The Smell of Cinders and Rain

I don’t know much about road trips. What little I do know about them comes from memories of anticipation in the backseat on our way to the Magic Kingdom and the dreams of my own city of multicolored monorails. Who ever cared about the rides? Or Mickey Mouse? Only the monorails ever mattered.

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This Fourth of July was the first time I ever took to the road by myself. I drove until I was nearly in Georgia. A new friend let me stay at his place. Friends are now only ever found online, or else, in books. The cicadas were very loud, a full-on orchestra of insect legs. There were Southern accents and Sonic’s to drive up to. I’d assumed that Sonic was just a drive-thru you saw in commercials, a television myth. At night, there were explosions from fireworks and burning barrels the neighbors were using to get rid of old things. Watching movies inside, we inhaled all the smoke from the fires. Heading home, the rain soon returned with a familiar earthy musk. A breath out. I wonder about wanderlust and why that was never a rhythm I could rest my temple on.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the extremely positive response to my list of journals. It somehow caught fire via social media and ended up with a mention in the Review Review newsletter. I received emails from editors asking to be included (which I was more than happy to oblige) and teachers thanking me for taking the time to put it together, that it would be useful for their classes. I hope it will continue to prove useful for some weary internet travelers.

tartaruspersona3

About a week ago, Cartridge Lit published a poem of mine. They’re a newer journal interested in publishing videogame literature and interviewing writers who play games. My poem was partially inspired by my experience playing through the videogame Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. I am very interested in the intersections between these forms of media, especially in how they shape and influence identity. Recently, I read this post by Merritt Kopas about hypertext and the exploration of sexuality, gender, and body issues. Why shouldn’t videogames tackle these subjects? I’m happy to see how the medium is rapidly expanding to include these spaces and provide a new means of personal expression. We can’t have enough of those.

List of Literary Journals for LGBTQ Writers, Women, and Writers of Color

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In a previous post, I mentioned my desire to compile a list of journals and presses that exclusively focus on publishing underrepresented voices, such as women, LGBTQ writers, and writers of color. I’ve finally managed to pull something together that hopefully may prove to be a good starting point and resource for those writers who may wish to find a good home for their writing. Or maybe readers who wish to read more widely or diversely. Or editors who strive to be more inclusive. Quite a few of these are hybrid magazines too (women of color, Latino/a queer writers, etc.).

If you know of any that are not mentioned here, don’t be afraid to send me a message! I’ll try to update it whenever I make a new discovery.

(Note: I tried to focus only on those journals and presses that seem to be still open to submissions and aren’t yet defunct.)

LGBTQ:

Adrienne
Arktoi Books
Assaracus
BLOOM
Chelsea Station
Educe Journal
Gertrude Press
Glitterwolf Magazine
Headmistress Press
Iris Fiction
Jonathan
Lavender Review
Magnus Books
OCHO
Plenitude Magazine
Polari Journal
Provocateur Magazine
qu.ee/r Magazine
Raspa Magazine
Seal Press
Sibling Rivalry Press
Sinister Wisdom
St. Sebastian Review
THEM Lit
Topside Press
Wilde Magazine

Women:

Blackberry
Bone Bouquet
Broad! Magazine
CALYX Journal
Damselfly Press
dancing girl press
Dorothy
Kalyani Magazine
Luna Luna Magazine
Minerva Rising
Quaint Magazine
The Riveter
ROAR Magazine
Room Magazine
So to Speak
Two Serious Ladies
WomenArts Quarterly

Writers of color:

Acentos Review
Asian American Literary Review
CHA: An Asian Literary Journal
Huizache
Jalada
Kartika Review
Manoa Journal
Mascara Literary Review
Palabra Literary Magazine
Redbone Press
The Missing Slate
Yuan Yang

Etc. (diversity, underrepresented voices):

Diverse Voices Quarterly
Muzzle Magazine
Red Umbrella Project’s Prose & Lore
Solstice Literary Magazine
Union Station Magazine

Your Surreal Adolescence

carrain

Do you have any rain rituals? I think about the patterns of forgetting the garden and remembering the sound of wind chimes coming from our neighbors’ patio. I think about all the times I played a farming simulation video game with my sister, since rain is always so important for the crops and knowing when to put the animals inside. I think about the times I had problems with sleep as a child because of my brain buzzing too loud when it was time to be quiet. I listened to those cassettes of rain falling in all types of geographies. Now, I can sleep through hurricanes. I’m a boulder in a pool. I fall deep and quickly, dreamless. Plunk.

My story, Angels vs. Salamanders, was published in the debut issue of Wyvern Lit. The editor, Mr. Brent Rydin, is a treasure. He sent me very helpful edits and somehow managed to publish the finished issue on the day of his wedding. You simply can’t be more dedicated to the literary arts than that. The story itself is another surreal tale of adolescence in the vein of The Electric Level. There’s slang, identity confusion. There’s a club with cliques. You have to pick a side. But of course, you find yourself where it all splits down the middle.

I’ve been working on poems and getting rejections. I’ve gotten bolder. Some have been from fairly big journals. Some were more personalized, which always hurts more than you anticipate. Maybe hurts more than form rejections sometimes. I feel confident enough that they’ll find a good home, however. I’m revising and reading more journals to maybe have acceptance rub off on me.

There’s a piece that started off as a half-story of less than 300 words and transformed into a slice of a character sketch. Or a vignette. I’m not sure. Metazen published it and you can read it online. I feel like I’m in very good company here too because they’ve published a few of my friends, who are all fantastic writers themselves. You should read them too. I also feel like I want to do more with this character? Regardless, I know I’m destined to someday write a story of siblings because there just aren’t enough of them.

I want to help with diversity in the publishing landscape. We’ve gotten to the point, I think, where this is a huge topic that is finally being addressed in the media as it should be. Not just in publishing, but in the film and video games industry as well. In order to do my part, in any little way I can, I’m trying to compile a list of literary journals and presses that exclusively publish women, LGBTQ writers, and writers of color. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message, especially if you’re an editor of any of these journals or presses yourself. I’ll publish the list here on my blog once I’ve collected a decent amount. My goal is to keep updating it as I discover more and to provide writers seeking out these places to have a good starting point.