Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

Montana Mouthful is an independent, nonprofit literary magazine devoted to short fiction and nonfiction, poetry, and visual artwork. We are a digital publication with a print-on-demand option. Each issue and/or contest will be themed, and we aim to publish three times per year.

Although we seek short pieces – just a mouthful – avoid sending anecdotes. Surprise us with your words. Strive to submit stories that build toward something more than a punchline or trick ending. Montana Mouthful is open to most subjects and styles; however, we are not interested in gratuitous sex or violence.



Flash Fiction – 1,000 words or less (up to 2 pieces);

Short Story – 2,000 words or less (up to 2 pieces).


Essay – 2,000 words or less (up to 2 pieces);

Narrative Nonfiction – 2,000 words or less (up to 2 pieces).


1,000 words or less (up to 3 pieces).


Up to 10 images


Montana Mouthful seeks work for its “Lost and Found” issue!

So many things can be lost and found: ideas, material items, relationships, and more. We often experience great sorrow at the loss of something, only to experience great joy at its finding. However, the opposite is also true – something one wishes to lose is found again and again through bad habits or coincidence or even poor luck. “Lost and Found” also applies to those catch-all baskets, lockers, and boxes that house miscellaneous items left by individuals in various places. What does “Lost and Found” mean to you, and how can you present it in a short story, essay, poem, or artwork?

Remember writers, we’re looking for work that’s full of tension. Strive for something more than a description or punch-line ending. Artists and photographers, we look forward to seeing what you come up with for this somewhat challenging theme.

As a reminder: Montana Mouthful is a non-paying market. At this time, we cannot compensate you for your work, and this includes sending contributors a print-on-demand copy. We completely understand if this is a deal-breaker for you and you choose not to send us work; we just want to be clear.

Submissions will be open from Monday, November 1, 2021 through Monday, January 3, 2022. We aim to publish the “Lost and Found” issue on Monday, February 21, 2022.

We can’t wait to see what comes our way in the “lost and found” department!

Furthermore, we’re going to run a contest. Keep your eyes open for contest information later this summer. Winners will be published in the Lost and Found issue. Again, we’ll post those details at a later date, so keep checking our social media platforms so you can participate.

Please review our submission guidelines carefully. We do not accept any prose over 2,000 words nor poetry over 1,000 words. If you are submitting artwork/photography, please be sure your images are at least 300 ppi.

You are encouraged to submit a short biography. Bios must be written in third person and should be no longer than 3-5 sentences. You are also encouraged to share your personal websites and/or social media pages, so we can help promote your work.

Here is a link to our Submittable page. Good luck from the Montana Mouthful team!


Please send us your work via Submittable. Emailed submissions will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not take any prose submissions over 2,000 words.

Important: Submissions are read and judged blindly, so please DO NOT put your name on the piece itself. If your submission is selected for publication, we’ll ask you to provide a third-person bio.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere for publication.

Montana Mouthful seeks original work, so no reprints or works in translation.

We will attempt to respond as quickly as possible, but bear with us as we are a small nonprofit magazine run by working writers and readers. Please allow up to ten weeks for us to inform you if we’ve selected your work for publication. If, after ten weeks, you choose to get in touch with us about the status of your submission, please email us at and use the phrase “Submission Query” as the email subject.

Note: To avoid having our email caught by your spam filter, please add to your allow list.

Again, we are currently a non-paying market.  Although this is a non-monetary engagement, we passionately promote our writers and artists in all that we do. However, from time to time, we’ll feature paying contests.

Online Rights: If we select your work for publication, we ask for exclusive electronic rights to the piece for three months from date of publication, and non-exclusive rights indefinitely, so we can keep your work in our online archives.

Print Rights: If we select your work for publication, we ask for exclusive print rights to your piece for three months from date of publication. Additionally, from time to time, we may publish a print anthology or other promotional materials. Therefore, we ask for non-exclusive rights to your work to be used in these capacities. All other rights remain yours.

Good luck from the Montana Mouthful Editing Team!