Feeling Epic: Journals That Publish Long Submissions
By Rachel Peterson
There was a time when an English poet wasn't considered a real poet until her or she had written an epic of some sort. Today, epic is on the decline. Some mourn this trend, others celebrate the demise of such an antiquated form.
While the trend in poetry and prose is toward shorter pieces, there are some exceptions. Some journals are dedicated solely to longer works. Other magazines are open to such submissions. Still others offer a special issue highlighting longer works of various genres. In all these situations, the work of one writer tends to take up more space in the journal. This puts attention on individual authors more than a selection of short, single works by several authors can allow. Though diversity of authors or styles is sacrificed, what is gained is an insight into one author's aesthetic sensibility and range.
So, if you want to read or submit an epic, here are some good places to begin your journey. (All information is taken from the journals' websites.)
Alaska Quarterly Review.They accept the following: short stories and novel excerpts in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages), poems in traditional and experimental styles but no light verse (up to 20 pages)., short plays in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages), literary nonfiction in traditional and experimental styles (generally not exceeding 50 pages), and photo essays (query first).
Artful Dodge.Please send no more than 25 pages of prose or 6 poems, though long poems are encouraged. We’re also interested in contemporary literature in translation—from all over the globe.
At Length. Our next open reading period will begin August 1, 2013, and run through the end of the month. To make sure that you don’t miss it, and to keep up with all our new content, sign up for our newsletter, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. We’re looking for fiction and non-fiction of at least 7,500 words in length aa well as poems and sequences that are at least 7 single-spaced pages long.
Beloit Poetry Journal. Limit your submission to five pages unless you are submitting a long poem (yes, we publish them). It’s helpful for us to see more than a single short poem, so that we get a fuller sense of your work.
Blackbird. We are able to publish long works in all genres, but query Blackbird before you send a prose piece over 8,000 words or a poem exceeding 10 pages. Our reading period is from November 1, 2013 to April 15, 2014. Unsolicited submissions received outside of the reading period will be disregarded.
Georgia Review features an eclectic blend of essays, fiction, poetry, graphics, and book reviews. For poetry and fiction, we have published stories ranging in length from less than one of our pages to more than sixty, and we have run poems of fewer than ten lines and more than one thousand. We do not consider unsolicited manuscripts between 15 May and 15 August.
Gettysburg Review considers unsolicited submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays, from September 1 through May 31(postmark date). They are interested in shirt or long work of any length. The main criterion for selection is quality.
Hawai’i Review. We feature fiction, poetry, art, essays, interviews, and reviews. Our current call for materials for Issue 79, titled "Call and Response." We encourage multimedia as well as cross-genre pieces.
Long Poem Magazine. For our purposes a long poem is anything over over 60 lines, including sequences. The spirit of 'long' is probably more important than length---by which we don't mean it doesn't have to be long---but it also needs substance. Submit by end of June.
The Los Angeles Review. Submissions for Issue 15, dedicated to Peggy Shumaker, will close September 14 for Poetry and Translations, and August 17 for Fiction and Nonfiction. Though there are minimum guidelines listed for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translations, and book reviews, their only criterion is quality.
The Missouri Review. The editors invite submissions of poetry, fiction and nonfiction of general interest (no literary criticism). Though they accept long pieces, the work has to be pretty expectational to be published.
New Orleans Review. For our next print issue, we are looking for a set or series of fiction, nonfiction, and poems totaling 16-32 pages. No previously published work. Simultaneous submissions are okay.
Nimrod. We will announce the theme for the Spring/Summer 2014 issue in the fall of 2013. In the meantime, please consider sending us your work as a general submission (open until November 30th) or a contest submission (open until April 30th). Fiction: 7,500 words maximum. Poetry: 3-10 pages.
Pemmican seeks literary criticism, articles, essays & book reviews relating to works of political poetry and working class culture. Send finished articles, essays, and reviews or 3-7 poems per submission.
Permafrost.We welcome prose submissions, both fiction and nonfiction, of less than 8,000 words (more if it’s really great). For poetry, No length maximums, as we like the idea of publishing something truly epic. Please do not submit more than five poems at once.
Rattle publishes poetry, translations, reviews, essays, and interviews. We like poems and reviews of any length. Our tributes used to be half of every issue, but beginning in 2013 will appear as whole issues every spring and fall. Deadline: October 15, 2013 for 'Love poems' issue.
Tusculum Review.We want writing that takes risks while still paying attention to craft. We are happy to see prose poems, stories that burst into poems, poems that burst into stories, etc Mixing genres doesn’t scare us. Of course boring, self-involved, over-inflated pap turns us off. We publish poems, fiction, nonfiction, and plays.
Verse is currently open to submissions for the print magazine. All submissions for the print magazine should be chapbook-length (20-40 pages), in any genre or combination of genres--poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translations, criticism, interviews, journals/notebooks, images, etc.
Born in Bloody Harlan, Kentucky, Rachel teaches college near Springfield, Ohio. Her academic adventures have led to an MFA in Poetry and MA in Religion. She also has had the good fortune to travel widely and participate in service work both in the US and abroad. A poem from manuscript is featured in Literary Imagination. More poems can be found in Arsenic Lobster, Midwestern Gothic, and The Los Angeles Review. “Elegy of the Gun,” published by LAR, was just nominated for Best New Poets.