L'chaim! Lit Mags for Jewish Thought
By Becky Tuch
Your latest short story might feature a rabbi as a protagonist. Your latest poem may be inspired from the Hagaddah. Your just-completed essay might be about your decision to start (or stop) going to temple. There are a variety of ways religion may impact your life and for every way, a lit mag that wants to know about it. If your writing explores the complexities of Jewish experience, here are lit mags that might be a good fit:
THE ARAVA REVIEW was founded in September 2009 at The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. The two editors were residents in poetry and art, respectively. Both wanted to create a space where visual art and poetry co-existed. Much like in a gallery, The Arava Review curates each issue as a cohesive show.
BLUE LYRA REVIEW. Our aim is to bring together the voices of writers and artists from a diverse array of backgrounds, paying special homage to minorities especially Jewish writers, women, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans as well as others from communities that are historically underrepresented in literary magazines.
BRIDGES is a showcase for the creative work of Jewish feminists. The editors also welcome work of particular interest to Jewish feminism by men and non-Jewish women. We work with each other and with contributors to publish material that recognizes and values difference. We particularly welcome material by Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews, by people of color, by the old and the young, by lesbians, by those with disabilities, and by working-class and poor Jews. We work with contributors who consider themselves more activist than writer to publish new material on what Jewish feminists are doing.
DRASH: NORTHWEST MOSAIC is a new literary review filled with poetry, prose and photos encouraging the redemptive nature of life from Jewish and other perspectives. Jews have always valued the written word and its revelatory nature. Our Torah, filled with human trials and triumphs, contains stories that serve as lessons, inspiration and warning. The scrolls delineate man’s relationships to the spiritual and natural world.
HABITUS: A DIASPORA JOURNAL is a new, international journal of Diaspora literature and culture. The magazine is poised to make a lasting impact with its unique global vision, world-class writing, and original translations. Each issue focuses on a different city, penetrating deep into the emotional and political substance of the urban environment. Every new city is a venue for illuminating a different corner of the world, and a different perspective on the issues that define us. While Habitus is rooted in the experience and language of the Jewish Diaspora, the magazine cannot be limited by the parochial boundaries of any single group.
HEEB MAGAZINE was brewed in Brooklyn in 2001 as a take-no-prisoners zine for the plugged-in and preached-out. Covering arts, culture and politics in a voice all its own, Heeb has become a multi-media magnet to the young, urban and influential
THE ILANOT REVIEW is a biannual journal of creative writing which publishes a stellar selection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and literary interviews. The Ilanot Review is produced by a small but dedicated staff of volunteer editors. We publish two themed issues a year, which invite submissions from English language poets and writers who live in Israel, or have done so in the past.
JEWISH FICTION .NET is the first English-language journal devoted exclusively to the publishing of Jewish fiction. Our purpose is to showcase the finest contemporary writing on Jewish themes (either written in, or translated into, English), and to provide an online community for writers and readers of Jewish fiction from around the world.
JEWISH QUARTERLY is a leading literary, cultural and political journal, a crucial voice in Jewish life but with a reach that extends far beyond it. Founded in 1955, by Jacob Sonntag to continue the great European Jewish literary tradition, the Jewish Quarterly has made a unique contribution to the intellectual life of the Jewish world. It is the place that leading Jewish writers come to do their thinking, and the home for writing that is fearless, provocative an in-depth.
JEWISH WOMEN'S LITERARY ANNUAL provides examples of some of the best Jewish women's writing today–poetry, humor, fiction, memoirs, midrash–writing of high literary quality, by Jewish women, on almost any topic.
LILITH magazine charts Jewish women’s lives with exuberance, rigor, affection, subversion and style. The magazine features award-winning investigative reports, new rituals and celebrations, first-person accounts both contemporary and historical, entertainment reviews, fiction and poetry, art and photography.
MOMENT. Now the largest independent Jewish magazine in North America, Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein founded Moment in 1975, calling it "The New Magazine for America's Jew." Moment is committed to portraying intellectual, political, cultural, and religious debates within the community, and to educating readers about Judaism’s rich history and contemporary movements, ranging from left to right, fundamentalist to secular.
POETICA. We publish original-unpublished works by Jewish and non-Jewish writers alike. We are interested in works that have the courage to acknowledge, challenge, and celebrate modern Jewish life, beyond distinctions of secular and sacred. We like accessible works that find fresh meaning in old traditions that recognize the challenges of our generation. We evaluate works on several levels, including its skillful use of craft; its ability to hold interest; and layers of meaning.
SCRIBBLERS ON THE ROOF was born out of a need for a dedicated place for both established and emerging writers of fiction and poetry with Jewish themes to submit their work. While there are some wonderful Jewish publications that have small sections for for creative writing (and you can find their links on this site), they are few and far between and they are not dedicated solely to the craft of poetry and prose. There are also many many fine “non-Jewish” literary publications where writers can submit their work. However, sometimes a piece may contain certain references or even words in Hebrew or Yiddish that a non-Jewish audience may simply not understand.
SHOFAR LITERARY REVIEW is an electronic literary magazine dedicated to topics of traditional Judaism expressed through written word. Our aim is to publish poetry and short prose that grapple with issues of faith, spirituality, and larger themes of existence. We also enjoy well-written works of any theme within a Jewish context, as long as they uphold a high level of integrity, and portray worldly truths in a unique way.
TIFERET is a non-sectarian, non-dogmatic publication and organization. We seek and publish high-quality poetry, prose, and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be humane and conscious in an often contradictory and confusing world. The magazine is a multi-faith publication, representing a variety of religious traditions as different paths up the same mountain.
TIKKUN. We print articles on social theory, religion/spirituality, social change, contemporary American and global politics and economics, ecology, culture, psychology, and Israel/Palestine. What we look for in such pieces are perspectives that interrogate the politics of their subject matter in ways which both advance the pursuit of tikkun olam — social justice and the repair of the world — and break down issues of contemporary concern in completely new and thoughtful ways. We support a progressive spirituality, but we welcome ideas that challenge established orthodoxies in all spheres of thought and all conceptions of politics, including challenging progressive politics. We also challenge “common sense” and every form of “being realistic” and welcome the most utopian ideas and the uncovering and challenging aspects of thought, culture, or social organization that have convinced people that our world cannot be reconstructed on the basis of love, generosity, nonviolence, social justice, caring for nature, and awe and wonder at the grandeur of the universe.
ZEEK: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture is the world’s oldest Jewish online magazine, founded in 2001. Today, Zeek’s mission is to be a catalyst for conversations about the Jewish tomorrow in our journal and in-person events. We believe that Judaism is undergoing a paradigm shift that we must not ignore if we want Judaism to be a vibrant religion and culture, and that multiple voices are part of that shift. And we believe there is an audience and a need for intelligent, progressive Jewish writing and art that cannot be found anywhere else.
Becky Tuch is the founding editor of The Review Review.