Five Queer Literary Magazines to Read This Summer
Many LGBTQIA+ readers and writers, myself included, are familiar with the blanket diversity statements that appear on the “about” pages and submission guidelines of many mainstream literary journals across the country. It’s important, I think, for queer authors to be able to achieve a certain degree of visibility and representation in these mainstream outlets. However, many writers still struggle with a fear of tokenization or becoming just another diversity checkbox.
That’s why I think it’s equally important for marginalized writers to publish work in venues that hold space specifically for their identities. This June, I’ve compiled a list of five queer literary magazines that I love, and I know you will too.
Vetch is “a magazine of trans poetry and poetics” that strives to publish the best poetry possible by and for trans writers. Headed by a troop of relatively young editors (Kay Gabriel, Stephen Ira, Rylee Lyman, and Liam O’Brien), the magazine published its first issue in 2015. Each issue and its submission calls are “organized thematically” and taken via email.
Apart from poetry Vetch also publishes critical essays. Their mission is to address both “a dearth of published work by trans poets . . .” and “the prominence of poetry that hits the palliative buttons of liberal inclusivity-oriented ideology.”
Vetch currently operates on a “pay what you can” system, meaning all four of their current issues are technically free, but a price of five dollars or more is suggested and encouraged.
Gertrude is perhaps the most established queer journal on our list. Founded in 1998 by Eric Delehoy, the magazine is now run by publisher and fiction editor tammy lynne stoner. The magazine was originally a print affair but, as of 2017, has gone online. Gertrude is the longest consecutively published queer literary journal and has published writers from both the US and abroad.
While not currently accepting submissions, the magazine has already released its winter 2022 issue. Issue 37 features work from Margaree Little, Clare Fisher, Elaine H. Kim, Josephine Sarvaas, Crystal K., Keesean Moore, and Shelley Ettinger—available online.
Screen Door Review is yet another online journal publishing work from queer writers. What sets them apart from other publications is that Screen Door focuses on writers who, in addition to being queer, “also identify as southern.” This journal publishes issues three times a year with the expressed intent of investigating the complicated intersection between queer authors and the American South. Screen Door Review is headed by editor-in-chief Alesha Dawson, who runs the magazine with a dedicated team of editors out of Birmingham, Alabama.
Screen Door Review is one of the publications on our list that is currently accepting submissions this summer. This journal publishes flash fiction and poetry.
This quarterly journal was cofounded by L Scully and Olivia Braley and is now headed by editor-in-chief [sarah] Cavar. Stone of Madness is an online journal seeking to publish trans, queer, and neurodiverse writers. They publish poetry and prose four times a year, “on January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15,” and hold submission windows the month before each of those dates.
Now on their seventeenth issue, Stone of Madness Press just held their “5k writing contest” to celebrate surpassing the 5,000 follower mark. Kanami Ayau’s poem “Rick Deckard Comes Home” won first place.
Writers still have time to submit to Stone of Madness before the end of June. They rely on submissions and donations to operate, so go support this great magazine today!
Raspa is run by editors César Ramos and Mónica Teresa Ortiz as well as their art director Sixto-Juan Zavala. Ramos started the magazine out of Austin, Texas in the fall of 2012 with the intention to develop a space for the queer Latinx literary community. Raspa encourages any Latinx artist “who self identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and/or Intersex to submit their work in an effort to increase visibility within the greater literary community.”
Raspa Magazine accepts submissions from February 15 through August 15, seeking “short fiction, poetry, dramatic works, visual art, creative nonfiction,” and more for their yearly publication, welcoming both English and Spanish language work.
Alec Witthohn is the Social Media Manager and an associate editor at the Center for Literary Publishing/Colorado Review. He is currently an MFA fiction candidate at Colorado State University. Before joining Colorado Review, Alec worked with Copper Nickel for several years as an assistant/associate editor.