Oklahoma, the sooner state! The sooner we get there, the sooner we can learn about their wonderful literary journals! (I can’t promise to stop the puns.)
Oklahoma! If you’re not singing it, you’re sleeping. And if you’re neither of those, hopefully you’re reading, writing, or checking out some of these underrated lit mags from this up-and-coming flyover state.
Don’t let their understated website and quiet social media presence fool you—Cimarron Review boasts a lengthy list of literary heavy-hitters and a high bar for fiction and nonfiction alike. Backed by the Oklahoma State University’s English Department, they continue to read submissions on a rolling basis.
Based out of The University of Tulsa, Nimrod offers a steady tradition of submission options. Each year’s spring issue is themed and sometimes also regional—i.e., featuring writers from a certain country or geographical area—and each fall issue highlights finalists and winners of their renowned annual contests. Submissions just opened for their 43rd annual literary awards, including the famed Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction judged this year by Rilla Askew, so take note and get writing!
The literary magazine of the small Oklahoma gem Cameron University, The Oklahoma Review is put on by a dedicated team of English students and faculty, and promises an upcoming call for submissions in early 2021. In the meantime check out back issues here.
A community college lit mag that’s open to submissions from around the world, Absolute is run by students of Oklahoma City Community College with an eye for quality. Recent campus collaborations between college departments and student organizations like OCCC’s Black Student Union have led to a reinvigorated and robust publication that’s a great way to get a pulse of the city and state.
For those of you more globally inclined, World Literature Today is a quarterly international publication with far-reaching tendrils in all corners of the globe and all echelons of culture and society. Their internships and offerings are a great resource for nonfiction writers, in particular, and fiction writers, translators, and book reviewers find themselves in good company as well.
Pandemic era got you considering a career in healthcare? Students at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine publish Blood and Thunder to highlight medically-themed work and expression of healthcare-related issues. Bonus: For anyone looking for a literary pilgrimage in the post-COVID world, Blood and Thunder has put together a great list of in-person opportunities and events in the great Sooner state.
by Melissa Hinshaw