Smokelong Quarterly

“The term “smoke-long” comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. All the work we publish is precisely that—about a smoke long.”

Smokelong was one of the first lit mags I had ever stumbled upon. Of course I immediately bought a copy and fell in love. I had to see what this whole literary magazine thing was about. This mag introduced me to flash fiction which I had no clue about. I didn’t know that you could write creatively with constraints like that all the while doing well at it.  The mag is great and keeps things short, sweet, and interesting. Who can beat that?

Check them out here:

-the team at Sonder




Prompt Press

“Prompt is an online and book arts journal for writing inspired by visual art and visual art inspired by writing. Every six months we showcase an exciting new or established artist, online, and invite others to use their work as a prompt, trigger or source of inspiration.”

How cool is that? Art inspired by art. What a beautiful way to create! Plus they originate in Iowa, which is where I’m from. Not many people do collaborative work and this is a journal that facilitates that. I think collaborative work canbring such great material. It forces writers out of their comfort zone and into a new and unusual environment.

Check them out here:

-the team at Sonder


the poetry rag – its all about us.

I have been interested and obsessed lately with cacti, as many hipsters have been, but I am no hipster. the Poetry Rag is one of those mags that features cacti on the cover of its most recent August issue.

When you click on their “about” page all you see is “its all about us.” This gives me sense of community and the feeling that the editors of the mag are trying to give back to local writers. This mission resonates with me, and the team at Sonder, ’cause we too are trying to be a safe place for our local writers and any other creative artist who needs it.

Plus the work they have published is great. These guys are in Fargo, ND and they have published works from all over: MN, IA, LA, and others. My favorite piece in their most recent issue has got to be “The River” because where I am from we too deal with the good old Mississippi River. Plus they have published someone from the Quad Cities, which is where I reside.

Check out there most recent issue here:

-the team at Sonder

“The Practice of Creative Writing,” Heather Sellers

Not all recommendations will be other Literary Journals. These suggestions will tend to be things I am currently reading. Right now I am three chapters in this book: The Practice of Creative Writing by Heather Sellers.

This book outlines the simple craft of writing as if the reader were a beginner writer. I believe this book is for writers of all skill levels. It includes tips, practice boxes during the reading, plenty of prompts and exercises, and readings along with the text. The book focuses on the basics of writing as well as five useful strategies that are essential to writing: images, energy, tension, pattern, insight, and revision. Of course there is plenty more to the book than just that, but there is a quick look.

However, I find this book to be problematic in that there are tons of hasty generalizations about the writing process and writers in general that I do not agree with. That being said, the author provides many different views and perspectives on writing that I have not yet explored. Plus, you can never get enough tools in your writing toolbox. Also, prompts.

Buy it here: 

Anomaly Literary Journal

“the blood jet is poetry/there is no stopping it”

This mag is cool because they publish work that is very unique and different from the “normal” standard. In simpler terms, they publish the anomaly. The editors run a podcast to accompany their magazine which is the first time I’ve seen that! Check them out, give them a read, and submit!

-The team at Sonder

Burnt Pine

Literature that burns like wildfire.

This online lit mag is a friend and a mentor to my crew over here at Sonder. They’ve published some solid writers as they aim to publish work that will spark a change in others. With their wildfire thematic they are able to work with plenty of pieces worth getting published, which is why their job can be so hard (as for any lit mag).

Go check these guys out, they’re pretty stellar. They have an extremely professional way of doing their work and of course the team behind the magazine are writers too! I guess one of my absolute favorite things about Burnt Pine is how similar they are to us. Both of us are each trying to help other writers names out there in the writing world. We need more love for mags like this.

-The Team at Sonder