Four Winds Literary Magazine is a quarterly online publication with release dates in August, November, February, and June, respectively. Currently, we accept submissions year-round. We require first North American serial rights and after that, the copyright goes back to you. We also require that all our contributors be tribally affiliated, whether enrolled or not. Please be sure to state your Native heritage in a brief biographical paragraph.

The Indigenous experience is as versatile as it is diverse, and so it is difficult to restrict art to the page. Therefore, we welcome submissions of all kinds, be it audio, video, or the more traditional pen-to-paper short stories, personal essays, and poems. We also love photography, water-color, paintings, sketches and drawings, and carvings from totem poles, to paddles, to masks, and everything in-between. Send your work to to be considered for our next issue.

While we love everything experimental and traditional, modern and ancient, here is a general idea of what we’re looking for.

In Fiction:

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Your work can be as short or as long as it takes to tell a beautiful story, whether it’s a 100-word caption on a pic you snapped for Instagram, or a 5,000 word yarn spun exquisitely and with passion. Take your time, or talk it fast. Do what you need to do. We’re here, and we’re listening. We like stories that revolve around families, that date back generations. We like the tales told in the Oral Tradition, with Eagle Woman and Frog Man and Little Sister, all allegory and shine. We want to hear about the reservation as it is now, with all its strange reservation politics and broken beer bottles and scillinating beadwork and dances slow and rhythmic – the dance of family bred with the dance of drug abuse mixed with love and horror. Or write about an Urban Indian experience, or about characters who aren’t Indigenous at all – whatever you write, let it be authentic and powerful. Teach us.

In Poetry:

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Submit to us your best work, whether a haiku, a sprawling prose-poem, a mammoth of Beowulf proportions with all its epic implications, or a love sonnet written on the back of Cereal boxes. Be as traditional or as wild as suits you. We don’t typically love rhyming poetry, but if yours is the exception, we’ll make it. Submit 1-5 poems, and if we want more, we’ll ask – we’re greedy about poetry. It’s like sustenance to us. We may want to read your entire portfolio. We love reading.

In Personal Essay:

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As Leslie Jamison said in a recent piece for Publisher’s Weekly, “There is so much outside the false cloister of private experience; and when you write, you do the work of connecting that terrible privacy to everything beyond it.” We want to hear about your experience, and about the world around you at the time you experienced it, about the strange senseless connections between (hypothetically, hyperbolically) the Crucifixion and Glorification, and the heart-shaped perforations in your Wheaties. Tell us what you were listening to when your mind broke or mended, let us etch with you the stitches in the fabulous needlepoint heartbreak that occurred between 8:45-9:00am while you were waiting for the train. Talk to us about your lost-love no-love-lost. Remind us how to be human, word count: negotiable.


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