One of our final stops on this roadtrip across the literary institutions in the US: Mississippi! Join us below for a tour of the journals and reviews who call the Magnolia State home.
Did you know that Mississippi is one of only two states with a state toy? (It’s a teddy bear, by the way, and the other state is Kansas.) This doesn’t have much to do with anything, but I found that fascinating. Mississippi is also the home state for a number of terrific literary journals, including several run by students and faculty at state institutions! Let’s dig in.
The Mississippi Review has been publishing new work out of University of Southern Mississippi since the early 1970s. Raymond Carver was an early contributor to the journal! However, the Review typically only accepts submissions for their annual contest (which is currently open for submissions of up to 8,000 words of prose or five poems through Jan. 1 2024).
Big Muddy is a unique journal, with a special interest in the area surrounding the Mississippi River. Though submissions do not have to center on the Mississippi, nor do writers have to hail from one of the ten states that border the river, you might have a higher chance at acceptance if you do. Big Muddy publishes as a perfectbound 8×8 journal once a year.
Run by the low-res MFA program at Mississippi University for Women, Ponder Review publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and short plays. (We get a lot of queries about whether TMR publishes drama, and now I know where to direct those aspiring playwrights.) Ponder Review’s archive goes back to 2017, with issues publishing twice per year.
This journal published out of Mississippi Valley State University, once of Mississippi’s seven HBCUs, has a special focus on scholars and writers in the Mississippi Delta, though submissions are welcome from writers beyond this region, as well. Each issue has a special theme; 2024’s theme is Southern Crossroads. Submissions close in June!
Yalobusha Review has been running since the mid-90s and publishes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction on their website. The journal is run by students in the graduate writing program at the University of Mississippi. Their primary interest is in experimental work, or work that “alters or subverts mainstream forms of expression.”
Literary magazine run by the graduate writing program at the University of Mississippi. Has been running since 1995; publishes fiction, poetry and CNF online.
New World Writing Quarterly has undergone a number of identity shifts in its time. The Quarterly traces its origins back to the online wing of The Mississippi Review, before being spun off as BlipMagazine. Now, New World Writing Quarterly publishes regularly in January, April, July and October and is managed by former TMR judge Kim Chinquee!
Run by students and faculty at Mississippi State University, Jabberwock Review publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and artwork twice per year. Its online archives only go back to 2020, but their next issue will be issue 44!
by Cole Meyer