Naugatuck River Review

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Submissions for Naugatuck River Review's 12th annual Narrative Poetry Contest are open 

July 1, 2020 to September 1, 2020. Prizes are $1000, $250 and $100, and all winners, 

finalists and semi-finalists will be published in the winter/spring 2021 issue.

Winter open submissions will be Jan. 1 - March 1, 2021.  

Contest judge this year is Enzo Silon Surin.

 Enzo Silon Surin, Haitian-born poet, educator, speaker, publisher and social advocate, is the author of two chapbooks, A Letter of Resignation: An American Libretto (2017) and Higher Ground and the forthcoming full-length poetry collection, When My Body Was A Clinched Fist (Black Lawrence Press, July 2020). He is a PEN New England Celebrated New Voice in Poetry, the recipient of a Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation and a 2020 Denis Diderot [A-i-R] Grant as an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France. Surin’s work gives voice to experiences that take place in what he calls “broken spaces” and his poems have been featured in numerous publications and exhibits. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, teaches creative writing and literature at Bunker Hill Community College and is Founding Editor and Publisher at  Central Square Press.

Here are our general guidelines:



We accept ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY through Submittable. 

There are two submission periods for NRR - Contest submissions are open July 1- Sept. 1 each year and there is a $20 fee which pays for the prizes and publication of the journal for the year. Open submissions (no fee) are Jan. 1 - March 1. 

Please submit no more than 3 unpublished NARRATIVE poems (for our definition of narrative poetry, see below). Submit your best work if you wish to win the contest. Please, no more than 50 lines per poem in ONE MSWord file, Times New Roman preferred (.doc or .docx or .rtf preferred, pdf if complicated formatting only). Please remove your name from your document, as the poetry is read blind. DO NOT use fancy formats, bold or imbedded formatting unless your poem is in complicated formatting, in which case go ahead and submit in in a pdf. 

Questions ONLY: Feel free to email us at 

Simultaneous submissions are discouraged during the contest, but not forbidden, as long as you let us know right away if your poem has been picked up by another publication. We claim first North American publication rights, so rights revert to the author after the initial publication period, just please give us credit.  We will only consider work that has not been previously published.  Member CLMP.

What NRR is looking for are poems that tell a story, or have a strong sense of story. They can be stories of a moment or an experience, and can be personal, fictional or historical. A good narrative poem that would work for our journal has a compressed narrative, and we prefer poems that take up two pages or less of the journal (50 lines max). We are looking above all for poems that are well-crafted, have an excellent lyric quality and contain a strong emotional core. Any style of poem is considered, including prose poems. Poems with very long lines don’t fit well in the format.

Naugatuck River Review