Litmag Roadmap: Oregon
We’re coming home to Oregon in this edition of our Litmag Roadmap! Join us on a tour around some of the other wonderful litmags that call this beautiful state home.
The next stop on our litmag road trip takes us to the Pacific Northwest. Oregon’s literary scene is as rich and lush as its forests; the state is home to established national journals, regional publications, and innovative online magazines. Here are just a few active litmags that are based in Oregon and publish fiction.
Established in 2015, 45th Parallel is managed and edited by MFA student volunteers at Oregon State University. The literary magazine publishes once annually in the spring and features fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, visual art, and comics. The website also features book reviews and interviews with visiting authors. For fiction writers, 45th Parallel welcomes submissions of any genre and style.
The Bear Deluxe Magazine
The Bear Deluxe is the flagship project of Orlo, a Portland-based nonprofit that explores environmental issues through the creative arts. In addition to fiction and poetry, the magazine publishes creative nonfiction, interviews, reportage, essays, reviews, and visual art. The magazine considers submissions and story pitches on an ongoing basis.
This art and literature anthology features Oregon and Southwest Washington’s finest talent. The journal aims to capture society as it is now and accepts all writing styles, as long as “the resulting prose takes the reader on a ride.” The editors at Buckmxn Journal prefer to scout for artists and writers for their anthology, but the award-winning anthology does offer a short open call period for fiction and nonfiction submissions twice a year. Buckmxn Journal is open to Oregon and Southwest Washington residents only.
Cascadia Magazine is a nonprofit publication that is dedicated to telling the diverse stories of the people, places, and culture in the Pacific Northwest. To that end, the magazine doesn’t publish work without some connection to the Pacific Northwest. The publication is currently closed for submissions, but will reopen in the spring for a one-month period.
Established in 1976, CALYX is an independent publisher that exists to nurture women’s creativity by publishing literature and art by women. The journal is the recipient of the Oregon Governor’s Arts Award, the Stanley H. Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts, Pushcart Prizes, and American Literary Magazine Awards, among others, and has discovered prominent writers such as Julia Alvarez, Natalie Goldberg, and Barbara Kingsolver. CALYX accepts submissions of short fiction, as well as poetry, visual art, essays, reviews, and interviews, annually from October 1 through December 31.
Clackamas Literary Review
Established in 1997, this award-winning anthology is a faculty-supported, student-run publication based at Clackamas Community College. The magazine’s reading period is from September 1 to December 31, with annual publication in the spring. Clackamas Literary Review is dedicated to publishing new and innovative literary experiences, and it accepts submissions of poetry, prose, and possibility texts.
Are you an Oregon bookseller? You’ve probably heard of Deep Overstock, which is a literary journal and book publisher, run by booksellers, with a focus on publishing the work of other booksellers and champions of books. The journal publishes fiction, poetry, and other creative works (“magic spells, fairy tales, folklore, riddles, jokes, horoscopes, death-predictions, and more. Surprise us!”). Deep Overstock accepts submissions on a rolling basis.
Gaze is run by Portland-based writer Darla Mottram, who notes that creating, running, and funding the journal “is her way of giving back to the literary community, and in particular to the writers and artists who continue to be marginalized even (and especially) within these spaces. you are welcome here, and your work is valued.” The journal accepts prose and poetry in both traditional and experimental forms, although it is currently closed for submissions.
The Gravity of the Thing
Since its founding in 2013, The Gravity of the Thing has been named one of 30 best online magazines and its publications have been finalists in the Shirley Jackson Awards. The journal is dedicated to the publication of innovative and defamiliarized writing, a term that unravels conventional editing, publishing, and creative models. The Gravity of the Thing accepts work from September 1 to November 30.
Writer Eric Delehoy founded the nonprofit organization Gertrude Press in 1998. Today, Gertrude holds the distinction of being the longest consecutively published queer journal, per Gertrude’s About page. The journal is dedicated to promoting art and literature by queer artists and accepts submissions from new and established individuals on a rolling basis.
Gobshite Quarterly is a self-described “Rosetta Stone for the New World Order.” The mission statement begins, “I hate mission statements; they bring to mind grant applications or the first Blues Bros. movie. That said, when our web designer declared we needed an editorial or statement of intention, I said, ‘okayfine.’” Delightful. Currently, Gobshite is published as one annual print issue in flipbook format. The publication is looking for short fiction, essays, and non-fiction from around the world, although the editors note that it’s best to query before submitting.
High Desert Journal
The High Desert Journal (HDJ) seeks to function as a voice for the landscape and the people of the interior West: that is, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, west Texas, and California east of the Sierras. The online journal and visual art magazine publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, memoirs, and other creative works from individuals who live in the interior West or create work with high desert themes and elements. Submissions for the summer 2022 issue will open in early spring 2022.
The Masters Review
This lit mag might look familiar! Bend-based Masters Review offers a quality platform for new and emerging writers. Founded by Kim Winterheimer in 2011, the Masters Review is an online and print publication that accepts fiction and nonfiction submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform. We publish fiction and nonfiction online throughout the year and publish an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. Our Submission Calendar shares the deadlines for our upcoming contests, and our New Voices category is always open.
Produced by graduate students at Portland State University, Portland Review seeks to publish both established and emerging writers across a spectrum of styles and voices. The publication was founded in 1956 and switched to digital publishing in 2020. Past contributors include Kristen Arnett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Matthew Zapruder. Portland Review publishes one new piece per week and accepts prose, poetry, art, and translations.
Phantom Drift is a nonprofit journal dedicated to publishing fabulist writers and artists. The publication is one of the few literary journals in the United States that focuses on fabulist literature, and its goal is to nurture the genre by publishing fiction and poetry from the United States and abroad. Phantom Drift publishes an annual print edition and is open for submissions—specifically, fabulist flash fiction and short stories.
Propeller Magazine is the online publication of Propeller, a Portland-based independent press that was founded in 2009. The magazine publishes original fiction, poetry, criticism, essays, and interviews. Submissions and all other correspondence are accepted via email.
Silk Road Review
Published by Pacific University Oregon, Silk Road Review publishes fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, one-act plays and screenplays, and other creative works that “explore human dynamics and social transformations that occur in any story-rich location in the world.” The journal is especially interested in work exploring diversity, migration, and similarly internationally relevant questions. Silk Road is always open for submissions, although work is only read during the fall and spring semesters.
Smoke and Mold
Smoke and Mold is based on a fascinating concept: It’s “a journal with an expiration date.” Smoke and Mold will only publish 24 issues, two per year for 12 years—”the amount of time allotted us by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” Smoke and Mold only publishes work from writers who self-identify as trans or Two Spirit. The journal is currently not accepting work, but will call for submissions for the general issue in Spring 2022.
Susan is an online literary journal that was founded in 2016 by Portland-based poet Nathan Wade Carter. The journal posts new content most Thursdays, and it accepts poems, flash fiction, and nonfiction. Susan notes, “We want images, feelings, truths, dreams, fears, and passions.”
The Timberline Review
This literary journal is a publication of Willamette Writers, the largest writing organization in the Pacific Northwest. The Timberline Review focuses on showcasing emerging talent. The theme for this upcoming submission year is “Transformation,” and the journal accepts flash, short stories, novellas, and novel excerpts, as well as work in other creative categories.
Three-Lobed Burning Eye
Also called 3LBE, Three-Lobed Burning Eye is an online speculative fiction magazine. 3LBE was launched in 1999 and has published work by science-fiction authors such as Kelly Barnhill, Mari Ness, and Kealan Patrick Burke. Each issue features six short stories paired with audio readings, published twice annually, with a print anthology every other year. All issues of 3LBE are available freely online. The magazine is currently open for submissions as of this writing and seeks short stories and flash fiction.
Typehouse Literary Magazine is a writer-and artist-run literary journal based in Portland. The journal was founded in 2013 and seeks to feature previously unpublished material of all genres, particularly those that offer unique perspectives of the human experience. Genre fiction submissions are welcome, particularly speculative fiction. Typehouse accepts short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and visual art.
Visitant’s goal is to nurture new and experimental writing. The journal accepts poetry, flash fiction, serialized fiction, and nonfiction essays under 1,500 words. Visitant accepts experimental fiction and literary genre fiction, such as science fiction, speculative fiction, horror, and suspense.
VoiceCatcher is an online journal that “supports, inspires, and empowers trans and cis women writers and artists.” The journal is dedicated to providing a safe platform for all writers and visual artists to “help you grow and send your voice into the world.” VoiceCatcher encourages submissions from individuals who live in or strongly connected to the greater Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas. The publication accepts prose, poetry, and visual art that pushes the envelope, although submissions are currently closed.
by Rebecca Paredes