Lit Mags For The Ladies
By Becky Tuch
Some people are opposed to the idea of special interest literary magazines. Perhaps this is for good reason: Why should women or minorities need their own space to publish? For crying out loud it's 2011. Can't we all publish together by now?
Still others see nothing wrong with these types of journals. Why not have a space where one particular group knows they will have their voices heard? It's nice for readers too who want to feel part of a certain kind of community.
Hate them or love them, special interest journals do exist. So for all you literary ladies out there, this list is for you. (Unless otherwise noted, all content is from the journals' websites.) If you know of any journals not mentioned here, please add them to the list!
13th Moon was founded in 1973 in the ferment of early second wave feminism, as a home for women writers and their readers. Because the surrounding culture has tended to erase women writers from history, our work has needed rediscovery, preservation and its own dedicated space each generation. Their mission is to publish and promote women’s writing and art work, and to that end they also publish men’s translations of or writings about women writers.
CALYX exists to nurture women’s creativity by publishing fine literature and art by women. CALYX is committed to: introducing a wide audience to high quality literature and art by women, providing a forum for diversity and underrepresented writers and viewpoints, discovering and publishing emerging and developing writers, preserving publications for future audience.
Literary Mama, an online literary magazine, features writing by mother writers about the complexities and many faces of motherhood. They publish book reviews, columns, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and profiles of mother writers. Literary Mama features mama-centric writing with fresh voices, superior craft, and vivid imagery.
The Mom Egg publishes work by mothers about everything and by everyone about mothers and motherhood. The Mom Egg is engaged in promoting and celebrating the creative force of mother artists, and in expanding the opportunities for mothers, women, and artists.
Mslexia is an independent publishing company that provides information and (we hope) inspiration for published and unpublished women in the UK and beyond. In addition to their quarterly magazine and Writer’s Diary, Mslexia runs workshops and events, and a series of high-profile competitions for poets, novelists and short-story writers.
PMS poemmemoirstory is a 140-page, perfect-bound, all-women’s literary journal published annually by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While they proudly publish the best work of the best women writers in the nation (i.e., Maxine Chernoff, Elaine Equi, Amy Gerstler, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Molly Peacock, Lucia Perillo, Sonia Sanchez, Ruth Stone, and Natasha Trethewey, among others) they also solicit a memoir for each issue written by a woman who may not be a writer, but who has experienced something of historic significance. [EDITOR’S NOTE: PMS is now NELLE.]
ROOM Magazine is Canada's oldest literary journal by and about women. Room is a space where women can speak, connect, and showcase their creativity. Each quarter they publish original, thought-provoking works that reflect women's strength, sensuality, vulnerability, and wit.
So To Speak, founded in 1993 by an editorial collective of women MFA candidates at George Mason University, has served as a space for feminist writing and art for nearly twelve years. So to Speak publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art that lives up to a high standard of language, form, and meaning. The editors look for work that addresses issues of significance to women’s lives and movements for women’s equality and are especially interested in pieces that explore issues of race, class, and sexuality in relation to gender.
TORCH Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization established to support and promote the work of African American women. They publish contemporary poetry, prose, and short stories by experienced and emerging writers alike. Their signature on-line journal, TORCH: poetry, prose, and short stories by African American Women has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, and many more.
Women's Studies Quarterly is an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of emerging perspectives on women, gender, and sexuality. Its thematic issues focus on such topics as Activisms, The Global and the Intimate, The Sexual Body, Trans-, Technologies, and Mother, combining psychoanalytic, legal, queer, cultural, technological, and historical work to present the most exciting new scholarship on ideas that engage popular and academic readers alike. Along with scholarship from multiple disciplines, WSQ showcases fiction and creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and the visual arts.
Becky Tuch is the Founding Editor of The Review Review.