Our November/December issue features a special section on university presses, book contests, literary magazines, and Substacks where writers are publishing now; profiles of memoirist Safiya Sinclair and novelist E. J. Koh; our eighth annual 5 Over 50 roundup of debut authors; an interview with Gilbert Cruz, editor of the New York Times Book Review; plus an overview of the pros and cons of hybrid publishing, a farewell ritual for the debut book, writing prompts, contest deadlines, and more.
Dreaming Up Her Own Salvation: A Profile of Safiya Sinclair
In a stunning new memoir, How to Say Babylon, Safiya Sinclair tells the story of growing up in a Rastafarian family in Jamaica, breaking free of her father’s oppressive control, and finding her own voice as a woman and poet.
Love, Loss, and Liberation: A Profile of E. J. Koh
In poetry, memoir, and now her novel, The Liberators, forthcoming in November from Tin House, E. J. Koh breaks new ground in understanding the Korean diaspora and the emancipating power of love.
Essays by debut authors Alma García (All That Rises), Bernardine “Dine” Watson (Transplant), Tommy Archuleta (Susto), Chin-Sun Lee (Upcountry), and Donna Spruijt-Metz (General Release From the Beginning of the World).
Thinking Outside the Big Five: The University Presses, Book Contests, Lit Mags, and Substacks Where Writers Are Publishing Now
Commitment and Care: Publishing With a University Press
University presses excel at nurturing innovative voices and literary forms that commercial operations can’t always take a risk on, serving writers and readers alike.
A Winning Way to Publish: Considering Small Press Book Contests
The author of Mother/land outlines factors to consider in sizing up small press book contests and shares what prize-winning authors have to say about the advantages of contests as a route to publication.
Upcoming Contests and Submission Windows: Twelve Small Presses That Want to Read Your Manuscript
Count on small presses to boast enthusiastic staff, personal publishing experiences, and editors ready to champion your work. Our senior editor selects twelve top contests and reading periods from indies open to submissions this winter.
Unconventional Ink: How Literary Authors Are Thriving on Substack
Since its launch in 2017, Substack has become a haven for creativity. Several notable authors, including George Saunders, Rebecca Makkai, and Carmen Maria Machado, talk about how their Substacks help them sustain a writing life.
The Magic in the Mix: Letters on the Art of Reading and Editing a Literary Magazine
In letters exchanged over several months, two prose editors for the Chestnut Review shine a light on the care, commitment, and rigor that guides the selection and editing of stories for publication.
News and Trends
Flooding devastated parts of Vermont in July, including literary organizations and businesses that are now relying on community support as they rebuild and confront more frequent extreme weather events brought on by climate change.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Orders of Service: A Fugue by Willie Lee Kinard III and I Would Meet You Anywhere by Susan Kiyo Ito.
To mimic human writing, AI technologies have been consuming millions of pages of copyrighted literature. Authors have filed several class-action lawsuits accusing AI companies of illicitly using their work and seeking compensation.
DePaul University’s Blue Book anthology showcases the work of talented teen writers, offering an intimate glimpse into their varied lived experiences and illustrating the transformative power of written expression.
Founded to support the work of marginalized poets, Get Fresh Books publishes one to three poetry collections each year, selecting manuscripts from a pool of no-fee submissions and solicited work.
An introduction to three new anthologies, including Another Last Call: Poems on Addiction and Deliverance and Black Punk Now: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Comics.
The translator of Tomasz Różycki’s To the Letter discusses the journals where she first placed poems from the book—including Cagibi and Guernica—and the unique process of publishing translated work.
Artist Billy Renkl recounts his painstaking process for constructing the mixed-media collages that accompany the essays in his sister Margaret Renkl’s new book, The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year.
The editor of the New York Times Book Review discusses his vision for the Book Review, how he and his staff decide which titles to cover, advice for authors, and more.
The Practical Writer
Publishing Myths: “If You Don’t Earn Out Your Advance, You’ll Never Publish Another Book”
In our column debunking the myths of the publishing industry, a veteran agent explains how advances are determined and encourages readers with the truth that there’s no single indicator of an author’s next book deal.
Hybrid Publishing: An Alternative Model With a Price Tag
For some, hybrid publishing provides a more accessible path to publication, allowing authors to have a greater say in the production and marketing of a book—but it may come at a cost.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem set in the imagined world of your favorite film, a short story in which a character spends the entirety of the story alone, or an essay about the stresses of the holiday season.
Making Space: A Farewell Ritual for the Debut Book
After months of writing, editing, and promoting, the author of Diaries of a Terrorist created a ceremonial practice that allowed him to say goodbye to his first book of poetry and open up to new dreams.