Editor's Note:

Submissions for the fall 2020 issue are now closed.

We will begin accepting submissions for the spring 2021 issue Nov. 1.

High Desert Journal is a forum for literary, visual, and journalistic artists to contribute a deeper understanding of the landscape and people of the interior West.


We accept work from residents of the interior West working with any theme, and from anyone living outside of this region creating with an element or theme of the interior West.

What exactly does this mean?

And where is the "high desert" and "interior West"?

Simply put we consider the high desert and interior West to cover eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas, also the eastern parts of California, those east of the Sierras. Sorry, but the Pacific coast, San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, up to Portland and Seattle are not part of our region. 

Something like this:


What are we looking for?

We accept poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoirs, books reviews, essays, interviews and visual arts. You may submit up to three poems; a maximum of 5,000 words of fiction or nonfiction; up to 3,000 words of interview, memoir, and essays, and up to 10 slides or digital images of artwork.


Submissions are only accepted via our electronic submission manager, Submittable. (Submission button below.) 

More specifically:


Editor, CMarie Fuhrman

I am interested in all types of creative nonfiction that explore a writer's relationship to place (the High Desert, in this case), culture, and identity.  I tend to gravitate, however, toward stories structured around narratives, but I am also stirred by that work which seems to push against the general mold, writing that follows the writer's genius and not the accepted norm.  I am most interested in writing that carries a unique and confident voice, combines style with substance, and reaches beyond the personal to find greater meaning and understanding of the self, the west, the world.  I love deep writing.  I am not interested in writing rife with hubris or stories of conquering nature.  I am a champion of Native writers and writing from outside the realm of those typically published, but above all, I am interested in great writing, that which can make any subject interesting and new and make readers pause and catch their breath as they are reading.


Editor, Laura Pritchett

Voice and depth are of primary concern—submissions with a unique and compelling voice that go somewhere deep are the ones I gravitate to. I’m also particularly interested in conciseness—the art of the short story, after all, is marked by attention to tightness, sharpness, attention to each word. I’m also looking for fiction that explores the complexity of relationship to place (the High Desert, in this case) – as in, the setting should not just be a backdrop (the story could not be dropped into another landscape and still work). Open to flash, experimental, and more traditional forms of fiction, and diverse and underrepresented voices are encouraged. Emerging and established writers are given equal consideration.


Editor, Sheryl Noethe

Great poetry, that's all I ask. Any form. Any length. Make it sing. Make it say something. Grab my heart. Kick me in the gut. Make me laugh or make me cry, I don't care, but above all make it memorable. MOVE me.


A few of the poets I adore include: T. S.  Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Auden, Yeats, Rumi, Anne Carson, Sharon Olds, Sappho, Adrienne Rich, Jenny Bouly, Joy Harjo, Ai, Leslie Marmon Silko, Linda Hogan, Pablo Neruda, Rilke, Mary Oliver, Randall Jarrell, Li-Young Lee, Norman Dubie, Jorie Graham, Jane Hirshfield, Li Po, Marcus Aurelius, and a cast of hundreds more.

And finally:

Please submit with standard guidelines in mind (Times New Roman or Courier, double spaced, no space between paragraphs, do not double space after a period, and proper formatting of dialogue, etc). Familiarity matters—please take the time to read some back issues and be familiar with our content before submitting.



Photo courtesy of Allen Morris Jones