When I first started writing, I constantly entertained the idea that someone — another living, breathing human being — might, one day, read my work. I fantasized about people falling in love with my characters and trying to find the places I described. I all too quickly realized, however, publishing wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.
The fact of the matter is my work was rejected — a lot. It’ll be rejected in the future, too. I know that, but luckily, I also know basic math. Therefore, I know sending work to more than one place increases your chance of being published by, well, a lot.
(I said I know basic math. That doesn’t mean I know statistics.)
Still, finding places to send your work can be difficult. Hours of combing through Google can result in a measly one or two publications accepting submissions with guidelines your pieces fit into, so I’ve compiled this list of five literary journals for student writers. Hopefully, I can spare someone else a few hours of frustration. You’re welcome, guys.
- The Merrimack Review
This journal exclusively publishes work written by undergraduate or graduate students that is previously unpublished, making it great for those of us just starting out. According to their FAQ’s, “The reason [The Merrimack Review] accepts only student work is to provide new and emerging writers/artists with a place where they don’t have to pit their work against contributors who have multiple books or exhibits to their name.” Accepting poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art, this is a great place to send almost anything you feel is ready to be shared.
- Sagebrush Review
Coming out of the University of Texas at San Antonio, this journal accepts poetry, prose, art, and photography. Unique to the Sagebrush Review is their “Editor’s Choice” awards for visual arts and writing. If you’re looking for a little extra recognition beyond just being published (and don’t mind spending an extra $3), submitting to this journal may just give you that opportunity. For more information be sure to check out their submission guidelines.
- Sink Hallow Literary Magazine
Accepting only undergraduate work, this magazine is perfect for the newest of writers and is a great launch pad for future publication. Their submission guidelines are specific though, so make sure to double check before you submit.
- Susquehanna Review
If you’re looking for a couple extra bucks out of this, then the Susquehanna Review may be for you. Accepted pieces are under consideration for the Gary Fincke Creative Writing Prize for poetry or prose, each of which offers a $100 cash award. I’m not saying submit here because there’s possibly money to made. I’m just letting you other broke, college writers out there know this magazine has a little extra incentive to send your absolute best work.
- Mochila Review
Supported by the English and Modern Languages department at Missouri Western State University, this literary journal seeks to publish the best work of upcoming student writers. With a staff entirely composed of undergraduate students, similar to Gandy Dancer, the Mochila Review is committed to helping emerging writers reach a wider audience. Check out their submission guidelines for more info.
And there you have it. My semi-complete list to literary magazines especially for student artists. If I were currently looking to publish, you can bet I’d be sending everything I’ve got to all of these literary journals, in addition to Gandy Dancer.
Submission season is upon us, so go forth and make some damn beautiful art.