Lu Chixaro
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This page is made with you in mind. You can access original writing prompts, self publishing tips, a lit mag guide, as well as other goodies. If you are wondering how to join an in-person group, please contact me via email or instagram. For more information about the online feedback groups, see the WriteFlow Workshops page.
LIT MAGS: A QUICK & DIRTY READING GUIDE
To write is to enter a conversation. It follows, then, that in order to write, one should read widely and deeply, dipping into the pools of both new works and old.

As mentioned previously elsewhere in these resource pages, there are thousands of literary magazines publishing work in print and online. If you'd like to see what kind of work contemporary authors are publishing right now (and, you really should be), the mags are where you need to go. But where to start?

The answer really depends on you! Your reading preferences and goals are what will ultimately shape your regular "journal stack"---those magazines you will keep coming back to with each new issue.

Check out the categories below and see if any catch your eye. These are listed in no particular order and are not meant to be a ranking of literary magazines.

Pro Tip
Another great way to find out which journals you might like to read (and potentially submit to) is to take a look at a book you love and flip to the acknowledgments section. If a piece or excerpt has been published prior to the full book, the journal it was published in will be credited and likely publishes similar work.



The Classics

Ploughshares has been publishing exceptional work since 1971. The work published is traditional. You won't find text/image hybrids or white-space experiments here, just great storytelling. Most pieces are paywalled.

Sample piece:

"I Looked For You, I Called Your Name," a short story by Lauren van den Berg

The Kenyon Review

The Kenyon Review has been housed at Kenyon college for almost 100 years. A bit more innovative than other journals of its stature, KR publishes work by established as well as emerging writers. Login is required, but anyone can read five free pieces per month.

Sample piece:

"We Can Start This Story," a short story by Tega Oghenechovwen

Granta

On Granta's sleek (and themed) online issues, you'll find a range of writing from refined memoir pieces to gritty fiction. While the journal does publish poetry, it is not its main focus.

Sample piece:

"Yr Dead," a short story by Sam Sax

The New Yorker

A journal that really needs no introduction. The New Yorker publishes the best brand new work by world-renowned writers like Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tracy K. Smith. Often, audio is included with each publication---so you can hear a piece straight from the source.

Sample piece:

"Vision," a poem by Tracy K. Smith

The "Top-Tier" Themed

Ecotone

Ecotone magazine's tagline is "Reimagining Place" and that aptly explains their mission to publish work that exists at the intersections of ecology and identity. Ecotone publishes both emerging and established writers.

Sample piece:

"The Last Good Day," an essay by Hea-Reem Lee

Image

Image aims to publish new writing and visual art that focuses on issues of faith and spirituality. The style is primarily traditional.

Sample piece:

"Haptics of Blue," a poem by Jai Hamid Bashir

BOMB

Since 1981, BOMB magazine has published pieces that exist at the crossroads of art and critical thought. While the bulk of their publications are interviews of artists by artists, BOMB also publishes innovative poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

Sample piece:

"Two Betties" two poems by Anne Carson

Guernica

Since 2004, Guernica has published new writing that isn't afraid to merge art and politics. The magazine also regularly creates special columns like The Cutting Room, which publishes work that writers had to cut from their books, and Spotlights which promotes new work by writers living outside of the West.

Sample piece:

"The Smoke of the Land Went Up" a short story by Andrew Cominelli

The Quirky & Fun

Always Crashing

Besides touting a cool, retro aesthetic, Always Crashing is a magazine devoted to publishing genre-defying pieces. Although they are a small, independent operation, they treat their contributors with care and even nominate for prizes.

Sample piece:

"5 Poems," five poems by Lucianna Chixaro Ramos

Diagram

For nearly 25 years, Diagram has served readers a unique mix of schematics and text/image pieces along with poetry and prose. The minimalist design lets you focus on the writing which ranges from the asemic to fairly conventional poetry. Below each piece you will also find a short note from the writer detailing their creative process.

Sample piece:

"Pig Ears" a poem by Justin Davis

A Container

When we encounter poetry, it is more often than not confined to a page. But what if it wasn't? That's the question A Container mag is asking. Instead of publishing poems, A Container curates a series of projects that turn poems into real life objects. You can purchase these poetry objects on the site or settle for a Look Book which contains hybrid text and visual pieces.

Sample piece:

"In the Crossed World of Animals" a series of poetry objects by Terri Witek

CTRL + V

CTRL + V is a gorgeously designed online literary journal that publishes text and image collages as well as audio pieces and collaborations between artists and writers. What we experience as readers is an beautiful, immersive experience where each issue takes over the site.

Sample piece:

"Re:" a text/image piece by Kinsey Cantrell

The Ones that Stick to Their Genres

Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction publishes memoir, essay, narrative history, and narrative journalism. Through the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, they support writers of true stories by offerring educational opportunities.

Sample piece:

"Ongoingness" an essay by Amber Taliancich

Poetry Magazine

Poetry is the oldest monthly magazine dedicated to publishing poems in the English language. Aside from the monthly mag, readers can browse the extensive digital archives which includes works from (nearly) every major poet of the 20th century.

Sample piece:

"Redeem" a poem by Rosalie Moffett

Brevity

It's all in the name! Brevity publishes exclusively flash nonfiction and short craft essays as well as book reviews from world-renowned writers.

Sample piece:

"Maternity as a Country" a flash nonfiction piece by Ocean Wei

Carve

Named after acclaimed writer Raymond Carver, Carve zine technically publishes poetry and nonfiction in addition to short stories---but it's clear that the mission is to honor Raymond Carver's legacy and what his short stories meant to readers around the world.

Sample piece:

"Worms" a short story by Meera Rohit Kumbhani

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