Home » Newpages Blog » new lit on the block

New Lit on the Block :: New Note Poetry

New Note Poetry logo

As new publications cross our screens daily here at NewPages, we are always on the lookout for what makes this newest venture noteworthy. Turns out, New Note Poetry leaps the bar for being a publication readers and writers will want to explore. Publishing seasonal quarterly issues online, New Note Poetry is free for readers as well as writers.

Founding Editor Nathan Nicolau shares the dual inspiration behind the publication and the name. “’New Note’ is a riff on Blue Note Records, the popular jazz record label that was my biggest inspiration, and I wanted to make a publication that added a ‘new note’ to poetry, reflecting the experimental, avant-garde nature of the magazine.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: New Note Poetry”

New Lit on the Block :: SOLRAD

SOLRAD online literary magazine for comics logo image

Graphic novels, comics, comic arts, graphic narrative, visual literature – there are many old and new forms of art and writing continually merging and morphing among communities of creatives, and likewise, more publications opening their submissions to such works or based in them entirely. In addition to the content, there are growing conversations around the forms. Enter SOLRAD: The Online Literary Magazine for Comics publishing daily Monday through Friday.

SOLRAD is a nonprofit online literary magazine dedicated to the comics arts. Run completely by a volunteer staff, SOLRAD publishes original content ranging from comics criticism, original comics, essays, interviews, and the promotion of small-press events and releases. The site is a platform for new, underrepresented, and otherwise marginalized creative voices, in addition to commissioning work from well-established cartoonists, critics, journalists, and authors.

SOLRAD’s name comes from the noun meaning a wavy line in illustration (especially comics) that represents light and/or warmth emanating from the sun or other light sources, and it fits perfectly with the mission of the publication. As Editor in Chief Daniel Elkin (he/him) shares the motivation for starting SOLRAD, “We believe that criticism of the comics arts is equally essential for the betterment of the form, education of the public, and to give the comics arts a place for reflection, discernment, and connection with the larger world. As more and more people are introduced to comics as an art form, the stronger our community becomes.”

“Even more than just this, though,” Elkin adds, “we wanted to provide a legitimate, transparent, and honorable platform that allows for the diversity of creators and critical voices that makes the comics community so rich. While there are certainly places within the comics ecosystem that provide safe spaces, we wanted to take it to the next level and raise awareness of the comics arts outside its own bubble of support and into the larger public sphere to the benefit of everyone involved.”

Elkin brings a wealth of experience with him, having spent over a decade in comics criticism with bylines at Comics Bulletin, The Comics Journal, Comicon.com, and more. Before SOLRAD, he ran the comics website Your Chicken Enemy. Using this expertise, Elkins reads each pitch and, if it seems a good fit for SOLRAD, asks the writer to send a complete draft. From there, Elkin works with the writer, suggesting edits and/or additions. Response time is usually a week to two weeks.

Elkin has found the work with SOLRAD rewarding: “Being embraced from the start by the comics community and moving into the greater arts world, becoming a champion for comics as a medium that deserves as much attention and discernment as any other artform.” And this likewise creates a rewarding experience for readers as well. “At SOLRAD, readers can find a vital place for quality criticism that engages with a given work fully and offers insight into the interpretive process a reader undertakes. Divining an artist’s intention is one thing, but whether or not it connects in the way they’re hoping it will, analyzing where it succeeds and/or where it falls short, is vital stuff for creator and consumer alike. SOLRAD has developed a reputation as an outlet for artists to count on for fair-minded analysis of their work.”

He encourages writers to take a look at SOLRAD and get a sense of our personality and standards before submitting. Some recent contributors to the site include Hagai Palevsky, Kawai Shen, Kim Jooha, Lane Yates, Rob Kirby, Tom Shapira, Tony Wei Ling, and Rob Clough.

Looking ahead, Elkin explains, “Besides continuing to publish top notch criticism from a diverse set of writers, we hope our grant writing activity will allow us to increase the honorarium we pay our contributors as well as move into new media and educational opportunities.”

Welcome SOLRAD!

New Lit on the Block :: Yearling

Yearling print poetry literary magazine volume 1 cover image

Appropriately named given their location in Central Kentucky – “horse country” – Yearling also fits because it is (still) new and is published annually by Workhorse. What name could be more appropriate for this print poetry journal now joining the herd?

While Yearling may be new, the publications’ masthead come with a great deal of experience. “We are educators, writers, performers, enthusiasts for language, and the voice of every single person.”

Manny Grimaldi (he/him), Managing Editor, began as a regional actor in Shakespeare, with a degree in Dramatic Arts and Anthropology from Centre College. He is cunning with the spoken and written word and has published single pieces of poetry in Club Plum Literary Magazine, Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Pegasus Fall 2022, and the Lexington Poetry Month anthologies for 2020 and 2021.

Christopher McCurry (he/him), Editor, co-founded Workhorse in 2015, a publishing company and community for working writers. He believes “everyone should write poems and that

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Yearling”

New Lit on the Block :: NĪNSHAR Arts

Ninshar Arts online literary magazine 2022 cover image

If you seek “musings, hallucinations, fantasies, determinations and peregrinations that depart formal structures and do not recognize parameters,” then you need look no further than NĪNSHAR Arts, an open access online publication of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, paintings, drawings, etchings, photography, digital art, and sculpture images publishing on a rolling basis.

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: NĪNSHAR Arts”

New Lit on the Block :: Olympe

Olympe online literary magazine logo image

NewPages welcomes Olympe, a new online publication of global writing, visual art, and photography by women ages 16-24 that “describe the female experience and explore what women’s issues are relevant” to each contributor.

The concept for Olympe came about as a result of the Kravis Center for Performing Arts‘ “Changemakers: Global Women/Global Issues” workshop at the beginning of 2022. The editors got to know one another during this workshop while exploring women’s issues through lessons from Dr. Susan Gay Wemette where they created projects as a team. After that event, the team put what they had gained from those projects into creating Olympe as a way to bring awareness to women’s issues and amplify women’s voices as they share their stories through writing and art.

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Olympe”

New Lit on the Block :: Rivanna Review

Rivanna Review print literary magazine cover image

Many literary ventures begin in response to some need, and in doing so, become a vital component in building a literary community. Rivanna Review is just such a venture. Founder and Editor Robert Boucheron took a look around him and comments on what he observed, “Charlottesville is a university town, a hotbed of readers, and home to many writers, yet it lacked a publication for books, book reviews and literary news. Rivanna Review is here to fill the gap. It exists ‘for your reading pleasure.’ At the same time, it promotes small presses, American writers, and Virginia.”

Indeed, the name itself is reflective of its community, as Charlottesville is located on the Rivanna River, a tributary of the James. But writers and readers, know that contributors to the magazine come from around the globe and write about “places far and wide.” The most recent issue invites readers “to visit small town New England, downtown Atlanta, rural Highland County, Virginia, the Silk Road in Kazakhstan, a high school in suburban New Jersey, and the shadow world of hoaxes, malls, and Bigfoot.” Some recent contributors include Lynne Barrett, Jonathan Russell Clark, Maxim Matusevich, Ed Meek, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, Karl Plank, Christine Sneed, and Lucy Zhang.

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Rivanna Review”

New Lit on the Block :: Moss Puppy Magazine

Moss Puppy online and print literary magazine logo image

Many creatives lament not having time to “create” and the nagging feeling of void it wedges into our daily lives. No longer willing to suffer the absence, Melissa Martini founded Moss Puppy Magazine, an open-access online and print-on-demand biannual of poetry, prose, and artwork.

The name is unique, but indicative of Martini’s joyful approach, “The Moss Puppy is a creature I imagined many moons ago with the intention of creating my own vivid world of critters similar to Neopets or Pokemon. Moss Puppy has stuck with me through the years, and when I decided I wanted to start my own literary magazine, it only seemed fitting to name the magazine after her. She has a few other friends who may make appearances within the magazine’s lore in the future, too!” If it’s difficult to imagine what a Moss Puppy might look like, the publication ran a fanart contest this year asking readers to spark their imaginations. The resulting gallery is a fun stop on the site to visit.


Melissa Martini Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Moss Puppy Magazine head shot

Martini’s own commitment to the literary community started early, as she recounts, “I was the co-editor-in-chief of my high school’s literary magazine, and it was the highlight of my high school career. From reading submissions to designing issues, I couldn’t get enough. When I graduated high school and started college, one of the first things I did was find out if there was a literary magazine – and I joined the team as soon as I could. I eventually became co-editor-in-chief of that magazine, too, taking publishing courses as I learned the ropes of running a more serious publication.”

Martini continued her education to earn a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in English, and that’s when the void began. “After graduate school, I started a full-time job and no longer found myself shuffling through stacks of submissions. After two years of having that hole in my heart, I quit my job and decided to start Moss Puppy Magazine. Editing a literary magazine is an incredibly fulfilling job; I feel as though I was meant to be an editor, consistently seeking out the role in each chapter of my life.”

For writers, this means they can expect professional and respectful treatment of their submissions, as Martini explains, “Throughout the week, submissions are made available to our team of readers. Over the following week, we read and discuss submissions from the previous week, finalizing our decisions within two weeks of receiving submissions. I then send out responses each Sunday.”

Martini asked the Moss Puppy Magazine submissions readers what they look for. Veronica Jarboe, one of the Poetry Readers, stated: “I, personally, look for authenticity and that one unique thing that makes the work stand out from all the rest. I look for work that stays with me long after I’ve read it, which means I know it had an effect on me in some way.” Prose Reader Shelby Petkus echoed this, adding: “I also feel like we’re all very similar in our judgment of writing quality, so I think we have really well-written works we select.” Laura Bibby, who serves as both a Poetry Reader and a Prose Reader, also agreed, noting that she enjoys “written pieces that work in the theme in unique and inventive ways.”

Knowing what Moss Puppy wants for its readers adds further insight, as Martini comments, “I initially advertised Moss Puppy as housing the ‘weird, muddy, and messy.’ I still think that’s pretty accurate. Between myself and my team, we tend to lean towards pieces that get us talking to each other – pieces that rustle our emotions. Readers can expect pieces that flirt with darkness, have comedic undertones on occasion, dabble in sadness while appreciating the sunshine, and aren’t afraid to get lost in the woods.” Some recent contributors who satisfied this expectation include Beth Mulcahy, Bex Hainsworth, Charlie D’Aniello, Rachael Crosbie, Matthew McGuirk, Arden Hunter, Linda Hawkins, Rick Hollon, Melissa Flores Anderson, Anna Lindwasser, and Catie Wiley.

It’s hard to imagine leaving one path in life to pursue another, and Martini offers a balanced reflection on this: “The greatest joy I have experienced with Moss Puppy so far is the release of Issue 1: Swampland. I was absolutely blown away by the response. Each tweet and retweet put a smile on my face, and I watched as so many writers shared that their work was featured in the issue. People were complimenting each other’s writing, having engaging conversations, and I put that issue together all on my own – that was before I had a team. I was struggling with feeling like a failure for quitting my full-time job and pursuing a passion project that made me no money – but when I saw the response to the first issue’s release? I knew I’d made the right choice.”

Forging ahead to continue making it the best decision, Martini is positive about the future of Moss Puppy, “I would love to expand on Moss Puppy’s lore, explore her world a bit more, and incorporate additional characters into her story. This may be through pop-up issues, chapbooks, contests, workshops, and more. I have a lot of ideas I want to look into, but nothing is set in stone just yet.”

For future submissions, each issue of Moss Puppy has its own theme. Issue 1 was Swampland, Issue 2 was Puppy Love, and Issue 3 is Blades. Martini will be announcing Issue 4’s theme on Twitter once they reach 4,000 followers. At the time of publication, Moss Puppy had 3867 Followers, so c’mon people! @mosspuppymag

New Lit on the Block :: Radon Journal

Radon Journal issue one online sci fi literary magazine cover image

Radon [rey-don] noun Chemistry + Journal [jur-nl] noun Literature

[entry] what happens when a group of highly educated people with more than fifty years writing experience and twenty-five years in publishing get tired of not seeing their interests represented so create a journal combining libertarian socialism with science fiction.

Initially launched without a masthead, “afraid of potential blowback against a sci-fi anarchist journal of expression,” Radon Editors now reflect, “nothing except love has come our way, and we are proud to provide a professional venue for authors of all forward-thinking stripes.”

Publishing mid-January, May, and September, Radon Journal focuses on science fiction, anarchism, transhumanism, and dystopian literary arts, though they do also look for professional digital artwork for each issue. Stories are available for free reading and download, and they will also provide any requested digital format to their patrons.

The name Radon comes from the publication’s motto: “Radical Perception.” By taking the first three letters and the last two, the editors “forged a snappier name to rally behind. That the word Radon is also a known radioactive gas is simply a delightful coincidence.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Radon Journal”

New Lit on the Block :: Gleam

Gleam Journal of the Cadralor online literary magazine logo image

In conversation with Jonathan Bate about Stephan Fry’s book The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within and the value of poetic form, Stephan Fry encouraged writers to “Just try out writing in that form. I think people will amaze themselves when they do that.” For writers willing to explore new forms and challenge their development of craft, and for readers who appreciate seeing the variety of poetic expertise that a single form can produce, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor is your next stop.

Developed in August 2020, the cadralor is a portmanteau of the names of the two co-creators of this poetic form, Christopher Cadra and Lori Howe. The rules of the form are explained on Gleam’s website, but in brief, this is a five-stanza poem with each stanza containing a consistent number of lines, up to ten, and each stanza able to stand alone as a complete poem. It cannot be narrative, though the stanzas should be contextually related. They must be imagist, vivid poems without cliché that are “a feast for the senses.” The fifth stanza acts as the crucible “illuminating the gleaming thread (Thus, the ‘gleam’ in the name.) that runs through the entire poem,” pulling the poem “into a coherence as a kind of love poem,” and answering the compelling question, “for what do you yearn?” The poem does not need to be a traditional love poem, as the editors explain, “Yearning takes many forms,” but it is characteristic that a “successful cadralor end on a note of hope rather than hopelessness.”

Poets ready to tackle the form can expect their work to be well received by seasoned writers who want to engage the community in a supportive way. Editor in Chief Lori Howe is author of two books of poetry, Cloudshade, Poems of the High Plains, and Voices at Twilight, was Executive Editor of Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers, and formerly Editor in Chief of Clerestory: Poems of the Mountain West, and Open Window Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from University of Wyoming, where she is also Professor. Founding Editor, Christopher Cadra is a poet/writer whose work has appeared in The Cimarron Review and elsewhere. His criticism has appeared in Basalt and a journal he edited, The Literati Quarterly.

Publishing two to three issues per year, Gleam accepts submissions via email, and, as Howe points out, “We offer a great deal of feedback on submissions, and often offer ‘revise and resubmit’ options, which we believe is somewhat rare among poetry journals. We do this because the form is both new and especially challenging to embody. We like to encourage poets to keep working on cadralor until they get there.”

There is a growing list of contributors whose cadralor have arrived to provide readers “the finest examples of this form anywhere in the world,” including Louise Barden, Rachel Barton, Robert Beveridge, Susan Cole, Kate Copeland, Jane Dougherty:, Scott Ferry, Malcolm Glass, Joanna Grisham, Georgia Hertz, Marie Marchand, Bob McAfee, Julia Paul, Charlotte Porter, Nick Reeves, Michelle Rochniak, Anastasia Vassos, Sherre Vernon, Sterling Warner, Ingrid Wilson, and Jonathan Yungkans.

In starting this new form as well as taking it onto a public platform, Howe shares, “My greatest joy is in reading submissions of cadralor from all over the world and discovering that this form is being taught in MFA poetry workshops around the country.”

As Cadra and Howe state, Gleam is THE flagship journal for the new poetic form, the cadralor, and the plan is for it to continue to hold that well-deserved place in our literary community.

New Lit on the Block :: Clover + Bee

Clover + Bee digital literary art magazine April 2022 cover image

Clover + Bee Magazine is – can I just say this? – a GORGEOUS digital publication of fictional prose (in all genres), narrative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Clover + Bee Magazine has been publishing at a rate of 3-4 issues per year, with “no set-in-stone schedule as of yet,” according to Editors Alex Campbell and Cara Copeland.

At its inception, Campbell and Copeland say they found themselves at “the perfect intersection of our own creative journeys, our places within our respective online literary and art communities, and our desire to create a platform for emerging and established creators to showcase their work. A literary and visual art magazine just made sense as something that we could do to contribute to the larger creative ecosystem.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Clover + Bee”

New Lit on the Block :: The Fantastic Other

The Fantastic Other online journal of speculative fiction and poetry, science fiction and fantasy issue 5 cover image

The Fantastic Other is a biannual digital literary magazine that specializes in speculative fiction (including flash) and poetry, and science fiction and fantasy, as well as visual art in any medium. Editor in Chief G. E. Butler adds, “We also get excited for magical realism, surrealism, or anything that is altogether strange and ‘out there.’” In addition to the summer and winter issues, The Fantastic Other also publishes occasional articles to their website between issues, such as their Author’s Spotlight segment. Readers can find the latest issues online and download them as PDF documents. All content is free to read. [Cover art by Irina Tall (Novikova)]

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: The Fantastic Other”

New Lit on the Block :: oranges journal

photo image of Jade Green, editor and founder of oranges journal

Literary journals continue to expand the boundaries of style and content, responding to the changing world around us and venturing into new territories. oranges journal does both with its focus on fiction, mental health and culture writing. Publishing on a rolling basis in an open online format, founder and editor of oranges journal Jade Green [picutred] says, “I wanted to create a strong brand that would stick in people’s minds, and build a beautiful website on which I would be proud to feature my own work. The name ‘oranges’ pretty much creates its own branding; it’s a bold, outspoken, unique color which definitely aligns with our feminist mission and the kind of writing we want to publish. As soon as I came up with the name, everything else just fell into place – a very organic process!”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: oranges journal”

New Lit on the Block :: The Earth Chronicles

The Earth Chronicles online newspaper logo image

What happens when a high school student in love with writing since the third grade grows into a climate activist who believes in empowering her fellow youth? The answer is The Earth Chronicles, a student-led environmental newspaper that focuses on youth voices for climate action and awareness about our planet. Julianne Park and her brother, Aiden Park, both Dougherty Valley High School students, say they started The Earth Chronicles during the pandemic “when the wildfires raged across California and near our homes. We were scared and we saw fear on the faces of our friends and family. But we decided to turn this around. Our goal is to spread awareness and educate people about what is happening on our planet. Through writing, we want to empower students to fight climate change in their own unique ways and equip them with the tools they need for the future.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: The Earth Chronicles”

New Lit on the Block :: Chicago Young Writers Review

Chicago Young Writers Review literary magazine Winter 2022 cover image

NewPages welcomes Chicago Young Writers Review to the scene, “a space uniquely created with the K-8 students in mind” says founder Daria Volkova. A native Chicagoan, Volkova wanted to preserve Chicago’s influence on her as a dynamic, diverse, multiethnic and multicultural city in their organization’s name. “We encourage young authors from all backgrounds to submit their work. In fact, we’ve had the most enthusiastic response from the communities of color and immigrant communities in and around Chicago. We also wanted the name to speak to our mission. There is an abundance of literary magazines for older writers, but there are less accessible spaces for the younger kids with whom we work. By including the ‘young writers’ within our name, we are stating exactly what we are and who we were made for. We are a playground (forgive the pun) for young creators to gain confidence in their work and blossom into stronger readers, thinkers, and writers.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Chicago Young Writers Review”

New Lit on the Block :: The Muleskinner Journal

The Muleskinner Journal online literary magazine logo image

Started as a “pandemic passion project,” The Muleskinner Journal is an online publication of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that publishes “journal entries” (individual pieces) throughout their submission period as well as a quarterly journal.

While The Muleskinner Journal name comes from the nickname of Editor in Chief, Gary Campanella, the mission of the journal is in keeping with the muleskinner – or mule-driver – a profession that requires its animal companion to get the job done. “We look for writing of all kinds that uses skill, wit, and determination to deliver the goods,” which speaks to the clear partnership between writers, readers, and the publisher. “We accept and publish poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, short scripts, excerpts from longer works, memoir, criticism, craft essays, artwork, journalism, and shopping lists.” And for both new and established writers, the guidelines are clearly inviting: “We don’t care who you are, as long as you are the author of what you submit.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: The Muleskinner Journal”

New Lit on the Block :: Red Tree Review

Red Tree Review online poetry journal logo

“Poems that surprise, harrow, and awe. Poems that understand a reader’s expectations and then challenge or subvert them somehow. Poems that need to exist, that matter, that show us something important at stake. Poems that wake us up, that leave us different people than we were before we encountered them. Not all of the poems do all of these things, but they will all do at least one of these things. Expect poetry that feels fresh and immediate, never predictable.” This is what Founder and Editor Robert Campbell says readers can find when they visit the newly launched Red Tree Review online poetry journal.

His own education and publishing resume established, and having served behind the scenes of other literary journals, Campbell says, “What matters more to me is

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Red Tree Review”

New Lit On the Block :: The Prose Train

The Prose Train is a unique online publication that is more than just a place to find great reading, it is also a place for young writers to engage in the writing process with other writers. The concept is in the name, according to Founder and Executive Director Irene Tsen, “’Prose’ refers to the short stories we create, and ‘Train’ refers to the collaborative aspect of how writers add sentences sequentially. Our slogan, ‘train your prose,’ is a rearrangement of our name, encapsulating how writers who join The Prose Train improve their skills with a different type of writing.”

Continue reading “New Lit On the Block :: The Prose Train”

New Lit on the Block :: Binsey Poplar Press

“Having a safe space to share your art/writing and the power of publication to galvanize aspiring young artists and writers to share their voice” is a motivating factor behind Binsey Poplar Press according to Founder and Editor Sophia Smith. Featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photography, and art by contributors ages 13-26, Binsey Poplar Press publishes an online literary magazine every two months as well as publishing pieces on their website. “Our website will be continuously updated with new art and writing pieces and issues,” said Jessica Gao, Web Designer and Co-Editor for Art. “We hope to make it even more visually appealing and be one of your favorite reading spots.” Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Binsey Poplar Press”

New Lit on the Block :: Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine

logo“Breaking the Silence” has been the long-time effort of The National Alliance on Mental Health, and now a new outlet sharing this mission is Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine, an online publication featuring contributions from youth 12-22 years old, and particularly works covering mental health conditions and the teenage experience.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Anna Kiesewetter [pictured] shares the publication’s genesis, “The word ‘cathartic’ has always perfectly encapsulated what writing is to me. I realized that some of the most powerful writing I’ve read and created was used for catharsis – to deal with emotions, to make sense of life, to put trauma into words. I’m a firm believer in the power of vulnerability, and I’ve realized that writing has helped me with a lot of my own mental health struggles. Writing has made me more mindful of what goes on within my head and provides me with an outlet that I can’t really get anywhere else; I thus hoped it might provide similar benefits for other young people. Mental health is also a subject that has been almost taboo to discuss in the past, and even now it still carries quite a bit of stigma. Especially during this pandemic, which seems to be exacerbating existing conditions. Youth mental health is such a prevalent and important issue, yet one that isn’t often talked about. I felt like this magazine could serve a threefold purpose: to open up discussion about mental health, to encourage mindfulness and writing for catharsis, and to provide a platform for young writers as a sort of steppingstone to larger publications.” Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine”

New Lit on the Block: The Weight Journal

The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.

― William Shakespeare, King Lear

Editor in Chief of The Weight Journal Matthew E. Henry shared, “At the beginning of my state’s COVID-19 Stay at Home order, it was widely circulated on social media that Shakespeare likely composed some of his greatest works in the midst of the Black Death. This was being shared as an encouragement for writers to continue producing work in the midst of the pandemic. The Weight took its name, in part, from the ending of Lear. But it is a general call for teens to take up writing as a tool to lay down the various things ‘weighing’ on their lives.”

The Weight Journal, publishing online poetry, slam poetry, flash fiction, fiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid works by writers ages 9-12 grade, “endeavors to showcase the best in teen literature, including works that are not deemed school appropriate.” Matthew adds: “whatever that means.”

“We want work that is honest and says something profound about the human experience as can only be captured by this age group,” he explains. “We want to provide a common, public space, for those who have dared to undertake the challenge of objectifying their experience and imagination in writing.”

Matthew E. Henry knows this challenging experience, having been nominated twice for Pushcart and a Best of the Net for his poetry. He has been publishing poetry and fiction since 2003, and his first collection, Teaching While Black was published by Main Street Rag in February. Joining Matthew are six editors, current or former high school English/creative writing teachers, each with at least one MFA or MA. They are all writers themselves with a varied background of interests and publications.

Given this level of expertise and experience, writers who submit to The Weight Journal can expect their writing will undergo a rigorous process. “All submissions receive a first pass from the editor in chief,” Matthew explains, “to see if they are a potential fit for the general vibe of The Weight. After this, submissions are sent to the content editors, who pass their acceptance (sometimes with suggested changes), recommendation for resubmission, or rejection back to the editor. The editor then makes the final decision. Submitters are welcome (and encouraged!) to send in revised pieces or new ones in the future. Sometimes we’ve been able to provide one-on-one support through the revision process. We’re teachers and can’t help ourselves.”

The caliber of reading content available for the public is a standard Matthew defines clearly: “We aren’t publishing writers who are ‘good for their age.’ We’re publishing ‘good writing,’ period. So readers will find honesty and maturity from a diverse set of voices and experiences. Some works may be triggering for readers. Others will fill them with joy. All of them will make readers think, and rethink, and come back for more.”

Recent content published in The Weight includes “a conversation between what is alive, and what only pretends to be” hybrid by Anne Fu; “Broken Sanctuary” poetry by Sarah Street; “The Stages of Falling in Love with Her” poetry by Charlotte Edwards; “The Met” creative nonfiction by Alexandra Carpenter; and “Colors” creative nonfiction by Emma Kilbride.

Creating a new publication comes with joys and frustrations. Matthew focuses on what has worked well for The Weight: “Thus far, the greatest joy has been encouraging some amazing young writers. In some cases, we’ve been able to send the first acceptance letter to someone with a bright career ahead of them. We have already published pieces that I am jealous of and hope this will continue long into the future.”

In terms of the future for The Weight, “I want to see how this naturally evolves,” Henry muses. “The old man in me is thinking about a print publication or at least a ‘best of’ anthology in the future. But who knows? At this stage I am content to help usher these young authors into the literary scene.”

The Weight accepts submissions on a rolling basis, with a goal to publish new work every other Friday depending on the number of submissions. Matthew adds, “In light of our current realities, while submissions are still open for all students and on all topics, we are interested in works that are focused on matters of racial identity, especially from students of color. These works do not have to be centered on our current racial tensions, but they very well can be.”

While at times it absolutely feels like the weight of the world is upon us, how wonderful to have such a supportive and encouraging venue for young writers and readers of all ages to come together and share in the experience.