Appalachia is a journal of wilderness, mountain, and river adventure and environment, published by the Appalachian Mountain Club and edited by Christine Woodside. 

We welcome narrative, historical, and science essays on the following topics: mountain, wilderness, and backcountry adventure; technical climbing; canoeing and kayaking; nature and climate change; and land ethics. We work far ahead and publish twice a year. We consider it our mission to encourage and work with new writers, as well as seasoned ones. The editor-in-chief solicits most lead feature stories several months ahead. 


Story proposals should reach the editor-in-chief eight months ahead of publication: April 1 for December publication, October 1 for June publication.

Manuscripts sent on speculation may arrive as late as seven months ahead of publication: May 1 for December publication, November 1 for June publication.

Letters to the editor, suggestions for obituaries in our “In Memoriam” section, and short items for our “News and Notes” section may arrive five months ahead: July 1 for December publication, January 1 for June publication.


We are not firm on length, but most articles run between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Some measure as short at 500 words, and our longest are 5,000. Please double-space your document, use Times New Roman 12-point font, and send submissions electronically, if possible.


Photographs or drawings accompany most of our articles and are usually provided by the authors. We also publish a limited number of standalone photos that evoke the mountains, and we welcome high-quality freelance submissions.


Original poems about the above topics are also welcome. Shorter poems are preferred. We try to publish poems that take the reader into the wild and focus almost exclusively on natural subjects. The kinds of poems we publish tend to deal with specific times, places, and events. They are usually simple but telling observations, clearly presented. We often receive fine poems with a natural setting, but the ultimate aim of such poems lies in the human world of relationships. The Appalachia poem, if there is such a thing, addresses the natural world directly.  Reading our journal will show you, better than my words, the type of  poem we tend to take. Appalachia Poetry prize, given occasionally since 1972. 

Submit a maximum of six poems with a maximum of 36 lines each. 

Six to eight poems are published per issue, which makes this the most competitive section of the journal; on average, one in 50 submissions is accepted. 


All work is subject to editing. We make every effort to work cooperatively with authors in the early stages of production and to explain editing decisions. Deadlines usually make last-minute communication with authors impossible.


We have a very limited budget. We try to offer compensation of a few to five hundred dollars for working writers. Please discuss with the editor. We do our best. 

For its Summer/Fall 2022 issue—which leads with two long features on this subject—Appalachia hopes to publish a page or two of short—up to 500-word—vignettes by good writers about their experiences with cell phones in remote areas.

We will consider only pieces about smart phones or cell phones on trails, along rivers, and in other remote, wilderness, or backcountry areas of the world. 

The question on our minds this issue is: do cell phones help adventurers, or hinder them? Are they helpful, or dangerous? Are people misinformed on how well cell phones work? Have phones saved you from danger, or given you a false sense of safety? Or somewhere in between? 

Keep the pieces short. Up to 500 words. We are sorry that we cannot pay for these short submissions. We do pay for some of our longer pieces, so this can be a nice way to break in. 

The submission window for this little project is very brief! But never fear; there will be other opportunities for other kinds of short pieces next time.

Appalachia Journal is delighted to partner with the Waterman Fund ( in this annual contest for emerging writers. We seek new voices on the role and place of wilderness in today's world. We define emerging writer as one who has not yet published a major work of prose on the subject of wilderness, and who has not yet been featured in national publications.

We have no specific theme or prompt for our 2022 contest. Just keep in mind that Laura and Guy Waterman, after whom this contest is named, spent a lifetime exploring, living, and writing within the boundaries of culture and nature. 

We welcome personal, scientific, memoir, or adventure essays. 

We will not consider fiction, art, songs, or poetry.

Essays should measure about 2,000-3,000 words. Please double-space your essay and use a 12-point font. The winning essayist will receive $1,500 and publication in Appalachia, America's longest-running journal of mountaineering and conservation, published since 1876 by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The runner-up will receive $500 and publication in a later issue of Appalachia. 

We will announce the winners at the end of June. For more information see or email or the Appalachia editor Christine Woodside,

Appalachia Journal