Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
August 2016
Open Borders

Wild River Review Submission Guidelines

Photo Credit: Joy E. Stocke

The online literary journal, Wild River Review, seeks the best in new writing, artwork, and photography from around the world.

We seek all genres of writing, including poetry, short stories, short-short stories, novel excerpts, memoirs, essays, novellas, book reviews, and all experimental forms of writing. We also support emerging writers of all ages and genres in a unique section of our journal, “First Bylines.” “First Bylines” showcases talented writers in all genres who have not been published before. In addition, we seek artwork, illustrations, comics, and photo essays.

Unless we commission a piece from you, all work accepted for publication in Wild River Review is pro-bono. However, we will promote your work using a wide range of marketing outreach and social media tools. Please submit your work to: jstocke@wildriverreview.com

Please consider the following questions when sending Wild River Review your work: 

  • How does your piece fit with Wild River Review's larger mission? (Mission Statement: http://www.wildriverreview.com/mission
  • How will your piece (and its promotion) further Wild River's mission and visibility?
  • What WRR publication category does your piece fit under?  (See below) 

Wild River Review Publication Categories:

General Submissions: Within the above categories, we accept short stories, memoirs, articles and essays, including submissions to “First Bylines” to a maximum of 3,000 words.

Novel Excerpts in any genre to a maximum of 3,000 words. Please include a synopsis of the entire work of no more than two pages.

Poetry, including submissions to “First Bylines,” to a maximum of 3 poems or 150 lines of poetry. If you have a longer body of work, please send us a query of no more than 150 words.

Features and Interviews should be proposed with a query of no more than 300 words. (Please refer to our Wild River criteria before sending your submissions).

Book reviews should be proposed with a query of no more than 150 words. The query should include a rationale for reviewing the book as well as the full title, author, publisher, and publication date.

Art Submissions: Please do not send original artwork. We can only accept digital versions of your work. We prefer emailed JPEG attachments, but you may mail us a disk of your images. We accept both color and black and white images. You may email us up to 5 digital images, or mail us a disk with up to 15 images.

Email Submissions: All literary email submissions MUST be sent as a Microsoft Word or Rich Text document attachment. We cannot accept other file formats. We cannot accept zip files. Artwork MUST be sent as JPEGs.

Please include the following information at the bottom of EACH of the documents you submit to us: name, email address, phone number, genre, word count, bio of 100 words or less and personal website if applicable. Artists, please include this information, as well as your medium and the number of pieces you are sending, in the text of your email. If you would like your e-mail address displayed to readers with your published piece, please indicate this desire in the contact information you include with your submission.

Submissions sent in the body of an email instead of as an attachment will not be considered.

Reply Policy: 

Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we will only contact you personally if we accept your work for publication. All work is thoroughly read and evaluated by our staff within two months of the date of receipt. We realize that the marketplace is competitive; therefore we welcome and encourage multiple submissions.

We retain online rights from date of publication. In the event that we publish a hard copy edition, we will contact you for permission to print your work. As an international publication, we help our authors reach a wider audience. Permission is granted for republication through a formal query process, whereby notification is required.


SUBMIT TO: jstocke@wildriverreview.com


Photo Credit: Joy E. Stocke


About Wild River Review



WRRHow have you been involved with other publications before Wild River Review and how have these experiences affected the way you run this publication?

Kim Nagy: I’ve been in publishing for over ten years, book publishing primarily where I worked with authors to market and publicize their work. At Wild River Review, I am able to use my background in marketing and publicity, but my role developed into an editorial one, commissioning articles and connecting ideas that feed into our overall coverage, which is international, newsworthy, and literary.

I would say Joy and I share a literary approach to the world. The idea that a good story, interview, article, and so many fine books speak to all kinds of people and connect readers to a larger picture of the world we live in, one that defies provincial and dangerously insular thinking.

Joy Stocke: I agree. During the final semester of my senior year as a journalism major at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I took a class called, The Literary Aspects of Journalism. I remember reading excerpts of Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, which was her account of the Balkans and provided a context for the rise of Nazism. And I thought, that in addition to hard news, this is the kind of story I wanted to write and to read.

Many years later, I was in the city of Van in Turkey near Mount Ararat and the Persian Border. I stayed in a hotel run by a Kurdish family who had been relocated during the Iraq/Iran war. The young man who hosted us still had relatives on the Iranian side of the border and was very clear that he longed for a Kurdish state. This is a man who had Love in the Time of Cholera on his bookshelf next to Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre. His openness and longing to share his view gave me a new perspective on that part of the world and I’ve been writing about it ever since.

WRRWhat does the title of the magazine - Wild River Review - mean to you?

Nagy: I love the metaphor of the river because rivers connect land to water. And, of course, rivers fill bodies of water much larger than themselves—oceans. But when I say connect, I also mean it in the way that E.M Forester used the phrase, “only connect," in his novel, Howards End. To me, he implies not only an understanding of someone else’s life or a physical experience beyond ours, but connections between ideas themselves.

I like the word “wild" in our title, too, because rarely do rivers end up exactly the way you expect them to. Of course, water is really the most important life source and after you read a great story or article, don’t you feel refreshed?

Stocke: One of the things about rivers is that their course is affected by the landscape, by rock and gravity, which is why a river meanders. Often, when you’re writing a story, you think you’re going in one direction and the next thing you know you’ve taken a little bit of a turn. At that moment, you must decide whether to follow that path, which requires remaining open to ideas and trusting your instincts.

WRRHow do you go about finding articles to publish? Are they just from current news?

Nagy: We plan our content, but always allow for an element of freshness. Some stories come to us, such as the story of the Philadelphia lawyer, Susan Burke, who gathered testimony from the victims at Abu Ghraib. But, I think we are all connected to huge stories, and it’s the writer’s job to open our eyes and work hard to make sense of those stories.

The Human Face of War is an example of a story we jumped on as soon as we received the press release. We wanted to look directly into the faces of Iraqi soldiers. But in terms of the types of stories we cover, we have a structure in place that allows us to stay open to new stories, which is one of the beauties of publishing online.

Stocke: Another example is a piece we published on the death of philanthropist, Sir John Templeton. We’re very interested in the intersection between science and religion. On the day Templeton died, consulting editor, Joe Glantz e-mailed me and suggested we contact another of our contributors, John Timpane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was one of the first Templeton Journalism Fellows at Cambridge University. We asked Timpane to write an entry on our blogsite –WRR@Large. As soon as he sent his piece, we realized it was something that should be on our front page because it directly addressed one of the great debates in the world right now about where science and religion intersect.

WRRWhat made you decide to obtain 501c3 status?

Stocke: We care deeply about social issues and wanted to make the site financially viable while finding the best way to honor the content. Nonprofit status means we can accept donations from individuals and work with organizations like the J. William and Harriet Fulbright Center, who share our viewpoint and vision. The Fulbright Center promotes education as a peace-building tool. In this way we partner with other not for profits in a cooperative approach where we all gain strength in readership, participation, and funding.

Nagy: We also felt we might serve a larger story at a time when the field of journalism is redefining itself. Joy and I watch the world everyday as professional writers and avid news readers.

WRRYou mentioned that you take submissions and publish stories on global current events. How does that enable new writers to publish their own work?

Nagy: As commissioning editor, I want to be very selective. So, when I say we want to create a venue for writers it’s decidedly not an open forum. There is a way of capturing events, of telling stories, and making them speak to people as human beings. And we’re interested in that perspective.

I want to see writing that is alive, writing that tackles timeless ideas with a fresh voice.

For writers who feel pigeonholed into only one kind of writing, we provide some liberation. We also wanted to create that point of connection because we believe that especially online, where you can reach relevant audiences all over the world, the web can be a place to change consciousness for the better.

There is so much content on the web and we’ve made it our mission to do what a lot of sites aren’t doing, and that is developmental editing, not just checking to see that every t is crossed, but pushing ideas through until they are clear and cohesive. We sometimes work with writers on two, three, or more drafts, so that we can get to the heart of a story.

WRRIf you could think of a statement about what sets Wild River Review apart from everything that we’ve seen on the web, what would it be?

Stocke: When you read a piece in Wild River Review, we hope you will walk away with something to think about for the rest of the day. You might want to have a conversation with a colleague or friend about a piece; you might want to respond with a comment or your own opinion. But more important, the ideas within a piece may provide the catalyst for you to make a change or to act on your own beliefs.

Nagy: Also, we want to cover issues that might not be getting a whole lot of play.

Stocke: We’ve been running a regular column since early 2006, called Hong Kong Diary about manufacturing in China and how that has affected the global economy. The author takes you behind the scenes, onto the factory floor, into the marketplace, and shows how that marketplace is rapidly changing, sometimes for the good, but not always. We’ve seen this perspective in various publications, but we have the viewpoint from an insider who’s been traveling to China for more than twenty years.

WRRWhat is that Wild River spin?

Nagy: We aim to cover current events, conduct interviews, and publish essays in the same way that good literature helps us embrace that which doesn’t fit neatly into one category. We feel that our publication complements many of the traditional news sources that we read daily.

Stocke: Another subject we cover is the Islamic world. We have a columnist who is Hindu and writing from Dubai, Saudi Arabia. One of our columnists, Katherine Schimmel Baki, is recreating the last series of lectures given by her Aunt, Annemarie Schimmel, at Harvard University. Dr. Schimmel was one of the world’s foremost experts on Islam, and her translations of the poet, Jallaludin Rumi, have had worldwide influence.

We would rather seek funding that allows a writer like Katherine to present material that has never been published anywhere before in her own voice and style.

Nagy: We want to create a venue for someone to develop their authentic voice because we never want to allow easy answers - and we hold ourselves to the same standard.

You don’t have to fit into our viewpoint, but we are interested in a wider conversation and in people who ask difficult questions and go to uncomfortable places. For me, I think that’s how we make progress, that’s how we move forward.


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About Wild River Review

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