Regular Reading Period

Ploughshares welcomes unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction during our regular reading period, open from June 1 to January 15 at noon EST. The literary journal is published four times a year: blended poetry and prose issues in the Winter and Spring, a prose issue in the Summer, and a special longform prose issue in the Fall. Our Spring and Summer issues are guest-edited by different writers of prominence. To submit to the journal, including the Fall Longform Issue, please see our guidelines here.

Our Look2 essay series seeks to publish essays about under-appreciated or overlooked writers. The Look2 essay should take stock of a writer’s entire oeuvre with the goal of bringing critical attention to the neglected writer and his or her relevance to a contemporary audience. To submit a Look2 essay query to the journal, see the guidelines here.

Emerging Writer’s Contest

In the spirit of the journal’s founding mission, the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre per year will receive $2,000 and publication in the literary journal. We consider authors “emerging” if they haven’t published or self-published a book. The 2024 contest—judged by Dantiel W. Moniz in fiction, Porsha Olayiwola in poetry, and Augusten Burroughs in nonfiction—has closed. The winners will be announced this fall.

Manuscript Submission


  • Total