The Island Reader

Published by Maine Seacoast Mission The Island Reader is a multi-arts anthology that
​showcases Maine’s unbridged island writers and artists.

The Island Reader is a project that started in 2006 as a labor of love to bring together island artists and provide a space to showcase their work. Over the years, the Reader evolved annually into what it is today: a conversation about islanders and their creative spirits. Your donations support future anthologies and validate the importance of art off the coast of Maine.  

The editorial team for The Island Reader includes Kendra Chubbuck of Isle au Haut, Ingrid Gaither of Great Cranberry Isle, MT Martin, Jr. of Islesboro, Kimberly Peabody of Matinicus, Douglas Cornman of Steuben, and Editor-in-Chief Gary Rainford of Swan’s Island.


The Island Reader is also available in print. To order a copy, please complete the form and consider making a donation. 

The cover of The Island Reader which is a painting of a seagull drinking Moxie with a "Red Snapper" hot dog in the background

 Browse previous editions of The Island Reader, including the, 17th Edition from 2022, 16th Edition from 2021, and the 15th Edition from 2020.

The editorial team is developing a digital format for previous issues. These will be made available here in the future.


Color photo of The Island Reader's 16th Edition. The camera looks down on a woman as she climbs up a dock ladder from a skiff below.
Color cover of The Island Reader, 15th edition, front cover. A duck with white and brown feathers stands on green grass with a body of water behind it.

Submitting to The Island Reader

The editorial team of The Island Reader will begin accepting submissions for the 19th volume on July 1, 2024.

Submissions for the 18th volume have closed.

Color painting of a black Ford pick-up loaded with bags. Ellen Vaughan, of Monhegan, uses red, green, yellow, blues and browns to paint the scene.

Submissions of prose, poetry, and visual art may be submitted starting July 1, 2024.

Please carefully read the guidelines before submitting your work:

  • Submissions are accepted from writers and artists living on unbridged Maine islands
  • Include your first name, last name, mailing address, and the island you call home
  • Submit up to three (3) items in any genre or medium including high resolution photography, drawings, poetry, prose, essays, stories, and images of sculptural objects   
  • Use Times New Roman in 12-point font for all writing pieces
  • Portrait orientation for photography is preferable 

Color photo of Maine Seacoast Mission's current boat, Sunbeam V, on the water near an island

The Island Reader began in 2006 as a thin, black & white, saddle-stapled arts anthology showcasing the work of artists living on four of Maine’s unbridged islands. Since then, The Island Reader evolved into a beautifully produced perfect-bound publication and includes artists and writers from sixteen unbridged islands. The Island Reader is truly unique in regard to its submissions and is special to Maine’s island communities. 

Since 2006, the Mission’s Sunbeam V and its caring crew,  have provided a floating, winter oasis for The Island Reader’s team. Once a year island editors gather on the Sunbeam for an editor retreat, where they design a working cover and build a draft of the artwork and written pieces they intend to anthologize. The Sunbeam and its crew are an extension of the process, expertise, and resources that make publishing The Island Reader possible.


Our work is your work, made possible by your generous gifts.

No matter how hard times get, the Mission will be there, helping sustain and strengthen families and communities. Please join us. Your donations bring warmth when it’s cold, shed light where it’s dark, and give strength when burdens grow heavy.

Contact us to donate, volunteer, or arrange for planned giving.

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