The Tower

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Only undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities campus may 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 at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities Campus. 

Submit each piece for consideration separately. List your name, contact information including your email address, phone number, and a current street mailing address, and a short bio (approx. 50 words) within the space allowed for a cover letter. (For ArtWords entries, do not include your name within the submitted piece; be sure to include your email address and indicate whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student. See the contest guidelines for complete instructions.)

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. 


Q: How many works can I submit?

A: The maximum number of submissions for each category includes: ten art pieces, seven poems, six fiction stories, or four nonfiction pieces. We encourage multiple submissions! But please submit each for consideration separately.

Q: How long can my submission be?

A: Are you submitting art? If so, please limit each piece to one page. For poetry, no more than two pages, please. Fiction and nonfiction pieces can be as long as six pages.

Q: How should I format my poetry/fiction/nonfiction submission?

A: No more than six pages, double-spaced for prose. No more than two pages, single-spaced for poetry.

  • Times New Roman 
  • 12-point font
  • No spacing between paragraphs
  • Indent new paragraphs (tabs, not spaces) 

Q: What about art?

A: Submit your photography, paintings, drawings, comics, etc., as high-resolution, print-quality images: 300 dpi, in jpg or tif file format. Size to fit roughly a 7" x 11" page size. Use CMYK, not RGB, color profile. For comics, try to limit the entire piece to one page--two pages if absolutely necessary. 

Q: Can I submit a story that has already been published elsewhere?

A: No, sorry! However, if you submit to us and we select it, you are welcome to submit it to other publications after we publish it first.

Q: When will I hear back about my submission? 

A: You can expect to hear back from us around March. We know that's a long wait, but it takes us time to thoroughly consider each submission!

Q: What topics should I avoid?

A: We are open to a lot of different submissions, but there are certain things that we will not publish. Any work that advocates for racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and/or general hate speech will not be accepted. We also don’t accept anything overtly political—especially advocating for a specific political candidate or party. While we value serious conversations about mental health, any gratuitous depictions of suicide, violence, and/or death will not be accepted. Finally, we do not accept works that are inspired by social media (including memes) or fan fiction (including works based on other works). 

Q. So what types of submissions are you looking for?

A: We love this question, because we have a lot of things that we love to read! We don’t have a “perfect” submission in mind, but there are art styles and themes that we enjoy reading. 

Let’s jump into the specifics. We want pieces that are innovative. We want to be challenged as we interact with your submission. Common themes (falling in love, grieving a lost loved one, etc.) are acceptable, but tell your story in a unique way. We want to see emotion and humor; don’t be afraid to tell dark stories, but also don’t shy away from happy pieces; we want balance. We want to be shown, not told. We want to be impressed with the quality, form, and artistry of your work. We want to see that you’re passionate about your submission, and that you’ve poured a piece of yourself into your work. We respond to things that feel genuine. If you’re excited about your submission, we are more likely to be excited about it too! 

Q: What about this year's theme?

A: This year's theme is Asterisk. An asterisk is a star-shaped symbol traditionally used in writing to mark an annotation, definition, disclaimer, omission, or aside in a footnote or separate body of text. An asterisk could be used for reflection, change, or design. We want to explore this marking as a symbol for omitted truths: the elaborations, contradictions, and variations of our narratives. We will have more on our theme later. Try not to let our theme define your work; instead, get creative and let your work re-define our theme!

We wish you the best of luck and look forward to reviewing your work. Thank you for your interest and contributions to The Tower.

The Tower