Image courtesy of NASA.

WINTER 2018: “Total Eclipse”

Submissions accepted from August 15 through October 15, 2017.

We will dedicate our winter 2018 issue to the theme of “Total Eclipse.”

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse is predicted to be visible for the first time since 1979 in the contiguous United States. It just so happens that the Four Rivers Region where New Madrid is published has made international headlines as the optimal viewing spot for this eclipse. Nearby Hopkinsville, Kentucky, even has a new nickname—Eclipseville.

Our hope is also to address the theme of total eclipse from metaphorical directions. We invite work inspired by social and political phenomena; for example, some have referred to both the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) and to the election of Donald J. Trump to the United States presidency as total eclipses. We also encourage work that takes on the theme from a personal direction, as in the total eclipse of a marriage or friendship. We are essentially open to any work that addresses the obscuring of the light that is fundamental to a total eclipse. Secrecy is prime territory for this issue, as is any kind of blotting out, blocking, concealing, darkening. Apocalypse is also a possible subject. And of course, we welcome contributions along our theme from amateur or professional astronomers, and from skygazers of any kind. All submissions should be of interest to the general reader. Please do not submit scholarly articles.

Submissions will be accepted between August 15 and October 15. All submitted work should be of interest to the general reader; please do not submit scholarly articles. Quality is the determining factor for acceptance in New Madrid.

Please note: we accept online submissions only. See below for details on how to submit to New Madrid.

General Submission Guidelines

New Madrid is published twice per year, during the July and January residencies of Murray State University’s low-residency MFA Program. The editors invite previously unpublished submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Acceptance is determined by the quality of the work.


  • Jan. 15 through March 15: Summer issue
  • Aug. 15 through Oct. 15: Winter issue

See Upcoming Themes for information about what we’re seeking for developing issues.


We only accept manuscripts through Submittable. Please note that we don’t accept electronic submissions via direct email.


• Submissions should be in MS Word format with a 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.

• The author’s name and contact information should appear on the first page of the submission, and the pages should be numbered.

• Please include a brief author bio in the “comments” section of Submissions Manager.

Prose submissions should be double spaced (20 pages maximum).

Poetry submissions should be single spaced (six poems maximum).


We’re happy to consider simultaneous submissions, with the request that you inform us if a piece has been accepted by another publication and is no longer available. Should that occur, please follow these guidelines:

Prose: If a prose piece you’ve submitted gets picked up by another publication, please withdraw it directly through our online Submission Manager (see Submitting Your Manuscript above).

Poetry: If any poem (one or multiple) submitted as part of a batch gets picked up by another publication, please send an email to our managing editor with details on which work is no longer available. We will update your submission directly in the system.


We read manuscripts on a rolling basis through each of our two annual submission periods, and it’s our policy to respond to every submission. As a rule, we respond after the close of the reading period. So if you’ve submitted during the January-April reading period, expect a response by May. If you’ve submitted during the August-November reading period, expect a response by December.

All submission responses come via electronic mail, from

We’ve found that because our responses are generated through Submission Manager, they sometimes get filtered. To ensure you receive our messages, please set your email preferences to allow messages from Also, you can always check the status of your submission by logging into Submission Manager.


It is our editorial policy to accept only previously unpublished work—we consider work published on the web to be previously published.

For our terms, we acquire first North American serial rights for one-time use in our print publication.

We also request the author’s permission to post the same piece on this web site, as part of the table of contents for the issue in which it appears (web permission is at the author’s discretion).

Acknowledgment in Future Publications

Should a piece first published in New Madrid be included subsequently in another work, we request that the new work include an acknowledgment of the first publication. For example: [“Title”] by [Author] first appeared in Volume [Number], New Madrid, Journal of Contemporary Literature, [Winter 2009]. Reprinted by permission.

We ask that you notify us of any subsequent publication of material that appeared first in New Madrid, and that you or the publisher provide us with a copy of the reprinted work. Please contact our managing editor with any reprint-related correspondence.


We pay with contributor’s copies.