HeartWood, an online literary magazine in association with West Virginia Wesleyan's Low-Residency MFA program, publishes twice yearly, in April and October.
We accept submissions year round through Submittable, and welcome previously unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, from both established and emerging writers. We do love Appalachian voices, but we enthusiastically encourage writers from all backgrounds to submit.
What We Want:
We are interested in writing that pushes into, dares to reveal, its own truth, that takes emotional risks, that gets to the heart of the matter.
Simultaneous submissions are fine, provided you notify us if the work is accepted elsewhere.
We also welcome queries from Appalachian artists (writers, visual artists, musicians, performers, folk artists, etc) interested in being included in our Appalachian Arts section.
Prose submissions, fiction or nonfiction, should be 3000 words or less.
Fiction: Fiction submissions may include short stories, flash fiction, or novel excerpts if the excerpt can stand alone. You may submit more than one piece of flash fiction, as long as the total word count does not exceed 3000 words.
Creative Nonfiction: We're open to a wide range of nonfiction, with the exception of academic articles, or that which would be considered more traditionally journalistic. Personal essay, memoir, lyric, literary journalism, or some blurring in between, are all acceptable.
Poetry: Poets should submit no more than 3-5 single-spaced poems at a time. Include all poems in a single document for upload. Lyric, narrative, experimental, prose poems--we're open to all variations of the poetic voice.
Surprise us. Make us think. Make us feel. Make our hearts race.
Appalachian Arts Interviews
We also welcome queries from Appalachian artists (writers, visual artists, musicians, performers, folk artists, etc) interested in being included in our Appalachian Arts section. We define Appalachian artists as an artist who is heavily influenced by the Appalachian region and its traditions, history, and people. At HeartWood, we are looking for artists who take these traditions and speak to them in a new and unexpected way.
To query about possible inclusion in the Appalachian Arts section: Submit the following in one document (doc, docx) through the Appalachian Arts link on our Submittable page:
Artist statement addressing what being an “Appalachian artist" means to you, how you uniquely define yourself as an Appalachian artist, and how your connection to Appalachia as you see/define it connects (or doesn't) to your work.
At least one link to where artwork or samples can be seen/heard (artist website, other publications, YouTube, etc).
If we're interested, based on the query, editors will email requesting additional information and work sample.
What We'll Do
Submissions will be responded to within three months. If you haven't heard from us after three months, feel free to inquire by sending us a note through Submittable. If your work is accepted, HeartWood acquires first North American rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication, but we do ask for first publication attribution in any future publications. We also reserve the right to include accepted pieces in any future anthologies or promotions. If we have passed on a submission, please wait 6 months before submitting again. Regrettably, time being as it is, we are unable offer feedback on submissions.
As much as we would love to be able to pay our contributors, unfortunately we are not able to do so. This is a labor of love for all of us, and we will do our best to honor and promote your work.
(Please note: We regret that current or past employees, current or past students, and alumni of WVWC are not eligible for publication in HeartWood, but we wish you much luck with your work elsewhere.)
Write on! We can't wait to hear from you!