The Superstition Review blog posts two types of content from past contributors to our magazine, guest posts and Author Talks. Both of these are posted regularly on the blog and are a great way for us to hear authors talk about their writing process and what they have been up to since being featured in the magazine. We now have an easier way for past contributors to submit both guest posts and authors talks to the blog. Both can be submitted by following a link to Submittable, an online submission form found on the front page of our magazine, or by clicking here.
Superstition Review is always looking to celebrate the achievements of past contributors and interns, which are featured in our weekly contributor and intern updates posted here on the blog. We now have an easier way for past contributors and interns to reach out to us with news of their literary and academic accomplishments. Updates can be submitted by following a link to Submittable, an online submission form found on the front page of our magazine, or by clicking here.
The editors are pleased to announce we just had our first acceptance for Issue 18, in fiction. Big thanks to Submittable, too, whose latest update includes a “Not rated” filter that makes our lives so much easier.
Stay tuned to our networks and blog for more editorial updates, including posts from our editors about their current likes and dislikes.
I was once in your shoes. I even interned at The Review Review to review Literary Magazines, just hoping to discover more magazines and the writers they publish. And doing that, just once mind you, along with working at Superstition Review for two semesters, I’ve come across a few revelations about how I feel about Literary Magazines.
First, I think there are far too many of them. However, I guess that is better than having a shortage (well, maybe not). But since there are so many of them, there are a lot, I hate to say it, that aren’t that good. And since there are so many of them, and plenty of them don’t always produce the best work, it is good to know what you are looking for to save yourself some time. You can find a literary magazine for nearly any kind of writing and I recommend following Submittable and The Review Review on Twitter to learn just how many different lit mags there are in the world (in addition to being reminded about contests and submission dates for the various journals).
As for my preferences, I like New England Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. McSweeney’s is interesting, though I find it a bit overpriced. (Before I forget, it’s great to go to a used book store and buy back issues of lit mags for a discounted price.)
Bartelby Snopes is a fun read for online literary magazines. Anderbo is a good online lit mag as well and easy to read on your phone. I am partial to magazines I can easily read on my phone as I take the light rail into ASU and I am always looking for a valid reason to keep my head down. And, now that I think of it, while I said McSweeney’s is overpriced, they have a great app which allows you to buy some great content.
Virginia Quarterly Review is a good one, too. Let’s not forget Hayden’s Ferry Review. A lot of quality work is published out of Arizona State University. A good tip that I learned from a talk given by Amy Holman at Bread Loaf is take whatever writer you like to read and, if they have written a short story collection, look in that collection to see where some of those stories have been published previously. You will quickly see a pattern in where your favorite writers are published. If you like political writings and follow political writers, you will end up reading magazines with a political vibe.
Also, read where you want to be published if your aim is to be published one day. This way, at the very least, you’ll understand the talent of your competition. If your aim is to discover new and interesting forms/writers, check out something like Muumu House or just start looking up lit mags on Twitter and see what magazines they follow.
This isn’t to say great writing can’t be found in obscure journals. As a Nonficiton Editor at Superstition Review, I’ve come across a few obscure journals in the writer’s bio section. Sometimes I look them up and read a few of the stories featured in their journal. But usually, I find better odds at the roulette table, and that’s betting on individual numbers.
The trick, I think, is to follow writers you like and find the writers they like and use that to branch out into different magazines. I think this is a more successful (not to mention time saving) approach, rather than just jumping head first into a pool of literary magazines. But I do tend to tray towards the more established lit mags when I can, because I like to read from the journals where I’d like to be published.
One more thing I heartily recommend is reading fiction/poetry from magazines that don’t just specialize in writing fiction/poetry, such as The New Yorker or Esquire. The best stories can be found in the most unusual places if you follow your favorite writers. For example, when I was about 14 I was really into reading Chuck Palahniuk. One day I found out he was publishing a new short story called Guts in Playboy Magazine. I pleaded with my dad to buy it for me so I could read the story. He bought it for me, tearing out the story and throwing away the magazine (or so he’d like me to believe). I still remember reading that story, the edges all ripped, the pages paper-clipped together. Thinking back on it, what happened in that story was probably more adult than anything else in that magazine.
This isn’t me telling you to buy Playboy. This is me saying there are so many magazines out there, so many avenues for writers to publish their work, that you are better off following writers as they publish and just sticking to your list of highly established and respected magazines, as your safe “go-to” journals.
The editors and I met this week to discuss the reading process for fall and we’re all very excited to start viewing submissions. You can send Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry to our Submittable account at http://superstitionreview.submittable.com/submit
I’d also like to tell you about the exciting changes this year at Superstition Review.
First of all, my job at ASU has changed so that my focus is on the magazine. All of those semesters of teaching two creative writing classes on top of being managing editor? Gone. I now work full time managing the editorial process of the magazine and mentoring 40 students a semester.
Another change is that we’ve made the internship a 1-year commitment. Students will be required to take a 300 level 3 credit hour training class that will make them eligible to take the 400 level 3 credit hour internship. I’m most excited about this change since it will give me the opportunity to show students all of the details of the editorial process. They will be better prepared and will gain valuable skills in literary publishing.
And the changes continue. We have a new iTunes U Channel where each Tuesday we will be posting podcasts of SR contributors reading their work. You can subscribe to it here, and enjoy our first three podcasts of the series: http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/superstition-review-online/id552593273 Many thanks to John Martinson, who initiated the Channel as his summer project.
We also have expanded our presence on social networks. We’ll be blogging every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and we will update content daily across our other networks. We have a cool new Tumblr page built by our nonfiction editor Harrison Gearns.
And finally, to celebrate our 5th Anniversary, we are doing a total redesign of the magazine for Issue 10. We’re giving the site a fresh, modern look and we’re migrating all of the content to Drupal. We’re happy to access all of the robust navigation tools that will make it easier for our readers to browse through our 500+ contributor pages.
So we hope you’ll: submit your Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry; subscribe to this blog where we’ll post editorial updates and literary news; and subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes U. We’re looking forward to an exciting fall and we sure hope you’ll join us.
The winner will receive a publication contract with Southern Illinois University Press, and will be awarded a $2000 prize. The winner will also receive $1500 as an honorarium for a reading at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Submissions for the 2012 First Book Award are open through July 7, 2012 (postmark deadline). Submit Manuscript online for the First Book Award using Submittable.
A first book of poems will be selected for publication from an open competition of manuscripts, in English, by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has neither published, nor committed to publish, a volume of poetry 48 pages or more in length in an edition of over 500 copies* (individual poems may have been previously published; for the purposes of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, a manuscript which was in whole or in part submitted as a thesis or dissertation as a requirement for the completion of a degree is considered unpublished and is eligible). Current or former students, colleagues, and close friends of the final judge, and current and former students and employees of Southern Illinois University and authors published by Southern Illinois University Press are not eligible. For questions about judging, please visit http://CrabOrchardReview.siu.edu/conpo3.html.)