Submission Guidelines

Themed Issue: Climate in Appalachia

Call for Submission for Winter 2023 (to be published in late February 2023)

Submission Window:  December 1-15, 2022

Our winter issue 2023 will feature writing on climate, climate change, and the climate crisis. Our open call on this theme is December 1-15, 2022. We welcome fiction, creative nonfiction, flash, and poetry on this theme. 

We have always had an interest in work that considers place and the environment, but with the recent catastrophic flooding in Eastern Kentucky earlier this year and with temperatures, drought, storms, and fires increasing across the region, we want to focus on how climate crisis affects where we live, how we live, and what we write. 

Recently, “ClimateWire,” part of E&E News, noted that Appalachia is especially vulnerable to climate change.

The region is the center of a ‘trifecta’ of risk variables. First, Appalachia has historically been a center for fossil fuel production and carbon extraction, through the coal industry and more recently oil and natural gas development. Second, climate change is affecting the region in an outsize way. And finally, the region’s economic situation has made it more difficult to cope with the increasing burden of climate-related disasters. Nicolas Zégre, director of West Virginia University’s Mountain Hydrology Laboratory, said that Appalachia is ‘climate zero.’

We welcome both literal and figurative work within this theme of climate and climate crisis. What is the climate like where you live? How do you find and measure climate in your spaces (physical and metaphysical)? How does climate intersect with your experiences of identity, culture, gender, sexuality, the body? How does climate crisis intersect with health, food security, clean water, marginalized communities, and disparate economic inequities in Appalachia? What stories need to be told about your experiences with climate in Appalachia? 

We want fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry that engrosses us and drives us forward. We’d like to read about how you (or your characters and speakers) are struggling or surviving. We want work that engages with the natural world as well: what is happening to the flora and fauna where you are? What is gone? What is lost? What can be recovered? What can we do to meet and be more ready for this crisis? 

We accept submissions only through Submittable. Beginning in 2022, we will be asking for a $3 submission fee. This is not a reading fee; rather, the money we receive through submissions will be used only to help pay for our web services and Submittable services. 

Our emphasis is on amplifying the diverse voices and creativity of the Appalachian region, and we are committed to publishing excellent writing that does not rely on clichés and stereotypes. We want to feature writing that exemplifies the many layers and complexities of the region. 

We especially encourage submissions from historically underrepresented voices - BIPOC, members of the LGBTQIA community and persons of all abilities. 

We don't mind if your submission is simultaneous as long as you withdraw your piece right away if it's accepted elsewhere. We will be happy for you! Use the "Withdraw" function in Submittable to withdraw work. If you need to withdraw a single poem, you can use the "Message" function in Submittable.

We are not able to pay our contributors, but we nominate work regularly to annual prizes, and we will help advertise your work on social media. Our contributors have been featured in Best of the Net and in The Best Small Fictions.

We appreciate writing grounded in craft as well as experience. We are moved by lyrical writing that is compelling, distinctive, accessible, and finely written. We also like the wild and fragmented, the snapshot, the unforeseen. As a purely editorial decision, we don't consider trite, light verse, genre fiction, critical analyses, inspirational or motivational advice, erotica, pornography, or any writing that purposefully exploits or demeans or enables hatred and bigotry. We reserve the right to remove pieces from our archives.

We very seldom consider previously published work, including work that has been uploaded to social media or personal websites. Please do not submit any work that has been previously published unless invited to do so.

Please submit only in one genre and only once during this reading period. If you have been published in Still before, please wait until one year has passed from that publication date before sending us work again. 

We will consider one work of fiction (up to 6,500 words) or one to two flash or micro fiction works (no more than 1,000 words total). We will consider one work of creative nonfiction (up to 6,500 words) or one to two flash or micro creative nonfiction works (no more than 1,000 words total.) Please double space all fiction and creative nonfiction. We will consider one to five poems (submitted as one document). Poems can be any length, form, style. Poems can be single spaced. 

The title of your submission and the title of your uploaded file should include your name and genre, (e.g. Jane Writer Poetry). 

In the "Cover Letter" section, please include a short sentence that explains your connection to the Appalachian region. Please also include a short biography (100-200 words). You can include your publications, but please list no more than four journals where your work has appeared. Book titles should include the publisher and year of publication. You can include literary awards and prizes. Include links to your work or website (if applicable) and your Twitter handle (if applicable).

We try to respond to contributors within three months. Please do not query until three months have passed.

Still: The Journal acquires First Electronic Rights and Non-exclusive Archival Rights. Upon publication, all other rights revert to the author. Please credit Still: The Journal as first publisher if you reprint elsewhere; we like seeing our name in print, too. Still reserves the right to reprint work at a later date if we have the opportunity to occasionally make a print anthology and want to include your work. 

If you are interested in pitching a book review, an interview, artwork, collaborations, or a Still Life feature related to the climate theme, please contact us by email at

Themed Issue: Climate in Appalachia

Call for Submission for Winter 2023 (to be published in late February 2023)

Submission Window: December 1-15, 2022


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