Over the years, the journal has published emerging writers alongside of established writers. The Idaho Review featured some of the early stories from Jennifer Haigh (2001) and Ben Percy (2004). In 2002, two Boise State MFA students (Bill Pettitt and Wil Miller) championed a manuscript from an unpublished writer in The Idaho Review slush pile. The story, “Bleed Blue in Indonesia” by Adam Desnoyers, appeared in that year’s issue and was reprinted in the 2003 edition of Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. In that edition, two of the twenty stories reprinted in the O. Henry Awards were from The Idaho Review.
Past fiction contributors include: Joy Williams, Ann Beattie, Richard Bausch, Rick Bass, Madison Smartt Bell, Ron Carlson, Lee K. Abbott, Edith Pearlman, Stuart Dybek, Frederick Busch, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Stephen Dixon, Melanie Rae Thon, Anthony Doerr, Doris Betts, David Huddle, William Kittredge, Carol Bly, Alan Cheuse, Carolyn Cooke, Padgett Powell, Alyson Hagy, Percival Everett, Pam Durban, Bret Lott, Kelly Cherry, Cary Holladay, Deirdre McNamer, Stephen Minot, John McNally, Gordon Weaver, Allen Wier, and George Garrett.