BY ANA PRUNDARU
For new writers and those pursuing alternative fields, the submission process can be quite nerve wracking, if not straight up soul crushing. Various journals have incredibly strict guidelines about what kinds of works and writers they strive to publish, while others contain a contributor’s list boasting so many intimidating crème de la crème journals that it will likely deter most emerging writers from submitting. Whether found poetry is your thing, or you like to write on prompts, the magazines listed here celebrate the craft of writing in its variety, while welcoming contributors from all walks of life.
After the Pause
After the Pause explains its name as follows: Life throws pauses at us, art follows the pause. Thus, whether your piece was inspired by a beautiful experience, or an unforgettably sad event, as long as it explores the human condition, they want to see it. This journal publishes mainly online, but has a print anthology scheduled for 2016. Their aim is to feature diverse and experimental pieces from the Midwest and the world. AP warmly welcomes emerging writers.
For the sister site of Unbroken Journal, editor R.L. Black is looking for various types of found poetry, as well as artwork. Previous poems range from humorous to poignant, come in all forms and sizes and were created from Google searches, novel chapters, song lyrics and other sources.
Souvenir Lit Journal
This beautifully curated journal features adventurous and well crafted prose and poetry next to each writer’s depiction of his or her favorite souvenir. Souvenir Lit invites new and emerging writers to submit and is open to all forms and topics that stir a strong emotion from the reader.
Kyler Zeleny has collected thousands of unidentified Polaroid images over the years, eventually deciding to launch a site that celebrated and honored the legacy of those portrayed in them. Writers are invited to browse the online album for inspiration, pick a photograph and deliver a micro narrative uncovering such questions as who they were, what their motivation was and where they were going. The mission, in Kyler Zeleny’s words, is to ‘give life back to images that might otherwise find themselves in a waste bin.’
Another venue for works inspired by artwork is Visual Verse. An anthology of art, fiction, nonfiction and poetry, they offer a unique writing experience, in that they supply an image and the writer has one hour to come up with a matching written work of 50-500 words. The resulting pieces both surprise and delight with their diversity of aesthetics and innovation.
Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Misfit Documents
This online magazine is the sister site of Berfrois and publishes bold new writing on a daily basis, covering a broad range of topics that stretch from politics to pop culture. Absolutely no limits are set for the Misfit Documents section. Different voices, ideas, perspectives and esthetics are encouraged to submit their unconventional visual and written works.
With a goal of promoting short-form prose, this journal delivers fresh works of exactly 101 words to your mailbox and on their site. The publication has a dynamic and accessible community-feel to it, where readers can comment on stories or peruse an assortment of eloquently written flash fiction from other literary magazines, weekly curated by a different guest editor. Moreover, 101 words regularly runs contests, as well as book giveaways.
Those of you who enjoy writing to prompts will want to consider submitting to this edgy magazine from NY. Their mission is straightforward: To display gorgeous, sharp writing inspired by an image of an individual that is holding something in his or her hand. Potential contributors are asked to send an e-mail and then submit a piece inspired by the image they received as a prompt.
Star 82 Review
Brought to life by Alisa Golden, senior adjunct professor for the Printmaking Program at California College of the Arts, this magazine wants hybrid forms, including postcard literature, erasures and collages. Leafing through their aesthetically pleasing, experimental, yet not too abstract back issues, it is clear that the magazine values quality storytelling in the most creative way possible. Contributors come from near and far, giving the impression of genuine inclusiveness.
Against the backdrop of the site’s minimalist, but sublime design, a diverse range of voices give insights into one of the most drastic human experiences; that of loss and grief. For its exemplary contribution to the literary sphere, LossLit – despite being around for only a year – has already been short listed for the Saboteur Awards.