On the road again: We’re headed south to the bayou, to the land of “Crocodile” and Mardi Gras and “The Monster in Back Bruly” and so many fantastic literary journals. Melissa has rounded up a few of them for to visit today!
Ah, the original LA LA land. Whether your appeal to this great state aligns more closely with Mardi Gras, bayou backroads, Creole cuisine, Jazz music, or the New Orleans Saints, there’s no way of denying the rich cultural vortex that is Louisiana. Here’s a long list of lit mags from the state that’s seen it all:
The child of the MFA program at Louisiana State University (or LSU as its more affectionately and commonly known), NDR is student-run and has the energy and sass to prove it. If you have something that breaks free from form, plays with shape or sound, or is otherwise different and weird—whether fiction or nonfiction—definitely submit it here. Bonus: their submission category for currently incarcerated writers, open to online and snail-mail submissions.
A literary magazine and small press edited by former Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack BeDell, Louisiana Literature with free submissions.
The publication of—you guessed it—Tulane University, this bi-annual journal seeks poetry and prose from around the world during its summer-through-fall submission period.
Originally born at Louisiana State University and now housed at LSU Press (different entity, people), this robust magazine features and highlights Southern writers and artists but welcomes work from around the world. Unsolicited fiction submissions are open through December 1, so you have a few days to pull something together. If you miss that deadline, scrap together an essay or translation piece and send it in by January.
We shouldn’t be surprised that the bulk of the energy from the Louisiana lit mag scene is coming from New Orleans… or rather, New Orleans Review, the lovechild of the Loyola University News Orleans English department and a related endowment fun. NOR pays submitters, has a booming blog and review presence (including a fun new art column), just released their Queer Issue, and just published their first book Interviews from the Edge: 50 Years of Conversations about Writing and Resistance, which should be on everybody’s Christmas/Hannukah gift list. Bonus: no submission fees for Indigenous writers in November.
Isn’t that just a name you wanna say a bunch of times? Rougarou. Rougarou. Rougarou! Published by the English graduate students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, this journal moves slowly but hits your heartstrings fast. Submissions are currently closed, but bookmark their page for the next time you want to submit something to a journal you know appreciates a little bite.
Here’s a publication that does it all: keeps up with authors, books, and local literary events while sharing about culture tips (for example: where to get the good andouille in Louisiana) and travel and publishing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Deep South’s “Southern Voices” showcase the best writing by writers with a Southern connection—submissions for their current theme of “Separation” are a) extremely timely and b) due by December 11, so if that’s you, get to editing already! Bonus: their Literary Trail App pretty much lays out your first post-COVID actual vacation road trip.
This not-for-profit press affiliated with the private university of the same name publishes both scholarly and creative works, especially surrounding subjects like the American South, New Orleans, the Gulf and Caribbean sphere, and African American culture. You can read regularly published issues on their website, buy their books on Amazon, or submit work directly through email to their lead editor.
Published by The University of New Orleans, this biannual journal features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. While there’s no nonfiction contest yet, their fiction and poetry contests are open now through January 1 with a $1000 prize. They’re also open to regular submissions in all three categories through May.
Easily the state’s scrappiest journal for many reasons: was literally founded in a Chinese restaurant, still only accepts snail-mail submissions, and boasts a sassy “we’re not for everyone” disclaimer. True to its name, THEMA offers offbeat themes like “Where’s the Food Truck?”, “We Thought He’d Never Leave,” and “Drop the Zucchini and Run!” to get its writers minds whirling—and never fails to come up with a full issue based on said themes. Upcoming themes include “A Postcard from the Past” (March 1), “Watch the Birdie!” (July 1), and “Get It Over With!” (Nov 1), so let inspiration strike and get your stamp collection ready.
by Melissa Hinshaw