There’s one really great advantage to scoping out the magazines that you want to get yourself published in, and that is that you get to buy them guilt free. It’s research, and therefore as much as you are loathe to have to sit around all day and read lovely pieces of prose and poetry from around the globe, goshdurnit you have to. Otherwise you’d be doing yourself out of a possible edge over the competition.
So it is that I find myself with some recommendations for you all. I’ve got here four different literature magazines that I have done the aforementioned ‘research’ into and found to be neat little packages of wordy joy, and as much as my internal Greedy Gertrude is screaming to keep the info to myself, I intend to give you an indication of what I perceive each magazine to welcome. That is, what they seem to publish more of, so that you might aim your works of fiction or verse their way with confidence. Obviously this is an opinion thing, combined with a kind of statistical observation, so uncertainties are likely high. Anyway, without further ado, let’s head to the first stop.
Voiceworks is a literature magazine run, produced by, and featuring young Australian writers. It releases quarterly and it’s open to submissions of all Australians under the age of 25. Each issue has a theme associated with it, and though they accept submissions of any genre or subject, they do recommend that having some obvious connection to the theme is a good way to increase your chances of publication. You can find their specific submissions guidelines here.
Reading through Voiceworks you come across all kinds of stories and poems. There is a feeling that there needs to be some kind of quirky hook or catch to the story in order for it to be caught up by the Voiceworks team. This isn’t particularly surprising given its target audience, but a few more examples of simple, solid storytelling wouldn’t go astray. That said, the stories that do make it in are generally written well enough that it’s not so much of a big deal. Poetry wise, it’s not the strongest of line-ups, but I may be spoiled by some of the other magazines and online communities that I read. And young adult poetry is always a bit hit-and-miss. Overall it is definitely a slick package, containing not only poetry and prose, but also a host of opinion pieces and researched essays addressing modern issues affecting young Australians. Highly recommended to anyone who wants a starting point for young Australian literature.
Keyhole magazine operates out of Nashville, that immortal capital of Tennessee. Its editors are in the line of looking for stoies that encapsulate that clasic feel that we get reading literature from ages past. By this I don’t mean that they look for dusty metaphors and ancient language. It’s more that admiration that you might have for a classic novel written with dedication and care. There aren’t many hooks or quirks in these stories and poems. They are solid, well-written, and tell a story. Usually doing all this with a masterful command of the English language. To quote the editors’ note from the very first issue:
“I won’t say that Keyhole is chock full of those missing classic authors. Perhaps it is. Or perhaps it is just a collection of nice sgtoeis. But it is our goal to be a place where good writers have the chance to showcase the talent that certianly must be out there somewhere.”
A noble goal, to be sure. And so far, I’d say they’re succeeding. They have a solid website up here too, and you can check out their Fiction Chapbook competition if you’re feeling plucky.
Harvest magazine is a new kid on the block, having only released one issue so far. This is the mag that has the best overall presentation and feel to it. It’s made from 100% recycled, thick paper, with gorgeous photography and illustrations throughout. The typeface/layout is well suited to each piece of writing, and the writing is of pretty high quality. Like Voiceworks there are essays and reportage as well as poetry and prose, so you get quite a big bang for your buck. I’m looking forward to what these guys do in the future, as well as possibly submitting to it. Exciting stuff!
Mimesis is a poetry magazine run by James Midgely, who I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with through my paritcipation at deviantART. He’s a very driven guy, and as with his team of editors and artistic directors, he’s managed to craft a fine run of four issues of the mimesis poetry magazine. James himself is a celebrated poet, and so the quality of poetry on offer here is of an appreciably high quality. Styles range greatly, and it’s a pretty good cross-section of modern poetry as might be seen in reflective anthologies in future years. Needless to say I’m not going to be submitting anything to these guys, but it’s a damn fine read.