Ploughshares :: NewPages Guide to Literary Magazines

Ploughshares cover


About Ploughshares: Ploughshares has published quality literature since 1971. Best known for our award-winning Ploughshares literary journal, we also publish Ploughshares Solos, digital-first long stories and essays, and a lively literary blog. Since 1989, we have been based at Emerson College in downtown Boston.

Contact Information:

Emerson College

120 Boylston Street

Boston, MA  02116

Phone: (617) 824-3757



Submission/Subscription Information:

Genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, novellas

Simultaneous submissions: yes Email submissions: no Online submissions: yes (see website) Reading period: 6/1-1/15 Response time: approximately 2-4 months Payment: yes (see website) Contests: yes (see website) ISSN: 0048-4474 Founded: 1971 Issues per year:Distributors: Ubiquity Copy price: $14 Average pages: 220 Sample price: $7 (see website for shipping) Subscription (Ind/Inst) 1 year: $30 (see website for non-US)

Publisher's description: Ploughshares was founded in 1971 in the Plough and Stars, an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1989, Ploughshares has been based at Emerson College, which hosts one of the best M.F.A. programs in creative writing in the country. Most issues are guest-edited by a prominent writer who explores personal visions, aesthetics, and literary circles.

Guest editors of Ploughshares have included Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, Sherman Alexie, Alice Hoffman, Lorrie Moore, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Elizabeth Strout. Many of today’s most respected writers had their first or early work published in Ploughshares, and pieces first published in Ploughshares are regularly recognized by Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Award.

Ploughshares remains committed to recognizing and publishing emerging writers. The Emerging Writer’s Contest was started in 2011 and awards $3,000 annually to an emerging poet, fiction, and nonfiction writer. In addition to the quarterly journal, Ploughshares publishes digital-only single stories called Ploughshares Solos.

Recent issues:

Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Percival Everett (Erasure) guest-edits this all-fiction issue (Fall 2014). As Everett writes in his introduction, the stories “range from so-called mimetic to so-called meta. I do not like such labels and I hope to undermine their use by putting these fine works together.” Featuring stories by Aimee Bender, Richard Bausch, and Edith Pearlman, this issue is an illustration of the adventurousness and variety of the short story in English today. The issue also features Jay Baron Nicorvo’s Plan B essay about surfing, and an appreciation of the early work of the poet Robert Duncan.

Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Jean Thompson (The Year We Left Home) guest-edits this issue (Spring 2014) of prose and poetry. With poets ranging from Erin Belieu to the Uruguayan Tatiana Orono, and stories that move from the eerie (Peter Rock’s dreamlike story of a mysterious stalker, “Go-Between”) to the comic (Elizabeth McCracken’s story “Hungry,” about an overweight young girl) to the tragic (Dan Chaon’s “What Happened to Us,” about a family transformed by fostering a disturbed child), Thompson’s issue celebrates writers as they “grapple or dance with the world we live in, reflect or distort it, embrace or escape it.”

Dedicated to Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), a former guest editor, this issue of Ploughshares (Winter 2013-14) features a remembrance of the Irish master by the poet Joyce Peseroff. The prose has an international flavor, from Andrew Foster Altschul’s story “Embarazada,” about a fraught relationship between a Peruvian waitress and an American tourist, to “498,” about a soldier caught in the brutality of the Spanish Civil War. The Winter issue also features poetry by Kevin Young, Linda Bamber, and Carl Dennis, among many others; a newly discovered poem by Alan Dugan; and the winners of the Emerging Writer’s Contest.


last updated 08/25/2014