16 Literary Magazines Seeking Volunteer Readers & Why You’d Want To Participate

Written by A Guest Author

By Trish Hopkinson

There are a variety of reasons you may want to volunteer as a reader for a literary magazine or journal. The majority of reading and other volunteer responsibilities will be conducted online, so you need not be in the same geographical area. Below are some of those reasons to consider, as well as a list of markets currently looking for volunteer readers and staff. To keep your eye out for future volunteer opportunities, you can search Submittable’s Discover feature using key words: volunteer, staff, reader, etc.

Gain Experience

By volunteering, you learn how the organization operates, learn how to use submission tools, and how their issues are crafted to support their mission. Volunteer work can help you boost your CV and resume for future paid positions.

Meet Writers

Expand your network by working with other writers who are passionate about the literary community.

Improve Your Own Writing

One of the tips I often see from writers/poets is to read what is being published today to help improve your own work. By volunteering as a reader, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of work and learn what you love and how to incorporate it into your own writing style and craft.

Improve Your Own Submissions Approach

Gaining visibility to the variety, submission volume, and the labor done by staff to manage the submission process will provide a better understanding to help increase your success with your own submissions. Seeing wonderful work rejected due to final issue compilation, topic recurrence, timing, etc. will give you invaluable insights into your own acceptances/rejections.

Discover New Talent

As a reader, not only do you get the first look at some of the most surprising and incredible new work, but you may accept a piece for an emerging poet or writer who might become famous someday. When I was a reader for Adroit, I was honored to read some of the already established writers who submitted, as well as thrilled to come across new writers doing exceptional work.

Literary Citizenship

Contribute to the community you love by donating your time and have a great time doing it! For some, donating time is a better fit than donating money or subscribing.

Volunteer Opportunities

Adroit

First readers for poetry and prose.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “The Adroit Journal (ISSN 2577-9427) was founded in November 2010 by poet Peter LaBerge. At its foundation, the journal has its eyes focused ahead, seeking to showcase what its global staff of emerging writers sees as the future of poetry, prose, and art.”

Autumn House Press

First readers for annual poetry, fiction, and nonfiction contests.

Application Method: Email

Format: Print

Notes: “The contest is open from January 1– June 30. MFA (or MFA-in-progress) preferred but will accept a Bachelor’s Degree in literature or creative writing.”

Cleaver Magazine

Submission editors, proofreaders, and copyeditors.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “Cleaver needs submission editors as well as proofreaders and copyeditors to help us groom each story, essay, and poem before publication.” They are also seeking editorial interns.

E&GJ Little Press

Readers for poetry and short prose.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “In many cases, this volunteer position also qualifies for college internship credit.” They are also seeking a writer liaison and submission screener.

eFiction India

Readers for short stories.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “If you want to get experience reading short stories for a publication, want to learn what makes a story good, want to gain experience collaborating with your peers online, or just want to have some great free reads; apply now.”

Electric Lit: Recommended Readings

Readers for weekly fiction magazine.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: They are also looking for interns.

Five South

Readers for fiction.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: They are also looking for social media interns.

Green Briar Review

Readers for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: They are also looking for a new fiction editor.

Flash Fiction Magazine

Readers for flash fiction.

Application Method: Email

Format: Online

Notes: Publishes one flash fiction story per day.

Kitchen Table Quarterly

Readers for poetry and nonfiction.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “Experience is not necessary, but an understanding of our editorial focus and aesthetic is.”

Newfound

Assistant reviews editor.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “The overarching theme for Newfound, reflected in every work we publish, is An Inquiry of Place.  Our work explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding.” They are also seeking

Philadelphia Stories

Readers for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Application Method: Email

Format: Online

Notes: They are also seeking newsletter editors, social media manager, and a director of communications. “The mission of Philadelphia Stories is to cultivate a community of writers, artists, and readers in the Greater Philadelphia Area through publications, professional development, and promotion of area writers.”

Ploughshares

Readers for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Application Method: Email

Format: Print

Notes: “To obtain a Volunteer Screener application, please email pshares@pshares.org with the subject line ‘Volunteer Screener Application Request.’”

The Southampton Review

Art screeners and readers for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Application Method: Website form

Format: Online

Notes: “The Southampton Review has been publishing compelling writing and art since 2007.”

Uncharted

Readers for Crime/Mystery, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Horror/Thriller stories.

Application Method: Submittable

Format: Online

Notes: “Uncharted Magazine is a premier publisher of short fiction and the newest platform from the team behind The Masters Review, CRAFT Literary, Fractured Lit, and The Voyage Journal.”

Utopia Science Fiction

First readers for poetry and fiction.

Application Method: Email

Format: Online

Notes: “Founded July, 2019, we are a growing science fiction magazine dedicated to publishing quality science fiction short stories, science articles, and poetry.”


Bio: Trish Hopkinson is a poet, blogger, and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com where she shares submission calls and publication tips. She resides in Utah, where she runs the nonprofit group Rock Canyon Poets and curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM.

 

 

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