Written by Emily Harstone February 13th, 2023

Eight Exciting New Literary Journals – Winter 2023

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 also put together this terrific longer list a few months ago.

The Dawn Review

Not only do I like their website, but it’s easy to get a feel for what they are interested in publishing by reading their first issue here. They publish poetry,  prose, short play, hybrid, and art submissions.

Ouch! Collective

“Ouch! Collective is a community of queer and nonbinary creatives holding space to resist hierarchy in the art community and uplift traditionally erased voices”. The collective is based out of Oakland and their first beautiful print issue was just released. All US contributors get a free print copy, all international submitters receive a free electronic copy. They are currently closed to submissions but plan to open soon.

Copihue Poetry

This electronic  literary journal was founded by two immigrants to Chile, and their first issue includes some very strong poems. The issue and the website as a whole is easy to navigate and focused on highlighting the words of the authors they feature. Many of the poets have multiple poems included in the first issue. What is particularly exciting to me is that they publish work in English and Spanish, as well as poetry translated alongside the original language of the work.

Chinchilla Lit

Even before I had kids of my own, I always had a soft spot at journals aimed at young readers. The founders of the journal met while attending Iowa Young Writers’ Studio in 2022. The journal and the website is beautifully put together and only accepts writing from authors between the ages of 11 and 25. You can download their first issue here.

Twin Bird Review

This brand new literary journal has yet to publish its first issue, but the website is off to a good start in terms of being well designed and visually pleasing. What also stands out to me, is that they will be publishing comics and graphic storytelling as well as fiction, poetry, essays, and visual art.

Moot Point Magazine

I love that their submission guidelines make it clear that they are in the trenches of submitting also and that they value responding to submissions quickly, as much as possible. I also enjoy the vintage vibes of the site and that they are open to fiction, poetry and hybrid work. They charge fees for expidited responses and sometimes close to free submissions when they hit submittable caps.

Pink Disco Magazine

So I’m going to be honest, erotic writing is not my cup of tea, but I often receive letters from subscribers wanting to see more options of literary journals open to erotic writing. This is very much Pink Disco’s focus, so please don’t visit the site if you’re under 18 (at the time of writing this there is nothing at all adult about the content of the website, but that may well have changed). Their website is clear and well laid out. They accept a wide range of erotic content.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2022 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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