We’re headed to the Southwest in this month’s Litmag Roadmap. Let’s touch the Four Corners, visit the Great Salt Lake, see the Arches, ski the mountains at Park City (and maybe we’ll catch Sundance while we’re at it). It’s off to Utah!
You may not expect it, but Utah is home to a number of excellent literary journals! There’s more to feast your eyes on in the Beehive State than the stunning vistas. Let’s explore together.
Managed by the creative writing PhD students at the University of Utah, Quarterly West has been publishing poetry and prose since 1976. Besides regularly publishing special features as well as hosting genre-specific contests, QW hosts an open-genre chapbook contest, as well. Poetry published by Quarterly West is also shared through Poets.org. Quarterly West seeks writing that is “Exciting. Challenging. Risky. Unpredictable. And Different.”
Also hosted at the University of Utah, the Western Humanities Review is published by the Department of English, and publishes not just creative writing but critical essays and audio/visual art, too. WHR’s history goes back to 1947, and the writing they’ve published has won just about every award you can think of. Western Humanities Review produces triannual print editions (and they also offer stylish shirts and tote bags, too!).
Saltfront has unfortunately been on hiatus for a little while, but when they were active, this sleek journal’s mission was to offer a home for ecological storytelling. Their masthead featured editors with backgrounds in environmental humanities and conservation, and the work they published confronted the realities of humanity’s impact on our world, with the subtitle “studies in human habit(at).” Should Saltfront return, they accept poetry, prose and artwork through Submittable.
Operated out of Utah State University, Sink Hollow is one of the only undergraduate-only journals open for submissions around the world. Since 2016, Sink Hollow has published three issues a year, filled with fiction, non-fiction, poetry and artwork produced by college students. So if you’re a younger writer, in college, and are looking for a great journal to get started with your submissions, look no further!
peculiar is Utah’s queer literary journal. With the mission of support overlooked or marginalized queer community in Utah, this Provo-based journal published fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, artwork, photography and essays from queer-identifying writers. The work does not have to be queer-themed. peculiar also hosts writing contests specifically for queer writers who live or have lived in Utah.
Strange Horizons was founded in 2000 with a focus on speculative fiction. Their definition of speculative extends beyond science fiction to include horror, slipstream, fantasy and all “fantasitika.” Strange Horizon publishes fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and just about everything you can think of relating to contemporary speculative fiction. Work published in Strange Horizons has won Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and other prestigious SF/F awards. They also operate a journal dedicated to SF/F work in translation, Samovar.
Hosted at BYU, Leading Edge Magazine is another SF/F journal published out of Utah. Leading Edge traces its history back to a 1976 class on writing science fiction and fantasy and blossomed into an internationally recognized journal for new science fiction and fantasy. Brandon Sanderson (of Brandon Sanderson fame) was a former staff member!
by Cole Meyer