Thank you for your interest in SHIFT, a publication of MTSU Write. Please find our general call for submissions below, along with a call from our partner organization, Poetry in the Boro. 

Identity is an ambiguous word. Its meaning has shifted over the past century. The world seems fixated on identity, but we all define it differently. Gender identity, political identity, cultural identity, identity of region or place . . . the list goes on. We want to hear how you define identity. For SHIFT volume 6, send us your poetry, prose, or plays about identity and its impact.

General Guidelines: We do not accept previously published work. We do not accept work with song lyrics or any other copyrighted material that doesn’t fall under fair use or isn’t in the public domain.
Formatting your manuscript: Do not submit PDFs—only Word documents. We prefer that all manuscripts be in 12-point type in any of the standard fonts (Times New Roman, Cambria, Calibri, etc.). Number pages sequentially with page numbers positioned at the bottom center of the page and keep margins at 1”. 

Submissions of fiction and creative non-fiction should be double-spaced. Poetry may be single-spaced. All lines of poetry should have a hard return at the end to preserve intended line formatting. Single space lines of poetry, but include an extra line between stanzas. All plays need to follow proper screenplay format or they will automatically be rejected. Here’s a helpful link for your reference:

Include a cover page with the title of the piece and author’s contact information (name, email address, address, and telephone number). All work should be submitted with a bio that includes the name you wish to be included as your byline for your piece.
Simultaneous submissions: MTSU Write wants every writer to have the greatest possible chance at acceptance. Therefore, we accept multiple submissions from one writer. You may submit work in up to three genres. Please follow the guidelines for each genre listed below when submitting.
Submission period: SHIFT will accept submissions from February 24, 2023 until June 24, 2023
Submission fees: MTSU Write is a non-profit organization. We do not charge a fee for submissions. Our objective is to simply encourage literary excellence and creativity.  Writers whose work is accepted will receive one contributor's copy.
Fiction and Short Story: Flash fiction pieces should be approximately 400-1,000 words. Short story submissions may not exceed 5,000 words. We accept any genre from literary fiction to sci-fi. Double-space the text of the manuscript.
Creative Non-fiction: Submissions of creative non-fiction should not exceed 5,000 words. We accept personal essays, essays on writing technique and process, memoir excerpts, travel writing, journalistic essays, etc.
Poetry: Poetry submissions may be up to four pages in length and writers may submit up to four pieces of poetry. We accept poetry of all forms and genres, but no translations.
Plays: Keep play submissions to 10 minute or one-act forms. Follow the standard stage-play format when submitting. Here’s a helpful link for your reference:
For more information about our program, visit
For more information about SHIFT and to see past issues, visit

Shift: a Publication of MTSU Write