Written by Emily Harstone November 20th, 2017

10 Terrific New Literary Journals

The following is a list of 10 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 six 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 six-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.


The Hunger

The Hunger is a new online journal of visceral literature. They publish poetry, fiction, non-fiction, hybrid work, and visual art—all, they say, with the intention of gutting you. They are looking for work that’s honest, vulnerable and raw, and creates a hunger for more. You can learn more here.

Speculative City

This literary journal publishes speculative and provocative works that are centered within a cityscape. They want to encourage writers and characters often underrepresented in speculative fiction, such as people of color, queer people, working-class people, and people with disabilities. They are a paying market. They close to submissions December 15th. They have yet to publish their first issue. To learn more, go here.


Founded by two women writers about to complete the University of Iowa’s Masters of Fine Arts program, GUESTHOUSE has a well crafted website and a dual focus on fiction and poetry. They are accepting submissions for their second issue. To learn more, visit their website here.


Riggwelter publishes poetry, fiction, visual art, and experimental media. They are looking for work that makes them fall in love, work with that ineffable something that makes them stop, and then start again in an entirely new direction. Their first issue is available online, and the foreword provides some thoughts by the editor about the process of selecting work for Riggwelter. You can learn more here.

Ariel Chart

Ariel Chart is seeking brief writing. Based in Australia, they publish short works of poetry and microfiction. Like most small things, tiny pieces of writing are often ignored in the publishing world. Ariel Chart hopes to help. They aim to champion meaningful literary works, no matter how small. You can read the work published on their website to get a sense of what they like. You can learn more here.

Small Orange

Each issue will contain the work of seven poets, one visual artist and one interview. They have a great visual focused website and the poems they publish are generally beautifully crafted. To learn more, visit their website here.

Months To Years

They aim to publish creative nonfiction (as well as poetry, photography and art) that explores the human experience in terms of how it relates to mortality. They are a digital journal and will be publishing their first issue this winter. Learn more here.

The Mantle

This is an ambitions new literary journal that will be published on a quarterly basis. They publish only poetry. They will read all submissions blind. To learn more, visit their website.

Dream Pop Journal

This is a quarterly online journal of poetry, prose, and art. Dream Pop Journal  publishes experimental, non-narrative writing. The editors say “We are inspired by songwriters such as Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins and the composer Wim Mertens, artists who create their own transcendent languages”. To learn more, visit their site website.

Bio: Emily Harstone is the pen name of an author whose work has been published internationally by a number of respected journals. She is a professional submissions adviser. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/emilyharstone/



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