Iron Horse Literary Review  publishes short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

General Guidelines:

 • All manuscripts must be submitted online, via Submittable. We do not accept submissions via regular mail or email.

 • Our submission gates open and close on a rolling basis between mid-August and mid-April each year. Please observe our submission periods; we reject manuscripts that do not fit the theme or genre of that submission period, without comment. See the table on our website for dates and topics. If the gate is not open, do not attempt to submit by purchasing a back issue or any other item. Wait till the gate is open.

 • We do not publish previously published materials.

• Regular submissions: Prose writers should send one manuscript (5,500 words or less); poets should send 3-5 poems. Manuscripts that do not meet these parameters will be rejected, without comment.

• Longer manuscripts must be entered in our annual Trifecta Competition (Prose: one essay or story, 25-40 pages; poetry: a single poem, 10-20 pages long). We reject, without comment, any long manuscripts that come in during other submission periods.

• We review only three manuscripts by any one author during any one academic year; subsequent manuscripts by the same author will be automatically rejected.

• Iron Horse accepts simultaneous submissions but please inform us immediately if a submission is taken elsewhere. Just send us a note through Submishmash or via email: ihlr.mail@gmail.com. We'll be happy for you and will much appreciate the head's up.

• Upon publication, we provide an honorarium of $50 per poem or flash piece and $100 per story or essay. Trifecta winners (one each in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction) receive $250. The Single-Author Chapbook winner receives $1,000. Prizes for filmfest winners include $300 (Editor's Prize) and $200 (Audience Award).

• Please include a COVER LETTER with your name, email address, and the title(s) of work submitted, but paste your COVER LETTER into the appropriate field in Submittable. Do NOT include your cover letter inside the manuscript itself--not as the first or any page inside the submission. We will immediately REJECT manuscripts including cover letters.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with IHLR before you submit your work. Find more about the current issue as well as subscription information on our website.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

For further information on any topic, send us an email.

Iron Horse Literary Review charges a $3 submission fee for each regular manuscript submitted to our office (our various competitions have entry fees). Like every literary journal in the country, we're compelled to demonstrate that we are both a fruitful project, with many benefits, as well as self-sufficient rather than a drain on limited funds. Together, with your help, we can keep the literary arts alive, and we hope you will be happy to spend $3 for your submission rather than giving that money to an office supply store and the post office. We also offer free submission days during every submission period. Follow us on social media to see those announcements and receive the hidden links.

Thank you for your continued support of Iron Horse! Without writers, we wouldn't even exist--




NOTE: If you are looking for the free submit day for our NaPoMO issue (for today, Sept 1), this is NOT it. The free link is not available on our Submittable page--it is hidden. You must follow us on social media or visit our website--which is where we share the free links. If you use this link, it will charge you the regular submission fee, and we will not refund the fee because you are using the wrong link.


Time to Submit to the IHLR NaPoMo Issue!

It's been 12 years since we started publishing an annual issue dedicated to National Poetry Month! This is one of our most popular issues, and we always combine new voices with some established champions. Each fall, when we begin hunting the poems we will include, we're excited to see what poets have been working on over the summer.

Our annual NaPoMo issue is now released electronically, via ISSUU, which means anyone can download and read it for free and so our contributors' works will reach a wider audience. Secondly, we're going to be more selective. Instead of 25 poems, we will only be selecting the very best 11 poems: one winner and ten finalists--much like our annual PhotoFinish issue. The issue will be presented in full color, and each manuscript will have its own artwork.

The entrance fee is now $15, which includes a year's subscription for print issues. Plus, while the ten finalists receive our standard honorarium for poems ($50 per poem), the winner will receive $1,000.

Send up to five poems in ONE file.

Do NOT include your cover letter materials in the file with your poems. Simply paste it into the Cover Letter box on the submission form.

Do NOT include your name and address on the manuscript.

Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified.

Once we receive 400 submissions (if we receive that many), we will close the gate. Otherwise, we simply cannot read the submissions in a timely fashion or complete our selection process for other issues.

Geffrey Davis, our Poetry Editor, will judge.

NOTE: Writers who live outside the United States are encouraged to submit their work, but their entrance fee will result in an electronic subscription--all of our usual electronic issues (three a year) plus electronic versions of our print issues (three a year). Iron Horse can simply no longer afford to ship subscriptions outside the United States.













 

NOTE: If you are looking for the free submit day for our Long Story issue (for today, Sept 1), this is NOT it. The free link is not available on our Submittable page--it is hidden. You must follow us on social media or visit our website--which is where we share the free links. If you use this link, it will charge you the regular submission fee, and we will not refund the fee because you are using the wrong link.



It's Time to Submit Your Marathon-Long Stories & Essays!


Originally, the IHLR Long Story was known as The Trifecta, and it included one long winning poem, story, and essay, published in the summers. We were and are still proud to offer longer manuscripts, which most journals cannot publish because they lack the space to do so.

Recently, we've rethought the way we manage this issue. While we still open our submission gates to longer works every fall, we are only looking for longer PROSE: essays and stories between 20 and 40 pages This is the ONLY time of the year in which we consider longer works.  

We will select only ONE winner--a story OR an essay--but instead of a $250 honorarium, the winning writer now receives $1,000.

The reading fee is $15, and, as always, includes a year's subscription.

The winning story or essay will be released electronically as an e-single, with its own chic design, and it will be available for free download via ISSUU to all readers.

You may enter as many times as you wish, but you can only include one manuscript per entry.

Stories and essays must be between 20 and 40 double-spaced manuscript pages, using a 12-point font and one-inch margins.

Do not include your name or address on the manuscript itself.

Manuscripts that do not fall within these parameters will be automatically rejected, without feedback.

Once we receive 250 submissions (if we receive that many), we will close the gate. Otherwise, we simply cannot read the submissions in a timely fashion or complete our selection process for other issues.

Note: Poets with longer manuscripts (or not longer manuscripts) should be submitting their work to our NaPoMo issue. The gate for that issue is open right now, as well.

NOTE: Writers who live outside the United States are encouraged to submit their work, but their entrance fee will result in an electronic subscription--all of our usual electronic issues (three a year) plus electronic versions of our print issues (three a year). Iron Horse can simply no longer afford to ship subscriptions outside the United States.



 

A subscription to Iron Horse gives you the full IHLR experience--and it saves you money!

A one-year subscription costs only $18, a $2 discount off our regular cover price, and it includes three print issues and three electronic issues. International subscribers will receive electronic copies only of all issues.

A two-year subscription costs only $30, a $10 discount off our regular cover price, and it includes six print issues and six electronic issues. International subscribers will receive electronic copies only of all issues.

Complete the form in order to ensure that you receive your subscription in a timely and accurate fashion.

Thank you for supporting IHLR, our contributors, and the literary arts. Without subscribers, we wouldn't exist!

Thank you for supporting IHLR, our contributors, and the literary arts by purchasing an issue of Iron Horse. We appreciate it!


Readers in the United States will receive hard copies of the issue(s) they purchase. International readers will receive electronic copies only.


Make sure you complete the order form as well as provide your billing information.


If you want to buy a chapbook, please exit this form, return to our Submittable page, and find the correct link for chapbook purchases.


If you are looking for our current/past electronic issues, those are available for free download at  https://issuu.com/ironhorsereview.

Use this link to purchase any of our winning chapbooks:

  • Roseanna Alice Boswell's Imitating Light--our most recent chapbook, a collection of poems.
  • Brigitte Lewis's Origin Stories--a collection of stories that reconsider the domestic lives of Biblical couples: Adam and Eve, Lot and Edith, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah, and Adam and Lilith (Adam's second wife).
  • Freda Epum's Entryways into Memories That Might Assemble Me--a collection of flash essays on popular culture, depression, identity, and racism in America.
  • Jed Myers's Dark Channels, a collection of poetry.
  • Christopher Lowe's A Guest of the Program, a collection of linked stories about college football and recruiting programs and coaches.
  • Robin Carstensen's In the Temple of Shining Mercy, a collection of poetry.
  • Kirk Wisland's Melancholy of Falling Men, a collection of essays on masculinity in America.
  • Joe Wilkins's Leviathan, a collection of poetry.
  • Michael Hemmingson's Still Life with Iguana. Published posthumously, this is a novella about white hat operatives, assassins, and espionage.
  • Brandon Davis Jennings's Waiting for the Enemy, a collection of linked stories about American servicemen in the Middle East.
  • Hastings Hensel's Control Burn, a collection of poetry.
  • Eric Neuenfeldt's Fall Ends Tomorrow, a collection of short stories.
  • Meagan Ciesla's Me, Them, Us, a novella.

Each chapbook costs $10. Be sure to tell us which one(s) you are ordering. 

Due to budget cuts after Covid-19, we can no longer support international postage costs. Readers outside the United States will receive electronic copies only.

Besides submitting work and subscribing to Iron Horse Literary Review, there are three other ways to support our work!

Join us at any one of the following levels:

Friends ($50)

Patrons ($100)

Benefactors ($300)

Thank you so much for your generous encouragement! Without our sponsors, Iron Horse would not be the journal it is today! 

Congratulations! We're thrilled that you sent Iron Horse a manuscript we love, and we're excited to publish it. If you would like to buy extra copies of the issue in which your work will appear or has appeared, this is the place to do that using your contributor discount!


Our regular issues cost $5, but contributors pay only $3.50 for the issue in which their work appears. You may purchase one or more copies here. 


If you are a chapbook winner and wish to buy additional copies of your chapbook, extra chapbook copies cost the winner $5 each.


You may also purchase a year's subscription here for only $10 (regularly $18).


Thank you again for helping make Iron Horse a literary journal that I'm so very proud of!


Sincerely,


Jill

Leslie Jill Patterson, Editor

Iron Horse Literary Review