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Where the A-List Literary Celebrities Mingle

For more than a quarter century, the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) has published most of the great writers from North Carolina as well as high-quality writing about the Tar Heel State. Part scholarly journal, part literary rag, NCLR offers—as one early reviewer put it— “everything you ever wanted out of a literary publication but never dared to demand.”

NCLR publishes:

“…interviews and literary criticism about North Carolina writers and high-quality poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction by North Carolina writers or set in North Carolina. Our definition of a North Carolina writer is anyone who currently lives in North Carolina, has lived in North Carolina, or uses North Carolina as subject matter.”

What separates NCLR from many other journals, beyond their ridiculously extensive author list that reads like a A-list celebrity invite to the greatest literary event on Earth, is the artwork and graphic design that accompany each issue. These design elements act as supplemental material for the text, and the overall layout is created with the reader in mind.

NCLR publishes a print edition and offers additional material only online. The 2017 issue includes the annual contest winners (see below) as well as poetry by NC Literary Hall of Fame inductees Betty Adcock, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Fred Chappell, and Robert Morgan; as well as poetry by NCWN trustee Paul Jones, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, and others.

The majority of fiction and nonfiction (not including interviews) published by NCLR comes through their annual contests.

Poets and prose writers should submit to the magazine through three annual contests:

Doris Betts Fiction Prize (January 1 – February 15)
James Applewhite Poetry Prize (April 1 – May 15)
Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize (Dates TBA)

See each contest’s submission guidelines for word count and more. Most issues are themed, but creative writing sections of the magazine don’t always follow the theme. There are several special sections to each issue as well.

Subscriptions are $15 for one year or $25 for two; Institutional and and Foreign subscriptions are available as well. Subscribe here.

Visit NCLR online at or on Facebook.