The Tower

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

This year’s theme, "Dreams and Visions," centers around the collective unconscious of the human experience. From shattered glimpses of dreams you tell your friends to the nightmares that still stain your reality like shadows, we are connected by our unconscious uncharted territories and cosmic revelations. 

Our multi-sensory experiences, such as dreams and visions, are influenced by the reality we consume in real life and online, creating the vivid portrait of the human experience. Neil Gaiman once said, "People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." "Dreams and Visions" seeks to extract the very essence of our concealed reality and selves from the people around us. It is the seen and unseen—the hidden crevices in the minds and voices in the shadows—the memories, thoughts, or fragmented hauntings that trail us like a ghost to the bathroom in the morning and to bed at night. 

"Dreams and Visions" serves as a pathway for individuals to share their hopes, loves, losses, idiosyncrasies, stories, or recurring memories. The Tower staff seeks the visionary wordsmiths, mundane bathroom stall inscribers, sidewalk chalk enthusiasts, Tumblr poets, musicians, and anonymous white board Picasso’s to let us bring to life your vision, your dream, your experience in this world. This year, The Tower is searching all of Minnesota’s institutions of higher education for those who welcome the exploration of the conscious and the unconscious, the bounds of the human journey, and the desire to share a new perspective.

The possibilities of "Dreams and Visions" are only as wide as your lens. It was John Lennon who asked, "Who is to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?" 

There is still so much to uncover and understand about ourselves and the world around us. In order to help us make your dreams and visions come to life, stop, look around, what do you see? What do you feel? What do you fear? What do you dream?

Only currently enrolled undergraduate students of Minnesota’s institutions of higher education are eligible to submit.

Edited, designed, and produced by students enrolled in a two-semester course offered by the English Department, The Tower is an annual journal that publishes the best in art, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by undergraduates in the state of Minnesota. 

Please enter a cover letter addressed to the editors and include a short bio for yourself written in third person, suitable for publication, should your work be accepted. List your year, major(s), university/college/institute, and anything else you would like us to know. For visual artwork, please specify the medium, dimensions, and year of completion. Include your contact information: email address, phone number, and a current street mailing address.

Submissions are read during the fall semester; the issue is published during the spring semester in print and online, and is distributed free on the Twin Cities Campus of the University of Minnesota. 

Our deadline is January 16, 2024. 

Acquisition Standards

1. We look for work from Minnesota artists that is original, authentic, and emotionally resonant. 

2. We encourage submissions from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists to give voice to the many perspectives and communities that call Minnesota home. 

3. We accept simultaneous submissions on the condition that if a piece is accepted elsewhere, the artist communicates such with the editors and withdraws the piece from consideration. 

4. We do not publish work that is hateful towards any marginalized community or could be construed as hateful.

5. We do not publish work that has been previously published elsewhere.

6. We do not publish work that is overly confessional or exists to elicit shock value. 

7. The Tower reserves the right to rescind planned publication at any time according to the guidelines outlined above.

The Tower