Litmag Roadmap: Michigan

July 2, 2021

Buckle up! We’re headed to the Wolverine State, home of Motor City, and a peninsula that should belong to Wisconsin. Rebecca Williamson’s got the round up of the wonderful literary magazines that call Michigan home.

As of the states that borders four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Considering Michigan is where Henry Ford created the infamous assembly line, it’s no wonder that Detroit is known as the “Motor City.” The state’s brutal winters must be a perfect time for members of the literary community to gather around the fire with a hot drink and their writing weapon of choice. If you’re feeling ready to submit something, then check out some of these literary magazines of the Great Lakes State.

Passages North 

This annual literary journal has been sponsored by Northern Michigan University since 1979 publishing online and in print. Passages North declares itself an ally to LGBTQIA+, Black Lives Matter, and other BIPOC communities, encouraging writers of these groups to submit. They accept fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid genre submissions are opening again in the fall on Submittable.

Michigan Quarterly Review 

Published out of the University of Michigan, Michigan Quarterly Review is an international and interdisciplinary literary journal that challenges conventions, encourages cultural commentary, and begins necessary conversations. They want submissions from emerging and established writers with diverse experiences. They accept poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, translations, reviews, and interviews. Michigan Quarterly Review publishes two themed issues a year in addition to general submissions. Checking their Submittable is the best way to understand what they’re currently looking for.

Third Coast 

Graduate students from Western Michigan University founded this magazine in 1995. Third Coast has published award-winning fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and drama while distributing across the country. Many of their pieces have also been included in “Best of” anthologies. They are currently on a hiatus and aren’t accepting submissions, but they hope to open again soon.

Pithead Chapel 

This independent journal and small press began in 2012 on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Work from emerging and established writers is published online every month, and underrepresented artists are encouraged to submit. Pithead Chapel wants fiction, art, nonfiction, and prose poetry that stirs emotions and makes them want more. Submissions are capped at 300 on Submittable but reopen at the start of a new month.

Pank Magazine 

Pank was founded in 2006 by M. Bartley Seigel and Roxane Gay. The journal seeks innovative writers with promise for their annual print magazine, quarterly online issues, and contests. They prefer prose and nonfiction but also accept poetry that is honest and strange on Submittable. The magazine has also started Future Fridays for writers and artists under eighteen years old.

Walloon Writers Review 

Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula serve as inspiration for Walloon Writers Review. They seek work that depicts the natural environment and experiences of these areas. Contributors are mainly based in Michigan, but anyone who has been impacted by the area is encouraged to share their work—even if they live across the country and have only visited. They accept stories, photography, poetry, and any creative writing.

Red Cedar Review 

Red Cedar Review has been published out of Michigan State University in 1963. The magazine is currently the longest-running undergraduate-managed journal. They accept writing from undergrads in schools around the United States. Their latest issue was produced and published by the staff remotely. Submissions are currently closed, but writers should keep an eye on Submittable for when they reopen.

by Rebecca Williamson


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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