You might think that magazines are reserved for juicy celebrity gossip about wrinkled royalty, but you are incorrect! Literary magazines are collections of writing, typically ranging from poetry to short stories and sometimes including jazz like art and scripts. They create physical, digital, or multi-media anthologies of work and send them out to the public. Although some magazines specialize in a single genre or medium, most accept a variety of pieces.
Literary magazines are usually smaller than other publications. They make money by selling copies of their work and for donations, and sometimes charge submission fees. Unfortunately, nobody has become a billionaire through submitting to magazines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the first!
What Qualifications DO You need to submit?
If you are a writer or artist, you can submit to a lit mag! Even if you don’t feel that you are not a prodigy in either category, literary magazines highly encourage writers of all levels to send in their work. You can get started by selecting a place to submit to and seeing if it is right for you.
Most lit mags have specific guidelines on what kind of writers they are looking to highlight, and what theme they are trying to stick to. For example, some only accept fiction pieces and others have strict age requirements. For more details on how to submit to a lit mag, go to our How To Submit To A Lit Mag page! We talk about all the nit-picky details that there are to submit to one of these bad boys.
Why would you want to submit?
At first, it may not seem like much to get your piece published in a magazine, excluding ultimate glory, of course. However, there are benefits out the wazoo!
- (be) God
Submitting is great if you are an aspiring writer. Some lit mags may be small, but publications in them allow you to slowly start to get more recognition as a writer. It also helps you get experience in the word business. By submitting to a magazine, you are taking steps to becoming become a professional author!
Submitting to a lit mag is a great way to build your resume! You can use it on college applications, cover letters, and much more.
Some magazines pay people if their piece gets published in their magazine. For example, One Story pays its authors money if they get accepted into the magazine. Although they are extremely selective with what they accept, it is always worth trying! There are also lit mags that give you a free copy of their magazine if you do get published. Not only do you get recognition, but you also get a free magazine! How cool!
Overall, there are many reasons that you should submit to a lit mag. These obviously are not the only ones, but it is always nice when you can get recognition for the work that you have slaved over for hours on end.
What are some types of lit mags?
Although all literary magazines post literature, and some art, there are several types of literary magazine classifications that describe how they publish their pieces or how they format their magazine.
Normal Magazine – Some magazines do not entirely fit a quirky type, and that is ok! Every magazine has something unique to them, even if it is not the way they format it.
Themes – Some magazines tend to have a theme that goes with every publication. A lot of the time they base it on a word or phrase and end up designing their magazine/website around that theme. Although not every piece has to fit this theme, it does end up creating a cool-looking magazine with a lot of pieces that have something in common with one another!
Zines – Zines are a smaller magazine that tends to include fewer pieces than a normal magazine. A lot of zines are made by hand and often have crafty additions unique to that literary magazine.
Artistic – Some lit mags focus very heavily on the artistic side of, well, art. They usually are littered with drawings and photography and are usually an exceptionally good place to send your artistic talents if you are not the best at writing.
Reviews – These types of magazines publish a lot of non-fiction pieces and book reviews. They may not publish much, if any, poetry and art- but they are a good place to send your work too if you like writing essays or are into creating a memoir.
Vanity Press – This is the type of literary magazine that only publishes the editor’s work. They do not accept any outside submission, but you can purchase their magazine that has a collection of their pieces.
Every literary magazine team is unique and ends up designing differently than others. Although some magazines have their similarities, there will never be two of the same magazines. Keep that in mind when choosing which magazine to purchase/submit to!