We’re back in the contiguous United States, headed up to New England. Join us on our trip through the Granite State’s extraordinary literary magazines!
Things you might not have known about New Hampshire: it’s a beach state (Portsmouth is the new Boston, ya’ll); it was the first state to have its own constitution; it was one of Robert Frost’s fave hangouts; the first free public library was founded here in 1933; it’s trying to get out of America but Maine is in the way. Great, now we got that out of the way and you can hear what you really want to hear about New Hampshire: where you can get published!
Sponsored by the University of New Hampshire MFA program, Barnstorm boasts a strong showing of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Recently, they’ve also somehow recruited some top-notch visual artists for extra appeal. No submission fees, friendly editors — this is the chillest Northeastern literary situation you’ll ever experience. Our favorite bit: plenty of quippy, useful editorial advice in their “Storystorm” blog installments.
The Penman Review
This little-known lit mag hails from the Southern New Hampshire University trifecta: both the online undergraduate English/Creative Writing program, the online MA English program, and the online MFA program have tendrils tied up in this pub. Their annual fall fiction contest (cash prizes!) and monthly submission cycles (like rent, they’re due again on the 1st), however, are open to everyone. Note that The Penman Review rolls old school — submit a Word doc through their online form.
Northern New England Review
Based out of the small but mighty Franklin Pierce University (it’s okay we hadn’t heard of it either) and run by each year’s creative writing and editing/publishing class students, NNER seeks work from and about the “cedar forests, cold lakes, and rocky coasts” of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. While submissions have closed for their much-celebrated Volume 40 — dedicated to exploring the possible futures and past mysteries of the local region — stay tuned to their ever-active Twitter feed for future opportunities. Bonus secret social justice mission: NNER makes sure that each publication cycle lands physical copies in the periodical sections of more than 200 correctional facilities in the region.
If you need a place to submit your COVID-19 experience to, look no further than Lifelines, the Dartmouth School of Medicine’s literary magazine. Published annually and open to all, this journal aims to infuse the healthcare community with art and word. Think of it as the step beyond that painting you like at your hospital: its goal of encouraging reflective writing takes the concept of “writing the other” to the provider-patient relationship, giving space to traumatic and banal experiences alike and a voice and place for expression for the often-overworked healthcare community. If an Instagram post thanking your local first responders doesn’t feel like enough, consider writing something that might fit here.
The MacDowell Colony
While not a literary magazine but rather a “leading contemporary arts organization,” we’d be remiss not to mention this 113-year-old pillar of the American writers journey, located in prime isolation and incubation territory in idyllic Peterborough. If not the heartbeat of the literary world then certainly a main artery — a place many a recognized and great writer has come to transform and be transformed — a MacDowell Colony fellowship is a worthy reach of a goal and bucket list writer experience. The next residency deadline is September 15, and hey, you’ve finally got enough time on your hands to put together a formidable application.
by Melissa Hinshaw