About MSR: Our Mission

We seek to celebrate the full process of artistic creation, from inspiration to publication—welcoming into our open and collaborative community wide-ranging voices that tramp and track in the mud of human experience.

Mud Season: when the snow melts, the ground thaws, and everything in New England turns to mud. It’s the time when the inner work of creation is done, before it comes to fruition. This journal aims to celebrate that hidden labor.

Mud Season Review is an international literary journal affiliated with Burlington Writers Workshop, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Vermont that brings free writing workshops to writers. Our all-volunteer staff is dedicated to creating a journal that mirrors the openness of these workshops, in which writers of all genres support each other’s love of writing and reading, provide vibrant, kind, insightful feedback, forge significant creative relationships, and demonstrate that the pursuit of excellence in their craft doesn’t have to be formal, exclusive, or anonymous. We aim to publish strong, skillful writing from far and wide. In doing so we seek to discover voices new to us and new to publication.

We’re proud to be a full-paying market, offering financial payment to all our contributing writers and artists. We publish issues bimonthly: one story, a portfolio of poems, one essay or piece of narrative nonfiction, and a series of visual art by a single artist. Our online journal showcases these works and their creators for a full two months, featuring interviews with our authors and artists. As a full-paying market, we pay all contributors (standard payment is $50, with $15 for paired art and poetry featured in The Take: Mud Season Review). Contributors, which often include emerging writers and artists, are offered an eternal virtual place within our community, including highlights on social media. In addition to publishing issues, we showcase a single poem bimonthly in The Take: Mud Season Review, including an editor’s statement on what made that particular poem stand out, and an artist’s statement on what inspired the poem.

We aim to publish work that can teach something about life, but also about writing: what it can do with experience, and the experience it can provide a reader. While our editors change periodically and at times have widely different backgrounds, all will be dedicated writers and experienced readers, both critical and generous. We consider this diversity of perspective our strength, allowing us to find and recognize in writing what speaks to anyone willing to tune in: a strong voice or vision, ranging widely and deeply, tracking inside the mud of all the climates in which we live.

Submissions remaining free of charge are an important part of our mission: showcasing and supporting talented emerging writers and artists. We set aside a certain amount of free submissions per month to maintain this, only closing them when we reach our limit. Please know that any tip jar submissions are greatly appreciated and help support what we do.

To submit your work, please visit here.