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. Personal essays are welcome—including nature, environmental, and travel essays—as well as memoirs, personal critical essays, and literary journalism.

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 15-March 15 at Entry fee is $22 (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

Send queries for review essays to:
Ned Stuckey-French, Book Review Editor; Fourth Genre 
English Department
419 Williams Bldg.
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1508



Fourth Genre’s “WRITER AS READER” will feature essays that respond to creative and literary nonfiction, focusing primarily on a single work. Successful “WRITER AS READER” essays will be neither jargon-laced nor disinterested, but will find a home in the personal and will tell a story about the author’s relationship with one particular work of nonfiction.

“WRITER AS READER” essays may focus on work that

  • Has influenced the author’s own writing
  • The author provides to students as an example of the genre’s possibilities
  • The author has reevaluated over time
  • Is widely influential
  • Is challenging due to its form, innovation, content, history, or politics
  • May be contemporary in form or from another historical period


Queries welcome at

For more information about Fourth Genre, visit

Featured Articles