Writing is hard, and that’s the one thing nobody tells you when you first choose it as a career. But literary magazines are a great place to start if you already have a strong body of work to submit. Here’s some practical advice about how to submit your work to literary magazines – and a bonus list of the best literary magazines to submit your work.
Need to find more literary magazines? Check out our list at the bottom – or sign up to Reedsy for updated lists of some of the best.
Writing is a very self-critical process, and the biggest thing that holds some authors back is the fact that they judge their work far too heavily while they’re writing it. Sometimes ideas flow much easier if you shelve the judgement and just continue to write. Edit later: Get the core of the idea down on paper first and you’ll end up with something great: Raw emotion.
Choose Your Best Work
Choose your absolute best work when you are submitting it to a literary magazine: If not, you know that your work is going to end up in the slush pile. It might take some edits and a couple of rewrites, but always polish your work until it’s perfect.
Read the Guidelines
Read the submission guidelines of the publication before you submit your story to them. This will save you a lot of story rejections in the long run. Guidelines will clearly state exactly what the publication is looking for, the length, the tone; and generally they’re pretty straight about what they don’t want in their magazine.
Research Your Magazine
Research your magazine as well as you can. This means reading the type of stories that they currently publish and making sure what their themes are. Double-check this by ordering back-issues or reading some examples on their website.
TAYO Literary Magazine
TAYO is a literary magazine that’s looking for any stories that evoke emotion within the reader – and that can be fiction or non-fiction and stretch through a variety of genres.
The Drum Literary Magazine
The Drum Literary Magazine is an audio literary journal that focuses on publishing good fiction and nonfiction.
Typehouse Literary Magazine
Typehouse Literary Magazine is looking for submissions of short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. They also accept visual art submissions.
Grain Magazine is published four times per year, and they’re looking for overall strong stories with a focus on stories that engage and challenge readers; this can be fiction or nonfiction.
The Pinch Literary Journal
The Pinch Literary Journal focuses on publishing fiction, nonfiction and art – with a focus on exceptionally strong stories that engage the reader and draw them in. Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter: Read their guidelines carefully to see what they’re looking for.
Apparition Literary Magazine
Apparition Literary Magazine is published quarterly and they are looking for both short story and poetry submissions. Read their guidelines to make sure what you submit is exactly what they’re looking for.