Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded in 2005 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Waccamaw, Catawba, and Cape Fear People, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place. Our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, identities, and modes of thought. 

Writing of place must include the perspectives of historically and currently marginalized writers and artists. We welcome work by people who have been underrepresented in literary publishing and in place-based contexts, including writers and artists who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, people who are gender-nonconforming and LGBTQIA+, people with low access to wealth, people from rural places, and women. We understand that there can be no environmental and climate justice without racial justice, and we are dedicated to helping build and maintain a supportive and inclusive literary community for all. Our editorial team will continue to explore how we can improve our efforts.

In 2023, Ecotone received CLMP’s Firecracker Award for Magazines/General Excellence. In 2022, the magazine received the AWP Small Press Publisher Award. Since 2020, the magazine has been a finalist for the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize (2021), the ASME Award for Fiction (2020), CLMP’s Firecracker Awards (2020), and the AWP Small Press Publisher Award (2020). Among our contributors are winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, as well as MacArthur, Guggenheim, and NEA fellows. But we’re equally excited to honor new voices. Work first published in the magazine is featured in the Pushcart Prize anthology, Poetry Daily, The Best American Essays, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Poetry, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among others.

Ecotone is produced by faculty and students in the MFA program at UNC Wilmington. Along with our sister imprint, Lookout Books, we champion innovative and underrepresented work and offer UNC Wilmington MFA students the opportunity to learn the art and craft of publishing. If you are a UNCW MFA student, or a prospective student, you can find more about ways you can work with the magazine on our opportunities page.

We continue to celebrate our talented, diverse, award-winning contributors, who in each issue offer new takes on the art of place-based writing—and we are thankful to our community of readers, subscribers, and donors, including the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Friends of UNCW, and subscribers and individual supporters.

You’ll find more information about subscribing to the magazine here, and information about joining the Friends of Ecotone can be found here. You can sign up to receive our occasional newsletter here. If you need help with placing an order, please write to ecotoneorders@uncw.edu.