Terrain.org  welcomes submissions on place, climate, and justice from new and experienced authors and artists alike.

General submissions of nonfiction and fiction close on March 31, 2024. Poetry submissions are now closed. All genres will open again on October 1, 2024.

Submissions for the limited-run Climate Stories in Action multi-genre series are open until April 8, 2024.

Submissions for the 3rd Annual Sowell Emerging Writers Prize (a full manuscript in fiction whether novel or short stories or other, published by Texas Tech University Press, with a prize of $1,000) are open September 15 - November 15, 2024.

ARTerrain and Letter to America submissions are open and are accepted year-round.

15th Annual Contests in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction submissions will open on May 1, 2024.

Our online, place-based journal accepts only the finest poetry, essays, fiction, articles, artwork, videos, and other contributions—material that reaches deep into the earth’s fiery core, or humanity’s incalculable core, and brings forth new insights and wisdom. We are seeking work in English (or translation) from around the world, and particularly Indigenous, Native, Black, Brown, and other historically marginalized and underrepresented voices as we expand contributions relating to social, environmental, and climate justice. All accepted submissions by writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and/or other marginalized communities whose contributions explore place particularly in the context of social, environmental, or climate justice are considered for our annual Editor's Prize of $500 per genre.

Terrain.org pays all regular contributors a minimum of $50 for each submission published.

We do our best to respond to general submissions within five months and ARTerrain submissions within six weeks. Please do not submit regular submissions more than once every six months unless invited to do so. Do not submit non-ARTerrain submissions in the ARTerrain category. They will be withdrawn without comment.

If you are a former Terrain.org contributor, or we have spoken with you at an event such as AWP, please remind us in your cover letter.

View our full submission guidelines at www.terrain.org/submit.

By some research estimates, 98 percent of climate and environmental reporting is negative. Climate stories tend to focus on the overall issue and impact by explaining climate science or consequences. Very few focus on action or offer examples of what successful and inspiring collective climate action looks like.

Psychologists have been studying how stories about climate change affect people. They tell us that the doom and disaster narratives that dominate newsfeeds often lead us to withdraw, shut down and feel isolated. Stories about climate solutions and actions do the opposite. Narratives and art that center solutions, introduce us to everyday climate heroes, and showcase the joy discovered through community engagement often lead to feelings of agency and possibility.

The “Climate Stories in Action” series will expand our vision of climate activism and help people imagine meaningful ways to be involved. We are inviting storytellers to submit poetry, nonfiction, fiction, art and multimedia pieces that showcase climate activism in professional, civic and community life. We are interested in stories that help shift our cultural mindset from despair to creative possibility and from isolation to collective purpose.

We welcome submissions about how being a part of this critical climate movement can help us live better, more meaningful, lives. We are interested in stories that help us dream about what is possible, that bring to life why collective action matters, and that inspire people to find or redefine their roles in the climate movement.

This groundswell of new climate stories—narratives and art that people can see themselves in—is essential to building the collective response needed at this hingepoint for humans and the planet.

Submission Period and Payment

Priority submission deadline is April 8, 2024, at midnight. Notifications will be made beginning in May 2024.

From those submitted, a review committee will select 12 pieces for publication in the “Climate Stories in Action” series.

All contributions will receive $200. There is no entry fee to submit.

Publication

The selected works will be published in Terrain.org beginning in May 2024 and announced via Terrain.org and the Spring Creek Project.

Partnership

Terrain.org is partnering with the Spring Creek Project on this new series. The Spring Creek Project brings together the practical wisdom of environmental science, the clarity of philosophy, and the transformational power of the written word and the arts to envision just and joyous relations with the planet and with one another. The organization hosts events and residencies throughout the year. Its team helped develop this call for submissions in conjunction with its upcoming 2024 lecture series, “Collective Climate Action: Inspired Organizing for Our Future.”

Genres

Original, previously unpublished submissions will be considered for the following genres. You are welcome to submit pieces in more than one genre, but do not submit more than two submissions until you have heard back from us.

Please include a cover letter containing your brief bio with your submission, and indicate whether your submission is poetry, nonfiction, fiction, art, video, or mixed media/genre/hybrid in the cover letter.

  • Poetry need not follow any particular form. Submit from one to six poems of any length in a single document. We also consider poem/image combinations. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files.
  • Nonfiction may include creative nonfiction, personal essays/memoir, photo essays, and other essays or articles, which need not follow any particular style. Accompanying resource links, graphics, and sidebars are encouraged. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files. 5,000 words maximum.
  • Fiction including short stories, excerpts from unpublished novels, flash fiction, and other forms of fiction will be considered. 5,000 words maximum.
  • Art may include photographs, drawings, paintings, graphics, and/or any other visual media. Submit up to 12 images, graphics, or visual art pieces per entrant with overall project title and captions/descriptions, as appropriate.
  • Multimedia and mixed genre submissions include video/film, audio, or other work not included in the genres detailed above. Video submissions should be no more than 5 minutes long. Given the size of video and/or audio files, please post the submission on Vimeo, YouTube, Google Docs, Box, or Dropbox and share the link with your cover letter.

Submittable is now requiring email validation. If you have difficulty validating your email, you may complete the form at www.submittable.com/help/submitter. Unfortunately, Terrain.org cannot assist with any technical support issues related to email validation (or using Submittable in general).

Thank you for your interest in submitting nonfiction to Terrain.org. You may view our full submission guidelines at terrain.org/submit/regular-submission-guidelines.

Submit one essay, article, flash essay series, community case study, or other piece up to 5,000 words plus your cover letter (if not pasted below) in a single document.

Note: If you are submitting an excerpt of a published book, please do not submit here but instead email your query to us at info@terrain.org. We do not publish excerpts that are already published online, but consider all other excerpts.

Creative nonfiction, personal essays, photo essays, articles, flash essays, case studies, and other essays need not follow any particular style. Accompanying resource links, graphics, and sidebars are encouraged. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files.

View our recent nonfiction at www.terrain.org/category/nonfiction.

Submittable is now requiring email validation. If you have difficulty validating your email, you may complete the form at www.submittable.com/help/submitter.

Thank you for your interest in submitting fiction to Terrain.org. You may view our full submission guidelines at terrain.org/submit/regular-submission-guidelines.

Note: If you are submitting an excerpt of a published book, please do not submit here but instead email your query to us at info@terrain.org. We do not publish excerpts that are already published online, but consider all other excerpts.

Submit one story, flash fiction series, novel excerpt, radio play, or other fiction piece up to 5,000 words plus your cover letter (if not pasted below) in a single document.

Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files.

View our recent fiction at www.terrain.org/category/fiction.

We do not accept previously published fiction except as excerpts of published books. In that case, please do not submit here, but query us at info@terrain.org.

Submittable is now requiring email validation. If you have difficulty validating your email, you may complete the form at www.submittable.com/help/submitter.

Thank you for your interest in submitting a Letter to America to Terrain.org, open once again for submissions.

Please submit your prose, poetry, visual art-based, video, or other Letter to America (generally up to 1,500 words) in a single document. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files. 

View our recent Letters to America at www.terrain.org/category/letter-to-america. And learn more about our Dear America project, plus find an amazing array of Letter to America teaching resources, at www.terrain.org/dear-america.

Thank you for your interest in submitting to Terrain.org's ARTerrain gallery and artist feature.

Please submit your ARTerrain narrative or query in a single document, which may included embedded images or links to images (as well as links to video/audio). Up to 20 images may also be uploaded with your document. The images should be no less than 1600 pixels wide, when possible.

View our recent ARTerrain features at www.terrain.org/category/arterrain.

Submittable is now requiring email validation. If you have difficulty validating your email, you may complete the form at www.submittable.com/help/submitter.

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