Submission Series: Lit Mags Open for Summer
So many literary magazine reading periods seem to rise and set on the school calendar. What’s a writer to do all summer long? Here’s a list of just some of the literary magazines that are open and ready for your poetry submissions during the months of June, July, and August.
The Adroit Journal is a visually pleasing online magazine publishing some of the best and boldest poetry being written by both emerging and established poets. In their own words, this journal “has its eyes focused ahead, seeking to showcase what its global staff of emerging writers sees as the future of poetry, prose, and art.” Brush off your brightest poems and put on some shades. The Adroit Journal is open for submissions now through October 1.
We poets know that the story behind the writing of a piece is oftentimes as fascinating as the poem that comes out of it — especially because so many layers are compressed down into a concentrate of the original experience. The Account is an online literary journal that publishes twice a year and features an “account” alongside your work in which you get to be a bit more expansive about the specific inspirations behind the poems, giving the readers a glimpse into the process behind the writing of those particular pieces. The Account is open for submissions from May 1 to September 1.
Full disclosure: One of our lovely Tell Tell editors also works on the editorial staff at Cherry Tree.
Cherry Tree is an annual print journal published by the Literary House Press at Washington College and staffed by faculty, staff, alumni, and current students there. They love everything from formal poems to prose poems, as well as hybrid genre work. They also have a special feature section in each issue dedicated to literary shade, about which they say: “We’re especially interested in poems, short stories, or essays that throw shade at the institutions that have whitewashed our literature and history, be they laws or events or texts authored by dead old cisgender white supremacist misogynistic homophobes.” Gotta keep that old kyriarchy on its toes, don’t we? It’s also a paying publication! Cherry Tree is open for submissions from August 1 to October 1.
Black Warrior Review is a beautiful print journal run by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Publishing two issues each year, this magazine is well-known for its love of well-crafted experimental poetry. They want your strangest stuff in the most lyrical language. (But don’t we all, really?) It’s also a paying publication! Black Warrior Review is open for submissions from June 1 to September 1.
Dream Pop Journal is an online lit mag that defines their aesthetic as a literary response to the hypnotic dream pop music of the Cocteau Twins. Publishing a new issue each season, they look for mesmerically experimental work that moves in and out of genre, for writing that is “non-narrative, linguistically inventive.” What’s not to love there? Dream Pop Journal is open for submissions year-round with rolling deadlines.
Four Way Review is an online magazine publishing two issues a year under the organizational umbrella of the independent publisher, Four Way Books. They are particularly drawn to poems that demonstrate a strong sense of both voice and craft, from writers both emerging and established. They want poems who know who they are and who aren’t afraid to tell you all about it. Four Way Review is open for submissions year-round.
Grist is a print journal that also publishes an online companion edition of each issue as Grist Online. Edited by graduate students in the University of Tennessee’s Creative Writing Program, this journal embraces poetry in a wide variety of styles and aesthetics. Not sure if your poems are a good fit for Grist? Take a look at a few of their online issues and then see what you think. It’s also a paying publication! So why not give it a shot? Grist is open for submissions from May 15 to August 15.
Josephine Quarterly is an online lit mag that publishes small issues of hand-picked poems and art once a season (usually). In each issue, they showcase work by three or four poets from underrepresented communities who, in their own words, “know the act of resistance and healing.” Those are two of the most important qualities we can ask for in this moment, and something both we and our poems should always strive for. It’s also a paying publication! Josephine Quarterly is open for submissions year-round.
Kissing Dynamite is an online journal publishing monthly issues of twelve poems each that follows a theme which develops organically in the chemistry of the slush pile. So they don’t advertise their themes ahead of an issue’s reading period. It’s all down to how well the best pieces fit together, interact, and build on each other — like mini-chapbooks or micro-anthologies. The editorial team also selects a featured poet from each issue and then provides a close reading of their published poem. Kissing Dynamite is open for submissions from the first to the tenth of each month.
New Orleans Review is an online journal (recently transitioned from a hard print format) run by the English Department at Loyola University New Orleans. They publish two issues a year featuring slim selections of poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews — and they’re not afraid of dipping into politics. Bring them your tired poems, your poor poems, your huddled poems yearning to breathe free! New Orleans Review is open for submissions for their Fall Issue until September 1, but submissions to their Spring Issue will remain open.
Oxidant | Engine is an online lit mag that publishes three issues a year. This is a poetry-only journal and their editors are drawn to a variety of forms. You can send them your prose poems or your lineated free verse or your poems broken by backslashes or all of the above! Oxidant | Engine is open for submissions year-round.
The Pinch is a print journal that publishes two issues each year. Run by the students of the MFA Program and English Department at the University of Memphis, the editors are always on the lookout for what they describe as “beautiful, muscular work with strong emotional threads.” Yes, please — me too! And while there isn’t currently payment for all published work, the editors do select one piece from each genre for a monetary Featured Writer award. The Pinch is open for submissions year-round.
Puerto del Sol is primarily a print journal, but they also feature some of their accepted pieces online. Run by the graduate students in New Mexico State University’s graduate program, this journal is careful not to adhere too closely to any singular aesthetic. Instead, the editors say, they gravitate toward work that exhibits “authenticity, sincerity, and respect.” We love this! This journal also includes a regular Black Voices Series feature dedicated to publishing the work of black writers. We also love this! Puerto del Sol is open for submissions year-round.
Raleigh Review is a print magazine that publishes two issues each year. In the work they publish by both emerging and established writers, the editors look for poetry and prose that is “emotionally and intellectually complex” — writing that exists in (at least) three dimensions, whether narrative or lyric. It’s also a paying publication! Raleigh Review is open for submissions from July to October.
Redivider is an online lit mag and palindrome (recently transitioned from a print format) published twice a year that is run by the graduate students in Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. I hope your poems are feeling hungry because the editors here are seeking “poems with teeth.” We, at Tell Tell, don’t think you should ever be afraid to let your poems draw a little blood. Redivider is open for submissions year-round.
The Shore is an online magazine that publishes four issues of poetry, art, and interviews each year. What are these editors looking for in a poem? The three keywords here are “cutting, strange, and daring.” So get those weird and brassy poems of yours gussied up for a long walk on the beach and push them out the door. The Shore is open for submissions for their Fall Issue until September 1.
Stirring is an online lit mag that publishes four issues a year. They publish poems in a wide variety of forms, not limiting themselves to any one particular style or aesthetic. The essential editorial approach here is one of collaboration — as they describe so well in their own words: “The joy of Stirring is the confluence of our diverse opinions.” Stirring is open for submissions year-round.
Sugar House Review is a print journal that is published twice a year. They want poetry that gives them a sugar high and maybe a bellyache — but only the too-much-of-a-good-thing kind. They like it sweet and sharp and a little whimsical too. But more than anything, they believe that “poetry and the literary arts are sacred vehicles through which ideas become conversations.” Sugar House Review is open for submissions from May 31 through the end of the year.
SWIMM is an online lit mag based out of Miami, Florida that spotlights one new poem every day of the year. They want poems from women-identifying and femme-presenting writers that leave them floating, that teach them how to breathe underwater. This is a pool party you don’t want to miss — socially distanced, of course. SWIMM is open for submissions year-round.
Thrush is an online lit mag that publishes six issues a year. This magazine looks for poems that have a particular way with words — quietly, entrancingly lyrical. But there also has to be a strong sense of the natural world peeking in between the lines and growing through cracks. Thrush is open for submissions year-round with rolling deadlines.
Good luck with your submissions! And check back with Tell Tell Poetry soon for more fabulous places to send your poem-babies.