you may send work only ONCE per genre per reading period, including withdrawn submissions. Excess submissions will be declined unread.

We assume work to be finalized upon submission, and accordingly request that you do not withdraw work, revise, and resubmit it during the same reading period.

We do not publish:

* Previously published work. (Work that has appeared on your blog, Facebook page, or that is publicly available online without a login is considered published.) Submitting your work is an affirmation that you are the original author and that you retain the rights to your work.

* Unsolicited book reviews

* Author interviews

* Journalism or academic writing

* Porn or graphic sexual accounts

We aim to respond within 2-3 months of submission but sometimes the volume of submissions and circumstances beyond our control--like quarantine!--slow us down. We are all volunteers and reasonable people. If it’s been more than 3 months, you won’t offend us if you send us a message through Submittable to check on things.

You may have noticed that some journals close submissions before the published date. That sometimes happens to us, and it is an automatic function driven by the submission limit we set with Submittable. To avoid that problem, we advise you to not wait until the last minute to submit. 

Finally, due to the volume of submissions received, we regret that we cannot give feedback.

Payment comes in the form of two copies of the journal. We also invite contributors to read at the issue's launch celebration in Traverse City, Michigan, when circumstances allow for a public reading. We suspended public readings during pandemic times and will be keeping a close eye on developments this fall. We often nominate selected work for the Pushcart Prize.


We're open to all styles of poetry in free verse and traditional forms and all aesthetics.

Submit 3 or 4 poems formatted into one document (.doc, .docx, or .rtf). Each new poem should start on a new page. Do not number the pages.  Do not submit poems individually; doing so will cause them to appear as multiple submissions, which will not be read. Submissions containing more than 4 poems will be declined unread.

Single-space poems and format them as you would like them to appear. Use a clear, readable 12-point font such as Times New Roman.

Please do not enclose any photos or illustrations with your submission.

Include a cover letter in the cover-letter section with your contact information, poem titles, and a bio of 50 words or less, written in the third person.

Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please leave a note in Submittable if any of your work is accepted elsewhere.

We do not accept previously published work. (We consider self-published work that's publicly accessible without a log-in, such as on a blog or Facebook, to be published.) Submitting your work is an affirmation that you are the original author and that you retain the rights to your work.

Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot give feedback.

Please don't wait until the last minute to submit. Our submission window will close when we have reached our submission limit--and that may be before the end of the listed submission window.

We look forward to reading your work!

We aim to respond within 30-45 days, and often much sooner. You may send work only ONCE per reading period, including withdrawn submissions. Excess submissions and those not following our guidelines will be declined unread.

We're open to all styles of fiction and all aesthetics.

 Stories should be no longer than 3,000 words, submitted as .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Please do NOT number the pages or use headers and footers.

 Double-space the work and use a clear, readable 12-point font such as Times New Roman. Have mercy on our readers. Don't send us something in a small font. We might return it unread.

 Please do not enclose any photos with your submission.

 Include a cover letter in the cover-letter section with your current contact information and a bio of 50 words or less, written in the third person. Please include the word count of your piece in your cover letter.

 Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your story if it's accepted elsewhere by leaving a note in Submittable.

 We do not accept previously published work. (We consider self-published work that's publicly accessible without a log-in, such as on a blog or Facebook, to be published.) Submitting your work is an affirmation that you are the original author and that you retain the rights to your work.

 Due to the volume of submissions received, we are unable to give feedback.

 We assume work to be finalized upon submission, and accordingly request that you do not withdraw work, revise, and resubmit it during the same reading period.


 We aim to respond within 60-90 days, and often much sooner. You may send work only ONCE per reading period, including withdrawn submissions. Excess submissions and work that does not follow our guidelines will be declined unread.

Please don't wait until the last minute to submit. Our submission window will close when we have reached our submission limit--and that may be before the end of the listed submission window.

We look forward to reading your work!

We're open to all styles of creative nonfiction and all aesthetics. Please note that we do not publish journalism or academic writing, but we do especially enjoy getting to the end of an essay and realizing that not only have we completely lost an hour of our day, we are actually smarter than we were an hour ago. We love to learn from your experiences. We want to learn new things we didn't know we were interested in.

 Your piece should be no longer than 3,000 words, submitted as .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Please do NOT number the pages or use headers and footers.

 Double-space the work and use a clear, readable 12-point font such as Times New Roman. Have mercy on our readers. Don't use a smaller font. If you send in a small font, we may return your piece unread.

 Please do not enclose any photos with your submission.

 Include a cover letter in the cover-letter section with your contact information, poem titles, and a bio of 50 words or less, written in the third person. Include the word count of your piece in your cover letter.

 Simultaneous submissions are fine. Please withdraw your piece if it's accepted elsewhere by leaving a note in Submittable.

 We do not accept previously published work. (We consider self-published work that's publicly accessible without a log-in, such as on a blog or Facebook, to be published.) Submitting your work is an affirmation that you are the original author and that you retain the rights to your work.

 Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot give feedback.

 We assume work to be finalized upon submission, and accordingly request that you do not withdraw work, revise, and resubmit it during the same reading period.

 We aim to respond within 60-90 days, and often much sooner. You may send work only ONCE per reading period, including withdrawn submissions. Excess submissions and work that does not follow our guidelines will be returned unread.

Please don't wait until the last minute to submit. Our submission window will close when we have reached our submission limit--and that may be before the end of the listed submission window.

We look forward to reading your work!

Dunes Review