is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

Denise Hill

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Know some young readers & writers? Are you a K-12 teacher? Check out the Young Authors Guide on

This is guide where young authors (as defined by each publication - sometimes it includes college-age) can find places to publish their writing. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a select list of publications in print as well as online that have open submissions with guidelines, an editorial selection process, and a regular print cycle. Some publish only young authors, some publish all ages for young audiences. For more specific submission guidelines, visit the publication's website.

Also included in this guide are contests for young writers. These are carefully selected for quality and sensitivity to not wanting young writers to be taken advantage of (with promises of publication and high entry fees). Almost all are no-cost entry with some awarding scholarship money.

This is not a paid-for page or an advertising page in any way. It is a page I have put together as a resource to encourage young writers in their interest.

If you know of other publications or contests that could be added to this list, please e-mail me with information:
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Boulevard consistently selects stunning cover art, and the most recent issue (#88) shows no letting up. Steven Kenny's "The Raft" is an oil on canvas, richly reproduced for the rich depth of contents within (like Bob Hicok, Sheila Kohler, Joyce Carol Oates, and Floyd Skloot).

This 2014 issue cover of Iron Horse is a stunner. "The Kelpies" is a photograph by Rafal Adamczyk. It's slightly cropped for the magazine cover, so seeing the original adds a greater appreciation for this gorgeous cover shot.

healing-museI love the concept of The Healing Muse, published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, SUNY Medical University. This journal should be required reading for ALL health care worker programs nationwide. The cover alone is testament to its contents, issue after issue: "Comforting a Friend" by Lynne Feldman. The Healing Muse - keeping the humanities in medicine.

hermanuetic-chaosMia Funk's oil on canvas "Labyrinth" draws readers into issue #4 of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. Funk says of her work: "I try to be provocative and playful and create a visually impacting work using oil on canvas, moving the paint like a dream/nightmare until I'm satisfied with the effect of the images coming through. I think people have a capacity now to accept strange and I hope some of my work holds up to that. I want to disorientate the viewer and make the unfamiliar familiar and vice versa."

Poetica Holocaust Edition

November 06, 2014
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poetica-2014-holocaustAlthough the fall edition of Poetica: Contemporary Jewish Writing is already sold out, readers can still get a copy of the publication's special fall 2014 Holocaust Edition. Fiction and poetry from writers included in this edition: Sally Albiso, Fred Amram, Helen Eisen, Joy Gaines-Friedler, Barbara Goldberg, Miriam Green (Israel), Sarah Katz, Marta Kosály, Bem Le Hunte (Australia), Jesse Morales, Drew Nacht, Baruch November, Nina Pick, Michael Robinson, Sophie Soil (Canada), Tamara Tabel, Tim Stobierski, Israel Zoberman, with cover art by Ron Weijers and inside art by Selma Waldman and Harriet Caldwell. The publication is 70 pages, perfect bound.
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The Fall 2014 issue of Apple Valley Review has much to recommend it, but three poems by Laura Lee Beaseley featured in the online magazine took a stronghold in me. Each a short punch of a read hit hard to issues of illness and dying, but shared, not alone. "Our Dying" begins in its title alone to speak of the shared nature we feel in losing and loss of another. "Chemotherapy" brings the patient's support person into the treatment: "And I felt it too, that sudden spark, / that familiar nervous thump." The last, "St. Jude," begins "I asked why you wore him / around your neck. / We're not even Catholic." By the close of the poem, the answer is clear. A sorrow-sweet trilogy of work, especially for those having been there, done this.
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If you wonder how we pick Lit Mag Covers of the Week, it really is just looking at the issue and catching ourselves saying, "Oh, that's a cool!" Exactly what I said when I picked up Whiskey Island issue 64. St. Paul, Minnesota painter Aniela Sobieski, also an MFA candidate at Syracuse University, has her work "Young Buck," oil on canvas, featured on the cover. While still gorgeous, it's not quite in full. Visit her website for the whole picture.


This September/October 2014 cover of Ragzine had been showing up on our slider feature, and each time, I am absolutely drawn to this image. "Ida & Disa" is a photo by Mia Hanson whose interview is included in this issue online.

Number 2 Summer 2014 of Red Earth Review struck me because I recognize that precarious-looking train trestel trusted to hold up a ton of freight through wooded swamp. We have a few of those near where I live, in addition to reminding me of the film scene from Stand By Me. "People Get Ready" is the photograph by Wilma Whittaker.


"Two Fates" oil on masonite panel by Alex Hall featured on the online literary magazine decomP is from his latest series "Relativity," which depicts individuals floating in time and space. Hall says of this series, "I chose to paint the figures with no distinct faces so they would relate to every man and every woman."


Poems & Literal Truth

November 12, 2014
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lawrence-raabThe Fall 2014 issue of New Ohio Review includes the feature "Poems and Literal Truth" with essays from Lawrence Raab ("Should Poems Tell the Truth?" [pictured]), Daisy Fried ("Truthless Demands"), Adrienne Su ("Where Are You Really Writing From? Reading and Writing Place and Experience"), Louise Glück ("A Brief Response" which begins "Frankly, I have no idea why this should be any sort of problem."), Carl Dennis ("Telling the Truth in Poetry"), Kim Addonizio ("Pants on Fire"), and Michael Ryan (in which Ryan shares his experience reading through poems for Iowa Review - one of which came in with the title "Father").
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NORIssue #16 / Fall 2014 of New Ohio Review features the 2014 Contest Winners as selected by Aimee Bender for Fiction and Alan Shapiro for Poetry:

Fiction Prizes

1st - Robert Glick: "The Undersized Negative"
2nd - Joseph Scapellato: "Small Boy"

Poetry Prizes

1st - Stephanie Horvath: "So That is What I Am," "CadesCove Water Wheel," and "Medicine"
2nd - Jennifer Perrine: "A Theory of Violence" and "Embarrassment: from baraço (halter)"
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Flipping through the newest issue of Alaska Quarterly Review, from back to front, it only took a page in before I was stopped by the image on the page. I won't explain it - has to be seen - "STRETCH IT OUT!" by Vis-à-Vis Society (Rachel Kessler and Sierra Nelson). Guest edited with an introduction by Elizabeth Bradfield, "Out of Bounds: A Celebration of Genre-Defiant Work" is pretty dang delightful. While AQR tries to bring it onto the page, the one piece connected directly from their website is really better in the e-version than in print. It's worth having it preserved in the issue, though both forms seem transient to their own degree, but "The Christmas When You Were Nine" is best experienced in its originally paced "code poem" form. But this is the challenge of works that defy genre, and is nothing new, Bradfield tells us: "Work that defies genre and authorship is not, of course, new. Japanese renga of the 8th century were written collaboratively. One might consider Homer a mashup artist, making his poem from the many tellings and retellings of an oral epic. French Surrealists mixed visual art into their experiments. The 'happenings' of the 1950s and 1960s were even more multi-disciplinary and worked to break the fourth wall between performer and audience." And what was once strange and new became mainstream. Strange and new, fun and playful, definitely worth checking out - with kudos to Alaska Quarterly Review for making efforts to harness that defiance for us to see - or have they harnessed the readers and brought them to this experience? Defiance indeed.
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I appreciate Robert S. Fogarty's humorous but hard-hitting editorial in the newest issue of The Antioch Review, "Word Trucks: I and You; Here and There; This and That." In this "nation of fads," he writes, one is hard pressed to keep up with all of them." Fogarty goes on to discuss the food truck phenomenon - how in his foreign travels he had been warned against eating from street vendors, and now, here in the US, those curbside eateries are all the rage. He muses, "Literary magazines have been in the food truck business for a long time, serving up a variety of dishes that were intended to stimulate the intellectural palate with 'the best words in the best order.'" [Qtd Coleridge] While Nicholas Carr looks at "What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains" in his book The Shallows, quoting a Duke University instructor who says she can't get students to read "whole books anymore," Fogarty seems unshaken - his stronghold in the "word truck" realm has long been feeding hungry minds to satisfaction. "A heady meal," he claims - "and it's gluten free."
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American Life in Poetry: Column 500

EliseHempelThis is our 500th weekly column, and we want to thank the newspapers who publish us, the poets who are so generous with their work, our sponsors The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Department, and our many readers, in print and on line.

Almost every week I read in our local newspaper that some custodial parent has had to call in the law to stand by while a child is transferred to its other parent amidst some post-divorce hostility. So it's a pleasure to read this poem by Elise Hempel, who lives in Illinois, in which the transfer is attended only by a little heartache.

The Transfer

His car rolls up to the curb, you switch
your mood, which doll to bring and rush

out again on the sliding steps
of your shoes half-on, forgetting to zip

your new pink coat in thirty degrees,
teeth and hair not brushed, already

passing the birch, mid-way between us,
too far to hear my fading voice

calling my rope of reminders as I
lean out in my robe, another Saturday

morning you're pulled toward his smile, his gifts,
sweeping on two flattened rafts

from mine to his, your fleeting wave
down the rapids of the drive.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Elise Hempel and reprinted from Only Child, Finishing Line Press, 2014, by permission of Elise Hempel and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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