Call for Submissions: 2020 Anthology

Portland Review is excited to welcome submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and mixed-genre works for its 2020 themed anthology, LABOR. 

We are also accepting submissions for the Verna Marion Nugent Chapbook Contest (see details below).

2020 Anthology

Rihanna once sang, “There something ’bout that work, work, work, work, work, work.” For our next issue, we’d like to uncover that something, whether through story, images, verse, or essay.

We are thinking about labor as work or employment, and how it relates to the body and the self. But we don’t just want stories about working; we want to read about labor in all its forms: physical, emotional, invisible, and theoretical. How does labor influence the self and our orientation to the world? How does the self influence labor? We want to see examinations of labor as breathing, as birth, as historical movement, as formation, blood and germs, the gig, empathy, art, opposition, reciprocal energy, exploitation, werq, family-making, beasts of burden, language, and monetization.

SUBMISSIONS WINDOW: July 1 – September 2 (Labor Day)

PAYMENT: $30 per contributor*, and a print copy of the issue

Work must be original, previously unpublished, and follow our submission guidelines:

  • Submissions should not contain identifying information, unless it is necessary to the content of your nonfiction.
  • In your cover letter, please include a word count and indicate whether your work is a simultaneous submission.
  • Contributors may not be current students of Portland State University’s creative writing programs. We ask former students to wait at least four years after graduating before submitting their creative work to the journal.

All work will be considered for publication in our upcoming print issue as well as on our website.

For further reading on the theme, see our editors’ post about labor’s multiple literary interpretations.

*We are thankful for the generous support of the Literary Partnership Fund, distributed by CLMP through Amazon, which allows us to offer payment to contributors.

Verna Marion Nugent Chapbook Contest 

Portland Review welcomes emerging writers to submit fiction and nonfiction for the 2019 Verna Marion Nugent chapbook contest. The winner will receive $500 and publication as a chapbook included inside our Labor issue. The contest judge will be announced shortly.

Deadline: September 3, 2019

Theme: Invisible Labor

Guidelines: Submissions should center around invisible aspects of labor. Writers may interpret this in various ways, but submissions that do not fit this theme will be declined. Please do not send simultaneous submissions, including work intended for Portland Review‘s 2020 anthology.

Length: 15-25 pages (standard format: double-spaced, 12-pt font)

Eligibility: We define emerging writers as those who have not yet published a book at the time of submission (excluding self-published books). Additionally, writers should not have published work in major online outlets at the time of submission. We understand this term is slippery in definition and so anticipate writers at various stages of emerging. Writers will be asked to provide a short statement on how they meet this qualification.

Verna Marion Nugent was a Portland-based librarian, single-mother, and writer of short stories. The Verna Marion Nugent contest is made possible by a generous donation from her son, Ron Nugent.


For over sixty years, Portland Review has published the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. We warmly encourage previously unpublished writers and artists to submit, and we aim to support work by those often marginalized in the artistic conversation, including (though certainly not limited to) people of color, women, disabled people, LGBTQIA people, and people with intersectional identities.