Freshwater Literary Journal

 – and –

Freshwater’s 2023-24

Student Writing Contest

Freshwater Literary Journal is a professional literary journal coordinated by students at Asnuntuck Community College since 2000, seeking submissions from the public. We consider poetry, short stories, personal essays, and creative nonfiction, and we publish a wide variety of literary work from students and professional writers across the globe.

Dates and Deadlines

Submission Period: August 15, 2023, to February 15, 2024. Acceptances and rejections will be sent on a rolling basis, no later than the end of March 2024. The new edition will be published in May 2024.

Submission Guidelines

Freshwater accepts submissions of poetry, short stories, personal essays, and creative nonfiction. We seek to publish a wide variety of literary work from people of all backgrounds. We look for new experimental takes on old mediums, as well as more traditional approaches.

To submit, email your entire submission in one attachment. Make sure to include your name in the attachment.

No cover letter needed, but send a third-person bio (100 words maximum) with mailing address in the body of the e-mail.

Poetry: Three poems maximum, up to 40 lines each.

Prose: (fiction or nonfiction): One or multiple pieces up to 1,500 words total.

Send to (No snail-mail submissions, please.)

No previously published material. Simultaneous submissions permissible if you notify us immediately of acceptance elsewhere. Payment is one contributor copy.

Read the 2016-2023 issues of Freshwater online here:

Copies of Freshwater’s print issues (2005 through 2023) are available for purchase. Please email for details.


Click below for videos of authors reading recently at Asnuntuck Community College:

Susanne Davis reads from her new novel, Gravity Hill:

Steve Straight reads from his new book of poems, Affirmation:

Click below for the first two episodes of the Freshwater Literary Series (interviews with authors we really like!).

Episode One: Susanne Davis:

Episode Two: Tim Gager:

Click below for videos of contributors to Freshwater reading their stories, poems, and essays.

Elizabeth Haggblade:
Taylor Graham:
Fabiana Elisa Martínez:
Steve Straight:
RM Grant:
Susan Winters Smith:
Brenden Pontz:
Jessica Handly:
Frank William Finney:
Zdravka Evitmova:
Dale Stromberg:
Nancy Schumann:

Click below for other Freshwater videos.

2021 Freshwater Literary Festival:

2020 Freshwater Literary Festival:


2023-2024 Student Writing Contest

Open to full- and part-time undergraduate students enrolled at Connecticut’s community colleges and public universities during 2023-2024.

(2023-2024 — Short Fiction — Judge: Christian Livermore)


1st Prize: $100

2nd Prize: $75

3rd Prize: $50

Up to three honorable mentions: $25 each

Winning authors will have their work published in the 2024 edition of Asnuntuck’s literary journal Freshwater and may be invited to receive their awards at the annual Freshwater Literary Festival either online or at the college in late April or early May 2024.

Entry deadline: February 15, 2024. Decisions made by the end of March.

Rules and Guidelines: Open to full- and part-time undergraduate students enrolled during 2023 or 2024 at Connecticut’s community colleges and/or public universities. Student writers may submit up to three unpublished stories no longer than 1.500 words each. Email the story/stories in a single .doc, .docx, or .rtf document (with titles but no names on the poems for anonymous judging) to Include an email message with name, address, college affiliation, email address, phone number, brief third-person biographical note, and the titles of stories submitted. Stories that do not win prizes will be considered for publication in the 2024 Freshwater Literary Journal.