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Submit Your Writing to These Chicago Literary Magazines

You’ve nurtured those words for long enough, it’s time to release them into the world.

By Literature 51

Chicago Literary Magazines

Illustration by Ketaki Kulkarni

You didn’t crack open and bleed onto the page simply to stash those lines and words in a journal or in that locked folder on your computer. Somewhere, those words wanted to come out, so let ‘em fly. Birds leave their nest, so why not your syllables?

Everything has a home, whether a story, a poem, essay, artwork — even those quirky things that can’t be pigeonholed into a neat, tidy box. Maybe it’s in print, maybe it’s online, maybe it’s somewhere yet to be determined. But finding that place takes time, especially for works deemed “experimental” or that simply push against conventional notions of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction.

If you need help finding a home for those words you’ve crafted, whether now or in the future, here’s a starter list. Because SAIC is based in Chicago, we’re keeping this list focused on Chicago-based literary publications. Those that openly seek “experimental” or less conventional styles of writing are also noted. 

But first, here are a few helpful notes before you start sending those words into the ether. Be sure to check the magazine’s website for any submission criteria or deadlines. Some charge a submission fee: At small, fledgling journals, this helps pay for the submission platform or the journal itself. Don’t forget to take a look at current issues of the publication to make sure your style meshes with what they publish, otherwise, it’ll be like going to the hardware store and trying to order freshly squeezed orange juice instead of a gallon of paint. Many of these journals use Submittable, an online platform for submitting work. This means that even if a journal is currently closed for submissions, Submittable allows you to “follow” various opportunities for future submission. And finally, to research and find other journals, use the searchable database of literary magazines on Poets & Writers.

Another Chicago Magazine

Genres: Various (including audio/visual, hybrid works)
Deadlines: Various (several upcoming in November)
Fee: various (include free submissions and possible waivers)

Arcturus

Genres: Various (including experimental and emphasis on “new perspectives”)
Deadlines: Rolling / year-round
Fee: $0

Chicago Quarterly Review

Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Visual Art
Deadlines: Rolling / year-round
Fee: $3

Chicago Review

Genre: Various (and “less interested in traditional narrative” fiction)
Deadlines: June 15
Fee: $0-5

Contrary Magazine

Genre: Various (including works “contrary” to form)
Deadlines: Various
Fee: $0

Euphony Journal

Genre: Various
Deadlines: Rolling / year-round
Fee: $0

Hypertext Magazine

Genre: Various (including experimental nonfiction and flash fiction)
Deadlines: May 31
Fee: $5

MAKE

Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or “ephemera” in both English and Spanish
Deadlines: Not currently accepting, but generally rolling / year-round
Fee: $0

Mauldin House

Genre: Experimental
Deadlines: Rolling / year-round
Fee: $0 (offers a paid 24-hour response option for $5)

Ornery Quarterly

Genre: Various (“giving the literary establishment a bathetic run for its money”)
Deadlines: Rolling / year-round
Fee: $0

Plates Journal

Genre: Experimental (themed calls)
Deadlines: October 9
Fee: $0

Poetry Magazine (published by Poetry Foundation)

Genre: Poetry (including audio, sound, visual)
Deadlines: Various
Fee: $0

Rhino

Genre: Experimental poetry, flash fiction, translations
Deadlines: Various
Fee: $0

Triquarterly

Genre: Various (including hybrid, video essay, and “cinepoetry”)
Deadlines: Various
Fee: $0-$2

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