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Published May 27, 2015
julep-journal-winter2015Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Julep Journal has just issued its third print volume to complete its first year of publication. Named, as you might well have guessed, after the delightful southern cocktail, the editors comment, "We identify with it. It's Southern by origin and in spirit. It's refreshing, clean. It's simple but has innumerable variations."

In keeping with that refreshing spirit of variation, Julep publishes all genres – fiction, poetry, creative essays, academic treatises – and, according to the editors, "we especially love pieces that exist between or beyond those boundaries. In other words, if it doesn't fit in with more rigid, binary journals, there is a home in Julep."

Giving this new writing a home are founding editors Joseph Storey, Kevin Foster and Greg Frank, and editors Brittney McKenna and Theron Spiegl, who "like good Southerners, believe in the power and beauty of a fine physical object."

When asked the motivation for starting up a literary magazine, the editors go back: "Years ago, we would sit around coffee shops and complain about the state of cultural journals. So many do little more than spin the wheels of their chosen genre, advance a binary political position with an inherently limited type of nuance, or represent only a corner of a region. We dreamt of a journal that advances art, represents the spectrum of the creative work of a region, and pushes beyond political binaries. The narrative of the Southern Renaissance, Nashville and the surplus of its creative economy, was rolling at the time. So we decided to start a journal as a platform for the work that was happening."

As such, readers of Julep can expect to find anything and everything that fundamentally excellent writing and visual art. "A distinctly Southern, non-binary artistic and cultural perspective," the editors promise readers. "The best work of upcoming Southern intellectuals and artists." The most recent issue features works by Eileen Fickes, Stephen Mage, Daniel Pujol, Cameron Smith, Matthew Truslow, Jessica Kennedy, and featured artist Robert Scobey.

While publishing as a triannual the first year, the editors are planning to extend the length and cultural commitment of each journal and move to biannual printing. "We want every issue to eclipse the last in cohesiveness of theme, quality of work, and physical beauty. In order to accomplish this, we're planning to publish twice yearly rather than thrice, with a greater range of art. We also want to build and grow our partnerships with artistic and cultural institutions across the South, including cohosting events of all types. Why create if it's not ambitious?"

For writers, the editors are always accepting new pieces. The next issue will be available in mid-June, with plans to select pieces for Issue Five by the end of July. Visit the Julep website for more specific information about genres.

The most unique quality of Julep's model is editorial. We reject the notion that ideas – and the attempts of writers and artists to express those ideas – exist in a vacuum. Julep's team of editors support writers as they hone – and even sometimes create – their pieces. It's a messier process, but the pieces turn out better and the final product is more thematically cohesive.
Published May 04, 2015
Editor Katherine Mayfield and Intern Bonnie Irwin bring readers and writers The Maine Review, a new print/e/Kindle quarterly publishing short fiction, CNF, poetry, essays on writing, and black-and-white interior art. They also publish annual collections of short fiction (summer) and poetry (winter).

maine-reviewWhile the name, The Maine Review, seems obviously to represent the location of the publication, Mayfield tells me it was inspired "in the tradition of reviews like The Missouri Review and The Iowa Review. We felt that Maine needed a literary review representing the beauty and ruggedness of the Pine Tree State. Though we publish well-known and new and emerging authors from around the world, we feature the work of Maine artists on each issue's cover. The Maine Review is a proud member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, a nonprofit membership organization that works to enrich the literary life and culture of Maine."

With such great role models already influencing this new publication, I asked Mayfield what motivated her to start her own journal, "Throughout my many years of writing and editing, I've seen so much excellent writing that never finds a home, and I wanted to give more writers the opportunity to be published. I also thoroughly enjoy putting the issues together – it's like working a jigsaw puzzle, moving pieces around to get a good 'flow.' The Maine Review also provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase Maine artists."

Mayfield also commented on what readers could expect to find in the publication: "Our mission is to publish quality writing that touches readers and engages their hearts, minds, and imaginations, expanding their view of the world and of life as a human being." While the publication remains fairly "traditional" – not publishing genre horror or fantasy – Mayfield says they do look to feature humor in every issue.

Some recently featured authors include Author's Guild President Roxanne Robinson, Maine Senior Poet Laureate Roger Finch, award-winning poets Annie Finch, Jason Michael MacLeod, Claire Scott, David Sloan, and Sean Sutherland.

In addition to the annual collections of short fiction and poetry, in the next year Mayfield says she'd like to publish an annual collection of CNF/memoir. Just now nearing the end their first year, The Maine Review looks forward to expanding the size and scope of the publication over the next few years.

The Maine Review holds contests and open reading periods. The next contest, for the Fall 2015 issue, will open in late May with a June 30th deadline. The contest for the annual poetry collection will open in autumn. The publication also has two open reading periods (no fee) each year for the Winter and Summer issues with submissions for those issues only accepted during the reading periods. See the publication's website for more specific information. Submission is via the website and there is also a form available on the website for mailing submissions via USPS.
Published April 14, 2015
bear-reviewBased out of Kansas City and Seattle, Bear Review is a new independent online biannual of poetry and micro-prose (under 500 words) as well as visual art. Between issues, Editors Marcus Myers and Brian Clifton also post Bear Review authors reading their work on Soundcloud and Tumblr.

In starting a literary magazine, Myers and Clifton say they like the juxtaposition inherent in those publications. "When reading one, you never know what will be on the next page--your new favorite poem? your best friend from childhood? a plot that destroys everything you though about storytelling? The possibilities are endless. We wanted to create a space in which this excitement could live and grow. Part of the fun for us is putting each issue in order and seeing how the text and images converse with one another. In a phrase, our mission is to keep our readers guessing."

And while the name Bear Review might seem to invite eco- or nature-themed writing, the inspiration expresses a more complex metaphor. When Myers was a teenager, he went hiking and came across a bear face-to-face. The experience was full of beauty that turned into danger and fear. Myers writes, "As readers, we crave that specific sort of encounter from each poem or flash piece we happen upon. Our favorite pieces, like literary bears, have a mix of beauty and danger that leaves us with a greater respect for what's real. And we want to share this vital wonder with our readers. "

Reader of Bear Review can expect to find this mix of beauty and danger throughout, though since the editors are both poets, the publication is bias to that genre. ("But we do love micro-prose," says Myers.) In both prose and poetry, Myers assure me that readers can expect to find a wide breadth of styles and contemporary modes as well as visual art from critically acclaimed photographers, illustrators, and painters.

Some recent contributors include Moikom Zeqo, Mathias Svalina, Jordan Stempleman, Lisa Russ Spaar, DA Powell, Rusty Morrison, Wayne Miller, Emily Koehn, Megan Kaminiski, Miriam Gamble, John Gallaher, Drew Cook, and Hadara Bar-Nadav.

Myers tells me that future plans for Bear Review are to continue making the journal "a beautiful place for the poems and prose we love; we want to continue to bring an audience there. We want to provide a place where established and soon-to-be established writers can share the same stage." A chapbook contest, website expansion for close readings, and book reviews and interviews are all in the works.

Bear Review takes submissions year round via submittable, and Myers and Clifton say they read each submission out loud. All work done as a labor of love, Bear Review is a welcome addition to the literary arts community.

[Cover: "Victim of Explosion" by August Sander, 1930]
Published April 07, 2015
BPLThe Birds We Piled Loosely (or BPL for short) is an online quarterly interested in publishing "anything we can fit into our magazine," according to Editors Johnathan McClintick and Nicole Letson. For that reason, readers coming to BPL can expect to find just about any kind of writing: from villanelles, to essays, etc. And art can range from photography, painting, illustrations, graphic design etc. BPL is published as a pdf (free to download) because the editors found using InDesign allows them to more easily format non-conventional pieces. Also, McClintick notes, "we can curate the magazine so that the pieces inside read together in a complementary order, and the magazine can readily be shared and circulated."

McClintick says BPL "started on a whim, but as we've gotten more engaged with the work, we really see it as a chance to help writers and artists get more visibility online." Like many start-up publications, there's no paycheck for those involved, but nor does the publication ask for payment. "All our work is voluntary and we see it as community service," comment McClintick, "We love having the chance to share the work of others and give readers the chance to find more work like it. This is why our contributor's bios contain links to other work they've done or are doing. We want readers to read more and discover more; our magazine is just a starting point for them."

Some featured contributors to the first two issues include Emma DeMilta, Glen Armstrong, Karen J. Weyant, Luke Thurogood, Rob Cook, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Patty Somlo, John Colasacco, who has a book coming out this May through CCM Press, and Howie Good, whose Fugitive Pieces proceeds will be donated to charity.

And the name – why The Birds We Piled Loosely? The answer reveals a whimsical side: "We liked birds! And besides, the great danes piled loosely would just sound silly," McClintick jokes. "In reality," he says, "we came up with a shortlist of several different names and passed them around to friends and settled on the name people liked the most." The result is indeed intriguing and unique.

In the future for BPL, the editors want to look for ways to incorporate video and audio, consider print options and different website designs, and feature a sample of an author's newly released book. Already, issue three will feature poems from Rob Cook's new book Asking My Liver for Forgiveness.

For submissions, the editors tell writers to submit "text pieces" instead of any one genre because they don't want to discourage people from submitting in any medium or style of writing. As for art, they're really open to anything there as well. Letson's background and career is in visual design, while McClintick's is in writing and editing, so they complement each other in the type of work they're looking for.

McClintick stresses to writers: "Understand that we won't know your name or publication history when we review the piece. We've rejected writers claiming they had over a 100 publications and accepted writers who have never been published. We'll take a look at any type of writing and judge it on its merit alone. Name dropping publications when you submit your piece doesn't impress us."

McClintick and Letson offer this final word: "We really believe in the work we're doing and in our contributors! We want to thank them again. This magazine is really for our contributors and readers, and we can only hope that when someone opens the magazine that they can see all of this in our work."
Published March 26, 2015
brain-of-forgettingBrain of Forgetting is a new bi-annual (winter/summer) PDF and print (CreateSpace) publication of poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, artwork published by Brain of Forgetting Press with Editor-in-Chief Bernadette McCarthy and Associate Editor of Visual Art Tom Jordan.

The name Brain of Forgetting, McCarthy tells NewPages, "is drawn from the Irish legend of Cenn Fáelad, who lost his 'brain of forgetting' when his skull was split open by a sword-blow in battle. Cenn Fáelad developed a photographic memory for historical and legal information, which he wrote out in verse and prose on tablets. The journal honours his legacy by providing a forum for work that engages with archaeology, history, and memory, while recognising that pure, neutral historical fact does not exist in itself: the human (mis)understanding of history is not only susceptible to forgetting, but a natural tendency to impose a narrative structure on the past and invest it with meanings determined by the present."

Based in Cork, Ireland, the journal brings together the intellects of archaeological researcher and poet Bernadette McCarthy and photographer and art historian Tom Jordan. Unable to discover a literary journal that bridged the gap between academic research and creative output, McCarthy set up the journal in September 2014, advertising a call for submissions on the theme of "Stones." She attended an exhibition of her friend Tom Jordan's photography, which focused in particular on recording built heritage, and asked him to come on board as editor of visual art. This issue is now available here to purchase as well as for free download from the site.

In starting a new publication, McCarthy tells NewPages, "We hope to raise more awareness of the importance of protecting our past heritage, and how the past is not dead, but can help us reach a deeper level in our own creative work, and understand our present reality in a more complex way. The past isn't black-and-white, and there is no one narrative of what history entails; this is a central message of Brain of Forgetting. The process of 'digging' into the past and uncovering new meaning is vital to individual and collective social identity, and Brain of Forgetting hopes to address this need by negotiating the boundaries between past and present, creative imagination and historic record, and lyricism and bare-boned data."

Readers of Brain of Forgetting will find creative work that relates to the past, but, as McCarthy says, "this work must have a contemporary edge." A variety of writers and artists from all over the world were published in Issue One, many of whom had quite diverse backgrounds. Some were professional archaeologists, anthropologists, medievalists, and geologists; others were professional writers and artists who find the past to be a fruitful source of inspiration. "All work published was chosen not simply because it related to the past," McCarthy stresses, "but on the basis of its quality and originality—subjective indeed, but we try our best!"

The editors are excited about the upcoming Issue Two, which will feature new poetry by Afric MacGlinchey, as well as new translations by Rosalin Blue of the poetry of August Stramm, who died in World War I.

Looking to the future, in an ideal issue of Brain of Forgetting, Bernadette McCarthy would love to include work from one of her favorite archaeologist-poets, Paddy Bushe, and perhaps creative non-fiction by the likes of Christine Finn, author of Past Poetic: Archaeology in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney. In general, however, she is interested in original work from anyone that engages with the past, regardless of whether s/he is an established or emerging writer.

Tom Jordan would love to publish a previously undiscovered essay by Hubert Butler, author of Ten Thousand Saints, who bridged the gap between history and imagination in his writings. He is also a fan of Irish artist Robert Gibbings and cosmologist/author Carl Sagan, but in general he welcomes anything well-done that relates to the chosen theme of the journal.

For now, McCarthy says, "Surviving is our main goal at present, and perhaps gathering enough funding together to be able to pay a local company to do the printing for us - though we are grateful for the existence of online independent publishing platforms. We would also like to try and reach a wider readership, and publish an even more diverse range of writers. So far, most of the work submitted has emanated from Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US. It would be great to feature more work from the wider Anglophone world e.g. parts of Africa, Asia, and Australasia where English is spoken."

Submissions for Issue Two, based around the theme of "Poppies," are open until the end of March. Up to four poems or two pieces of flash fiction (900 words max.) can be submitted, while submissions of creative non-fiction (one piece, 1200 words max), as well as photography and other artwork are also welcome. While the journal is primarily English-language, work in other languages can be considered if accompanied by English translation suitable for publication, while translations of pre-1500 English-language work are gladly considered. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, as long as the contributor informs the journal if a piece is published elsewhere. All work submitted must be previously unpublished in print or online. See Brain of Forgetting's website for more information.
Published March 02, 2015

tahoma-literary-reviewNow in its second issue, Tahoma Literary Review is a publication of poetry, fiction and nonfiction based in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Published three times per year, TLR is available in print, PDF, epub and Kindle formats. In addition to these print and electronic editions, TLR offers featured readings by contributors via Soundcloud.

Read more...
Published January 26, 2015
bridge-eightBased out of Jacksonville, Florida, the biannual print Bridge Eight Literary Magazine publishes literary fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.

The magazine is published by Bridge Eight, a small independent press that seeks to build the literary culture of Northeast Florida, while publishing work from writers all over the world.

Publisher Jared Rypkema is based in Jacksonville, a city known for its seven bridges. He says, "Bridge Eight provides an 'eighth bridge' that will take readers to new imaginative destinations, connecting new voices and new readers, and venturing far beyond the boundaries of the city we call home." Since its inception, Rypkema notes, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine has been wonderfully received both locally and regionally, earning the support of Jacksonville's cultural council and arts community. Others working to make the publication happen include Managing Editor Coe Douglas, Senior Fiction Editor Melanie Webb, and Senior Poetry Editor Teri Youmans Grimm.

Bridge Eight started as a community-building organization that sought to connect Jacksonville-based writers and create a movement of literary culture within the city. After a year of hosting workshops and community events, the literary magazine concept was born in order to publish outside influences alongside those grown in Jacksonville, FL. Since there were no other independent literary magazines in Jacksonville, Bridge Eight became the only one of its kind when it published its first issue in November 2014.

Rypkema tells me, "As artists and writers first, publishers second, we carry a commitment to bring our readers the best writing we can, presented in the best way possible. We work with amazing artists for our design and the best printers in the country. For readers, this is a magazine that will not only be a great read, but feel and look amazing as well."

Recent contributors include Mark Ari, editor of EAT Poems, Editorial Advisor to Fiction Fix, and author of The Shoemaker's Tale; Teri Youmans Grimm, author of Dirt Eaters and Becoming Lyla Dore (forthcoming); and Lee Matalone, whose writing has recently appeared in the Noctua Review, Verbaleyze's Young Writers Anthology, the Eunoia Review and the Stoneslide Corrective.

Bridge Eight continues to host workshops for Jacksonville-based writers and presents the semi-regular reading series, Abridged. Rypkema looks to the future of the publication: "As almost all other independent literary magazines, sustainability was key to our foundation. The decisions we've made and people we've worked with over the past year have set the magazine up for success in the years to come - where we hope to become a go-to for literary publishing in Northeast Florida. Bridge Eight Literary Magazine will always be on the lookout for excellent work that speaks to the very elements of humanity."

Bridge Eight Literary Magazine accepts submissions on a rolling basis. Submissions received on or before February 15, 2015 will be considered for Issue 2 (Spring 2015).
Published May 01, 2014
A new zine called When in Drought is hitting the streets in a small print run from Los Angeles. With a tongue-in-cheek and often political attitude, it has no problem standing out from a crowd of other literary magazines. Each issue is themed and contains writing, art, and translation "with neglected literature from around the world." To get a feel for them, here's some excerpts from their submission guidelines: "Whatever it is, we're against it. Just kidding. We love you." And at the bottom of each page on their site, they declare, "Stay horny for art." And on their contest page, they have some sample titles of books that if written, they would pay good money for: Nude on a Chair; Look Mom, the Children Don't Have Any Pants Today; Mein Kampf, Your Kampf, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; Tits Laid Heavy on My Thoughts: A Memoir; and other humorous suggestions.

The latest issue is themed Prague: "never in recorded history has the municipality of Prague experience drought. On the contrary, it has withstood floods, torrential downpours, &, quite often, thunderstorms . . . It is no wonder then that the editors of this journal should be fascinated with such a place . . . We hope you will soon find your thirst slaked—& please, when in Prague, do not forget your umbrella." The issue itself contains 100 pages of original work combined with passages from Franz Kafka.
Published April 30, 2014
Isthmus, edited by Ann Przyzycki, Randy DeVita, and Taira Anderson, is a new biannual print magazine that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Isthmus offers “good writing that will make you want to pass the issue to a friend.” Przyzycki says, “We value the traditional as well as those pieces that organically can only be told through experimentation with form.”

Przyzycki recalls a time when all three editors were stuck together in traffic on the interstate highway running north to south through Seattle. One editor remarks that the reason for the bottleneck traffic in Seattle is that the city is built on an isthmus. Later, when coming up with a name for the journal, Przyzycki says they looked back on this moment and chose Isthmus to refer not only to the city it was based out of but also to the geographical term and the accompanying metaphor: “a narrow connection between two larger objects, as the printed journal is a connection between the writer and the reader,” she says.

But as with all new journals, we ask why? Why start a literary magazine? And in Przyzycki’s research, she found that most start because the editors don’t feel like there is “a venue for a certain kind of story, that there is some hole to fill”—and she would be right. She is fully aware of the vast amount of venues already out there but says “I don’t think that there can be too many opportunities for good writing to be shared.” Inspired by the independent presses and magazines at AWP this year, she believes that many writers are looking to independent lit mags for “new voices.” She loves the honor of allowing someone else to trust her with their work; “I love working on books and so perhaps naively I feel that my passion for publishing and connecting writers to readers is reason enough.”

As the journal grows, Przyzycki hopes to include translations on a regular basis, increase the online presence, and include more book recommendations and author interviews on the website.

The first issue features fiction by Jennifer Bryan, Michal Davis, and Leslie Parry; nonfiction by Kelly Chastain, Elizabeth Mack, and Mark Rozema; poetry by Louis Armand, Cody Deitz, Suanne Fetherolf, Natalie Giarratano, Matt Hemmerich, Gabe Herron, Patrick Kindig, Jed Myers, Jason Olsen, Natania Rosenfeld, Mike Smith, Haley Van Heukelom, Laurelyn Whitt, and Theodore Worozbyt.

Isthmus editors read year round for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can submit through Submittable only; please find complete guidelines on their website. They also note that you should check in regularly with their blog and Facebook page for announcements of any upcoming special issues or future contests.
Published April 01, 2014
The Austin Review, a neatly-bound, fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand journal, is now being produced in Austin, Texas, three times a year. Editor-in-Chief Michael Barrett says that Austin “is home to an incredibly talented group of writers and publishers, and we thought the city deserved a journal bearing its name.” Publishing four short stories, four pieces of flash nonfiction, and on essay or work by a notable author in each issue, The Austin Review is also available as a Kindle version.

But with so many literary magazines already out there, the question is always, why start another? Well, along with the common mission to discover new work from emerging authors, Barrett, to some extent, wants to “highlight the talented authors coming from Austin and help expand the literary community in the city.”

As the magazines grows, Barrett—along with Managing Editor Tatiana Ryckman and Associate Editor Wendy Walker—plans to keep to the nine works per issue but to eventually share a limited number of additional works on their website. “We also intend to expand our nonprofit and outreach efforts and help promote the love of literature in our community,” he states.

The first issue features short stories by John Jodzio, T Kira Madden, Derrick Brown, and Boomer Pinches; flash nonfiction by David Olimpio, Lisa Wells, Caitlyn Paley, and Patrick Madden; and an essay by Sheila Heti. “Readers can expect to find contemporary works of the highest quality, curated with great care and attention to detail,” says Barrett.

The magazine accepts submissions year-round through Submittable, and you can purchase a print copy from their website or a digital version from Amazon.

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