Sending work out to a literary magazine can feel like you're sending your writing into the void. But persistence and learning where to send certain pieces is an advantage. A rejection letter doesn't always mean the work isn't publishable, and each magazine will have a difference in style, taste, and what it's looking for at any given time. Submitting a piece to more than one publication can help you navigate this intimidating - and *mostly* unpredictable - process.
If you can, be sure to read recently published work from the magazine to see how your writing fits into their publication. And if submitting to more than one magazine, make sure they accept simultaneous submissions. I'd recommend creating a spreadsheet to stay organized and keep track of what stories you submitted and where. This is especially important if your submission is accepted because it's the writer's responsibility to notify all other publications that the story is no longer available.
Here are five lit mags that are always looking for and publishing new and emerging writers. I've also included a piece published by each magazine for an idea of what they are looking for. Good luck and happy writing!
Published online monthly, Cosmonauts Avenue features fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and more. They accept work both in English and translation and submissions are always free. They're an inclusive magazine with an eye for writing by underrepresented voices. Plus they're run by a group of amazing writers and editors!
Submit at www.cosmonautsavenue.com.
Read two poems by Luther Hughes, here.
Joyland is unique in that it selects the stories it publishes by regions, including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, as well as smaller regions both nationally and internationally. Each region has its own editor who will work with you, depending on which locale you submit to. They have championed new writers from the beginning and are passionate about short fiction!
Submit at www.joylandmagazine.com
Read a story by Erica Peplin, here.
Run by two sisters - Susan Burmeister-Brown and Linda Swanson-Davies - with a passion for short fiction, Glimmer Train is a highly regarded lit mag based out of Portland, Oregon published three times a year. Since their first issue in 1990 they have, and continue, to support emerging writers, with their Short Story Award for New Writers open for submission in Jan./Feb., May/Jun., and Sept./Oct.
Submit online at www.glimmertrain.com
Only available in print, here.
Founded in 2001, Hobart publishes everything from fiction, to poetry, to comics, to an annual baseball issue during the month of April. Often hilarious and always relevant to today’s cultural climate, they have championed emerging writers from the beginning. Not to mention the brilliant writers and editors behind the publication.
Submit at www.hobartpulp.com
Read an essay by Erika Kleinman, here.
Based out of Amherst, Massachusetts, The Common is a biannual print journal that also publishes original content online four times per week. They have a strong focus on work that embodies a particular time and place, and feature short stories, essays, poems, and more. With a close eye on emerging artists, they strive to promote the next generation of creative thinkers.
Submit at www.thecommononline.org.
Read a story by Kashana Kauley, here.