We’re moving to Music City in this edition of Litmag Roadmap! B.B. Garin’s got the next roundup of incredible litmags who call the state of Tennessee home. Follow along.
From Graceland to Dollywood to The Grand Ole Opry, Tennessee is bursting with musical history. But did you know, it also boasts some deep literary roots? From one of the oldest publications in the country to Ann Patchett’s wonderful indie shop, Parnassus Books in Nashville, this is a state well worth on stop on our literary road trip!
The English department at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville produces this quarterly online journal. Heavily poetry focused, they generally publish one fiction or non-fiction piece per issue, as well as seeking submissions for cover art. The editors favor a more contemporary traditional literary tone, though more experimental pieces have been known to appear. Cumberland River nominates for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and other anthologies.
For over sixty years, Phoenix has been showcasing student writing and art at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Entirely student run, they welcome work from fellow students as well as faculty and alumni. The result is a vibrant mix of writing, art, and cultural commentary ranging from sly and humorous to hard-hitting emotional pieces with the occasional song or two thrown in for good measure.
With over a century of literary excellence, the Sewanee Review is the country’s oldest, continuously published literary quarterly. Their mission of printing “the new literature of the day”, as editor Allen Tate said in 1944, made the journal an early platform for the likes of Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Sylvia Plath and many more greats. If you’d like to join these hollowed ranks, submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are open Sept.-May via Submittable with a $3 fee.
Dedicated to discovering new voices, Grist was founded by University of Tennessee Creative Writing Program graduates. Published in print every spring, they also published craft essays and reviews regularly online. The journal holds an annual “Pro Forma” Contest for work that explores the relationship between content and form. Regular submissions are open May 15th-Aug. 15th for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in a wide variety of styles.
The Pinch has evolved through many iterations. Originally, the Memphis State Review, it then became associated with the University of Memphis and was renamed River City. In 2005, the journal’s main focus became creative nonfiction and it was again redubbed, this time as The Pinch. The journal is published twice a year in print and online. CNF, fiction, poetry, and flash submissions are rolling and there are two yearly contests.
Published three times a year online, The Nashville Review is edited by MFA students at Vanderbilt University. The journal publishes a broad range of writing and art, including translations and comics. Generally, one or two featured artists appears in each issue alongside stories and poems that run the gamut from traditional coming of age stories to ruminations on the intelligence of pigs.
NR also publishes the winners of The Porch Prizes. The Porch is a Nashville based literary community offering workshops, events, reading groups and more. They award yearly prizes in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction as part of a mission to support writers at all levels and stages of their careers.
A humble, 15-word classified ad launched New Millennium Writings way back in 1996, when people still read classified ads. Since then, the journal has grown into a highly respected and enjoyable read. Maintaining that no style or subject is off-limits, NMW awards frequent prizes and prides itself on publishing first-time authors alongside more established writers. The current contest is open for submissions of fiction, nonfiction, flash and poetry until July 1.
by B.B. Garin