Where better to end this series than our nation’s capital, and our editor’s new home? Let’s dive into the journals that lay claim to the DC area.
Once more around the block. This series began with our previous assistant editor, Melissa Hinshaw, who wanted to catalog literary magazines based on their geographical homes. We’ve now visited (and sometimes revisited) all 50 states, the District of Columbia and a few places outside the US, as well. Thanks for joining us on this journey!
Based in Washington, DC (but technically Arlington, VA!), Gargoyle Magazine was founded in 1976 and focused on “seeking out the overlooked and neglected” poets and writers. While they still enjoy discovering new and forgotten writers, there are no guidelines to submit to this magazine, nor have there ever been; they don’t believe in them. Once published annually, the magazine has shifted to an online presence and releases new issues several times a year.
Struggle Magazine was founded in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic out of a desire to have a “tangible expression of what it meant… to have artistic freedom.” For those local to DC, you can pick up a copy of this print zine at a few local coffee shops and bookstores around the district, otherwise selections are available online and print copies can be ordered for shipping, too. All accepted pieces are paid $75! Struggle Magazine considers visual art as well as fiction, poetry, essays and literary criticism. You can also buy the editors a coffee!
If you don’t already know about Barrelhouse, you might not be paying close attention to the literary scene. Barrelhouse publishes a magazine—in print and online—as well as books, hosts a conference at Temple University, and organizes write-ins and writer camps. They pretty much do it all. 2024 will be the magazine’s 20th year in operation. Make sure to send them your prose and poetry to celebrate the occasion!
Potomac Review just released their 73rd issue: That means they’ve been around for quite some time. Another journal that’s not technically in the district itself, Rockville, Maryland is considered a suburb of DC, so we’re counting it. Potomac Review is one of the three journals, along with Barrelhouse and The Baltimore Review, who host the Conversations and Connections conference. Although Potomac Review isn’t a paying market, they do offer a tote bag to subscribers! Submit fiction and nonfiction (under 7,500 words, generally) and poetry.
American University in DC has published Folio since 1984. Folio has included work from illustrious artists like Ross Gay, Roxane Gay, Franny Choi and has interviewed powerhouses like Allen Ginsberg, Charles Baxter, Carmen Maria Machado and more. Folio considers poetry and prose alongside artwork, so visual artists: here’s your place to submit!
Grace and Gravity is a journal out of DC devoted specifically to publishing women writers from the DC area—so while you need to be in this demographic to submit, everyone is encouraged to read and support the journal! They just released their 10th volume earlier this year on the theme of love: Grace in Love. Future submission calls, for those in the region, will be available on their website.
by Cole Meyer