For this next installment in our Submissions Series, we’ve left our poetry castles in search of the most beautiful online lit mags in all the land. And here’s what we found! For all your prettiest, unpublished poems looking for homes, these online lit mags are the fairest of them all.
Bear Review is an online lit mag publishing two new issues of poetry and micro-prose each year. Each issue features a large-scale cover illustration, which serves as a backdrop to the table of contents. And each published piece lives on an uncluttered page in simple and elegant typography, accentuated by clean, line-drawn graphic elements. Bear Review is open for submissions year-round.
Birdcoat Quarterly is a new online magazine (from the former editors at Muse/A Journal) that publishes four issues of poetry and lyric essays each year. For each new issue, Birdcoat works with a single visual artist, who creates a stunning cover illustration, as well as several smaller illustrations—each paired with a different contributor’s poems or nonfiction. This creates not only an aesthetically beautiful issue, but one that coheres together both visually and textually. It’s also a paying publication! Birdcoat Quarterly is open for submissions year-round.
And more birds! Birdfeast is an online lit mag that publishes mostly poetry, along with cross-genre and hybrid work, on an irregular schedule. The large-scale cover art they feature for each issue is reliably lush and delicious. And the typographical format for each piece is elegant and clean. Birdfeast will be open for submissions in January 2021.
Bracken is an online lit mag publishing poetry, fiction, and art on an irregular schedule. Each issue cover is a window into a green and shadowy fairy-tale forest where the mosses and vines creep over the human body like tree trunks. And each is designed as beautifully as if it were being printed big and glossy. Bracken is not currently open for submissions, but you should check back on their website in a few months for updates.
Gertrude Press is an online lit mag publishing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with a focus on the queer experience. Each issue features lush cover art that is gorgeously and unapologetically queer. The covers themselves are designed as typographically beautiful as if they were to be printed and bound. Gertrude Press is open for submissions year-round.
Grimoire is an online lit mag that publishes new issues of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (along with literary séances, an advice column for dream interpretation, and spells) twice a year. Like Birdcoat Quarterly, this magazine features a single visual artist each issue whose bewitching art illustrates the issue cover, as well as bedazzling each contributor’s work. All of this weaves together a beautifully cohesive issue of darkly magical literature and art. Grimoire is open for submissions year-round.
Hobart is a lit mag that publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction online throughout the year, as well as in an annual print issue. On this lit website, each contributor’s piece is paired with an atmospheric photo or illustration. Hobart is open for submissions year-round.
Luna Luna is an online lit mag that publishes poetry and essays throughout the year, as well as spells, rituals, and more. This attractive site is divided into two choose-your-own-magic reading experiences: Light and Dark. Each piece here is paired with an artful cover photo. Luna Luna was open for submissions this summer in June and July. Check back with their website and social media accounts in the coming months for future open reading periods.
Maudlin House is an online lit mag that publishes poetry, fiction, and comics throughout the year. Each published piece is accompanied by an evocative photo, usually containing a bright pop of color. Maudlin House is open for submissions year-round.
And speaking of the bright and colorful, Palette Poetry is an online lit mag publishing poetry and prose about poetry throughout the year. Each poem is paired with an abstract painting image—artful splotches and captivating textures and visible brushstrokes—so the poetry contents page becomes a vibrant grid of saturated colors. It’s also a paying publication! Palette Poetry is open for submissions year-round. Be sure also to check out their Brush & Lyre Prize for Artfully Communicated Poetry (open for submissions until October 18) which is a call for multimedia poetry.
Shenandoah is an online lit mag publishing new issues of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translation, and comics twice a year. Each issue features large-scale cover art that is eye-catching and captivating, while the typographical format for each piece is elegant and clean. It’s also a paying publication! For everything but comics, Shenandoah is currently sorting through their backlog of submissions, so they’re not open at the moment. But you should check back on their website in a few months for updates.
Terrain.org is an online lit mag that publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction about place and the environment throughout the year. All published pieces are accompanied by gorgeous stock photos of landscapes and close-ups, both natural and otherwise, so the front page of each genre section becomes a latticework of windows into many different scenes. Terrain.org is open for general submissions from September 28 to April 30, but their reading period for their annual contest (in all genres) runs from February 1 to September 7.
Winter Tangerine is an online lit mag publishing one new issue of poetry, prose, and visual art each year. The cover for each issue features a large-scale piece of fine art—sometimes rich and vibrant, sometimes ethereal and muted. The typographical style for each piece is simple and clean. Unfortunately, Winter Tangerine is currently on hiatus and so not taking submissions (at the moment). But we include it here in the hopes that it will return soon, so check back on their website in a few months for updates.
As always, we wish you all the luck with your submissions. Check back with Tell Tell Poetry soon for more fabulous places to send your poem-babies!