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9 Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers

Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers“The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.”
– John Campbell

Seeing your work in print for the first time is a unique thrill. But it can feel like a daunting task to submit your writing to a magazine or journal when nobody other than friends and family has ever read it. To make the process somewhat less scary, here are 9 literary magazines that welcome submissions from new and never before published writers.

Brittle Star
For almost fifteen years Brittle Star has been publishing the work of new and early-career writers, many of whom have seen their work in print for the first time. They welcome submissions of literary short fiction (up to 2000 words) and poetry (1 – 4 poems at a time). Brittle Star is published twice a year.

Ricochet Magazine
Based in Melbourne, Ricochet Magazine is an online magazine for aspiring writers and artists, maintained by a group of creatives who want to give others online publishing opportunities. Notably, Ricochet aims to provide editorial feedback to all writers who submit their work, even if it is not accepted for publication.

The Louisville Review
The Louisville Review was founded in 1976 and has proud tradition of fostering the development of new writers.  Each poem and story submitted is judged “entirely on its own merit whether the author is already nationally known or previously unpublished”. The Louisville Review also accepts submissions of previously unpublished poetry from students in grades K to 12.

Firewords Quarterly
Firewords Quarterly is a new independent literary magazine with a strong emphasis on design, as well as substance. Launching in Spring 2014, Firewords aims to be a publication where exciting new writers can have their voices heard and remembered. 

Phoebe: Journal of Literature and Art
Phoebe prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers and welcomes submissions of experimental and conventional prose and poetry. Phoebe also runs annual contests for fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.

Armchair/Shotgun publishes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry works as well as photo-essays and visual media. In an effort to ensure that pieces submitted to Armchair/Shotgun are judged entirely on its own merits, all submissions are assessed anonymously, without regard to an author’s name or biography. The magazine’s website says “we feel that good writing does not know one MFA program from another. It does not know a PhD from a high school drop-out. Good writing does not know your interstate exit or your subway stop, and it does not care what you’ve written before. Good writing knows only story.”

Litro Magazine
London’s Litro Magazine is focused on discovering “new and emerging writers, giving them a platform to be read alongside stalwarts of the literary scene”. The magazine has traditionally published short fiction, literary non-fiction and poetry, though recently have also ventured into interviews, columns, podcasts, reviews, and features on literature, arts and culture.Submissions should be no more than 3000 words.

Boulevard Magazine
Boulevard Magazine will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2015. This highly regarded magazine strives to publish only the finest in fiction, poetry and non-fiction. While it frequently publish writers with previous credits, it is very interested in less experienced and unpublished writers: “if you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send it to Boulevard.”

Bateau Lit Mag
Bateau Press is a letterpress publisher based in Northampton, Massachusetts. It produces high quality, well-designed, environmentally minded literary publications. Submissions for Bateau Lit Mag are encouraged from writers at all stages of their careers: age and previous publication are not considerations for eligibility. Bateau Press also runs two chapbook contests each year.