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 contributing to prize anthologies such as "Pushcart" and "Best American," they are also open to new writers. Brief descriptions of each literary magazine are provided here; click through for more information.

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 out of Georgia State University and has published work by Madison Smartt Bell, Ursula Hegi, and Alice Hoffman. Prefers stories or self-contained novel excerpts in the 7500-word range.

The Georgia Review

"We seek the very best work whether by Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners or by little-known (or even previously unpublished) writers." Pays $40/printed page. It does not read mss from May 15-August 15. Has published work by Guy Davenport, Charlie Smith, and James Tate.

The Gettysburg Review

The Gettysburg Review, which has featured work by Alice Fulton, Brett Lott, and Tom Perotta, is published by Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.

The Journal

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.


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. The quality of the writing and the design, and the fact that it is truly international sets Mānoa apart from other American journals.

One Story

One Story publishes one story every three weeks in an artful, easy-to-read format, with the belief that stories are best read alone. Has published work by Judy Budnitz, Alix Ohlin, and Gregory Maguire. 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." Since it began in 1927, it has published Eudora Welty, Joyce Carol Oates, and Richard Russo.


Published by Skidmore College, 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.


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