The 11 Best Literary Journals in 2014

Written by Emily Harstone | December 29, 2014

In 2014 we reviewed well over 50 literary journals. Some were just summary reviews as part of a larger list, but most were comprehensive reviews that thoroughly described submission guidelines and the journal’s preferences.

As a way of celebrating 2014, the first full year of publication for Authors Publish, we have created a list of the top eleven literary journals we have reviewed this year. We are not covering literary journals that we did not review or mention in a list this year. If one of your favorites is missing that is most likely why. Also, we never review a literary journal that charges submitters.

Last year when I curated this list I focused on the big names, but this year I am more interested in who is publishing consistently good work, even if the journal themselves might be more off the beaten path. These are journals that publish good writing and publication in them will help build your career.

Not all of the journals listed below are currently open to submissions, but those who are not tend to be re-opening to submissions in January. To read the full review of the journal (which includes the website link for the journal) click on the name.

The list is in no particular order.

1. Bat City Review

Bat City Review is a student run print literary journal that has published a lot of noteworthy authors and received a lot of well deserved accolades. They publish fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art.

2. Granata

A highly respected print and online journal that publishes non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. They publish a lot of compelling work.

3. Parcel

Parcel is a thoughtful and unique publication that takes works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction and instead of binding it into a traditional journal packages it up as a collection of art.

4. Bodega

Bodega is publishing interesting fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, on a month basis online. They publish a lot of interesting work by up and coming writers. Their website is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.

5. Akashic

A publishing house that also publishes a number of flash fiction “newsletters”. Each newsletter has a theme and they appear to have a large subscriber base. They are also connected to a good publishing house, so it is away to get your foot in the door.

6. Caketrain

Caketrain is a print literary journal that focuses on publishing and promoting the best contemporary non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.

7. Barn Owl Review

Barn Owl Review publishes one print issue every year containing 40 poems. This issue is a wonderful collection of diverse and innovative works.

8. Whiskey Island Review

The Whiskey Island review has been around for over thirty years as a print literary journal. They publish two issues a year, both contain a highly curated selection of poetry and prose.

9. The Fiddlehead

The Fiddlehead is a Canadian literary journal that has been in print for over 65 years. They publish non-fiction, fiction, and poetry and they pay their authors.

10. Shock Totem

The only genre literary journal on this list focuses on publishing horror. They are open to fiction primarily and non-fiction and poetry with some caveats. They publish an interesting mix of works and select very few of the pieces submitted to them.

11. Birdfeast

Is an online poetry journal that focuses on publishing new and exciting work by writers from every walk of life. They have published a number of established writers. They like to publish work that is different and challenging.