Skirting the edge of the American South, Barely South Review is the literary journal of the Creative Writing MFA program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Barely South Review has two submission periods each year: September 1 - November 1 for the Spring issue, and January 1 - March 1 for the Fall issue. We seek general works of non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and art.

We welcome original and previously unpublished works that interpret the pleasures of writing to discover both meaningful structure and the pathways to surprise. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please inform us of this fact in your cover letter; and please notify us immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere.

Barely South Review is now accepting artwork (photography, painting, graphics, etc.) submissions! Works must not have appeared elsewhere (other than on the artist's personal website). Formats accepted include .jpg, .gif, .tiff, and .png. You may submit up to 5 separate works.

Barely South Review acquires only the first serial publication rights of accepted work.

Copyright is asserted on behalf of the author; all reprint rights (print or electronic) revert to the author upon publication, but we ask that you mention Barely South Review as first publication appearance.

Please note: If you are making multiple submissions of poetry or short-shorts, each piece should be uploaded to Submittable separately. Please do not cut and paste all of your submissions into one document.  

Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts must be 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around, and the word count must be in the header. Paragraphs must be indented. Please avoid any nonstandard formatting or alternative fonts.

Submission guidelines: 

Poetry: Up to 5 poems. Submit each piece separately.

Fiction: 1 short story (not to exceed 7000 words) or 3 short-shorts (each not to exceed 1,000 words).

Flash Fiction: Submit up to three flash pieces of less than 1000 words each. Submit each piece separately.

Creative Nonfiction: 1 essay (not to exceed 7000 words). Excerpts from longer works are acceptable as long as they adhere to our word maximum and can stand alone as essays independent of the larger work.

Flash Nonfiction: Submit up to three flash pieces of less than 1000 words each. Submit each piece separately.

Interviews & feature articles: We’re happy to consider your interviews and feature articles–but please query first.

Art: 3-5 separate pieces

You may only make one submission per genre per reading period. A submission counts as: a traditional story, up to 3 short shorts, up to five poems, one nonficion essay, or up to five art submissions. You may submit to multiple genres.

Old Dominion University's MFA Creative Writing Program and Barely South Review are pleased to announce the 2019 Norton Girault Literary Prize in Fiction! Submit one previously unpublished short story or flash fiction of no more than 6,000 words via our Submittable portal on or before April 1st, 2019.

1st Prize will receive $300 and publication in Barely South Review.

Honorable Mention(s) will receive publication in Barely South Review. 

The Norton Girault Literary Prize is named in honor of Norton Girault, who, we are sad to report, passed away in 2018 at 100 years of age:


Barely South Review is pleased to announce that this year's judge will be award winning author, Janet Peery.

Janet Peery is the author of Alligator Dance, The River Beyond the World, What the Thunder Said, and The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.  Her stories appear in numerous quarterlies, including Southern Review, Shenandoah, Kenyon Review, and American Short Fiction Southwest Review; Black Warrior Review; Image: Art, Faith, Mystery; American Short Fiction; Idaho Review; StoryQuarterly; Chattahoochee Review; Quarterly West; Oklahoma Today; Kansas Quarterly; 64 Magazine; Blackbird, and many others including anthologies from the Pushcart Prize (three times) and Best American Short Stories. 

Her stories have been cited six times by BASS as among the “100 Distinguished Stories” of the given year, and have won numerous prizes, including the Jeanne Charpiot Goodheart Award from Washington and Lee University (twice), the Hemingway Days Short Story Contest, the Seaton Award, the Editor’s Prize from Idaho Review, and the Fiction Prize from StoryQuarterly.  A finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction (1996), she has won the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction (2008), the WILLA Award for Literary Fiction (2008) from Women Writing the West, and the Emyl Jenkins Sexton Award for Fiction from the Library of Virginia. She is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award (1993) the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1992), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1998), and the MacDowell Colony (2011). 

She has taught for the National Book Foundation’s American Voices Project on reservations throughout the west, at Sewanee Writers Conference, Glen Workshop at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, Warren Wilson’s low-residency program, and Antioch-LA’s MFA program. She has served as guest faculty at numerous colleges and universities. In 2012 she served on the judging panel for selection of the National Book Award in Fiction, and she serves in a consulting capacity for various literary outreaches. In 2002 she was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and in 2005 was honored by ODU with the distinction of University Professor.


• Entries must be sent electronically through Submittable (go to and look for “Norton Girault Prize” under the categories) 

• Reading fee: $3.00 US dollars  

• This international prize competition is open to all writers who write in English, except MFA Creative Writing students at Old Dominion University. No translated works will be accepted.  

• All submissions must be original and previously unpublished (print, blog, or web publications included).  

• Format and Manuscript Length: A clean, typewritten or computer-processed (12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, one-inch margins all around) copy of the entry must be submitted (up to 6,000 words). Paragraphs must be indented. Please avoid any nonstandard formatting. 

• Entry must be paginated with no identifying author information on the manuscript pages.

• Entrants may submit more than once to the competition, as long as an entry fee of $3.00 accompanies each individual submission.  

• Electronic Submission deadline is Midnight, April 1, 2019; results announced before the beginning of the fall 2019 semester.  

• In the event that the judge does not deem any submissions worthy of the prize, Barely South Review reserves the right to extend the call for manuscripts or to cancel the award in a given year.

Barely South Review is now accepting artwork submissions year round! Your original works of art including photography, painting, graphics, etc. could be featured on the cover of Barely South Review, as well as in our online issue. Works must not have appeared elsewhere (other than on the artist's personal website). Formats accepted include .jpg, .gif, .tiff, and .png. You may submit up to 5 separate works.

Barely South Review