Top Small Literary Magazines and Journals

Ready to submit work to literary magazines, but feeling overwhelmed? Though the journals below are well-respected, many of them contribute to prize anthologies such as "Pushcart" and "Best American." They are also open to new writers. The magazines listed below appear in alphabetical order.

American Short Fiction

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A quarterly, American Short Fiction strives to discover and publish new fiction in which transformations of language, narrative, and character occur swiftly, deftly, and unexpectedly. They are drawn to evocative language, unique subject matter, and an overall sense of immediacy. Representative authors include Charles Baxter, Susan Steinberg, and Ander Monson.

Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art

Five Points is published out of Georgia State University—Department of English—and has published work by Madison Smartt Bell, Ursula Hegi, and Alice Hoffman. They accept unsolicited submissions in many categories. The journal prefers stories or self-contained novel excerpts in the 7500-word range.

The Gettysburg Review

The Gettysburg Review publishes poetry, essays, reviews, and short stories. They will consider unsolicited fiction, essay, and poetry submissions between September 1 and May 31. They charge for online submissions but will accept those by post without a fee.

The quarterly literary magazine has featured work by Alice Fulton, Brett Lott, and Tom Perotta. It is published by Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.

The Georgia Review

The Georgia Review was founded at the University of Georgia. "We seek the very best work whether by Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners or by little-known—or even previously unpublished—writers." They pay $40 per printed page. You may submit previously unpublished work online or through the mail, but only one submission at a time. It does not read unsolicited work between May 15-August 15. Has published work by Guy Davenport, Charlie Smith, and James Tate.

The Journal - A Literary Magazine

The Journal, published twice yearly by the Ohio State University, publishes exciting, challenging writing, without giving the impression that writers are the core audience. If you care about language and about a well-crafted plot, consider The Journal for your work. They accept fiction and nonfiction works as well as photo essays and author interviews. You may submit work no more than twice per year and must note if this is a multiple submission.

Manoa - A Pacific Journal of International Writing

Launched in 1989 by the University of Hawai‘i professor Frank Stewart, Mānoa strives to bring the literature of Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas to English-speaking readers. Each issue features translated work from Asian and Pacific nations. The quality of the writing and the design, and the fact that it is truly international sets Mānoa apart from other American journals. They are not currently accepting new submissions as all work is selected by guest editors and translators.

One Story, Inc.

One Story publishes one story every three weeks in an artful, easy-to-read format, with the belief that stories are best read alone. Accepted literary fiction submissions should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words and can be of any style. Work cannot be previously published but can be simultaneously submitted.

The magazine published work by Judy Budnitz, Alix Ohlin, and Gregory Maguire. It pays $100. Simultaneous submissions OK.

Prairie Schooner

Prairie Schooner, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Press, "is home to the best fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews being published today by beginning, mid-career and established writers." Submissions are read between September 1 and May 1 of each year. They reject any work that is previously published—including in online publications. You may submit online using Submittable or mail a hardcopy.

Since it began in 1927, it has published Eudora Welty, Joyce Carol Oates, and Richard Russo.

Salmagundi Magazine

Salmagundi Magazine is published by Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. They publish fiction, poetry, and cultural criticism as well as other types of work up to 12,000 words. The reading period for submission is begins on January 1.

Salmagundi is widely regarded as one of the most influential intellectual journals. Work by Nadine Gordimer, J.M Coetze, Andrea Barrett, and Cynthia Ozick has appeared within its pages.

TriQuarterly

TriQuarterly magazine of Northwestern University publishes bi-annually. Students of Northwestern act as editors for the magazine. They accept works of poetry, fiction, short drams, creative nonfiction, and other works. A primary focus is on embracing conversation about global culture and society. TriQuarterly does not accept hard copies and charges a reading fee for work submitted through Submittable.

TriQuarterly was founded in 1958 and has been described by The New York Times as “perhaps the preeminent journal for literary fiction” in America. It has published John Barth, Chaim Potok, and Joyce Carol Oates.

Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review was established in 1925 and is a product of the University of Virginia. They accept poetry and short fiction—3,500 to 8,000 words—and nonfiction works up to 9,000 words. They will only consider one unsolicited and unpublished work per reading period and accept work only through Submittable. The reading period runs between July 1 to July 31.

Other Literary Magazines

There are many literary magazines to which you can submit your work. Other publications—not listed above—include:

  • Granta
  • The Kenyon Review
  • Ploughshares
  • The New Yorker
  • The Paris Review