Next stop, Connecticut! Thankfully virtual travel is still an option for us. We’re hanging around in New England, still, and we think you’ll appreciate the literary scene here.
If you drove across Connecticut and literary magazines were like McDonald’s or Starbucks, you would pass one every ten or eleven miles. The state isn’t huge but it’s crawling with lit mags. Maybe it’s the state’s pockets of local publishing history and star-studded visitors’ log full of famous writers past and present, as this article at LitHub explains. Maybe it’s because of the Connecticut Writing Project, a statewide program to highlight kids’ writing starting in kindergarten. Maybe it’s because they’ve been able to successfully implement their literary heritage into their tourism—there’s even an app for that. Did you need more reasons? Here they are:
This is a poetry-only lit mag published by the Connecticut Poetry Society, an organization that seems like a pretty big deal in terms of hosting and supporting literary efforts all over the state. We’d be remiss not to mention them just as you’d be remiss to think you can’t or don’t write poetry.
Another poetry lit mag—this one based out of Eastern Connecticut State University’s undergrad department — but it has active social media accounts running across the board so it’s legit. Also it’s themed around the question, “What does it mean to be here, truly, or to have been here, back from “there,” against whatever odds and forces?” so it’s the perfect add-on for your road trip reflections.
This independently run, biannual print journal publishes solely narrative poetry—poems that tell a story. They also host one of two narrative poetry contests (the other put on by, you guessed it, Narrative magazine) and probably the poetry contest in the country to focus on narrative style. This is a niche perfect for the prose writer who’s looking to mix things up a bit.
This lit mag belongs to the Southern Connecticut State University MFA Program, who opened submissions to writers outside the program in 2012. They accept submissions one time a year, each winter, so put this unsuspecting little publication on your calendar for next fall and send them something you come up with when they days get short and it’s time to get cozy.
Strong like the tree and pretty like the flower, this lit mag gets published by the faculty at Fairfield University, a small Jesuit school near the coast. If that all doesn’t sound dreamy enough for you then check out their annual contests ($1000 prizes in each category!). The reading window for contest and non-contest submissions opens July 1st, so get your latest piece swimsuit-ready (editorially speaking… body-positivity wise, go hit the beach and celebrate yourself in the sun ASAP!).
This lit mag is hosted by the Asnuntuck Community College but open to the public—a cool move to create a bridge between campus community and global community. Pretty simple stuff: they published poetry and prose and are open for submissions in the fall so students can work to get the actual mag published by May.
I don’t know how I missed that Yale has a lit mag—probably because it’s published by Yale undergraduates; I apologize for my postgrad classism. They publish two branches: “The Little,” their online blog of interviews and writer thoughts and such, and “The Signature,” a classy PDF lit mag. They appear to be making a comeback from a brief publishing hiatus with a spring 2020 publication, so keep your eyes peeled for increased momentum on the Yale Lit Mag front.
A sturdy lit mag that is, in part, based on a mission “to resuscitate the art of the book review,” New Haven Review knows how to roll with the punches and adapt to whatever a changing literary world has to offer. Their book review section has morphed, recently, into a local theater / cabaret review that proves just as fascinating to explore. Their editorial staff tips their hand at their own subjectivity and welcomes “entertaining cover letters.” Mostly importantly to the possibly-currently-furloughed writer, NHR offers paying submissions—they’re currently closed until they catch up on their backlog, but at “at least $500 for prose pieces” it’s worth bookmarking and
We end on the state’s big fish: the University of Connecticut’s esteemed and hustling Long River Review. With an ambitious goal—“We publish what people will want to read next rather than what they are reading now”—this undergrad publication delivers. They’ve even switched to virtual launch parties in the face of COVID-19, making sure no author goes uncelebrated. Subscribe to their Instagram while you wait for their next submission window to open.
by Melissa Hinshaw