Jodie Barbaree Pink Grapes Black Flora

Applause is an award-winning literary journal housed at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. We have been publishing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art and photography since 1980. We are a proud member of the Southern Literary Festival organization and we have traditionally published our print issue each spring.

The 2020-2021 academic year was a time of transition for Applause as we moved to a national literary journal devoted to the advancement of undergraduate work on the national stage from an undergraduate literary magazine that used to publish work only from University of Arkansas-Fort Smith students.

While we will continue to honor our local legacy and make previous issues available electronically as we move forward with our transition, we believe we can be of maximum service to our current students as well as undergraduate writers across the country by accepting submissions from any student currently enrolled in an undergraduate literary program at any university across the country except for students at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, so we adhere to the ethical standards according to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

We will accept submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art, and photography from 11/13/2021 until 3/14/2022 through Submittable. Our submission guidelines can be found on our submissions web page.

Applause is an annual, full-online journal with a strong web platform allowing us to offer an immersive reading experience as we showcase in each issue the writing that moves us most during our reading period. We acquire First North American Serial Rights. We pay $25 per contributor. Work selected for publication will receive both publication and national exposure through our social media support systems. Our response time is approximately one to three months.

Each annual issue will be a themed issue and our current call for submissions is as follows:

Happy Tears

During our 2021-2022 reading cycle, we want to feel your happy tears that help us cry our own. We’re looking for poems, stories, essays, and artwork that get us giggling, get us laughing until we cry, that make us want to say to someone, “Hey, I know you need some good, check this out.”

Happy tears can come from anywhere on life’s pendulum and we want to see the gamut of what can constitute happy tears as a theme for our 32nd issue. We’re looking for life’s nuanced moments crafted in ways that make us shake our heads or wish the story were nonfiction if it is fiction, the kind of nonfiction story so funny and weird that it can’t be made up, the kind of poems that are both, and pieces of art and photography that make our bodies smile.