We’re flying off to the Northeast! As the fall settles in around us and the leaves changes colors and the weather drops (and so on and so on), why not enjoy the season with the litmags of chilly Vermont?
It may be prime leaf peeping season, but there’s a lot more to explore in Vermont than trees. How about the Robert Frost House or Rudyard Kipling’s old pad? There’s the quaint town of Townshend, which H.P. Lovecraft twisted into the creepy setting for The Whisper in Darkness. Or you could just gorge yourself on maple syrup. But when you come down from that sugar high, be sure to check out these amazing lit mags!
The journal takes its name from what may seem like an uninspiring time of year, when the snow melts and everything turns to mud. Yet, the editors maintain this is when the inner work of creation is done. Just like seeds taking root deep under the muck, Mud Season cultivates writing that blooms widely in a vibrant, inspiring array. Run by the Burlington Writers Workshop, they publish one piece of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and visual art twice a month online. This allows for a concise but highly refined journal celebrating both the human experience and the writing process.
Published by Middlebury College and founded in 1978, NER has a prestigious reputation, often publishing writers who go on to win multiple awards and international recognition. However, the journal continues to strive to recognize new voices, reflecting their belief that writing is an art “under constant revision, renovation, and innovation.” In addition to the quarterly journal, they publish several digital forums aimed at continuing a larger conversation around writing and all things literary, including “Confluences” where writers recount their experiences with other art forms. Submissions for most categories run through Nov. 1.
Another New England literary staple, GMR is an award-winning journal based at Northern Vermont University. The journal varies widely in style and subject manner, mostly published online, but with an annual print edition that often encompasses a theme. Pieces in GMR have gone on to appear in numerous anthologies. They seek artwork, book reviews and occasionally audio or video pieces, along with more traditional poetry and prose.
Yes, they love their mountains in Vermont! The summit of this literary journal lies at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program. The rotating student editors make for a fluid aesthetic, particularly with the spring print issue, which is designed by Graphic Arts students to striking effect. This is also a rare outlet for young adult writing, as well as being open to sci-fi, fantasy and other genre fiction. In addition to a general submission period in the spring, they read for several contests in the fall.
Originally founded in 1966 by the son of Shirley Jackson, Bennington Review became a heavy-weight in the literary game for many years before taking a thirty-year hiatus. Since its return in 2016, this biannual print journal has quickly reestablished itself as a venue for innovative, contemporary writing. They seek fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, translations, and essays that explore film in “a unique and/or personal way.” Submissions open Nov. 1.
This unique online magazine exclusively publishes environmental writing. Taking their name from part of the cider making process, they hope to blend a variety of perspectives into a single publication that helps redefine the relationship between humans and nature. With a fall themed issue and an open spring issue, Hopper encourages writers to explore any aspect of the physical world. So long as a piece is honest and inquisitive, it can find a home here.
by B.B. Garin