by Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer
Sadly, my knowledge about literary magazines is very limited. While I have a few that I can definitely say I enjoy more than others, whether or not they are credited as being “good” almost always eludes me. So, I did a little Google search about the top ranked magazines and found this little article on www.everywritersresource.com, titled “Top 50 Literary Magazines.” Pretty convenient, no?
Anywho, I tell you a little about the top five magazines they listed. (A little side note: I excluded the number 2 ranked mag because it is a college publication, and I want to tell you about the commercial ones instead)
- The New Yorker – This is the most well-known literary magazine out there. I mean, if you haven’t heard of The New Yorker, you have to have been living in a cave since the 1920s. From its trademark comics (the caption on the one posted is “Makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?”) to the articles on everything from art to politics, to its in-depth literary reviews, I don’t think I need to say much more about this one.
- The Atlantic – As with The New Yorker, this is one magazine that is very well established. While it lacks as many defining characteristics as The New Yorker, The Atlantic makes up for it by having a highly diverse article base that makes it transcend being a simple literary magazine, and has made it a valuable critical source.
- Harper’s Magazine – Coming directly from their website’s “About” section: “Harper’s Magazine, the oldest general-interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation, through long-form narrative journalism and essays, and such celebrated features as the iconic Harper’s Index. With its emphasis on fine writing and original thought Harper’s provides readers with a unique perspective on politics, society, the environment, and culture.” I wish I could say it better, but I can’t. Take a look-see through their website and archives, and you’ll understand why.
- Tin House – Compared to the other magazines on this list, Tin House is a baby, barely a toddler. Having been founded in 1999 it is just over a decade old, but has proven that even though it is small, it is formidable. If you are looking for good art coupled with interesting articles about the state of the world, take a look at some of the older magazines. If you are looking for good art plain and simple pick up a copy of Tin House.
- The Paris Review – Despite being ranked sixth on the list provided by Every Writer’s Resource, it should be noted that The Paris Review is the only mag on this list which is from overseas. The other four are all based out of somewhere on the continental United States. That in and of itself should be enough to show how good of a magazine it is. But it’s when you take a look inside an edition of The Paris Review that you truly understand how significant this is. From its wide range of poetry, to its beautifully written literary reviews, to its presentation of only the best established and up-and-coming writers in the business, The Paris Review doesn’t need to prove that it is one of the best—it simply is.
So that’s everything. If you have some spare time, you should pick up a copy of any of these magazines. Not only will it (hopefully) brighten up your day, but it will most likely expand your mind.
With more affection than I may seem to be showing,
P.S. – If you want to take a look at the full list of “Top 50 Literary Magazines” here is the link: http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html
By Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer
Hello again out there!
First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted to the Summer 2013 issue of Yorick! Alex and Lauren sent responses to all who submitted, so check your emails if you sent in work. Expect the full issue to be produced by mid-August. Contributors’ copies will be sent out in the coming months.
So in the past I’ve talked about my favorite literary magazines and the pleasure I find in my own and others’ poetry. What ties magazine love and poetry love together, though, is that both exist because people write poetry (including, I hope, some of you!). So, anticipating that someday I’ll read in some literary magazine a cornucopia of good poetry that brings me delight—some such that will be written by you, members of the blogosphere—I have three suggestions on going about submitting and possibly having your poetry accepted.
1) Know what kind of poetry you write. I think this is the most important part of submitting your poetry, because every magazine is looking for something different. If you write humorous, nonsensical poems and submit them to a magazine that’s looking for deep, emotionally heart-wrenching poems, you’re going to get rejected. So know what kind of poetry you write, and then try to find magazines that publish those kinds of poems. It’ll greatly enhance your chances of getting them published.
2) If what you’re looking at is a smaller, less well known magazine—like 32 Poems, vox poetica, or Circus Book—then your best bet is to go online and find out when their deadlines are and then directly email the editor. Many times these editors don’t get a whole truckload of submissions, at least compared to bigger magazines like Paris Review, so hearing from someone who is looking to get their poetry out and about is a joy for them. I’ve had two or three email conversations with editors of small magazines, and one thing they always mention is that they love hearing from new poets and reading their poems; they never know what to expect and are often amazed by what they read. So, in short, take initiative and don’t be scared to email an editor.
3) Compared to smaller literary magazines, hulking magazines like the Paris Review and The New Yorker receive thousands of submissions by their respective deadlines. So, emailing an editor of a magazine like that is impractical because it’s unlikely they’ll get back to you. However, there are online databases for writers that can greatly help you in your submissions to these magazines. One of the most well known is called Duotrope, which not only lists a large number of magazines both big and small, but also provides statistics on how likely it is that anything you submit will be accepted and how long it can take for different magazines to respond to your submission. For up-and-coming writers, as well as those who are more experienced, websites like Duotrope can be a great help for finding the magazine that’s right for you. In sum, utilize online resources to their fullest extent.
That’s all I have for now. Hopefully what I’ve give is useful to those of you who are looking to expand your poetry throughout the wide, wide world.
So long, and thanks for all the fish,