Submit to our 2019 Literary Awards!

This year's Literary Awards are now open for submissions. Our esteemed guest judges are Kristen Arnett, fiction; Anna Leahy, creative nonfiction, and R. A. Villanueva, poetry.

Winners in each category will receive $1000 and publication in Ninth Letter. All entrants will receive a one-year subscription.

Go here for complete guidelines and to submit your work!

Featured Writer: Baltazar Lopes


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F I C T I O N    //    P O E T R Y



Contributors' Notes

John Chapman graduated from Boston University with a degree in psychology and recently graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a BFA in Creative Writing. He's currently writing a science-fantasy novel as well as researching Civil War field musicians for a nonfiction book he hopes to write. He plans on returning to Boston to break into the publishing world.

M. K. Foster is an MFA candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches academic and creative writing. Her poetry won the 2013 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, selected by Stanley Plumly, has been recognized with an Academy of American Poets Prize, and has appeared or is forthcoming in H.O.W. Journal, The Journal, Radar Poetry, and elsewhere.

Katharine Johnsen recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing as the Bernice Kert Fellow at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; she received her BA from Emory University. She is the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Mid-American Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere..

Kathleen Jones lives and works as a teacher and designer in Wilmington, North Carolina. She holds a newly-minted MFA in poetry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her work most recently appeared in Stirring: A Literary Collection and Gesture and is forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review, Baldhip, and Middle Gray.

Alisha Karabinus recently obtained an MFA in fiction from Purdue University and serves as executive editor of Revolution House. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the Pinch, Passages North, Southeast Review, Flyway, and the Raleigh Review. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband and children.

Kyle McCord is the author of five books of poetry including You Are Indeed an Elk, But This is Not the Forest You Were Born to Graze (Gold Wake 2015) and Gentle, World, Gentler (Ampersand Books 2015). His third book was selected as one of five books of the year by the Poetry Foundation blog. He has work featured in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He's received grants from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency. He co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry. He lives and teaches in Des Moines, Iowa, and is completing his PhD in creativing writing at the the University of North Texas.

Matt Morton was a 2013 Finalist for a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, diode, and West Branch, among others. He recently received his MFA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where he currently teaches creative writing and literature. Find more at www.mattmortonpoetry.com

Colleen O'Brien is a PhD student in fiction writing at Western Michigan University. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Antioch Review, North American Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Sou'wester, Fugue, and other journals. She has also published poems in West Branch, Poetry Northwest, The Journal, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Western and at the University of Chicago's school of continuing education.

Zana Previti was born in New England. She has an MFA in Fiction from the University of California, Irvine, and is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Idaho. Her fiction has been published in the New England Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and elsewhere, but "Gojira" is her first poetry publication. She lives in Moscow, Idaho.

Alexandra Tanner lives and writes in New York, where she is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at The New School.

J. Preston Witt finished his MFA from The Ohio State University in May. He serves as Fiction Editor at The Journal and is the founding editor of an education project called PhoneFiction. He grew up in Flushing, Michigan, and now lives in Chicago.

Shelley Wong is a Kundiman fellow who lives in the Bay Area. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Normal School, Devil's Lake, The Collagist, CutBank, and Linebreak. She received the 2014 Normal Prize for poetry, and recently received her MFA in poetry at The Ohio State University.


Editor: Matthew Minicucci 

Assistant Editors: Christopher Ames, Mercedes Bigel, Scott Blickensderfer, Austin Cyphers, Natalie Declerck, Jack Geist, Heather Gernenz, Ava Holz, Felicita Lie, Joseph Mazurkiewicz, Micaela McLennand, Morgan Metcalf, Jonna Newberry, Rachel Owens, Karl Schroeder, Amanda Toledo, Allison Wall 

Original Design Concept: Scott Jackson, Oliva LaFaire, Sanny Lin, Lucas Albrecht 



Current Web Edition: Winter 2019

Tower tarot card

Featuring Kara Vernor, Aiden Baker, Robert Fillman, Natalie Wee, Rhonda McDonnell, Darci Schummer, Colin Pope, Beth Gilstrap, Kevin Hyde, E. Kristin Anderson, Lauren W. Westerfield, Ted Mathys, Kerry Donoghue, Jessica Lynn Suchon, Collin Callahan, and Cheyenne Nimes  


Now Available! Volume 15, no. 2 - Fall/Winter 2018-19

Featuring new work from: Tom Howard, Matthew Gavin Frank, Teresa Dzieglewicz, Leila Chatti, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Whitney Collins, TaraShea Nesbit, and more! Plus: 2018 Literary Award Winners Ashley Farmer, Zachary Hester, and Pascha Sotolongo!

cover, volume 15 number 2


Call for Submissions

Ninth Letter is accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a special online edition to be published at ninthletter.com in Winter 2019.  Submissions will be open from February 10 to April 8, 2019.

The theme of this issue is Origins. We all come from home, and our associations with those spaces range from the warm and secure to the distant or fearful. Then, as we grow, leave or stay, and move into the world around us, we see our homes from new or distant vantages. Localities grow and evolve, or wilt in a changing global economy. When our cities and homesteads don’t look the way we remember them, have we left those people and places behind, or were we bypassed in their rush into the future? How do our origins transmogrify our explorations of the world? How does both a sense of belonging and detachment – to people, places, things, and the past – inform the decisions we make in our local but also our highly connected lives?

For more info, check out our web edition guidelines.

Featured Writer: Kate Angus

  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.