FOLIO VOLUME 39 (2024)



OCTOBER 3, 2023 to DECEMBER 3, 2023

“‘What’s happened to me,’ he thought, ‘It was no dream.” – Franz Kafka

These past few years have reshaped our society at a level we could not have imagined. Around the globe, we’ve undergone a unprecedented transformation; it has left its mark. This year, FOLIO wants to read your poetry, nonfiction, and fiction about metamorphosis. We want the before and after. Show us the gooiness and silence of the inside of a chrysalis and the relief and horror of emerging from it.

Whether your work is about coming out the other side of that process having become more beautiful or ugly, we want to read it. Send us poetry that focuses on transformation, growth, epiphanies, meditative reflections, emotional bankruptcies. Show us the curve of this road you have traveled in your memoirs and essays. We’re interested in short künstlerroman about evolutions in artistry. Our fiction section is open to those who consider themselves literary fiction writers as well as writers of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. 

Make sure your submission is completely self-contained and is not part of a larger work. To read more of our previously published work and see if you fit in, visit 

Submissions are open from October 2, 2023 until December 3, 2023. Contributors will be compensated with two free print copies, and FOLIO will award a prize to one story, essay, and poem. We welcome highly established writers and brand-new voices especially. 

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @FolioLitJournal

FOLIO is a nationally recognized literary journal affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences at American University in Washington, DC. Since 1984, we have published original creative work by both new and established authors. Past issues have included work by Roxane Gay, Michael Reid Busk, Franny Choi, Billy Collins, Ivan Pinkava, Hettie Jones, William Stafford, Bruce Weigl, Yumi Sakugawa, and Ross Gay, as well as interviews with Carmen Maria Machado, Michael Cunningham, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Baxter, Amy Bloom, Ann Beattie, Walter Kirn, and Marie Howe. With over 30 years of history, FOLIO is proud to continue publishing great work. 

If you would like to get a sense of the work we publish, please check out past issues of FOLIO. You may purchase FOLIO through Submittable by following the purchase links below, and digitally on 0s&1s [here's a how-to guide for downloading your copy]. If you’re in the DC area, visit Upshur Street Books, The Potter's House or Politics & Prose to buy FOLIO at a discounted rate.

Our latest issue is available for purchase through the purchase link below--way down there! 

Send us your questions or comments to, but before you do please note that: 

FOLIO does NOT tolerate racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, or any work that promotes harmful stereotypes and viewpoints. 

FOLIO does NOT accept previously published work. We accept only unpublished, original work. FOLIO does NOT accept work by former or current American University students/faculty.

Yes: FOLIO accepts translations as long as the English translation has not been published elsewhere; simultaneous submissions are OK as long as you let us know and pull your piece if/as soon as it's accepted elsewhere; 

Posthumous submissions are accepted for consideration as long as the piece in question is submitted by the next of kin/person who holds the rights to the piece (proof required prior to acceptance).  

Yes, FOLIO is a non-profit organization.

To withdraw an entire submission, please use the "Withdraw" function. To withdraw part of a submission, please send us a message within Submittable noting which piece(s) are no long available. Thank you.


FOLIO VOLUME 38 (2023)

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” —H. P. Lovecraft

 “The best monsters are our anxieties given form. They make sense on the level of a dream – or a nightmare.” —Victor LaValle

This year, we offer up FOLIO’s very first all-Horror issue. In the wake of COVID, political upheaval, and natural disaster, we are encouraged by the breadth of imagination, heartened by the spirit of creatives coming together to create dark, magical things with breath and life of their own. In this issue, contributors share stories that terrorize, creative essays that give us the creepy-crawlies, poems and art which inspire fear and disgust.

Our Art Editors’ Prize winner is “A Large Spread in the Garden,” by Brittany Fanning, a piece which depicts a twilit feast. With its smorgasbord of indulgence, we imagine this as Prince Prospero’s table upon the Red Death’s arrival. At a time where wealth is at its most disparate, gratuitous materialism becomes all the more vulgar, while the rest of us are cast aside. 

Our Nonfiction Editors’ Prize winner is, “Who’s at Your Poetry Reading?” by Lori Allen, a piece which satirizes literary readings whilst giving space to create our monsters. The Poetry Editors’ Prize winner is, “Do you remember the den, Little Rabbit?" by Kalie Pead, that _________. The Fiction Editors’ Prize winner is, “Faltering Weight,” by Christine Boyer, which divulges a horrifyingly honest portrayal of motherhood as unglamorous, feral, and dissociative. 

The critically acclaimed author, Melissa Broder, spoke to FOLIO about her latest poetry collection, Superdoom (Tin House, 2021) and novel, Milk Fed (Scribner, 2021). Both works explore the quotidian horrors of queerness, consumption, and shame. Broder sits her reader down face to face with their most intimate desires and fears. We hope you can find inspiration and solace while discovering the “and-ness of life” for yourself. 

We are sure this issue has a little something for everyone. It is brought to you by the tireless efforts of our passionate AU Creative Writing MFA student staff under the valuable direction of Professor David Keplinger. We hope you enjoy the hair-raising tales that lie ahead.

With this purchase, you will receive:

1. An order of our new, limited-run 2023 issue of FOLIO (Volume 38)



For special orders, please contact us at

Folio Literary Journal