Authors Publish has curated a list of 23 respected literary journals and magazines that publish creative writing. These journals and magazines typically reject most submissions because they are looking for the best of the best.
Acceptance by one of these 23 publishers could be a career-changer for you.
Thankfully, these publishers don’t charge reading fees, making it easy to submit without breaking the bank.
Where to Submit
Most have a large readership and good distribution in libraries and bookstores. Publications, like The Best American Short Stories, go to these journals and magazines for creative works.
However, this is not a complete list. There are numerous well-regarded journals and magazines that weren’t include because they either focused on genre-pieces or charged reading fees.
Not all of the publishers are currently accepting submissions at this time. Please refer to their submission pages for more details.
The 23 respected literary journals and magazines:
The Atlantic is open to submissions of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. They pay well.
The New Yorker is the most famous (and most profitable) magazine with a literary bent. The New Yorker is very competitive to get into, but they accept unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and cartoons and pay very well.
Poetry is the most famous poetry magazine out there. The Poetry Foundation publishes the magazine. The first time you have a poem printed by them, an asterisk appears next to your name to note your appearance as a debut poet, which is pretty cool.
The Sun is an ad-free magazine that has published many famous writers. They publish fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. They also pay well.
Rattle is a print magazine with a weekly online feature called “Poets Respond,” which features poems that respond to that week’s news articles.
One Story, unsurprisingly, publishes one story per issue. They pay well and have published many bestselling and award-winning authors.
The Paris Review is a venerable print publication that accepts postal submissions throughout the year, and via Submittable twice yearly. They publish poetry and fiction, as well as interviews, which they are rather famous for. They have published many notable authors, including Adrienne Rich, Philip Roth, V. S. Naipaul, and Rick Moody.
The Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) publishes poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction by award-winning writers. They pay $200 per poem and start at $1,000 per fiction piece.
Harper’s Magazine considers unsolicited fiction and nonfiction. It is the second-oldest magazine in the US published monthly.
Cimarron Review is a respected literary journal that publishes numerous established writers of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.
McSweeney’s Quarterly publishes nonfiction and fiction only. The magazine is reformatted every time it is published. Sometimes it resembles a journal, other times a box, or something else entirely. They have published pieces by Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Lethem, and Michael Chabon. The amount they pay authors varies.
The Threepenny Review is a quarterly arts magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, and criticism. They have speedy response times and pay their writers.
The Rupture is an online-only literary journal that publishes fiction, excerpts, poetry, and nonfiction. They have published many contemporary authors.
The Kenyon Review publishes short fiction, essays, poetry, plays, excerpts, and translations of poetry and short prose. When you submit to their print journal, you are also submitting to their online magazine; both have a large readership.
A Public Space publishes great writing – everything from novellas to excerpts. The magazine is modern, compelling, and respected. However, their open reading period only happens once a year.
Jubilat is one of the most prestigious poetry-only journals. They are print-only.
AGNI is a print journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They are known for publishing “important new writers early in their careers.” Six contributors won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Missouri Review is an established print journal that publishes some of the best nonfiction around; they also publish poetry and fiction. They do charge for electronic submissions, but postal submissions are free.
ZYZZYVA has great distribution. If a bookstore sells only three different literary journals, ZYZZYVA is one of those three journals. They have published many famous poets and writers, including Haruki Murakami and Sherman Alexie.
The Adroit Journal is an acclaimed online publication for the fiction and poetry that they publish. They have published many established and respected authors.
The Bennington Review publishes twice a year in print. This beautiful literary journal publishes both established and new authors of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and cross-genre work.
The Malahat Review is one of Canada’s leading literary journals. They publish contemporary Canadian and international works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
Sixth Finch is an online journal of poetry and art. Poems from Sixth Finch have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net.
If you are accepted by any of these 23 respected literary journals and magazines, please let me know! I’d love to read them.
Good luck to all of you who choose to submit!
Until next time, stay safe, everyone!