Submission Guidelines

Published twice annually by Michigan State University Press, Fourth Genre is a literary journal that explores the boundaries of contemporary and creative nonfiction. We welcome personal essays, nature, environmental, and travel essays—as well lyrical, experimental, self-interrogative, meditative, reflective, humorous, or whimsical.

Two (2) issues published annually. Spring (#1) and Fall (#2)

  • General Submissions are accepted August 30-November 30 at fourthgenre.submittable.comAuthors selected for publication paid with two (2) complimentary copies of the journal
  • Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize submissions are accepted January 1-March 15 at Entry fee is $20 (U.S.) for each individual submission
  • 8,000 word limit for general submissions; 6,000 word limit for Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize
  • Multiple submissions not accepted from individual authors (non-contest submissions only)
  • Simultaneous submissions require immediate notification to Fourth Genre if accepted elsewhere
  • We read blind, so make sure your name or any other identifying information does not appear on the manuscript


  • Electronic files accepted; all images must be minimum 300 dpi at planned publication size
  • It is the author/researcher’s obligation and responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright and/or other use restrictions prior to submitting materials to MSU Press for publication
  • Citations, permissions, and captions are required upon submission for all images, including those derived from the internet
  • Use the Fourth Genre Permission Request Letter to obtain permission from image’s rightsholder
  • MSU Press cannot publish such materials until written clearance is obtained

Queries welcome at

For more information about Fourth Genre, visit

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