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 short fiction/nonfiction, poetry, and artwork/photography submissions for its 8th issue, and the theme is “Quarantine.”

The quarantine caused by the Coronavirus has generated much stress, but it’s also allowed many people time for reflection and creative pursuits. We expect many different emotional responses related to the theme of “Quarantine.” Maybe you took photographs of what life looked like inside your home during this time. Maybe you wrote poetry about feelings of isolation. Maybe you wrote letters to loved one whom you could not visit in person.

We also expect many different perspectives. What was quarantine like for single people? For married people? For children? What was it like for the elderly, or for people who have compromised immune systems? What was it like for essential workers, like doctors, nurses, cleaners, and transportation workers? What was it like for those who live in rural areas versus those who live in cities? Etc.

Submissions are open from June 15, 2020 – September 7, 2020. We aim to publish the “Quarantine” Issue on October 19, 2020. 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.

Submissions are read and judged blindly, so please DO NOT put your name on the piece itself.

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.

While it’s stated on our Submittable page, on our Duotrope page, and on our website, we’d like to reiterate here: while we’re working hard to raise funds to pay our contributors and/or to give them a print copy of the issue in which they’re featured, we are currently a non-paying market. If you’d like to help us raise more funds, we would appreciate it! Please check our social media pages for ways and opportunities to do so. Thank you.

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 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.

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!