Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Online Journals

Online poetry journals are proliferating. Seems like I'm routinely receiving notification of yet another one. A few of these notices are about former print journals that have converted to online, but most are about brand new journals. Not all online journals are created equal. Because anybody can start one and often for free, there is a broad disparity in quality. Submitter beware. Always thoroughly check out the journal before you submit. If you wouldn't be proud to have your work appear in the journal, don't submit.

A few caveats:
1. Avoid journals that are really blogs masquerading as journals. These reveal a lack of commitment and generally have limited archive space. If a journal doesn't archive issues, steer clear.
2. Especially avoid a journal that posts all poems on the same page and requires the visitor to scroll down. Most readers won't bother.
3. Avoid journals with dreadful color combinations and weird fonts. You want your work to be nicely displayed.
4. Avoid journals with overly complicated navigation. Readers don't want to have to jump through hoops to find your poems.
5. Gravitate toward journals that make their presence known by using Share Buttons and having Facebook and Twitter accounts. It amazes me that some online journals still haven't added these features. They're free and can dramatically extend the journal's reach. When I find a poem I really like, I like to hit the Share Button at the bottom of the page. A link to the poem then posts on my Facebook page and is available to all my friends.

Here's a list of some fairly new online journals that are worth taking a look at:

Birdfeast Magazine—2x
poetry only
reads all year
Linked Table of Contents allows for easy movement from one poem to the next
No Share Buttons

poetry, essays, reviews
submissions will reopen April 1
Facebook Share on home and TofC, but not on the poem pages

Four Way Review—4x
reads all year
poetry and fiction
no Share buttons
good navigation buttons
great audio with each poem

Heron Tree—1 poem per week
online but plans to print a bound issue yearly
poetry only
poems are posted weekly, on Sunday evening
link to the weekly poem opens a pdf page which I find a bit unwieldy
no Share Buttons

the museum of americana—4x
reads June and December only
work focuses on things americana—"showcases and/or repurposes historical American culture"
poetry, fiction, interview, reviews, nonfiction, art & photography
Share Buttons throughout issue

Sleet Magazine—2x
regular posting period not posted but is currently reading subs
includes poetry, fiction, interviews, and what they call "irregulars," i.e., cross-genre pieces
will consider previously published work
no Share Buttons

poetry only
open all year—accepts on a rolling basis
very quick response time
one print edition per year
No Share Buttons


  1. Thanks for the information, Diane. I will check out the sites for these journals.

    I like to add literary journals to my "pages" list on Facebook. When the editor places a call for work, it shows on my newsfeed. Also, I can read work they feature more easily. So, I hate when a journal isn't on FB. However, I also understand that most of these online journals are run by unpaid staff who also have lives to live and perhaps not the extra time to update a FB page. So it goes.

  2. There's also a page on FB called Submission Bombers and another for Calls for Submissions. These provide some information you might be interested in.


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