20 Literary Journals Always Open to Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone

Most literary journals are open to submissions for a window of time each year. Sometimes it is a very long window. Sometimes it is more than one window. But it can be frustrating to visit their website and realize that they just closed to submissions. It is particularly hard during the summer when the majority of journals are closed to submissions.

This list features only literary journals that are always open to submissions.  All reviews contain links to the literary journal. The journals are listed in no particular order.

Michigan Quarterly Review

An interdisciplinary journal publishing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as critical essays addressing social, cultural, political, and literary topics. Eclectic, thought provoking, and refined, Michigan Quarterly Review aims to spark the intellect of its bright-minded readers.

Smartish Pace

Smartish Pace is a print literary journal that focuses on publishing quality poems by emerging and established poets. It takes them about 8 months to respond to most submissions.


Apt is a print and digital literary journal. They have a submission window for the print journal, but for the online version you can submit year round.


An online literary journal based out of Singapore that publishes only English language poetry. They publish work by three poets every month. SOFTBLOW usually publishes 3-5 poems per poet, and they are placed on the same page, underneath the author’s biography.

Black Sun Lit

They publish prose, verse, essays, and translation. They are seeking very specific work.

Maudlin House

Maudlin House is an e-journal that publishes one new issue every month. They publish flash fiction, fiction, videos, art, and poems. They are not averse to publishing genre work. They are particularly interested in publishing work that explores the human condition. Read our full review here.


A poetry only journal, you can submit up to five poems at once to them.

After The Pause

They publish each issue on the electronic magazine site Issuu. They publish poetry, flash fiction, and visual art. Read our full review here.


This online literary journal has published some very well known authors. They try to just feature a few authors in every issue.

Haiku Journal

Founded over four years ago, Haiku Journal publishes traditional haiku poetry. Because they want every poem to “appear clean” in honor of the tradition, poems are published with an emphasis on minimalism. This means that published poems will remain untitled, though appropriately attributed to the poets.


Yemassee reads year-round for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Submissions are always free but you can pay 3 dollars for your work to be expedited.

Word For/ Word

Word For/ Word is seeking poetry, prose, poetics, criticism, reviews, and visuals for upcoming issues. The next issue will be released in August. All submissions must be made by mail.

A Quiet Courage

A Quiet Courage is an online literary journal. In their own words they focus on publishing “compelling, poignant, memorable, and well-written microfiction and poetry in 100 words or less.” The title of the piece is not counted towards the overall word count.

Blue Earth Review

Blue Earth Review is published by Minnesota State University. They are a print publication and generally have excellent covers. They are highly selective and publish very little of what is submitted to them.


DIAGRAM is an online literary journal that has over a million visitors per month. They have a reputation for publishing unusual and new work. They publish flash fiction, poetry, essays, and short stories. They also publish visual art.


Carve publishes honest fiction online and hosts the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. While formally based in Dallas, Texas, the staff and volunteers who help the magazine thrive are from all over the world. To learn more visit their website here.

Foothill Journal

Directed by students at Claremont Graduate University, Foothill: A Journal of Poetry is a print and online poetry journal that features the work of emerging poets enrolled in graduate programs around the world. You must be a graduate student to submit to them.

The Fictional Café

The Fictional Café is an online magazine and forum for authors and artists, publishing new poetry, fiction, novel excerpts, podcasts, and artwork of all genres each month. Like a virtual coffee shop, The Fictional Café is a meeting place for authors and artists to read, share, and discuss great writing and artwork.


jmww is a literary journal publishing fiction, flash, poetry, essays, interviews, book reviews, and other miscellany on a weekly basis.