Written by Emily Harstone June 18th, 2018

9 Great New Literary Journals

The following is a list of 9 very new literary journals. There are many reasons to seek publication in these journals.

In my experience, the benefits can be greater than publishing in a well-established journal. When a literary journal is new, the editors tend to be a lot more passionate. I have gotten handwritten thank you cards from editors of new publications, something that has never happened when my work was published by a more established journal.

Editors of new journals tend to be more generous with their time, energy, and enthusiasm. Plus, they are genuinely grateful that you trusted their new and untested journal with your work. Several of the journals that published my work in their first issue have gone on to permanently feature my poems on their website as their ‘sample poem’, so that other submitters get a feel for the kind of work they like to read. Others have recorded podcasts of my work. My work ended up getting promoted a lot more than if it had been accepted by an older, more established journal.

With a new journal, the odds that my work would be nominated for a literary prize went up as well. I have been publishing in new journals for eight years and some of the journals that published my work when I was a new writer are now established and several have a less than 1% acceptance rate. However, when I originally submitted, they were far less competitive.

During that eight-year period, seven of those new journals went under, which is one of the major pitfalls to submitting to new journals. The other major pitfall is that you don’t know what you are getting into, particularly if your work is published in the first issue. You can’t look at past issues, online and in print, because they have none. In a way it is stepping into the unknown. In my experience though, the risk is always worth it because the reward can be much greater.

Below is a list of 10 literary journals that I very much like, that have been around for less than a year. The list is in no particular order.

Note: Not all of the journals are currently open to submissions, but most are.


Crossways is an online literary journal that publishes both literary poetry and short fiction. They are are based in Ireland, so we have a particular interest in any writing with an Irish connection, but it is in no way a requirement. It is easy to get a feel for what they are interested in publishing by reading their summer issue here.


Paperbark is based out of the University of Massachusetts. They are a print and online literary journal that publishes poetry and prose and focuses on sustainability and the environment.

The Disconnect

An electronic journal with great art, a striking web presence and an interesting premise – you have to disconnect from the internet in order to read it. Their first issue is already up and it is easy to get a feel of this well designed, thought out, and inspiring journal.

Blanket Sea

Blanket Sea is an arts and literary magazine that publishes the work of artists and writers living with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability. The work they publish doesn’t need to be about those experiences explicitly, but submissions along those lines are encouraged. They accept reprints. Some of the art work they have published is particularly good.

Black Coffee & Vinyl

Black Coffee & Vinyl designed to feature writers, artists, and musicians from around the world. All the issues they will publish will revolve around a theme. The first theme issue is ‘Ice Culture’, the second is ‘City’. The editor is Willona Sloan, a writer from Washington, DC, with a good publication record. The site is very appealing and professional looking and the themes are well defined. I also like their international focus. They pay.

Before After/ Godwink

Having just published their first issue, it is easier to get a feel for this new literary journal that hopes to be a small press one day. They publish short fiction (less than 400 words) and longer fiction and well as poetry and creative nonfiction. Their site is well designed and the writing they have published so far shows potential.

The Conglomerate

They publish art of all kinds including, text, images, video, audio, and they combine the work of different artists into single conglomerations. You can read their third issue here. They are really doing some creative experimental and engaging things with their electronic platform.

Mantra Review

Mantra Review publishes prayers, visions and dreams, sacred narratives, histories, ritual scenarios, praises, namings, musings, and proverbs, all meant to be read aloud as mantras. They have are a print and electronic publication.


This ambitious project is still in its early stages. Their hope is that over time they will be able to create a sort of Wikipedia of literature with works with common themes or words linked together.






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