Naugatuck River Review

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Submissions are OPEN for the 14th annual narrative poetry contest from July 1 - Sept. 1, 2022. Winners, finalists and semi-finalists will be published in the winter/spring 2023 issue.  Summer issue 2023 submissions will run from Jan 1 - March 15, 2023.  The contest judge this year is Lisa Kwong

Our contest judge this year is Lisa Kwong. First prize is $1000 for one poem, second prize is $250 and third prize is $100. The submission fee of $20 goes towards the publication of the journal, contributor mailings, publicity, and the prizes. All winners, finalists and semi-finalists published in the winter/spring 2023 issue of NRR. A list of winners and all finalists/semi-finalists will be posted here and on our Facebook group in November 2022.

A native of Radford, Virginia, Lisa Kwong identifies as an AppalAsian, an Asian from Appalachia. She is the author of Becoming AppalAsian, a poetry chapbook (Glass Lyre Press, 2022) and “Searching for Wonton Soup,” winner of Sundress Publications’ 2019 Poetry Broadside Contest. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, root & branch, the minnesota review, Still: The Journal, Naugatuck River Review, Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, and other publications. She currently teaches Asian American Studies at Indiana University and English at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, Indiana.

Here are our general guidelines:



We accept ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY through Submittable. 

There are two submission periods for NRR -  Open submissions (no fee) are Jan. 1 - March 15. 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.

Please submit no more than 3 unpublished NARRATIVE poems (for our definition of narrative poetry, see below). 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 fonts other than Times, Callibri, Georgia or Garamond 12.

Questions ONLY: Feel free to email us at 

Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you inform us right away if your poem has been picked up by another publication. We claim first North American serial 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