Literary Magazines You Need to Read – Part 1

One facet of being a writer is universally understood across cultures, backgrounds, histories, and experience, and that is that writers can never read enough. There are never enough hours in the day for all the books on your list, and that’s an accepted fact throughout the writing community.

That’s where Literary Magazines, or Lit Mags, come in: you choose a few you identify with or want to work towards, subscribe, and wait excitedly by your mailbox until each issue arrives. Lit Mags are awesome because they can cover a wide variety of subject matter, genres, and writing experience, and they can also help you understand what caliber of writing material Lit Mags are hunting for.

All this is to say that there are a ton of Lit Mags out there, and I thought I’d take a moment to feature a few since many are open to submissions right now. This first installment in the Lit Mags series has a few magazines that specialize in poetry, so if you’re into short story or non-fiction, hang tight for a few posts! I’ll have something for you in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, whenever you take a break from writing to read, give a few of these Lit Mags a try! The below descriptions are taken from Poets and Writers, so you can hear directly from the horse’s mouth what each magazine is about. Learn more by clicking the name of the magazine in the pink header.



5×5 is a pocket-sized literary magazine packed with concise written and visual art, full of new and established voices, both young and old, that push the limits of our five inch by five inch format. We strive to find exceptional, undiscovered writing and artwork, package it into a neat little book and send it to as many mailboxes as possible.


Able Muse

Able Muse predominantly publishes metrical poetry complemented by art and photography, fiction and non-fiction including essays, book reviews and interviews with a focus on metrical and formal poetry. We also welcome exceptional free verse. We also publish fiction, essays, book reviews, interviews, art and photography. Able Muse seeks to publish established as well as new voices. We read everything and publish only the best. Send your best!



Arcadia has published eclectic art and literature in Oklahoma City since 2009. We publish in a one-of-a-kind quarterly format that features both magazine issues and stand-alone poetry and fiction chapbooks


Bellevue Literary Review

Bellevue Literary Review is a unique literary magazine that examines human existence through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease. We invite submissions of previously unpublished works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that touch upon these themes.


Black Warrior Review

Founded in 1974, Black Warrior Review publishes contemporary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by award-winning writers alongside work by new and emerging voices. Each issue also features art, comics, and a poetry chapbook solicited by the editors.


Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine is the student-run literary journal of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. We publish health care-related short stories, poems, and artwork annually.


Cease, Cows

At Cease, Cows we want to explore the contemporary, the strange, the big questions.


Dogwood Journal

Now in its thirteenth year, Dogwood seeks work that connects directly with readers. Judges for the competition have included former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, and Oprah book club author A. Manette Ansay. Work from Dogwood has been selected for The Pushcart Prize Anthology and has been featured on Verse Daily.

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