Submitting for a themed issue can narrow the playing field and improve your chances of having your piece accepted. Below some great journals that regularly do themed issues and that are friendly to emerging writers. We’ve included their current calls for submissions and deadlines (2017). Be advised: many journals, especially those that get loads of submissions, only read until they have the makings of an issue they’re happy with, so submit ASAP!
McSweeney’s Quarterly: We love them for their great taste; we hate them for their slow response times (they get thousands of submissions for each issue). Like we said, don’t wait for the deadline. They accept fiction and non-fiction (generally of up to 7000 words) and poetry only for select themes.
- Immigration/displacement/refuge (open to any immigrant or refugee writer) – Sept 30
- Surveillance/privacy – Nov 30
Liars’ League isn’t just a journal, it’s an event! Winning stories are read by professional actors before a live audience in London (and recorded on MP3 and video for later download) and then published on their website, podcast and YouTube channel. They’re looking for compelling stories between 800 – 2000 words.
- Death and Taxes – Sep 3
- Brothers – Oct 1
- Sacred and Profane – Nov 5
Litro Magazine is another UK-based journal. They produce print and online versions and they have a podcast. For their themed issues, they’re looking for flash fiction, short stories and nonfiction of up to 4000 words.
- Latin America – Aug 23
- After Dark. After Hours – Sep 1
- Protest – Oct 2
- Faith & Faithlessness – Nov 1
- India – Dec 4
Blood and Bourbon like work that’s ‘hard, gritty, and raw’. If this sounds right up your alley, send in your poetry, short stories or nonfiction of up to 2500 words.
- Death – Aug 31
The Literary Nest values strong characters and original approaches. You can submit stories between 1000 and 5000 words or up to five poems.
- Upheaval – Sep 15
- Fear – Oct 16 through Dec 15
Twelve Point Collective is committed to showcasing emerging writers and artists. You can submit short stories of up to 3000 words or up to five poems. Each piece is paired with exclusive artwork.
- Mental health – Sep 30