Literary preferences are very subjective. There are no fixed, universal, or objective criteria that we use when we read fiction submissions. In recent issues of NDQ we have published stories in which the setting is clearly identified, characters are properly named and introduced, the action progresses on a linear axis, and things, generally speaking, are far from confusing. We’re not against that. But we’ve also published a partially hallucinatory story about an incompetent broomball player, a theologically equivocal story about a Jesuit novice on an Indian reservation, a story from the perspective of a twice-kidnapped boy, a 4,000-word one-sentence story, a story about an imaginary novel, and a story about sheep in Scotland—from the perspective of a sheep. Ultimately, we’re looking for multiple perspectives, different voices, and a variety of approaches to fiction. These approaches can revolve around uncertainty, ambiguity, fragmentation, polyphony, contradictory information, structural experimentation, and all the other things that teachers of freshman composition tell us we must eliminate or avoid. In other words, we value the willingness to treat fiction as textual art and take literary risks. Naturally, there is no guarantee that innovation will yield good results. But when it comes to art, it might be better to fail with something original than to play it safe with a predictable formula. Click here to submit.
Send 3-5 pages of your best work. No preference with regard to form, style, as long as the content isn’t lame and the language works. Published and unpublished poets are welcome, as are translations from across the globe. We are digitally capable for the performance oriented, so send video if the body is your best medium. Editors enjoy everything from Sappho to Mayakovsky, from Dante to Anzaldúa. No simultaneous submissions. Click here to submit.
North Dakota Quarterly, as both a literary and public humanities journal, seeks to publish intriguing, innovative, and distinctive non-fiction essays. These may range from formal scholarly treatments of literature, history, and culture more broadly to reflections, personal essays, and experimental forms designed to explore the limits of generic convention, voice, or ideas. While the audience for this work is the vaguely-defined general public, we encourage submissions that take an ambitious and expansive view of public’s interest. Click here to submit.