Downtown San Francisco at sunset

Regular Submission Guidelines

Our regular submission period is now closed and will reopen on September 8, 2020.

Terrain.org  welcomes submissions from new and experienced authors and artists alike.

Our online journal accepts only the finest poetry, essays, fiction, articles, artwork, videos, and other contributions—material that reaches deep into the earth’s fiery core, or humanity’s incalculable core, and brings forth new insights and wisdom. We are seeking work in English (or translation) from around the world, and particularly Indigenous, Native, Black, Brown, and other historically marginalized and underrepresented voices.

Our regular submission period is now closed and will reopen on September 8, 2020.


How to Submit

For contest submission guidelines, click here.

Terrain.org prefers original, unpublished work but ocassionally also publishes previously published materials so long as the work is not currently available online or in an app (please notify us when submitting)). We also accept simultaneously submitted materials (immediate notification of acceptance elsewhere is required).

To withdraw only a portion of a submission, contact us. For a full withdrawal, please log into our Submissions Manager and mark your submission as withdrawn.

All contributions are fully archived.

With the exception of accompanying artwork and queries, as well as submissions for the Letter to America series, all work must be submitted online via Terrain.org’s Submission Manager, requiring the creation of a user account:

A single document containing your submission (one story, one essay, up to six poems, or the like) must be submitted in Microsoft Word format as .doc or .docx or  in .rtf or .txt format. For videos, please paste the link of the video in your cover letter if it has been uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.

Poetry and prose submissions sent in hard copy or by email will not be read nor returned.

All poetry, nonfiction, and fiction must be submitted via our Submissions Manager.

Artwork may also be embedded in the prose or poetry submission and, if accepted, separate, higher-resolution files will be requested.

Every submission must include brief biographical information about the author or artist, either in the comments area of the online Submissions Manager, or included in the single document of the submission itself. The title(s) of the piece, author’s or artist’s name, address, email, and relevant website address (if applicable) must appear on the first page of each submission, as either a separate title page or cover letter, or in the header or footer of each submitted piece.

Do not submit more than once every six months, unless previously encouraged to do so by the editors.

Terrain.org’s editors make every attempt to respond to all submissions, via email, within four months. Once you submit you will receive electronic confirmation of the submission via the Submissions Manager. If you have not heard from us within four months, please feel free to send us a note.

Terrain.org acquires online publication rights for the life of the journal, as well as the right to reprint the work in an anthology.

At this time, Terrain.org does not pay for contributions.


What to Submit

View contest submission guidelines.

Submissions are considered for the following genres, and mixed-genre and multimedia submissions—including photo essays, narrative slideshows, poem essays, and videos—will gladly be considered. If unsure, query us at info@terrain.org, but use this email for queries only. Submit online here.

Poetry
Poetry need not follow any particular form. Terrain.org’s Poetry section may include multiple works from single authors as well as single works from single authors. Submit from two to six poems of any length in a single document. We also consider poem/image combinations, as well as online chapbooks. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files.

Nonfiction
Creative nonfiction, personal essays, photo essays, and other essays need not follow any particular style. 6,000 words maximum for creative nonfiction. Articles may be technical or journalistic in nature. For these more technical pieces, strive for at least 1,500 words, with no maximum. Accompanying resource links, graphics, and sidebars are encouraged. Photos or other graphics may be inserted into the document, but if accepted will be requested as separate files.

Fiction
Short stories, excerpts from novels, flash fiction, radio plays, drama, and other forms of fiction are encouraged. 6,000 words maximum.

Interviews
Interviews should reflect on the theme of the built and natural environments. We encourage diversity in careers, backgrounds, ethnicity, genders, and perspectives. Recommended word count is 1,500 to 3,000 words. To submit an interview or interview idea, please contact us at info@terrain.org.

Reviews + Recommended Reads
Reviews of published or forthcoming books, CDs, magazines, community planning resource kits, websites, movies, and other items are encouraged, as are Recommended Reads, in which authors and others provide a list and narrative description of the books that have most influenced their own work, broadly defined. 2,500 words maximum. To submit a review or contact us to discuss the possibility of a review, please contact us at reviews@terrain.org.

Videos
Videos spanning any genre and approach are welcome.

ARTerrain Gallery
The ARTerrain gallery may include photographs, drawings, paintings, site graphics, and any other visual (and audio) media. Only one artist is highlighted in each ARTerrain gallery. Between 8 and 20 electronic submissions should include supporting narrative and a biographical sketch of the artist. Please query first, as space for the ARTerrain gallery fills quickly.

Unsprawl Case Study
The Unsprawl case study is an in-depth narrative and design-oriented review of a development that is environmentally, economically, and culturally more viable than conventional suburban “sprawl” development. May highlight a new development, redevelopment, or historically livable project, site, community, or regional system in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Query the editors before submitting.


Terrain.org is highly competitive, but we value every submission and appreciate the opportunity to review your work.

For more information, please contact us.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.