So surely anyone on this blog has a love for lit magazines, especially Hayden’s Ferry Review. Our editors at HFR do too, and they were happy to share their personal favorites. Each one is its own unique publication, and great examples of the wider range of journals we all have from all over the country accessible to us thanks to the internet.
A favorite journal of mine? One Story is certainly up there. I admire its simplicity, for starters. There’s no fanfare, just a single piece of fiction every month. I also appreciate the journal’s selection of both established and emerging authors, as well as the editorial audacity it takes to publish only one piece at a time. While One Story is relatively unique in its format, I think its clarity of focus can be translated to larger journals.
I like Epoch because it's a classic -- beautiful collections curated by my former professor, Michael Koch. (It is based out of Cornell and it also includes screenplays, cartoons, and graphic fiction.)
And I like Five Quarterly because it's probably the hippest online journal I can think of at the moment -- they even have a Tumblr! (Their Tumblr page serves as a way to get final reads that didn’t make it into the issue published on their page!)
I'm crushing on the newest issue of Booth. I love Booth's layout. When you flip through an issue, it just invites you inside. Very open, very aesthetically pleasing. They're one of the few journals that consistently publish comics, and I like that they celebrate visual forms of storytelling, not just the written.
I'm also a big fan of Gulf Coast. They create consistently beautiful print issues, and they have a great online presence. I admire the literary community building they do in Houston, with events such as the Gulf Coast Gala.
My favorite journal is called Music & Literature. It's a quarterly out of Manhattan that, rather than looking for young artists, devotes each issue to three under-represented, established artists. So, an issue will feature 80 or so pages of short work and essays about a fiction writers, 80 or so pages featuring prints by and essays about a visual artist; and round out with essays on a composer. This format gives readers a chance to explore deeply the range of an artist's work and to learn more about how that artist fits in with his or her medium. I think it's an excellent journal that is truly doing something different than most other journals, in its commitment to quality writers, rather than a variety of writers. Additionally, it often serves as an excellent introduction to artists' work; far superior to skimming Wikipedia.
Whether you just want a single piece or a variety of creative work, young or established writers, there is no shortage to choose from, and hopefully this gets you started. So now follow any link and find if these journals have something to offer you.