Mount Island No. 4 has been roaming the nation since October 31st, which means there’s only one thing to do: the whole thing all over again. After a brief closure we have reopened to submissions, with some important changes we’re happy to announce.

In addition to our quarterly magazine’s next issue, we are now accepting submissions for our first themed print anthology, and on December 1st we will open to submissions for our first prize: the Lucy Terry Prince Prize for rural poets of color, which will be judged in its inaugural year by poet Major Jackson. Not quite as thrilling, but equally important, is the news that we’ve switched our submissions management system to the ever popular Submittable. Read on for details about each of these developments. 

Next Digital Magazine Issue: Winter 2020

We publish our digital magazine quarterly, and the next issue is due out roughly at the end of January. Submission guidelines are the same as they were last time—unless you are submitting visual art, as you’ll see—but for good measure please review the guidelines carefully. Full guidelines are available both on our website and on our Submittable page.

2020 Print Anthology: Revive

From November 1 until January 31, we are open to submissions for our 2020 print anthology, the theme of which is “revive.” From the anthology submission guidelines:

Revive is a potent word. Like other verbs it was born of our need to act, to decide. More importantly and magical, it exists because humans have always found life so surprisingly beautiful. At our ugliest lows, life can snatch us back from the brink with a coincidence, something small just fluttering by. When we’ve worked or played our bodies to the limit, what do copywriters swear sports drinks, kombucha, Dr. Bronner’s All-One soap can do? When a boxer or a schoolyard scrapper is knocked out cold, what is the crowd waiting for them to do? Revive!

For full submission guidelines and more details on our 2020 anthology, please visit our Submittable page.

The Lucy Terry Prince Prize 

We joyfully announce the establishment of the Lucy Terry Prince Prize, a new poetry competition open to rural writers of color. The Lucy Terry Prince Prize honors the life of Lucy Terry Prince, a free, landowning Black woman in colonial Vermont who is considered the first known African-American poet in English literature. An introduction to Lucy Terry Prince’s story, as well as links to further material, are available on our website. The winner of the Lucy Terry Prince Prize will receive a cash prize of $500, publication in our 2020 print anthology, and an invitation to read at and participate in a panel on race, art, and the rural in fall 2020.

We are thoroughly honored to also announce that Major Jackson will serve as the Prize’s inaugural judge. Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

The prize’s reading period is from December 1 2019 to February 15 2020. Winners will be announced in May 2020. Please review the full contest guidelines carefully. We look forward to your submissions in December.


For everyone’s sake, we officially made the switch to everyone’s favorite submissions management system, Submittable. If you don’t already have a Submittable account, you can create one for free to start tracking your submissions to Mount Island and countless other publishers. It’s quick, easy, and smart.

We are no longer accepting submissions through our previous system. There are still a number of submissions in the old system, so if you haven’t received a response from us, please sit tight. We are processing these and will respond to you via email as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Once all submissions in the old system have been processed, the system and all its files will be permanently deleted. User accounts created in the old system will not be deleted. Your login information can still be used to access other content associated with your user account, such as your purchase history and other online shopping activity.