Litmag Roadmap: Florida
If it’s getting a little cold where you are, consider joining us on our trip down to Florida! B.B. Garin’s rounded up the great literary journals that the Sunshine State has to offer.
It’s easy to joke about Florida. Spring Break. Gator Wrestling. The Interstate Mullet Toss. (Yup, that’s a real thing!) But all joking aside, Florida has some serious literary chops. From Hemingway’s home in Key West to Karen Russell’s Everglades-inspired Swamplandia!, this state has long been a fertile ground for writers. So, buckle up and don’t mind the wildlife as we head south on our litmag road trip!
Proudly declaring themselves “South Florida’s Literary Current”, Gulf Stream is published twice a year by the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University. This online journal cultivates an edgy, progressive style. They are open to genre bending work and innovative forms in fiction, poetry, CNF, and visual art. Submissions are open June-March.
The Florida Review
Every issue of The Florida Review is infused with an atmosphere of alligators and cypress trees. Born on the not-so swampy campus at the University of Central Florida, they have been publishing works with a strange and gritty flare since 1975. For both the print and the weekly online journal they seek fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic narratives.
Swamp Ape Review
There’s nothing more Florida than the legend of the Swamp Ape. Big, fierce, and defying explanation—that’s what this journal is after. Produced by students at Florida Atlantic University, the editors are fascinated by the human tendency to create narratives around things that can’t be explained. Thus, in addition to regular submission categories of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, they offer “swamp” for works that defy genre. This is an excellent home for all things hybrid, subversive, speculative, and somewhere beyond the beaten path.
The long-running SER is edited by graduate students at Florida State University. Their large, diverse staff brings a wide lens to the journal, creating an energetic and eclectic mix of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. Work first published here has gone on to appear in Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Submissions are rolling for both the online and biannual print editions. An annual contest with several genre categories runs Sept-Jan.
Another college-based publication, Subtropics is produced at the University of Florida. They lean towards a contemporary, and often contemplative, style. With a stated aversion to second person narratives, more experimental works will probably not find a home here. However, this is the rare market accepting long fiction, including novellas and novel excerpts. They also accept poetry, essays, and translations.
Founded in 1964, this is Florida’s oldest continuously published literary journal. It is filled with quality content inside and out, as this may be the only journal in the country printed in hardcover twice a year. They’ve recently reopened to poetry and prose submissions after a brief hiatus. Work is also considered for the Tampa Review Online, and entries to their prose and poetry contests are always open.
by B.B. Garin