Rebecca Paredes is leading us back east—this time to West Virginia! Let’s find out what excellent literary institutions call the Mountain State home below!
Also known as the Mountain State, West Virginia’s rich cultural history is grounded in Appalachian arts and heritage. On this leg of our literary roadtrip, we’re taking a look at active fiction publications based in West Virginia, ranging from zines to university presses. Let’s dive in.
Founded in 2013, the Cheat River Review is a biannual online literary journal based out of the West Virginia University MFA program in Morgantown, West Virginia. The journal features both emerging and established writers and artists, and it publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art. According to the journal’s About page, the Cheat River Review is named after a river that flooded and destroyed an entire town in 1985—evidence of not only nature that adapts and shifts, but also “has a consistent presence in West Virginia’s landscape and culture.”
Fluent Magazine is a free quarterly e-zine covering the arts and culture in West Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and neighboring regions. Launched in 2012, its mission is to promote the art and artists of the greater Eastern Panhandle region and to make art (and the free magazine) accessible to everyone. Fluent Magazine accepts fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Founded in 2015, Heartwood is an alumni-run, semi-annual online literary journal associated with the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Every spring and fall, Heartwood publishes poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and an interview with a writer who has been a guest reader or guest faculty member for WVWC’s MFA program.
Kestrel is the literary magazine of Fairmont State University. The biannual print journal was established in 1993, and its mission is to “explore the human condition and to share a vision of the human experience with readers in West Virginia, Appalachia, the United States, and abroad.” Kestrel publishes fiction, poetry, translations, and creative nonfiction by established and emerging writers.
The Poorhouse Rag is a literary magazine of Western Virginia University at Parkersburg dedicated to publishing work that brings “awareness to varied social justice topics and themes including marginalization.” The publication accepts poetry, flash fiction, fiction, creative nonfiction, children’s stories, and artwork from people affiliated with WVU, such as students, alumni, faculty, and family members.
As the largest publisher and only university press in West Virginia, West Virginia University Press publishes books and scholarly journals by authors around the world with a particular emphasis on the Appalachian Region. The press also publishes literary short fiction, fiction, and creative nonfiction by new and established writers from across the globe, especially literature that deals with “diverse aspects of all cultures and bears a strong sense of place.”
by Rebecca Paredes