Literary MagNet

Travis Kurowski
From the November/December 2014 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Though the changes each generation brings to writing appear gradual in hindsight, they are often experienced in real time—from H. D.’s genre-defining Imagist poems in early issues of Poetry to Donald Barthelme’s electric postmodern New Yorker fictions of the 1960s. Today, literary journals of the millennial generation (those led by editors born in the early 1980s to the early 1990s), such as the bimonthly American Reader (, are rapidly diversifying and bringing new audiences to the literary world. Cofounded in 2012 by Princeton alums Uzoamaka Maduka and Jac Mullen, the New York–based American Reader has rapidly become one of the most discussed journals on the newsstand. Sporting a cover design modeled after midcentury French journal Le Contrat Social, each slim issue of American Reader offers a carefully selected batch of literary and critical work. Issue 2.3 features a portfolio of writing from Switzerland and an essay by the authors of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. As of October, the magazine (which previously published daily content on its website) has gone print-only. Submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, and criticism are considered year-round by e-mail.

The new Atlas Review ( has a similar New York home and millennial-rich masthead, but it is much more invested in anonymity and literary experiment. Cofounded in 2013 by Jillian Kuzma and current editor Natalie Eilbert, the biannual Atlas Review considers submissions anonymously, “without the distraction of a name’s influence.” Issue 4 features an interview with Maggie Nelson, plus new writing from Melissa Broder, Lindsay Hunter, and Paul Legault. Keep an eye out for an Atlas Review podcast by Amy Brinker spotlighting pieces from each issue. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art submissions are open via Submittable until November 15.

Keenly focused on diversity, Apogee (—meaning “the point in an object’s orbit that is farthest from the center”—aims to publish “art and literature that engage with issues of identity politics: race, gender, sexuality, class, and hyphenated identities.” Emerging in 2010 from Columbia University’s graduate program in creative writing, the newly biannual Apogee boasts a consensus-run editorial staff of women and people of color. The third print issue hit newsstands this past summer, including new fiction from James Yeh and poetry from Morgan Parker and Christopher Soto. Its online-only fourth issue comes out this month, and electronic submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction are currently open for Issue 5, due out in print in Spring 2015.

Book editors Maria Gagliano and Celia Blue Johnson (of Penguin and Hachette, respectively) launched Slice ( in Brooklyn in 2007, quickly accumulating the reputation, and circulation, of a much older journal. Similarly invested in promoting young writers, each biannual themed issue “becomes the catalyst for articles and interviews from renowned writers and lesser known voices alike.” The Hope-themed Issue 15 features new writing from Ingrid Nelson and Brett Beach alongside interviews with David Gates, Elissa Schappell, Justin Taylor, and Adelle Waldman. Early-bird registration for Slice’s annual writers conference in Brooklyn opens in January, as does the reading period for Issue 17, whose theme will be Desire. Electronic submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction will be open until March 1.

Kansas-based Parcel ( is one of a handful of journals published by a bookstore—in this case, the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence. While the magazine publishes writers from around the world, it also has a locally minded bent, aspiring “to bring added recognition to the vigorous writing community in and around Lawrence, Kansas”—and is both produced and printed in the area. Edited by Kate Lorenz since its inception in 2010, Parcel is an elegant, minimally designed journal of poetry and prose, each issue featuring an artist’s portfolio and an added art object, such as a limited-edition broadside or postcard. The new Fall/Winter Issue, out this month, features work from a host of emerging writers, such as poets Sara Peck and Laura Kochman and fiction writers Lynda Sexson and Travis Vick. The Parcel editors consider submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art year-round via Submittable.

Travis Kurowski is the editor of Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine, published in 2013 by Atticus Books. His website is


It is really cool seeing

It is really cool seeing magazines gearing toward younger, more diverse readers and writers.  And anything that promotes or is open to new writers is always refreshing to see! Janelle