"Va is the space between, the betweenness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things. The meanings change as the relationships and the contexts change. . . . A well-known Samoan expression is ‘Ia teu le va’—cherish, nurse, care for the va, the relationships."

-Albert Wendt, "Tatauing the Post-Colonial Body"


We are issuing this call for submissions from the occupied islands of Hawai‘i, whose sovereign space was illegally overthrown in 1893. Last year, Mauna Kea was occupied by defenders against development on the sacred peak. Around the globe, people are also advocating and active in Occupy movements, Black Lives Matter, LGBT movements, and other initiatives to reclaim and change relational spaces. What we say about space today might be a litmus test for the unrest around us, as well as for our own efforts of nursing and care. Hannah Arendt insisted that the world is not a thing but a moving field of relations, a space we all continually make. What might it mean to occupy relational space? Can va be occupied? We occupy, but we also hold, and share. What would be the story of such a space? The Hawai‘i Review seeks new poetry and fiction responding to these questions, for a two-part series to be released in the fall and spring. 


All accepted poems and stories will be automatically considered for the annual Ian MacMillan Awards, with a cash prize of $500 for one winner in each genre. The winning pieces will be read blindly and selected by our guest judges, Craig Santos Perez (poetry) and Shawna Yang Ryan (fiction). 

All submissions will also be considered for HR Online, the digital complement to the print journal. If you would not like your work considered for online publication, please indicate so in the submission form. If you wish to submit creative nonfiction, critical work, plays, or reviews for HR Onlineplease query first. Detailed formatting guidelines can be found in the genre categories below.

We are currently accepting original artwork and photography for inclusion in HR Online. We strongly prefer work that speaks to our "Occupying Va" theme in some way. Please submit a low-resolution JPEG file of your work (or multiple files in a ZIP), with a short cover letter and statement about the work if appropriate. If we select your artwork for publication, we will contact you for high-resolution files of the work.

Reviews will be published on a rolling basis on HR Online. We also accept reviews of local literary events, and even lesson plans for books that have worked well for you in the classroom. We encourage experimentation with the genre of "the review," and are less interested in how the NYT might handle it than we are in how a local community member might engage in what's being written and discussed on the islands.