Midwestern Gothic (ISSN 2159-8827) is a bi-annual literary journal dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who have lived here, passed through, or found themselves connected to it in some way. Midwestern Gothic aims to collect the very best in Midwestern writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales.

Gothic fiction is often defined as the inclusion of deeply flawed, often “grotesque” characters in realistic (and, oftentimes unpleasant) settings/situations. At Midwestern Gothic, we take to heart the realistic aspects of Gothic fiction: Not everything we publish is dark or twisted or full of despair; we want to share diverse perspectives on real life, inspired by the region, good, bad, or ugly.

Ultimately, we’re striving to catalog the best of Midwestern writers, and whether it be pieces physically set in the Midwest, or work inspired by your time living here, we want it. Check out our issues archive to get a sense of who we are.



PHOTOGRAPHY submissions are open year-round. Email your photos to mwgothic [at]

We’re looking for pieces featuring or inspired by your time in the Midwest. Our goal is to collect the very best in Midwestern writers and writing in an effort to compile a definitive resource on the region and its influences. (Want more info on what we’re all about? Check out our “About” page.)

We want established writers as well as new ones: If we love it, we’ll publish it. Make sure to send us your best work that makes us think and ponder and swoon. Also, please make sure it’s fully edited (read: finished). Granted, if we see something in a piece we love that sticks out, we may ask you about it, or in the rare case we see room for change, likewise, we’ll let you know, but this is your piece, and we want you to have it ready for print the moment you send to us. We take a great deal of pride here, so should you.

We’re also looking for pictures year-round that best capture the essence of the Midwest (we’ll leave that open-ended so you can decide for yourself what that means). Images intending harm or disrespect will be trashed immediately. Collectively, the editors will review every image and, assuming you have captured some sort of Midwestern flavor, will post it to the site as soon as possible.



  • Please submit short fiction of up to 8,000 words.
  • Fiction should be double-spaced and in 12-point font (easier for us to read that way).
  • Please only submit as Word (.doc/.docx) or RTF (.rtf) files.


  • Please submit creative nonfiction or essays of up to 8,000 words.
  • Submissions should be double-spaced and in 12-point font (easier for us to read that way).
  • Please only submit as Word (.doc/.docx) or RTF (.rtf) files.


  • Please submit no more than three poems (all in one file).
  • Please only submit as Word (.doc/.docx) or RTF (.rtf) files.


  • For photos, we’re looking for images of at least a 6” x 9” at 300 dpi resolution.
  • Make sure to include any pertinent copyright information (e.g. your name, the year it was taken), and a short title/caption.


  • For all submissions, please include contact info (email and/or phone). You can send a cover letter if you want, but it’s not required.
  • Please also include a short third-person bio of up to 150 words for all submissions.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please let us know the moment your piece is accepted elsewhere (it’s the polite thing to do).
  • We do accept reprints—We just ask that you tell us somewhere in your submission where it first appeared so we can give credit where credit’s due (and please verify you do indeed have permission to submit elsewhere).

We operate on a reading period schedule, meaning we read all submissions during the entire run of the open submissions period, making our final selections only after this period has closed. If your work is accepted for publication in Midwestern Gothic, we will notify you by email after the reading period has closed. Please note that while we carefully read and consider each submission, due to the volume we receive, we won’t be able to respond personally to everyone. If you choose to query us on the status of your submission, please wait for a full month after you submit to send us an email at MWGothic (at)


If your piece is chosen to be published in an issue of Midwestern Gothic, you will receive a complimentary digital copy of the issue. Authors will also receive special contributor rates on additional books. Four times a year we will choose a photo from our archives as the cover for the next issue of Midwestern Gothic. Those selected will be notified via email and will also receive a complimentary digital issue.


We ask for first-time publishing rights—after that, copyright will revert to you.  If your work is reprinted, we ask that you reference our prior publication.  Please consider that issues of Midwestern Gothic will be available in various electronic formats in addition to print (downloadable PDFs, Kindle, iPhone, etc.). We reserve the right to include your work on our website or in collections of texts selected from past issues.

Midwestern Gothic retains no rights on submitted images—they belong exclusively to the photographer/owner. But by submitting your photo, you agree to allow Midwestern Gothic to display it in various digital channels, including but not limited to, as well as various social media channels (such as Twitter and Facebook). But fear not! Your photo will always appear credited to you.

We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Send an email to MWGothic (at) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


PHOTOGRAPHY submissions are open year-round. Email your photos to mwgothic [at]