Written by Emily Harstone May 13th, 2024

9 Exciting New Literary Journals (May 2024)

In my experience, there are many reasons to seek publication in journals that have been around for less than a year. 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.

New journals have recorded podcasts about 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 work will be nominated for a literary prize increase as well. I have been publishing in new journals for over a decade now, and some of the journals that published my work when I was a new writer are now established and several now have a less than 1% acceptance rate. However, when I originally submitted, they were far less competitive.

During that decade, a number 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.

Some of these journals are currently closed but the majority are open to submissions.

S. Kalekar put together a great longer list in February, which you can read here. There is a tiny bit of overlap in the lists.

100 Foot Crow
This brand new speculative journal publishes only drabbles, which is to say they are interested in stories that are exactly 100 words in length. They only publish science fiction and fantasy, within the speculative umbrella. They haven’t published an issue yet, but their website is well laid out, and so are their guidelines. They close to submissions on May 15th. They pay 8 cents a word, which is to say, 8 dollars per story. You can submit two stories per submission period.

pictura journal
They don’t have any work up on their website yet, but I really like how they pitch themselves as a journal. They say they are seeking “work that offers a vivid snapshot of the writer’s world — we want to see cracks in the plaster, last night’s empties on the coffee table, the shivering birch just outside the kitchen window. we want to see the mundane rendered with clarity & quiet moments given room to breathe.” As part of their submission guidelines they list work, both poetry and prose, that they enjoy, so that helps give additional context. They will be paying token amounts.

The Orange & Bee
The Orange & Bee focuses on publishing “short stories, poems, essays, and reviews that explore, expand on, and subvert the rich traditions of international folklore, including fairy tales, fables, myths, and legends”. They “also publish traditional tales accompanied by annotations, discussion questions, and writing prompts”. They are based on Substack. I really like some of the writing they have featured in their first eight months. They are a paying market. You can read Ella Peary’s recent review here. They closed to submissions over a week before their recent deadline.

No Country
This magazine asks for submissions from “poets at the intersection of art and science, focusing on works that blend the precision of scientific and technical language with the boundless possibilities of poetry.” I really like their narrow approach, and thought the two pieces they had published so far were intriguing. Assume rejection if you have not heard from them in 3 weeks.

Concord Ridge
This new biannual poetry broadsheet is based in the Hudson Valley. You can see their sample issue here, not to get a feel for what they are looking for but to see what the layout will be like. Because of the unusual formatting they ask that “Poems submitted to Concord Ridge should be a maximum of 40 lines, including stanza breaks, and each line should not exceed more than 60 characters.” They also publish art and photography. They pay a small honorarium and send each contributor two copies. Their website is simple, easy to navigate, and has a very charming illustration.

The Wild Umbrella

This Irish electronic journal was founded in 2023. They publish one featured author a week. One story at a time for prose authors, and usually three poems at a time for poets. They also regularly publish author interviews alongside the nonfiction and poetry that they publish. They haven’t done the same for fiction so far. The website is well designed and easy to use. They pay €10 per poem and €25 per prose piece. They nominate for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. They also try to offer personal feedback. 

Blanket Gravity Magazine
Blanket Gravity Magazine is a journal for fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art that is focused on publishing writing and art that explores mental health and/or emotional life. They say elsewhere on their site that they are publishing “art to struggle to.” They are a paying market that is paying $40 per accepted submission. They have yet to publish an issue, but they have a pretty intriguing masthead.

Small World City
This online magazine is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They publish prose and poetry with varying guidelines. They say they are looking for “the strange, the irreverent, the niche, the stories that eschew reality. Ghosts, freaks, punks, outcasts, gangsters, martians, manhunters, detectives, astronauts, and argonauts.” They have published three issues so far, so it is easy to get a feel for what they publish.

Gooseberry Pie
Gooseberry Pie calls themselves the “home of the six-sentence story.” They only publish micro-fiction that is less than 400 words (not including the title) in length, and made up of six sentences, no more, no less. They say: “We like stories that are like gooseberry pie: Tart, Messy, and Satisfying. We have a weakness for quirky characters and unusual settings. We’re not so crazy about joke endings.” They accept up to two stories at a time.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2024 Guide to Manuscript Publishers. She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


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