On the way to the Northeast! Tucked up there in the corner of the country sits Maine, the next stop on our literary roadtrip. Join B.B. Garin on a tour of the state’s great litmags!
Maine isn’t just for blueberries, lighthouses, and the Museum of Cryptozoology. It’s also been home to the likes of Henry Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and E. B. White. Oh, and some guy named Stephen King. Here are some publications keeping Maine’s rich literary tradition alive.
This non-profit is dedicated to tending Maine’s literary landscape with the same care local farmers and fishermen show the coastal state’s rugged terrain. They publish fiction, non-fiction, and poetry three times a year online, as well as a special series, Embody, dedicated to non-fiction prose centered around the human body. While Embody is currently closed for submissions, regular submissions are open thru 7/31 with a $3 Submittable fee.
In association with the University of Southern Maine, this journal is edited by students and alumni of the Stonecoast MFA program. To fill their pages with the widest possible variety of work they accept submissions of traditional and experimental fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, and visual art.
Also taking place in scenic southern Maine, the long-running Stonecoast Writers’ Conference provides six days of inspiration and mentorship for writers of all levels. Though canceled for this summer, the Conference is looking forward to returning in the Summer of 2022.
Founded by a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program, The New Guard is a contest focused literary review. This independent publication presents thirty-five emerging writers in its yearly print edition, as well as featuring three short works by a single author every month online. Interested in a broad range of styles and forms, the editors aim to create a dialogue between established and new writers. Fiction submissions, ranging from traditional to experimental, flash, poetry, humor, and cross-genre are open for the online feature. New contest deadlines are TBA.
An independent journal focused on contemporary poetry, Beloit, takes a hands-on approach to the editorial process. Twice a year, the senior staff gather for three days, where they sleep, eat, and read poetry together. Submissions selected by a dedicated team of volunteer readers are discussed in this group setting, resulting in a refined mix of bold, lyrical, and often long-form poems being chosen for publication. The summer reading period opens 6/1 and there is an annual chapbook contest each fall.
Not surprisingly, The Café Review was born at a Portland café in the fall of 1989. Originally showcasing poems from the café’s reading series, they now publish poets and artists from all over the world. They remain a small, independent operation, producing four visually delightful issues a year. Submissions are open year-round for poetry, artwork, and reviews of poetry collections.
Another beautiful little journal of poetry and artwork, Off the Coast is published twice a year. It began as an extension of the Live Poets Society in Rockland, Maine, and has maintained a tradition of honest, striking poetry for over thirty years. They focus on new, diverse voices, and are particularly thrilled to present poetry in translation. Submissions are rolling.
by B.B. Garin