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Published October 10, 2013
Middle gray, in visual art, is the color tone halfway between black and white. “In other words, it’s a perfectly neutral gray,” says the managing editor of the new quarterly online magazine titled Middle Gray Magazine. “We thought the concept of ‘neutral gray’ was very appropriate for a place the showcases art, since this color is meant to neither enhance nor diminish the hues of the artwork being displayed. It allows it to show its true colors,” Alvaro Morales says. The magazine is an eclectic mix of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, paintings, illustrations, mixed media, bands, ensembles, composers, drama, screenplays, animation, and so much more. “We consider all types of creative work and encourage artists with non-traditional work to submit,” Morales says. And although the magazine itself only features written and visual work, the accompanying blog publishes interviews, music, and video features.

Working alongside Morales are Catalina Piedrahita (Editor-in-Chief/Visual Arts Editor) and Dariel Suarez (Letters Editor). They started the magazine as a space for emerging artists to display their work. Morales explains, “We intend to build a creative community that encourages artistic connections, collaborations and cross-pollination.” In the future, they would like to organize events in the Boston area where the featured artists can present their work through readings, galleries, performances, and the like.

Their first issue features fiction by Jonathan Escoffery; nonfiction by Sandra Jean-Pierre; poetry by Natasha Hakimi, Joe Lapin, and Fausto Barrionuevo; screenplay by Erick Castrillon; visual arts by Eileen Clynes, Michael Gray, Sophie Bonet, and Laura Knapp; and music by Unlimited Perception and Videri String Quartet.

Middle Gray accepts ongoing submissions without any special themes. Submissions are sent in via email; read more here.
Published June 18, 2013
The name Driftless Review (of a new lit mag) refers to the area in SW Wisconsin, NE Iowa, SE Minnesota, and NW Illinois where the geography was left unharmed after the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. “Think deep river valleys,” says Contest Co-Editor and Assistant Prose Editor Bill Yazbec, “plush forests, and cold water streams carved in limestone bedrock.”

But this new magazine, too, has some history. As Yazbec says, “it’s a resurrection of a previous incarnation spearheaded by Russ Brickey.” Published by Platteville Poets, Writers and Editors, LLC, Driftless Review comes out twice a year, in May and December, and features fiction, poetry, flash fiction, nonfiction, interviews, visual artwork, and book reviews. “While we strive to be a respected national literary publication,” Yazbec says, “we always place a focus on emerging writers in the Driftless area.”

But Yazbec is not alone in this endeavor. Fellow editors include Kara Candito, Teresa Burns, Colin Lessig, Russ Brickey, and Laura Beadling. They aim to grow their readership and “become a ‘staunch character’ in the rich tradition of Midwestern literary magazines and journals.”

The publication is geared toward readers that might read the NYT, Rain Taxi, and The Believer, “but also still get the local newspaper delivered in the mornings.” Yazbec says that Driftless Review is for “a reader that is fascinated by what’s out in the world, but content to appreciate the beauty of the Midwest and the kindness of the people here.”

He says the writing they aim to publish has “well-wrought characters in situations that shed some new light on the human condition. Tight, clean, unassuming prose that mirrors our Midwestern sensibility.” He goes on to say that they don’t care “about the poet’s aesthetic allegiances as much as [they] care about the work’s human urgency.”

The first issue features prose by Bonnie Jo Campbell, Lydia Conklin, Sam Snoek-Brown, Matthew Fiander, Paul Crenshaw, Jen Kerske, and Jacob Reecher; poetry by Fleda Brown, Rita Mae Reese, Matthew Guenette, Sam Amadon, Liz Countryman, Kyle McCord, Rodney Wittwer, Justin Bigos, Matthew Mutiva, and Kaela Mellen; and visual art from Lydia Conklin.

Electronic submissions are accepted year-round, and submission guidelines can be found on their website.
Published June 10, 2013
The Atlas Review, a new biannual print journal, has a mission “to extend aesthetic qualities/dilemmas beyond a few communities and into the open air of all voices.” Editor Natalie Eilbert says: “It is our hope that through our anonymous submission system, we can graph a new geography of writers and artists, from Idaho to the Philippines.”

Along with Eilbert, Editors Jillian Kuzma and Dolan Morgan publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and art in the issues. Eilbert says that you can expect to find writers that you can both recognize and admire, noting that you can find interviews with the likes of George Saunders, Amelia Gray, and C. D. Wright.

With a desire to engage as many communities as possible, Atlas Review only accepts submission anonymously. They do, however, also solicit pieces from bigger names to draw a wider audience for readership. “We like the energy this creates,” says Eilbert. “We'd like to think of the magazine as one especially for writers (as if there exists a lit mag whose audience is not writers) by writing letters to our accepted authors articulating just why we were drawn to their submission, being active editors in pieces we enjoy, writing letters of encouragement to writers we find striking but whom we are unable to take in a given reading period, and finding as many opportunities to get our writers involved in reading events, their own communities (we ask, for example, in what bookstores our writers would like to see their work featured), and even the magazine itself (we have "guest readers" for each reading period, former contributors interested in vetting submissions).”

The first issue features poetry by Eileen Myles, Caitlin Dube, Michael Simon, Christopher DeWeese, Justin Boening, Patrick Gaughan, Anna Journey, Joe Hall, Ken L. Walker, Cori A. Winrock, Marci Vogel, Safiya Sinclair, Robert Ostrom, Kathleen Ossip, Brandon Kreitler, Meg Day, Matthew Zingg, Rachel Carstens, and Russ Woods; fiction by Jacob Mercer, Catherine Lacey, Judy Caldwell-Midero, Jon Steinhagen, and Sam Allingham; art by David Michael Schmidt, Bianca Stone, Jenny Harp, Noah and Nathan Rice, Kristof Didrickson, Roxy Drew, and Brett Rees; and an interview with George Saunders.

Right now, the editors are eagerly working on issue 2 as well as some new developments they can’t quite reveal yet. “We’ve got a whole lot of plans for reading events this summer which we cannot wait to declare—like, seriously big plans ahead there and we’re gripping our seats to tell you but must hold on!” Issue 2 will feature work by Italian writer Gabriella Ambrosio (translated by Alastair McEwan), Mike Meginnis, Camille Rankine, Rachel Glaser, Mr. Fish, and interviews with C. D. Wright and Amelia Gray.

Atlas Review accepts submissions through submittable but asks that you remain completely anonymous. Do not include your name or “identity-revealing information” anywhere in your submission. However, they do not have an open submission period at the moment.
Published May 06, 2013
A NARROW FELLOW is a new biannual, print, poetry magazine that takes its name from an Emily Dickinson poem, later named by publishers “The Snake.” This poem is about “…a narrow fellow in the grass…” After coming up with a list of 40 possible names, Editors Mark Lee Webb and Molly McCormack (husband and wife) sat down to make a final decision: “The name we settled on at the end of the candle and the bottom of the bottle of wine (a Pinot Noir) was A NARROW FELLOW,” says Webb.

“We wanted to connect more with ‘The Tribe,’ make contacts with established voices,” he says. “We also recognized the difficulty new voices have getting published . . . It’s often a very closed clique . . .” Knowing this frustration, they wanted to make a place for these new voices to shine.

The magazine features mostly poems that fit on one page and that “tell engaging stories, that use vivid images, and that sing melodies that beg you to come back for more.” Web says that they don’t publish experiment, but they also don’t publish traditional forms with measured meter and end-rhymes. “We publish innovators (which is different than experimenters, to a degree). Webb really knows the kinds of poetry they want, and the kind they don’t want: “We publish lots of metaphor. We publish poems that tell a unique story in a unique way. We don't publish poems about writing poetry. We don't publish poems about the meaning of the universe. We publish mysterious poems that are not confusing. They don't tie a bow around their endings, and they make the reader work a bit. But they are not un-solvable puzzles.”

Each author that they feature has at least two poems, “so the reader can get a better sense of their voice.” Webb says that they event rejected some excellent poets because they only sent one poem, or only one remarkable poem in the set.

The first issue features well-known poets Jeffrey Skinner, Mark Brazaitis, Fred Smock, James Harms, and Lynnell Edwards. The issue also includes Karen Schubert, who recently won an Ohio Arts Council grant and teaches at Youngstown State. Webb says, “Her poem ‘Toby Tyler’ is remarkable.” Webb says they are excited to be one of the first magazines to publish the work of Jerriod Avant, an MFA student “that you’ll be hearing a lot about in the next few years.” The issue also features the work of emerging voice such as Caitlin Thomson and Valentina Cano. Webb says that the next issue will feature double the amount of poets that were published in the inaugural issue, which was seventeen.

In the future, A NARROW FELLOW plans to publish a theme issue that will pair pieces of artwork with poems written about the art. Webb says that in addition to publishing the issue, they will hang the art and poems for a show at a gallery.

For information on submitting or subscribing to the magazine, please visit their website.
Published April 22, 2013
Star 82 Review is a brand new online magazine that is named after the code you use to unblock a blocked phone number so the recipient knows who you are. “I like that a writer’s voice is revealed in a written piece,” says Editor Alisa Golden, “an artist’s hand is shown in a visual work.”

Available quarterly online for free, or in print for purchase through CreateSpace and Amazon, Star 82 Review publishes stories, poems, play scenes, and monologues. But in particular interest to Golden is publishing fiction and nonfiction that come in under 1000 words. There are also two unique categories: Postcard Lit and Erasure Text. You can see examples of these forms in their first issue online, which features Stephen Ajay, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Lauren Guza Brown, William Copeland, Leonard Crosby, Marie C. Dern, Gina, Jim Hair, Alan D. Harris, William D. Hicks, Jnana Hodson, Paul Hostovsky, Alastair Johnston, Maureen Kingston, Lisa Kokin, Ron. Lavalette, Jonathan Lethem, Rachel Smith, Judith Tannenbaum, and Mary Whiteside (with Alan Whiteside).

Golden says that readers can expect to find “thoughtful, layered pieces that reveal emotional and psychological truths. The works unveil the strange and unique quality of a familiar object or situation. Readers are likely to come away laughing, nodding, gasping, or shaking their heads in understanding.” Golden says that she wanted to start this magazine to showcase both art and writing alongside one another. And as the magazine develops, she hopes to continue publishing as long as possible and to discover more excellent writers and authors.

Star 82 Review accepts submissions via Submittable year-round. However, the projected deadlines are May 15, August 15, November 15, and February 15 for particular issues. More guidelines can be found on the website.
Published April 08, 2013
Zymbol is a new print magazine that publishes twice a year, in March and September, and welcomes all sorts of genres and forms. Editor Anne James says, “We're happy to consider any genre or medium that the submitter feels belongs to, or shares a connection with, Symbolism or Surrealism. As an editor, I'd rather read three times as many submissions to find that amazing, description-defying piece than to miss out on seeing it because we've set our guidelines too strict.” However, because they are a print magazine, James says, “we can't accommodate submissions of someone's videotaped fire-eating homage to Salvador Dalí.”

In the issues you can expect to find a variety of writing. “We pride ourselves on the diversity of voices we publish,” says James, “and I don’t just mean in terms of demographics. We have everything from the whimsical to the downright sinister. Any reader who daydreams and questions reality can find a sense of camaraderie in the pages of Zymbol.”

The magazine gets its title from the way symbols are “the key in Symbolist and Surrealist works.” James says, “We wanted our name to pay homage to historical influences, while signaling a drive for the future, hence the ‘Z.’” James worked learning the industry at St. Petersburg Review with Elizabeth Hodges, “an amazing mentor and friend who showed [her] it’s still possible for an independent literary magazine to thrive.” James says that she feels there is a “vacancy in the world of art and literature for a publication that is both surreal and grounded in experience. Too much contemporary literature veers off into absurdity and flights of fancy, but what excites me is the absurd out of the commonplace, the magic and mystery in our minds and our realities.”

Along with James there is a student editor, Adria Holmes of Endicott College, along with Alex O’Fhailghigh, who has been helpful in defining the editorial focus, and Marta Ferrer, who helps with art submissions and helping recruit international contributors.

The first issue features art by Nuncio Casanova, Anastasia Hager, and Mette Norrie; an essay by Marta Ferrer Gómez; poetry by Carol Alexander, Flower Conroy, William Doreski, Lou Gallo, Anastasia Hager, Anne James, Natalie Kinsey, Anthony Madrid, Erin Lyndal Martin, Ben Nardolilli, Kevin O'Sullivan, Mary Ellen Phillips, Matt Schumacher, J.J. Steinfeld, Tim Suermondt, Allison Willard, and Bill Wolak; and fiction by Jennifer Hollie Bowles, Cary Groner, Zachary Kaplan-Moss, Larry Lefkowitz, Ilya Lyashevsky, John McCaffrey, Harry Posner, and Evan Morgan Williams.

While they are only available in print right now, they hope to develop an e-reader version as soon as possible. Along with that goal, they hope to “get bookstores and other venues enthusiastic about doing some wacky readings and performances, because there's nothing like sharing an experience with a room full of people.”

Right now, they are looking for submissions that will match up with “what is shaping up to be a very dark and stormy Autumn/Winter issue.” James says this will be a nice contrast to the Spring/Summer issue. She advises that although they read year-round, submissions now through May have the best shot at getting into the next issue. They take submissions online through their website. But “if you have something crazy that the submissions manager won’t eat,” you can send it directly to James at .

Published March 18, 2013
Check out Spry Literary Journal, a brand new online, biannual publication that features creative nonfiction, fiction, flash prose, and poetry that is brief, “works that rely on each word to be agile, lithe, to carry its own weight—to be spry.” Editors Erin A. Corriveau and Linsey Jayne said that inside the issues, readers will find “works that will move them to tears, works that will make them laugh, and works that will challenge them to see the world through new and imaginative lenses. . . . They will find their reflections in magical realism and the art of the real. Readers can expect to find creative nonfiction, poetry and fiction from seasoned authors and first time published writers as well. Their work is risky, vulnerable, historical, and honest.”

Linsey said that as her and Erin came to the end of their MFA program and their work with Mason’s Road journal, they realized that the next step would be to make a literary journal of their own. “During our time in the MFA program, we had each worked on a critical thesis that lent itself to the study and creation of concise literature.”

Eager to branch out, Linsey said that they hope to eventually become a triannual publication, introduce audio/visual elements to the journal, and explore opportunities for other formats beyond the online model. “We are looking forward to planning our first launch party, building up our site, hosting contests, and much, much more,” she said. “We’re more eager than anything, though, to see each new submission that comes through our manager, and to determining which pieces will make future issues come to life.”

Each of Spry’s issues features a five-question interview with an established writer. Linsey is pleased to announce that the first issue features Porochista Khakpour and encourages readers to read the interview and leave comments. “We’re excited for the future,” she said, “we have some exciting interviewees lined up and more great submissions coming through every day.” She expressed that they are always open to new ideas and to contact her at any time.

The first issue also features creative nonfiction by Elizabeth Hilts, Jenni Nance, Alan Shaw, Amy Sibley, and Barbara Wanamaker; fiction by Kate Alexander-Kirk, Jeni McFarland, Wei He, Paul Pekin, and Ben Sneyd; flash by Allie Marini Batts, Lucas Burris, Adrien Creger, Christine Hale, Matt Lucas, Saeide Mirzaei, Bill Riley, Michael Dwayne Smith, Alexandra Todak, and Janna Vought; and poetry by Sheila Black, Conor Bracken, Jeremy Byars, Elizabeth Cooley, B.D. Fischer, Erin Hoover, Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, Paul Hostovsky, Kevin Miller, and Michael Sarnowski.

Submissions of short creative nonfiction, short fiction, flash (in any genre), and poetry are being accepted now through March 31 for the second issue. Linsey notes that for the flash category, they accept “fiction and nonfiction, as well as anything experimental in that genre.” Spry has a blind submission policy and accepts submissions via Submittable. For more submission guidelines, please view their website.

Published February 11, 2013
DIALOGIST is a brand new online magazine, released quarterly. Publishing poetry and art and photography, DIALOGIST was designed “to serve as a platform for diversity through discourse.” They wish the focus to be on the content and not on the aesthetic. Founding Editor Michael Loruss says, “We expect that our featured work be clear, dynamic, and start a conversation.”

Though “dialogist” in the dictionary means “One who takes part in a dialogue” or “A writer of dialogues,” Loruss says that they “want readers to approach [the] name as more figurative and less literal, therby avoiding writing toward the name.” More simply put, he says, “the work we select will have an honest exchange with the reader, and vice versa."

Other editors of the magazine include Brandon Courtney (poetry editor), Rachel Lin Weaver (art editor), and Lia Snyderman (website manager/contributing editor). If they are able to secure outside funding, they hope to offer a select print compilation, featuring the poetry and art from each of the quarterly online issues.

The first issue of DIALOGIST features poetry by J. Scott Brownlee, Robert Campbell, Heather Cox, Rebecca Dundon, Brad Efford, Mercedes Lawry, Adam Moorad, Charles Rafferty, Daniel Ruefman, Mark Simpson, Linda Umans, and Changming Yuan as well as art by Kev Anderson, Joel T. Dugan, Erin Robinson Grant, Anders Johnson, June Yong Lee, Kate MacDowell, Andrew Maurer, Devin Mawdsley, Rachel Seed, and Kimberly Turner.

Submissions are taken on a rolling basis via Submittable. Please visit their website and Facebook for more information.


Published January 28, 2013
ARDOR Literary Magazine is a new triannual digital magazine the publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and short-shorts alongside visual art. Founding and Managing Editor Joseph Hessert says that he launched ARDOR “to fill a niche in the market—offering writers a rapid turn-around time on their submissions and the guarantee of payment for accepted work.” He is very interested in making sure that each writer gets the attention they deserving; he reads each submission through twice so that mood of an editor on a particular day does not sway the decision. “At present I'm the only one reading submissions,” he says, “and despite this fact I managed to respond to over 90% of the work submitted during our first reading period within two weeks, writing many personal replies and notes of thanks to the writers and artists who sent their work to ARDOR.”

Hessert explains the name of the magazine as such: “ARDOR is defined as "a great warmth of feeling; fervor or passion" and can alternatively be defined as "an intense devotion or eagerness." This word seemed a fitting name for our publication as all meaningful writing stands as an example of a writer's burning passion —his or her need to offer a unique vision of the world. As a literary magazine this is the type of work we strive to find, feature and promote: writing that matters.”

Currently, ARDOR can be read online in a digital publishing format that creates links through the magazine and on mobile devices (offers the option of a convenient text-only reading option to eliminate the need to zoom). Hessert says that in the future, they may offer a print version of the digital copy.

Each issue of the magazine features one prose writer and one poet. Personal interviews are included with both authors. “This interview with the writer offers readers additional insight and (we hope) deepens their enjoyment of and engagement with the featured pieces in the magazine,” says Hessert. “These interviews close with craft-advice for new writers and we think this is a nice tribute to our featured writers and a nice thing to offer our readers (many of our readers are writers after all).”

Already, ARDOR is increasing its reputation, first with a short story contest that will offer writers at $500 prize as well as an interview and publication in Issue 3. Veteran story writer Chris Offutt will be the guest judge. In the future, Hessert says he hopes to offer more contests and increase the pay the writers receive. “My hope is that as more people become aware of ARDOR word will get out that we're a professional independent publication that values and respects writers and consistently offers readers stories, essays and poems which matter,” Hessert explains.

Issue One includes fiction by Meagan Cass and Andrew Dutton (our featured prose writer), nonfiction by Heather Price-Wright, Anastasia Selby and Sean Finucane Toner, poetry by Phillip Barron, Ellen Wade Beals, John S. Blake, Nancy Dobson, Nidhi Zakaria Eipe, Howie Good, Peter McNamara (our featured poet), Laurelyn Whitt and David Zaza and artwork by Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Rachel Carbonell, Ines Franco Fatzinger, MJ Forster (cover artist) and Ann Tracy.

ARDOR is open to submissions year-round, and the open reading period of the Short Story Contest goes until the end of March 2013. Guidelines for both can be viewed on ARDOR’s website.

For a review of ARDOR on Screen Reading, click here.
Published December 10, 2012
NewPages is happy to welcome yet another new, online magazine—The Golden Key. Publishing fiction and poetry twice a year, the magazines is available online and in PDF form for free. The magazine publishes speculative and literary writing, stories and poems that “grip,” “enchant,” and “enthrall” the editors.

The name of the magazine is inspired by the Grimm's fairy tale by the same name. Co-Editor Susan Anspach says that the story “concludes with a boy lifting the lid of a little iron chest before revealing to readers what the chest contains. The Grimms,” she continues, “chose to end their collection of fairy tales with this story as a reminder that there exists an endless reserve of stories still yet untold. In the same spirit, our journal seeks to publish work that is open to strange and marvelous possibilities.”

During her MFA program at University of Maryland, Anspach met Co-Editors Carlea Holl-Jensen and LiAnn Yim. They were all reading a lot of speculative and strange work. “We were excited to share our fascination with the weird and the oft magical, and we knew we wanted more of it,” Anspach says. Thus, the magazine was born.

But compared to some other online magazines, this magazine will remain digital. The editors don’t have hopes of eventually turning it to a print publication because they wish to make “the best digital imprint [they] can.” Anspach says that this will help keep the costs low so that they can eventually pay their contributors.

The poems in the first issue include "Let's Hurt" by Cat Richardson, "My Son to His Therapist:" and "Daughters of the Spindle" by Mary Elzabeth Lee, "Song of Solomon" by Maya K Lowy, "You tell me" by M.S. Rooney, and "dream, tiger" by Nancy Chen Long. The fiction includes "Bones" by Sylvia Linsteadt, "Fetching Whiskey Bill" by Lily Bruzas, "The Wooden Frame" by Alexander Gifford Howard, "Trail of Stones" by Adam Smith, and "Duplicator" by James D. Reed.

Every issue of the magazine is themed. The magazine accepts submissions via email starting Jan. 1 and running through March 31 for the next issue. You can follow The Golden Key on Facebook and Twitter (@GoldenKeyLit) for announcements on submissions, issue themes, and release dates.
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