Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

Montana Mouthful is an independent literary magazine devoted to short fiction and nonfiction, poetry, and visual artwork. Each issue and/or contest will be themed. 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


We seek submissions for our second issue, and the theme is “secrets.” As human beings, we alternate between showing and hiding parts of ourselves to others. For this issue, we’re interested in stories, poems, and artwork related to that which is hidden. What secret will you reveal? We look forward to finding out.

Submissions are open from February 19, 2018 – May 2, 2018. Please review our submission guidelines carefully to ensure that your work is considered. We do not accept any prose over 2,000 words.

Furthermore, we seek submissions for our very first contest. Are you ready for a flash fiction challenge? (406) is Montana’s area code, and for our first flash fiction contest, we challenge writers to send us a story that:

  • is exactly 406 words (not counting the title) and
  • features the word “Montana” somewhere in the piece.

As long as you adhere to the above rules, you can take the story on any tangent you wish. Please review our submission guidelines for the contestOne entry per person, please. No gratuitous sex or violence.

UPDATE: We have extended the deadline for the Montana(406) Contest. The new deadline is September 2, 2018, and the winning stories now be featured in Issue 3, which will be published during autumn 2018.  Contest entry fee is $10.

The top three stories will be included in Issue 3 of Montana Mouthful, and the following prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st place – $125 + print copy of Issue 2
  • 2nd place – $75 + print copy of Issue 2
  • 3rd place – $25 + print copy of Issue 2


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.

Last, but not least, we look forward to receiving your work!

Good luck from the Montana Mouthful Editing Team!