Submit Your Work

NOTE: Because of logistical concerns, submissions will remain open until August 1st for writers whose work responds to our call for this special issue or our personal invitation.

Submissions will close for all other work as scheduled on July 1st. We appreciate the understanding and support of everyone in the literary community as we work to make the fall issue relevant and meaningful. For questions, contact us. Thank you.

Call for Submissions to Our First Special Issue
Fall 2017 Issue 21 of Fifth Wednesday Journal

The United States is home to immigrants from almost every country and territory in the world. In fact, the great strength of this country is drawn from the labor, intellect, and creativity of immigrants and their descendents. But assimilation and inclusion are not always easy. The newcomer often finds a different language, a different culture; even the flora and fauna may seem strange and threatening. Citizens sometimes resent the appearance in their midst of a different religious practice, a different manner of dress, a different language, and other manners that are not “the way we do things here.”

We believe that the best way of demonstrating to the newcomer and the American that neither has anything to fear from the other, that each has much to learn from the other, is to make the arts, culture, and accumulated wisdom of each available to the other. We believe that part of our mission is to bring the immigrant experience to more American citizens by sharing through literature the wisdom, history, culture, hopes, and dreams of immigrants who come seeking a better life in an open, free, and democratic society. We will all benefit from the exchange.

Fifth Wednesday Journal announces a call for submissions to a special issue in the fall of 2017. We intend to showcase writing by authors who are immigrants or children of immigrants from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries.* We are, as always, looking for short fiction and poetry written in English and not published elsewhere prior to submission to us. We will be happy to read personal essays and creative nonfiction with literary merit. We seek writing by residents of the United States and Canada for this issue. We will consider translations only if the translator includes a letter from the author giving permission for the translation and publication in our magazine.

We welcome simultaneous submissions with the understanding that you will inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere. We recommend that writers familiarize themselves with FWJ before submitting their work. Examples of the writing that we accept are found in our online publication, FWJ Plus, accessible from this website. E-mail us for information about discounted copies of back issues for writers and students.

Submissions for this issue will open on April 15, 2017 and close on July 1, 2017.
* There is no standardized definition of the MENA countries. However, the following countries are often included: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.


Manuscripts must be in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx files. We discourage use of Rich Text Format because conversion to a Word .doc file often destroys much of the formatting. Prose should be double-spaced, and poetry should be formatted as the poet wants it to appear in print. All submissions should be paginated, in 12-point type, and with at least a one-inch margin on all sides. Please do not place name or other contact information anywhere on the manuscript. This information should be placed only in the space marked for a cover letter on the submission form and should include name, e-mail address, mailing address, and telephone number.


Manuscripts must be submitted electronically via the form below.


Response Time, Rejections, and Withdrawals

You may log in to your account through our submission manager at any time to check the status of your submission. We will notify you by e-mail within six months if we do not accept your work for publication. If you have not heard from us within this time, e-mail us. Include your name, the title of your work, and the date you sent it. If you need to withdraw a submission, please log in to your account through the submission manager. However, if you have sent multiple poems and wish to withdraw only one or some of those poems, please e-mail us.


By submitting your work to FWJ, you indicate your consent for us to publish your work in our print journal. FWJ acquires first North American serial rights. After publication, all rights revert to the author. If we’d like to use your work in any other manner, we will contact you for permission.

Compensation & Awards

Effective Fall 2010, Issue 7, each contributor will receive two copies of the issue in which the work appears, PLUS a one-year subscription beginning with the issue following. FWJ awards an annual Editor’s Prize in fiction, and poetry in the amount of $150. These prizes are awarded for a work chosen from those published in FWJ in the previous two issues. Winners are announced in the fall issue and posted on the FWJ website.

Submission Guidelines

Click here to read the guidelines for each category of work.

Submit your work now by clicking on the submission manager link below.

Go to submission manager